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Hello, my flowers!

What busy months have led up to spilling the latest about my new Alex Duggins mystery series. I’ve spent more time in the Cotswolds, tromping miles in search of the authentic details that make Folly-on-Weir, Alex’s home village, and her pub, The Black Dog so real they are vividly sealed in my mind. I do this so that you will be as at home there as I am.

When I made my decision to branch off into mysteries, I searched for a way to categorize the books (we must, after all, put a label on things?) and eventually came up with: Mysteries with Heart—sometimes beating! I may be the only participating member of that genre so far, or at least the only member who has found my particular label, but it fits me perfectly: Mystery buff and character/relationship devotee. I love story people because they’re what “it’s” all about. I could have labeled the books, Nail-biting Mysteries with Hearts—sometimes beating because I do revel in tension, yours and mine!

Alex Duggins, Tony Harrison, DCI Dan O’Reilly, DS Bill Lamb, the sisters Harriet and Mary Burke, Doc James, Lily Duggins and, very importantly, Folly-on-Weir, Alex’s pub, and the surrounding Cotswolds, are the backbone of the Alex Duggins Mystery Series. At the beginning of this project I decided on a fresh start with new publishers. The only change I didn’t want to make was in my readers. The jump from Suspense to Mystery isn’t stopping me from taking you with me. I know what you like. Now comes The Big Change.

Stella with Millie

Working for a UK publishing house has been a longtime dream of mine although I haven’t spent a lot of time bemoaning the difficulties of accomplishing this from the US. But then came COLD, which I published electronically and you enjoyed the story and have patiently waited for the second book OUT COMES THE EVIL. Enter The Big Change. Along came Severn House, a UK publisher of long standing with a suggestion that I write these books for them. Yes, I’m tickled, thrilled and otherwise very chipper about all this. They want the whole series issued in hardback and trade paper so Cold became FOLLY (due out in the US in May, freshly edited, absolutely true to “Britishism,” and with a smashing package, including the beautiful cover). OUT COMES THE EVIL will be published later in 2015.

Severn House started publishing my books for the UK in January, 2015. They will put out the stories for general sales and for both the UK and US library systems. Of course the books will be available in electronic format as well. This is so exciting, I must make sure not to pop!

Bogey, Katie, Oliver and Maxwell (furry regulars of Folly-on-Weir) are also thrilled since loafing around at the Black Dog and in Harriet and Mary’s tea rooms, Leaves of Comfort, are their favorite occupations.

I don’t want you to think I’m going soft on these stories. Continue to watch for knotty problems resulting from stray bodies and the evil decisions men (and women) make. If I were asked for one slightly different angle with my mysteries it would be that I care deeply about the real lives of my people and couldn’t write at all without exploring them. I want you to care what happens to my characters, too, particularly since I’m now writing the third book, IF THE BLUES DON’T KILL YOU?

More of my backlist titles will be released in coming months, so you’ll have some Stella Cameron to get you through the rest of 2015. I am especially pleased to be reissuing FINDING IAN—which will have been extensively rewritten. Ian’s story has always been a favorite of mine and as time has passed since I originally wrote this I’ve become more convinced that there is more to tell.

This is an invitation to come along with me on the next stage of my writing life. And I thank you for being a part of my journey so far.

With the deepest appreciation,

Stella Cameron

PS. Did I ever explain that “my flowers” is a cockney form of address I hear a lot in London?