Many many years ago, when I was a new writer trying to get an editor’s attention*, my agent was submitting two different projects – one, a historical fantasy, the other a contemporary fantasy. While they were doing the rounds, I had lunch with a friend of mine,who happened to be starting up a new fantasy imprint and wanted to pick my brain**. She’d already said no to the historical (friends are friends but editorial calls are outside that), and at one point asked what else I was working on (magic, if panic-inducing words to any writer). And I told her about the urban fantasy, and how it was close at a few places, including a rewrite request, but no takers.
“That sounds interesting,” she said. “Send it to me.”
“But…you said you were looking for historical.”
“I am. Send it to me anyway.”***
I did (or rather, my agent did). Despite having a mandate to buy historical fantasy, she took a risk and bought STAYING DEAD and two more. And that launched the Retrievers series, and the story of Wren Valere and Sergei Didier, two New Yorkers with magic and larceny – and a little romance – on their minds.
At the time, I had a 5-book story arc in mind. Five books seemed reasonable. Instead, the world grew to encompass a 6-book series for Wren and Sergei, another four in the spin-off series, Paranormal Scene Investigations, a 4-book novella PI series, and a story collection, all set in the world of the Cosa Nostradamus. These books are my love letter to the city of my soul, and also to the people of that city, in all their chaotic, messy, multicultural glory. And if you ask me how much of that world of the Cosa Nostradamus is real, and how much I made up…. I can only grin and shrug and say I honestly don’t know, and I’m prretty sure Wren doesn’t, either. Sergei might, though.
In the years since that first book sold, the imprint was sold to another publisher, my editor went freelance, and I moved on to another publisher, who wanted my historical fantasy side. And, eventually, with a lot of tugging by my agent****, those ten books reverted to me.
And now – after some editorial cleanup, updatery, and internal consistency-tweaking, they’re coming back in the Author’s Preferred Edition, via Book View Cafe!
First up, out today, the book that started it all: STAYING DEAD.
*I was, at the time, an established editor, so the turnabout was difficult but probably very good for me.
** She was coming from the Romance side, professionally, despite being a fan of SF/F.
*** It was a long time ago, don’t hold me to the accuracy of the words said, but that was the gist.
**** SO many phone calls. Repeated phone calls. Reminders of the reversion clause in the original contract. Never letting up in the cause of righteousness and cranky agenting. If anyone ever ask you why you need an agent, that’s a good reason why.