An explanation

In work, in life, I tend to focus.  The only way I can get through a tight deadline is, basically, to do nothing but write.  In the morning I check my email and let my brain wake up with tea and the Internet, then it’s coffee and work, from 7 or 8 in the morning until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Every day.

At the end of a series of days like that, my brain begins to steam gently, then smoke.  I lose words: talking to my sister about the skylights recently, I ended up gesturing upward and referring to the ceiling windows.  No, honestly, it’s not Alzheimer’s, since it happens every time I push at a deadline.

That means when I hit the SEND button and finally flip the manuscript cross-country to my editor, I wake up to find all those delayed parts of my life lined up and screaming in my ear.  From changing the date of a teeth-cleaning to changing my plans for the spring, the page of urgent To-Dos is getting both long and worn.  And yes, I’m aware that theoretically, much of that could be done between 3 and 5 when I’m finished my day’s stint, but as I say, my brain at that point makes a bowl of instant oatmeal look muscular, and chopping things for dinner is about as proactive as I can get.

I only mention this seasonal insanity to explain why, after a long silence here on Mutterings, the blog is coming to life yet again.  I have four new books to talk about, even without next year’s novel, and I’ve barely mentioned them.

So please forgive the jerky nature of Mutterings. I would say that I’ll try to do better when it comes to consistency, but it seems to me I’ve said that before, and it only lasts until I dive back into the rabbit hole of a new book.

But about those four books. Three of them are out, and although it’s too early to use the “C” word, for those of you who have book lovers on your gift list, they would be fabulous.  I’ll be talking about them each over the next couple of weeks.

The fourth one is a collection we’ve just got the contracts for, edited by Les Klinger and me, as we did A Study in Sherlock last year.  This one will be called In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, and just look at these contributors:

Sara Paretsky
Michael Connelly
Jeffery Deaver
Meagan Abbott
Denise Hamilton
Lisa Lutz
Denise Mina
Val McDermid
Andrew Grant
And from outside the mystery world:
Cornelia Funke
Lev Grossman
Larry Niven
Michael Dirda
Michael Sims
Gahan Wilson
John Reppion and Leah Moore
Michael Scott

Diamond Dagger, Pulitzer Prize, New York Times #1 bestsellers–wow.  Just, wow.  I am so grateful to all these incredible writers for agreeing to play the Holmes game with us, and so looking forward to reading their stories.  (Sara Paretsky’s is in, and superb.)

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes is scheduled for the fall of 2013.


  1. Tim H. on November 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Anxious to see Larry Niven’s angle on Holmes, reding his work has always been enjoyable for me.

  2. Elizabeth Rose on November 18, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I have heard another author say she can either blog or write books. Personally I vote for the books, and will take blog postings as a bonus, when and as they are possible.

  3. Teresa on November 18, 2012 at 10:49 am

    What Elizabeth Rose said. 😉

  4. Elizabeth Chamberlin on November 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Don’t worry about leaving us hanging. Mutterings are by definition jerky. Write first, jerk later. Your fans will bless you. 🙂

  5. Strawberry Curls on November 18, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Sorry, but when I read Elizabeth Chamberlin’s statement “Write first, jerk later,” I about spewed my chia all over my monitor. I suppose that says more about me than it does you, Elizabeth.

    Anyway, I’m wowed by the lineup of contributors to this new anthology, Laurie. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I thoroughly enjoyed “A Study in Sherlock.”


  6. Annelie on November 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Great title and, hey – Cornelia Funke? The collection of contributing authors is wild! What an interesting project this is!
    And yes, I can very much relate to that working pattern – deadlines send me through the mincing machine, puke me up on the other side when the manuscript is finally submitted. Its elating and curiously deflating, too. Weird…
    Thanks for the post!

  7. Lola on November 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Looking forward to reading all of the “soon to be released” Kingly volumes. I need some of that focus stuff when I start creating my images.

    Happy turkey-day to all.

  8. Barb on November 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    My husband’s schedule is very similar to that. I’m more of a mix it up schedule wise. Whatever works. I’m with Strawberry Curls–my reaction to the “write first . . .” That’s my good laugh for the day. Barb

  9. Rachel on November 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I loved “A Study in Sherlock,” and not just because it was full of nifty stories. It also introduced me to some authors I’d never read before, and I have gone on to enjoy quite a few books by them that I may never have discovered before. So I’m eagerly anticipating the new collection! Thank you!

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