On the 19th I'll be signing copies of Survivors Will Be Shot Again at Murder by the Book in Houston at 6:30. For a while I didn't think I'd be able to be there, but things look good for now. I'm planning on it.
It occurred to me only today that this is a significant anniversary for me. It was 30 years ago that I did my first book signing, also at Murder by the Book, for Too Late to Die, the first book in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. At the time I had no idea that it would be a series, much less that it would last for 30 years (and there'll be another book next year, too). If anyone had told me that, I'd have had a good laugh. I wouldn't have thought it was possible.
Yet here I am, and the sheriff is still in office. My life has gone through a lot of changes, many of them happy ones, some of them not nearly so much. Sheriff Rhodes hasn't had the same experiences, so he's a lot the same. That's by design, though. I never thought of having him be one of those protagonists who changes much. My models have always been Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, marching pretty much unchanged through the years. Others take a different approach, which is great. I gotta be me.
The next book in the series, Dead, to Begin With, completes my current contract, so it remains to be seen whether there will be more. My health could be a problem, and St. Martin's might decide that there's no more room for a sheriff like Rhodes on the list. I'm going to try to get a proposal done before I begin chemo, however, so at least there's a chance of more to come.
And how about that cover for the hardback of Too Late to Die? One of the worst ever, right? But the book did get a nice review in the "Criminals at Large" column in the NYT Book Review. It had two printings and even a paperback. I miss the old days.