Wednesday, November 04, 2015


So I finished the rough draft of this guy today. It's still months away from being ready to turn in as it's a very rough draft, with probably at least 30-40 pages worth of missing scenes. But it's always a huge relief to get to this stage--evil murderer all rolled up, lose ends tied up; phew, it works!

This one has seemed more troublesome than usual, although perhaps that's mainly due to the fact that I took three trips while writing it plus redid my website. I also lost a dearly loved kitten and lived through a rather traumatic upheaval in my publishing house. Oh, and both my daughters got engaged!

This is #12, due out March 2017. Before this one comes WHEN FALCONS FALL, which is coming in March 2016. And soon I need to start thinking about #13 . . . . Oh, dear; I hope it won't be bad luck!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

More Audio Books!

Sorry I've been MIA for a while. Life has been aggravating this past week for reasons I won't particularize. But I do have some new audio book covers to show you. Here's the final version of the Recorded Books edition of Why Mermaids Sing:

This is actually the third version. I can show you the second version because for some reason it's up on Amazon. Needless to say, I did not like the red lipstick, and they surprised me by taking my suggestion they cut the mermaid off at the chin. Here's the original second version:

Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to show you the first version, which featured a different mermaid with a shell bra and a very prominent bellybutton. No, I'm not kidding.

Anyway, here is the cover for the upcoming Where Serpents Sleep:

I asked that they make the font of the title darker. Maybe I shouldn't have shown it yet? Oh well.

In other news, I've signed up for Bouchercon, the mystery/thriller convention that will be in New Orleans next September. If you like that sort of thing, maybe I'll see you there?

I am also chugging ahead with my plan to gradually release my Candice Proctor backlist as ebooks. I was going to release Midnight Confessions first and I have a gorgeous new cover for it, but, ahem, that has hit a snag (some of the "I won't particularize" stuff that's been affecting my blood pressure this week). But I will be going ahead with the release of Beyond Sunrise, although it will have only "Candice Proctor" on the cover rather than "C. S. Harris writing as Candice Proctor." (Yeah, you can read something between the lines there.)

And, finally, I have a new keyboard because this guy knocked a cup of coffee over on my old one and killed it. He's cranky because he's no longer allowed on my lap while I'm drinking anything at the computer and he's convinced I'm just being so mean. Which translates into, Let's bite Candy's foot. 

Hopefully next week will be better?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Home Again

I'm back home after ten glorious days in the mountains of Idaho.

I spent much of my youth in Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado, so this was in many ways a homecoming for me. My sister and her husband retired to the resort town of McCall five years ago and their lifestyle is truly enviable, their playground a clear, glacial lake, swiftly rushing river, and miles of trails through the woods for hiking and skiing, all capped by a sky so blue it almost hurts to look at it. We spent many hours just sitting on the porch of her rambling old Victorian farmhouse, sipping pina coladas, watching her horse and donkey graze in the pasture, tossing the frisbee for her dog, and talking about the publishing industry, because my sister just happens to be the NYT bestselling author Penelope Williamson.

The weather was unbelievably warm. One day we drove up to the old mining camp of Burgdorf and spent ages soaking in the old mineral hot springs. Then we climbed out and sat in the sun for a couple of hours. In our wet bathing suits. In the mountains of Idaho. In October.

Burgdorf is an incredible place literally miles from nowhere; just blue sky (yes, it really is that blue!) and mountains and pine trees and old, collapsed cabins that are slowly being refurbished for people who don't mind holidays without running water or electricity.

And then there was Roseberry, once an old Finnish settlement, now a ghost town:

Needless to say, I had a wonderful time. But I also did some work on my next Sebastian St. Cyr book (well, okay; on the planes and in the airports!). On Monday I'll be getting back to work. But I suspect I'll spend most of the weekend making things up to these guys, who are very, very unhappy with me:

Friday, October 02, 2015

Galleys and Mountains and Mermaids, Oh My

So I was going to write a long post this week entitled something along the lines of, "Jamie: Why I Did It." But then the galleys for the mass-market edition of WHO BURIES THE DEAD landed on my doorstep, quickly followed by the ones for WHEN FALCONS FALL.

I love seeing galleys (page proofs) because it means the book is that much closer to going into production. But since I'm heading off to visit my sister in McCall, Idaho, next week, I've been scrambling to get them finished. (Yes,  poor Steve is staying home to take care of cats again.) I do wish they would warn me/coordinate with me on these things, but every author I know has the same story: galleys ALWAYS come at the worst possible time. It's one of those "rules."

(That's a picture of where I'm off to, by the way.) In other news, the audio version of WHY MERMAIDS SING is up here. There's no cover yet because  we're, um, working on it. The first version they sent was of a distant ship with a very in-your-face mermaid complete with prominent bellybutton and a shell bra. I kid you not. The next version was much better, different mermaid, but with very red lipstick on her mouth. I asked if they could cut her off at the chin. Still haven't heard back yet. But as of this writing, the audio book is available, just with a generic cover.

