It is with emotion bordering on giddiness that I announce my Markhat series titles will NOT be fading into oblivion in the wake of February's announcement that Samhain Publishing was shutting down.
After restructuring, Samhain has decided to remain in business. Which means my existing Markhat titles will remain on sale, in both print and ebook formats, just as they've been for the last several years.
Better still, the new Markhat book, WAY OUT WEST, may hit the stands in the next couple of months.
And the new Markhat book, tentatively entitled THE DEVIL'S HORN, is already underway.
I know, that's a surprising turn of events. But that's publishing -- change is the only constant.
To those of you who sent emails and messages of encouragement, thanks. You will never know much your words meant to me. I'm not ashamed to say that news of Samhain's shutdown gutted me.
So, Markhat and Darla live on. With any luck, you'll be able to join them on a new adventure before the weather even cools off.
So what's in store for the series, from here out?
I can't reveal everything you know. But there are changes afoot. Big ones.
No, no, I'm not talking about killing off Darla or anything daft such as that. I'm not George R. R. Martin (just look at our sales rankings, that will prove it). I'm not saying what Martin does is wrong or bad -- I'm just saying I don't want anyone finishing one of my books feeling like they just got punched in the face with chunks of a still-warm corpse.
I think there's plenty of room for both styles of storytelling. Which doesn't mean every recurring character in my series is safe -- no, Markhat's world is a dangerous one. But I am stating that when I say 'changes,' I don't mean what so many of us have come to expect, i.e., killing off a bunch of series favorites.
I've had enough of that myself. My enthusiasm for The Walking Dead has even begun to dim, because frankly I'm weary of watching the characters I've come to care about get shoved into meat-grinders week after week. Okay, we get it, the show isn't afraid to eat its babies. Hurrah for them.
But that doesn't mean I will continue to sacrifice an hour a week to watch what to me is becoming blatant torture-porn.
I grew up reading fiction from a different era, I suppose. Take the Nero Wolfe detective series, all seventy-some books of it. There was a sort of unspoken contract between the reader and Rex Stout, author of the books.
Stout would give us Archie and Nero and the brownstone. There'd be banter and a look inside the complex friendship between the gregarious, outspoken Archie and the reclusive, taciturn Wolfe. We readers would be presented with an intricate clockwork mystery. The clues would be right there in the open. We'd always fail to see them, until Wolfe recounted them at the end. Each tidy resolution was a blast.
But would Lily, Archie's lady friend, wind up slaughtered with a butcher knife? Would Cramer catch a bullet to the back of his thick New York cop head?
No. That was part of the implied contract. You came back again and again to enjoy the company of certain characters.
Killing them off for shock, to wrench an easy emotional reaction from a fan -- that just wasn't done.
And I won't do it either.
Which isn't to say what's on the horizon for Markhat and Darla isn't profound. It is -- but I'm trying for something more subtle than grief.
I think we've all had enough grief lately.
So that's my big news of the week.
Now, I need to ask a favor.
If you've read a Markhat book, and liked it, and left a review on Amazon, thanks.
If you haven't left a review yet, please, click the link below, then find the book, and leave a review.
It's important, now more than ever, and I'll tell you why.
Books with more than 25 reviews, I understand, get picked up by Amazon's 'bots and those are the books that get pushed in the 'You Might Also Like' emails and such. Which sells more books. Simple as that.
So here's the link to click. Markhat and Darla would really appreciate it -- they've got a houseboat to maintain, after all...