If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

August Interview Schedule
8/7 Rhys Bowen Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
8/14 Heather Gilbert Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass
8/21 Lynn Chandler Willis Tell Me No Secrets
8/28 Cynthia Kuhn The Subject of Malice
8/31 Bernard Schaffer An Unsettled Grave

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 8/3 M. S. Spencer, 8/10 Zaida Alfaro

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 8/24 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Seamus McCree Compendium

by James M. Jackson

It will come as no surprise to long-time readers of the WWK blog that my heart belongs in the northwoods. It’s where Jan and I retired and is our official residence. Because of the remoteness of our place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we don’t live there the whole year. For at least a decade, Jan has called the place we live in during the winter months “home.” She calls our U.P. residence “camp”—it’s the name locals assign to any abode in the woods outside town, regardless of whether it is a tarpaper shack or a Rockefeller mansion.

I call our U.P place “home” and refer to our winter abode by the name of the city in which it is a part. “We’re going to our Madison place,” I say.

Because Seamus has wandered around since growing up in Boston, I’ve set novels in Ohio (Ant Farm & Bad Policy) and Michigan’s U.P. (Cabin Fever & Empty Promises). Doubtful Relations traveled from Ohio to New Jersey with stops in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina in between. The novella, Low Tide at Tybee, occurred on Tybee Island, Georgia. I’ve set short stories featuring Seamus in the U.P. and Chicago.

When talking with readers, one question I often am asked is where I’ll set the next Seamus McCree novel. It turns out I’m not the only one with geographical preferences. Ohioans want a return to Cincinnati and Chillicothe. Those who love the northwoods want it set there. Others want Seamus to visit their favorite area to live in or read about. False Bottom (May 2019) takes place in the Boston area and includes a short side-trip to Cincinnati.

Northwoods fans are disappointed. I’ve also discovered in talking with them that they often read Cabin Fever first and jump to Empty Promises. Some will then pick up other books in the series. Others return to reading William Kent Krueger or Steve Hamilton or CJ Box with the promise that if I write another novel set up north, they promise to pick it up.

I have an idea for a seventh Seamus McCree, which I’ll set in the U.P. In the meantime, I prepared a compendium to satisfy new Seamus McCree readers who prefer stories set in the wilds. It will include Cabin Fever and Empty Promises, and two short stories. “Accidents Happen” was Seamus’s debut in print and takes place in the same area of the U.P. I plan to include a bonus story, “Homework.” It’s a coming of age story. While it doesn’t feature any of the McCree clan, it is set in the U.P., and Jan says it’s her favorite of my short stories.

The compendium experiment needs a title. I considered using the latitude of the nearest town to Seamus’s U.P. camp: 46°14’ and a subtitle like Seamus McCree in the Northwoods. Or maybe I should try Seamus McCree U.P. North, playing off the using the Upper Peninsula for “up” and moving Seamus McCree into the title. I’m accepting suggestions . . .

* * * * *

James M. Jackson authors the Seamus McCree mystery series. False Bottom, the sixth novel in the series—this one set in the Boston area—will be available in May. You can sign up for his newsletter and find more information about Jim and his books at https://jamesmjackson.com.


Margaret S. Hamilton said...

latitude is too confusing. I like the play on "U.P."

Debra H. Goldstein said...

I prefer the latitude numbers with the subtitle. UP is something I should always recognize, having grown up in Michigan, but I don't and I don't think most people who haven't lived there will know what it means either.

Jim Jackson said...

Thanks Margaret & Debra -- both perspectives for me to keep in mind. Maybe someone will suggest the "perfect" title.

Kait said...

I vote with Debra on this, the latitude with the subtitle. Unless people know that Seamus is in Michigan, the U.P. reference might be lost.

KM Rockwood said...

If you use the latitude, I think it would be helpful to add an "N", which would make it easier to understand that the numbers are latitude.

I'm not especially good with titles, but how about something like "Tales in Michigan's Upper Peninsula" with a subtitle mentioning Seamus McCree.

Gloria Alden said...

I've enjoyed all your novels, but I think the ones I like best are those in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and I think putting it in the title some way would be best, too.

Grace Topping said...

How about a play on compass directions--similar to North by Northwest. Or use Upper Peninsula spelled out -- Upper Peninsula Tragedy or Upper Peninsula Murder, Challenge of the Upper Peninsula, Tracked through the Upper Peninsula.

Jim Jackson said...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. Stay tuned to see what the final decision is.