I can't tell you how much I love reading kind reviews of my work. (Those of you who write nasty ones -- forget it, I ain't reading them.)
I'm constantly amazed at how often someone is finding Murder Is Binding and reviewing it on a blog site. We're talking once or twice a week for a book that was published two years ago. The fact that people are still discovering the series encouraged me to order another 1000 bookmarks for the book and I send them them out quite frequently. (After all, none of my author names has yet become a household name.)
But the reviews that really touch my heart are for Murder on the Mind and Dead in Red from my Jeff Resnick mysteries (written under the name L.L. Bartlett). (Go, on, click on either of them and see the latest reviews by Dru-Ann Love.)
I get a few letters every month from readers begging me to write another book in the series. It's painful to have to admit there are already two of them waiting in the wings, but that the timing isn't right.
What timing you may ask? . . . It's hard to explain. Suffice to say the books won't see print until or unless my publisher thinks I can sell more than just cozy mysteries. The Jeff books are darker, more violent. Would my cozy readers be turned off by them? (Even if they're written under a slightly different name?)
Some might -- but I'm betting that more of them read more than just cozies.
At the end of her review, Dru said, "I would love to see more adventures with Jeff and his friends." The only way that would happen is if THOUSANDS of fans of the series wrote in and told my current publisher they want more. The problem? There aren't thousands of fans. The majority of people who read Murder on the Mind got it as part of a bookclub package. I didn't know who they were or how to contact them when the sequel, Dead In Red, came out. Dead in Red was a small press hardcover with the painful price of $26 PLUS postage (I'm selling it for far less on my web site--postage included). I'd be surprised if more than 2000 people read the book.
So . . . the next two books in the series (Cheated By Death and Bound By Suggestion) sit on the shelf. And the fifth book (A Leap of Faith), sits uncompleted.
I have faith that one day they'll be published, although as time goes by I'm discouraged to think they may never see print--just be available in digital form. But the day to make that kind of decision still looms in the future.
In the mean time, used paperback copies of Murder On The Mind abound on the Internet, and it's available as a Kindle download (and soon to be available in other digital formats) and on audio. And I've got copies of Dead In Red available. Maybe that's enough to keep the series on life support until something else happens.
In the meantime, I (and Jeff's fans) keep waiting.