Has it been a month since my last update? Yikes. As you might guess, I’ve been head-down at my desk and buried in work. Publishing is a weird, weird business; because everything is so delayed and long-term, it’s not uncommon to be working on four projects at once including stuff that nobody will see until two years from now. You have to make an effort to stay in sync with the here-and-now when you spend most of your waking hours focused on the future. To give you a snapshot, here’s my current to-do pile:

1. Work on book six of the Harmony Black series, which won’t be out until sometime next year.

2. Finalize print/ebook layout for Right to the Kill (which is out NEXT MONTH, eep!)

3. Finalize edits for The Locust Job.

4. Continue developmental editing for The Insider; this is the stage of heavy rewrites, working with my editor to shore up and improve the manuscript. Basically the point where the last big revisions and changes to the meat of the story happen, and from here we get into the nitty-gritty of editing grammar, style, etc.

5. Shop a stand-alone novel around to various agents and publishers, trying to find it a good home.

Each of these tasks is unconnected to the others, requires a different mindset, and they all (save for the last) have to get done by different deadlines. As you can imagine, time prioritization is a big part of this job. And this isn’t unusual! I know some writers who are juggling seven or eight projects at a time; as the saying goes, this is a good problem to have.

And then there’s always the business happening behind the scenes, the things we can’t talk about. An inquiry here, a maybe-possibly-deal there, any number of possibilities that might or might not pan out, probably won’t, and if they do it won’t be something we can make public for a year or more. But sometimes even a deal falling through (most of them do, that’s the nature of this business) can open up an unexpected opportunity.

Such as the opportunity to write the continuation of a story that’s very special to me — and, with my utter gratitude, to many of you. I’ve just begun early brainstorming and outlining, the start of a very long journey, but today I’m going on the record and making it official. When I was called to write Ghosts of Gotham, it marked the beginning of a memorable, magical, and very weird year. Today I’m answering that call a second time.

And now, back to layout. Right to the Kill is up next; I’ll let you know when it’s up for pre-orders, but you can expect a release in late October, probably right around Halloween. Take care!