Dear Valued Correspondent,
Yes, technically it's still autumn, though most trees I know have bared it all. I hope you're having a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.
It's official, I've signed a contract for the next Lillian Byrd crime novel, titled "Easy Street", tentative publication date November of next year. I'm working hard on it. In this one, Lillian attends the retirement party for Det. Erma Porrocks where she gets hired to do demolition in a house Porrocks just bought. She subcontracts one of the street people she knows from Greektown, Drooly Rick, to help her. While Lillian goes on an errand to the hardware store and gets into an argument with another customer who can't decide what shade of beige paint he really wants, something very untoward happens to Drooly Rick. Later Lillian finds a handful of odd treasure at the scene, and coincidentally meets a very interesting and sexy new neighbor, and she's off and running on another treacherous investigation.
The Insight Out Book Club, www.insightout.com, (a division of Quality Paperback Book Club) just published a hardcover version of "Lucky Stiff" for $14.95. I've been doing some promo for the book as well, talking to booksellers around the country and sending them my Virtual Booksigning Kits. For a list of the stores that received autographed bookplates and bookmarks, see http://www.elizabethsims.com/stores.shtml.
In my spare time I'm working on my holiday shopping list, and if you are doing this too, have I got news for you. My creative team, under my close supervision, has launched the store you've been waiting for. The Lillian Byrd Boutique opened this month to rave reviews for its fun and essential Lillian Lifestyle items. Check it out: http://www.cafepress.com/LillianByrd. Now merely by clicking your mouse you can buy cool Lillian-related items like the Elizabeth Sims Kept Me Up All Night coffee mug, Crime Story cards, a Detroit In Flames barbecue apron, even an Ace-Tek Golf Pro cap. And because you're on my special list of correspondents, here's a coupon code to use for $5 off any purchase of $50 or more: 5CPGIFT. This one's good through the 30th of November. Any gift you give from the Lillian Byrd Boutique will be met with squeals of delight, my creative team wishes to assure you. I'm drinking coffee from a Crime Story mug right now, and let me tell you, I've never owned a mug that made coffee taste as good as this one.
The renowned crime writer Ellen Hart recently interviewed me for a feature on her web site, www.ellenhart.com. The interview link is: http://www.ellenhart.com/reviews.html She's also posted interviews with Katherine Forrest, J.M. Redmann, and Sandra Scoppettone.
And there's new book out, "The Gay Detective" by Judith Markowitz (McFarland & Co.) that discusses my work among other writers. Judith interviewed me for the book last spring and we met at BookExpo in Chicago. She's a devoted fan of gay mystery fiction whose book is a solid current survey of the field. If you read it, you'll see that I earned the top spot for "most swearing by an author talking about writing."
You may know that I play percussion in the Port Angeles, Washington Symphony Orchestra. I recently began studying with Rob Tucker at Western Washington University, and realized that I need a mallet instrument at home to practice on. So I'm in the market for a decent used xylophone, 3.5 octave minimum, preferably lightweight. Synthetic bars OK. If you have one to sell, or know of somebody who does, will you please get in touch? You'd be doing me quite a favor, as the pawn shops of Port Angeles seem to be experiencing an extended drought of concert percussion instruments.
And on that note, I'll wish you the best as always, and my thanks for not deleting this message on sight. If you'd like to be taken off this list, just let me know.