Joining the multi-book club

In case you missed it, the first book in my new Homefront Mysteries series, The Enemy We Don’t Know, released on Tuesday. Yay!

Cover for THE ENEMY WE DON'T KNOW

My favorite blurb line? “If Rosie the Riveter and Sam Spade had a love child, she’d be Betty Ahern.” Thank you, Annette Dashofy.

A bit of backstory. I wrote this book several years ago, before I had sold the Laurel Highlands Mysteries. The character genesis was a short story I placed in the 2017 Malice Domestic Anthology Murder Most Historical. Keenan (who also has a story in the anthology) swapped before submission. Part of her feedback was, “There needs to be more Betty stories.”

But I had no intention of doing that. Until the question arose: The Laurel Highlands hasn’t sold – maybe I should try something else. But what?

Lo, there was Betty.

I wrote the book, my critique group loved it, but then I sold The Laurel Highlands. Betty took a back seat (she wasn’t happy about that). Two or so years later, I had some agent interest, but she ultimately passed. Then Level Best Books, my publisher, announced they were starting an imprint for historical mysteries. Harriette Sackler told me to tell my friends. I put my hand up. “I have one, if you’re interested in reading it.”

She did, and she loved it. But the question was now: Can you write two books a year?

Many authors do this. Rhys Bowen, Catriona McPherson. Heck, I think at some point Edith Maxwall/Maddie Day was writing three or four (or at least releasing them). It wasn’t a new phenomenon in publishing.

But could I do it? I looked at my calendar. It takes me about six months to write a book and get it ready for submission. My manuscripts for Laurel Highlands are due in February with the book coming out in August. If I submitted the Homefront books in August, with a February release, I could be writing one series while editing another.

Because editing/revising and drafting take two different parts of my writer’s brain, I could do that.

I pitched it to Harriette. She asked again, “Are you sure?” I was sure. I signed the contract.

That means right now I’m:

  • promoting The Enemy We Don’t Know
  • polishing Broken Trust, Laurel Highlands #3 for submission (it’s there)
  • writing, The Stories We Tell, Homefront Mysteries #2 (my goal is to have it finished by the end of May so I have two months to polish it before the August due date – it’s on schedule)

Sounds like a lot? It is. But I have my trusty organizational tools: a calendar and a to-do list. I’ve got this.

Just stop me if I’m ever crazy enough to say, “I’ve got an idea for another series.”

Readers: Do you read multiple series from the same author? What are your favorites?

Author: Liz Milliron

Liz Milliron has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people's stories, for as long as she can remember. She survived growing up through reading, cutting her mystery teeth on Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark and, of course, Nancy Drew. She is the author of THE LAUREL HIGHLANDS MYSTERIES and THE HOMEFRONT MYSTERIES. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies. She lives near Pittsburgh with her husband, two children, and her retired-racer greyhound.

14 thoughts on “Joining the multi-book club”

  1. Congrats on getting all this done successfully! I decided I can NOT write two a year. My present series is coming out every 6 months (for 3 books), but they’ve taken 3 years to write. Good luck@

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You’ve got this. And your readers will love both!
    Me? I thought I’d be able to juggle writing the non-fiction project and writing my novel… nope. But now I think I’ll be able to juggle the edits for the non-fiction while I outline and write my novel. I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this! Congratulations again. Your organizational skills amaze. When it comes to multiple series, I do usually read all their series, unless the writing/genres are vastly far apart. For instance, I haven’t been super-excited about romance in a very long time (just not where I”m at as a reader right now), so I’ll move mountains to read J.D. Robb but I pass on Nora Roberts (the Nora books are lovely, just not what I’m reading right now). However, I’ve got a handful of authors I enjoy who are writing 3 -4 series, and I read them all! I do get sad when one ends, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Years of having to balance schedules between two kids helps.

      I feel the same about writers with multiple series – including ones in different genres. Sometimes, one of them is just not where my head is.

      Like

    2. This is great news, Liz. I’m sure you’ll be able to get the two projects finished right on time. Advance planning it a great thing. And huge congrats on the newest book coming out. I wish you lots of luck with it, and with all your writing.

      Like

  4. You can do it!! Super excited to start reading your new series taking place in Buffalo, my hometown. It’s been a crazy week but …right now, I’m sitting down and starting it. My best to you

    Like

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