The one other thing I wanted to share with you is this incredible book filled with photos of old London that my long-suffering husband gave me for my birthday. It's pricey, but wonderful:

And yes, Sebastian and I are both Libras. One of those "write what you know" things.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hendon, C.S. Graham, Cats, and England: Answering Ask Me Anything Monday

Angel was my mom's old cat; he's now 17.

From Judith at Goodreads: Will Things get better between Sebastian and his father?

The book I'm writing now, which has the working title WHERE THE DEAD LIE (due out March 2017), sees Sebastian and  Hendon united in their opposition to the betrothal of Hendon's granddaughter (Amanda's daughter), Stephanie, to a charming but decidedly nasty heir to a marquis. This has been a very emotional book to write; the scene I was working on the other day had me literally crying.

Huckleberry and Thomasina. These two were mine from before Steve and I married; Huck is almost 15  and Thomasina is at least 17-18.

From Mary at Goodreads, Will we ever see any more stories from C. S. Graham?

I loved writing the Tobie and Jax books, and I think it helped keep the Sebastian series fresh when I could write something else in between (one of the dangers of a long-running series is that the writer can get tired of it). But it was just too much for me, trying to keep both series going. When my mom fell ill and moved in with me, I almost went crazy and decided I had to drop one. Even though she is now gone, I don't think I could manage both series at once, at least not for two different publishers. So I guess the short answer is, I have another C.S. Graham idea in my head that I'd love to write but I'm not sure I'll ever get the chance. Once a series is allowed to go cold like that, publishers are reluctant to pick it up again. Probably the only way it could happen is if someone made a movie. But while we had tons of interest, nothing ever came of it.

Banjo and Scout, our shaky kittens.

Toni asked, How do you take care of all your cats with your busy schedule?

It isn't anywhere near as difficult now as it was during the Year of the Shaky Kittens. To be frank, caring for our two little handicapped babies took a huge toll on both Steve and I. Hand feeding them three times a day (for the first several months it was four), keeping them clean, and just holding and cuddling them took an enormous amount of time and required us to get up an hour earlier before Steve went to work and usually kept us up late at night. But my Banjo died in June of last year, and we lost Scout in October. And then we lost Indie, my little darling who left us far too soon this last March.

The rest of the guys aren't much trouble. Thomasina, the calico female in the bottom bunk in the picture above, now spends most of her time in Baton Rouge with my younger daughter. I feed and cuddle the rest of the gang first thing in the morning before I go for my walk (Huck and Angel get a med that needs to be sprinkled on wet food). In the evening, before I go to bed, I sit with the Marmalades again for a couple of hours and read (Roscoe and Peanut live in a part of the upstairs that is closed off by a glass door because Huck doesn't like them) while Steve goes out and sits and reads with the Pee Cats (Nora and Whiskies live on our fifty foot screened in gallery because they have "elimination issues"). Angel and Huck (and Tommy Girl when she's here) are free to roam the rest of the house (Huck doesn't like Angel, either, but Angel can hold his own), and they cuddle next to me (or ON me) during the day while I write.

The worst part of it all is that Steve and I really can't go away together for more than a night. I have friends who would be willing to come refresh water and food and litter boxes, but I can't ask people to come twice a day and administer medicine (Angel has another med that we squirt in his mouth at night and Huck gets a different med sprinkled on his bedtime snack). I can't board them, either, because Huck's problems are the result of a near fatal reaction to his last vaccines and the vet told me to never give them to him again. Which is probably way more than you wanted to know, but does explain why I went to England last June and poor Steve stayed home to cat sit!

Roscoe and Peanut. Technically, these two belong to Sam. I'm not holding my breath. They're six years old.

Caroline asked, Do you miss living in England, and if so, what?

I do miss it, yes. To be frank, I'd go back if I could (well, as long as I could pick one of the warmest, sunniest bit, and maybe also had a little house in Spain for the dead of winter!) I miss being able to drive over the hill and visit everything from a castle to a thousand year old church to a Roman ruin. I absolutely adore the beautiful gardens (when I was there this last time I was threatening to come home and rip up all my roses because they are so sad here in comparison). I love tearooms and neighborhood pubs and lovely little villages that made you ache for times gone past.  I could go on and on, but I think the thing I love most is how wonderfully polite and funny the people are.

Indie, my little darling

I have three more questions to answer, about Jamie Knox and Sebastian and 19th century intellectual history, but each of those will be long enough to require a post to itself.

Whiskies (sibling to Roscoe and Peanut, and mentally "slow" since birth)  and Nora (now 15, the sole survivor of the three cats Steve had when we married) on the porch swing. At the other end of the gallery are heated and air conditioned little houses for when it gets too cold or too hot. Yes, we are crazy.