The time has gotten away from me (more on that later)…which is why it’s taken me so long to get the blog up and running. But I hope to make the long wait worth your while. Here’s what you can expect from my blog…

Raw. Uncooked. Uncensored. And unedited. Although I want to keep in touch with all my readers, it’s vital I reserve enough time to write my novels. If I edit, change words, rewrite paragraphs, these blog entries will never get posted…and my next novel will never get written.

There are no rules. (Okay, there are few rules.) Sometimes this space will contain random thoughts unrelated to writing—but I think one of the most interesting things will be to take you behind the scenes of the process of publishing a major novel as it moves through the production process—which happens out of view of the average reader. When I tell my friends the things that go into publishing a book, they find it fascinating—hopefully you will, too.

So let’s start right now. The 7th Victim was named to Library Journal‘s 2008 “Best Books of the Year” list—a tremendous honor given it was chosen from 7,000 books. It’s resonated with readers and booksellers to such a degree that they’ve asked for a series of Karen Vail novels. So before, during, and after The 7th Victim’s book tour, that’s what I was doing. I already had a setting in mind where I’d always wanted to tell a story. I had my main character. And I had a broad outline of a story I wanted to write.

But most important of all, I had the itch. Since that day in August, when my publisher and agent sat down with me to tell me Karen Vail needed to be a series character, I started writing. The words flowed effortlessly—which was essential. (If I don’t enjoy what I’m writing, you won’t enjoy what you’re reading.)

My first call was to the Behavioral Analysis Unit, to Special Agent Mary Ellen O’Toole, the real female FBI profiler, to discuss a few things regarding Karen Vail—and a lot of things regarding the killer I was planning for this novel. There isn’t a lot of printed material on these types of killers, so I needed to prospect Mary Ellen’s brain to learn all I could about them. The research didn’t stop there—I made trips to the locale where the novel is set, spoke with local law enforcement, toured their facilities, and poked around behind the scenes to specific places where Karen Vail was going to visit.

So…I’ve been working 7 days a week, 15+ hours a day, on this next novel (yes…an insane schedule that certainly took its toll). What’s the title? I’ll tell you later. (Hey, I write suspense!) In fact, I’m told blog entries are supposed to be brief. (A novelist write something brief?) Fine. I’ll stop here. The next installment, which I’ll get up here on Sunday, will pick up with the actual writing of the story, working with my editor…and maybe a surprise or two.