Sunday, April 8, 2012
Liz’s Lair: I’m Gonna Be An Inker!
Break out the champagne, I am one happy camper today. Why? Because I will be an Inker? A what, you ask? An Inker--as in Midnight Ink Publishing.
Yep! On Thursday my agent and the acquisition editor at MI hashed out a two book deal for my paranormal ghost mystery series. (Refer to my February blog about meeting the editor at a conference.) TALK DEAD TO ME (the story my agent calls the potty mouth ghost story) will release in the summer of 2013 and DEAD MAN TALKING the following year. Yay!!!
If you remember TDTM was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award quarterfinalist a few years back. For nearly a year, Amazon posted a chapter and a half for anyone to download free. I had over 50 starred reviews but was culled at the next level. I can’t tell you how many people have been bugging me about when they could read the rest of it.
TDTM is also the book that launched my publishing career. My editor at Berkley loved it but needed a cozy series and knew she would have to ruin it to make it fit. I'll explain why later. This is a book that is close to my heart because it is about 5 sisters, one of whom dies and shows up at her own funeral, visible only to one sister with whom she has been estranged for the past 9 years.
Did I mention that I am also one of 5 sisters, and that my sister Theresa died 14 years ago? And did I mention my ghost is Tessa?
There’s where the similarity ends, though. My sister married her HS sweetheart, had 4 kids, and was a great mother. Tessa is anything but. Just to show you, here is an excerpt from the book. To set the scene, my heroine (Lainey) is having lunch with the local sheriff (whom she has secretly loved since she was a teenager and who used to be married to Tessa, the ghost.) Ruby, the rotund owner of the restaurant has just mentioned basically what a jerk Tess was all her life. The bolded dialogue is Tessa speaking and only Lainey can see or hear her.
“I was sorry to hear about your sister, Elaina. She did a lot of good things for the community.”
“Thanks. I’ll bet she loved this place.”
Ruby shifted from one foot to the other. “Actually, she rarely came in here.”
Oh, here we go. Now’s when she tells you what a worthless human being I was.
Lainey jerked her body to the left just as Tessa waved, then slid into the empty seat. Quickly, she turned back to Ruby, hoping no one had noticed the sudden body shift. “Guess she watched her figure, like I should be doing.” Lainey pushed the plate toward Tessa and sipped her sweet tea.
Ruby stepped back and squinted. “Honey, I saw you walk in here. The only one who’s watching your figure is Colt.” She glanced around the restaurant. “Not to mention every other cowboy in here.”
Much as I hate to admit it, Lainey, your ass does look amazing in that skirt. Tessa winked. You still have a way to go to beat mine, though.
“Maybe I will have some of that dessert, Ruby,” Colt said, effectively changing the subject as if he didn’t like where the conversation was headed.
“Your sister didn’t care much for me,” Ruby said, folding her arms across her chest.
I never got any warm and fuzzies from you, either. I learned a long time ago to think like a dog. Tessa waved her arm in the air. If I couldn’t eat it or screw it, I’d piss on it and walk away.
Lainey wiped her mouth with the napkin, biting her lip to hide the smile. “I’ve been told Tessa didn’t get along with a lot of people.”
Ruby shook her head. “Everyone in Vineyard loves Colt. After what Tessa did to him, she lost a lot of friends.”
Oh, please. Why don’t you run back to the kitchen where you belong? I heard there were a couple pans of cobbler you forgot to eat.
I don’t guess I have to explain why this wouldn’t work as a cozy!! I’m sure Terri, my new editor, will have to tone it done somewhat, too. I’m okay with that. I had a blast writing it with my friends sending me all the great zinger lines every day.
At any rate, I am pleased to be a part of the authors who call themselves INKERS. Terri has a few more manuscripts of some of my fellow Book Cents friends, so maybe I will get some company soon. In the meantime, help me raise a glass. I can’t wait for y’all to read this story. It is one of my favorites.
And the best news of all is that I have two of the greatest editors on the planet to work with. I love Faith (Berkley) and plan on writing my cozies for her as long as she'll have me. And Terri gets all my straight mysteries. If her editing is as easy and lovable as she is, I have hit the jackpot. FYI - any time you see a book written by Liz Lipperman, you can be sure it is a cozy. Anything written by Lizbeth Lipperman will either be a romantic suspense or a mainstream mystery and will have sex and language. Just so you know.
And just to show the love, I’m going to give away a prize just because. All you have to do is comment. Of course, if you tell me how much you love my writing, you get extra chances---just kidding. All you have to do is say hey. The winner will get a choice of an autographed copy of LIVER LET DIE, a download of MORTAL DECEPTION, or an ARC of BEEF STOLEN-OFF. I’ll use randon.org and post the winner in the morning. All I ask is that after you read it, you post a review.