The Writer's Blog

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Two new books


We're at the end of the year again. They keep whipping by, faster and faster with every year. 2023 was an interesting one for me. I traveled some, did volunteer work, and, most notably, reinvented myself as a writer. Let me explain.

In September Linda and I traveled to Switzerland to stay with dear friends who live there part of the year. We were on Lake Geneva, near Lausanne. It was a wonderful trip, the highlight of which was the day hiking in the Alps. It was truly stunning. We also managed a quick trip to Berlin so I could do some research for the book I'm going to tell you about later.

One of the things that made my year a great one was the volunteer work I've been doing at Literacy Chicago, an organization that helps adults learning to read. People like to shock with statistics about Chicago's crime rate but what I find more criminal is the 30% rate of functional adult illiteracy. This is a failure of epic proportions, in my opinion, and while I can't make the systemic changes that are needed to fix the problems, I can do my bit with the students at LitChicago. I tutor a student once a week and also teach a weekly class to a group of students. As with most work like this, I'm getting far more out of it than I'm putting in. I love my students and admire them greatly.

My newest crime novel, Clean Kill, is set for publication on May 14, 2024. I'm very excited to have it get out into the world, thanks to my long time publisher, Bold Strokes Books. I explore themes of recovery and redemption within a serial killer plot that hopefully will keep you guessing until the end.

It's possible that Clean Kill is the last crime novel I write. Early this year I started writing historical fiction, a book set in Berlin in 1929 and 1933, just before and after Hitler comes to power. I don't think I've ever had as much fun writing a book. I have felt what I call a new freedom in my writing and I believe it shows. I'm still writing and have several drafts to get through, but it should be ready to go out sometime in 2024. I'm anxious for my readers to check it out and see what they think of me writing in a new genre. I have an idea for a sequel to the book, so it will be awhile before I return to crime fiction, if ever. Writing is all about growing and moving forward and I hope you'll come along for the ride.

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