Yes, I know I’ve been rather excited about the release of Whispers, and now the countdown has begun. One week from today, it will be released for public availability. Originally, my plan was to release it on my wife’s birthday (October 20th), but since that falls on a Sunday and people who get a new book like to enjoy the weekend reading it, I figure a Midnight Friday release might be more appropriate. Still, I’m going to call it her birthday since we’ll be celebrating it all weekend. Hopefully, I can coordinate everything with my publisher so that she can ‘push the button’ at exactly midnight CST Friday and have it ready for everybody to enjoy.
You might wonder why I’m so excited about this particular release. Well, it’s not exactly something I can put my finger on. It’s not part of my signature series, the Monster Squad, but it is one of my favorite stories to date. My missus has read everything I’ve written so far and she has other favorites, but this one is closest to my heart. I can’t explain why. Perhaps because I dedicated it to both of my dads? Maybe. My father passed in ’88 to cancer and my father in law has done his level best to be there for me even though I know filling those shoes isn’t possible. Maybe it’s because it has small town law enforcement as the central characters…people I can relate to. Maybe it’s because it deals with a love that runs so deep that even in death it can’t be denied. Oh, wait. I better not say much more. I don’t want to give anything away.
If you’ve been one to search Amazon in anticipation, you’ll note that Whispers sits on their website but it says, Out of Print–Limited Availability. That’s sort of a teaser. It’s populated to Amazon and simply waiting for the publisher to ‘press the button’. So…why wait? Well, if you’ve followed any of my posts on Facebook, then you know that the grand majority of the characters are real people who donated their names to be used in the story. I knew that the body count would be high in a story like this. Rather than sit and pull out the last three or four hairs that I had left trying to think of names that sounded real, I asked for volunteers. I posted in the thread that I would only use their names, not their likeness. I couldn’t guarantee what would happen to them or what character they might be. I literally printed out names, cut them out, folded them in half and put them in a hat. As I made the list, I pulled out names and filled the list. The Fates decided who went where. Then I decided that those who volunteered their names should get a free autographed paperback for their trouble. By coordinating with my publisher, she pre-ordered the books so that we could get them to folks BEFORE the book was available to the general public. Factor in shipping to me, labeling and shipping out to them and we still had plenty of time to make it available before Halloween.
I owe a big debt of gratitude to my editor Todd Brown for getting this done in time and to my publisher Denise for having everything ready to do the pre-order and having the patience to let it sit while we wait for folks to get their copies. I know this was no easy task. The book was written in ‘Okie’ and spell check does NOT like southern speak. At all. Neither does grammar checkers. Nope. Not one bit. This is one he had to do line by line, word by word. And it is not a short story. At over 150K words, this is a long story.
So, with all of that said, I hope that those of you who enjoy a good ghost story will give this one a shot. It may or may not be up your alley, but it was certainly a joy to create.