I’ve written since I was seven years old. My first “book,” which was about three lined notebook pages, was about a blind girl who could transform herself into a white housecat. I don’t know why. It made sense to me at the time.
In my teens, I wrote compulsively, often ignoring my schoolwork. Sometimes the Muse seemed to abandon me, and nothing happened. Sometimes I wrote pages and pages and felt certain I had what it took to entertain readers. Despite the fact I grew up in Florida, a flat, hot, thoroughly American place, I was obsessed with London, especially the fogs and gaslight of Victorian London. In the days of hardbound encyclopedias and microfiche, I learned all I could about that place and time.
Next thing I knew, I was in my early twenties, waiting tables and working in a bookstore. Then I was putting myself through college. I jumped on an unusual career train–Ophthalmic Technologist, meaning I assisted eye MDs with minor surgery and every aspect of patient care. The regular paychecks were seductive. I began to think writing books was just a childish dream.
But one day when I was 34, I started writing again. In secret. I continued obsessing about England in general and London in particular. And then, when I was 38, I had a dream about a Scotland Yard detective in love with a much younger subordinate. When I woke up, I wrote the first chapter of what became Ice Blue.
I wrote the entire book. I found an agent on my second try. She and her wonderful intern helped me rewrite the book FOUR times. They submitted it to all the big publishers. And in two weeks … everyone said no. I was a failure, never meant to be a writer, or inflict my fiction upon the world.
Ice Blue and half of its sequel, Blue Murder, sat ignored on my hard drive for almost two years. Then an independent author named Amanda Hocking made a couple of million dollars self-publishing via something called Kindle Direct. It was an Amazon service. On a lark, I decided to try it. And instead of using my legal name, Stephanie Abbott, I pulled a pseudonym out of the air: Emma Jameson. Why use my real name, when no one would ever read Ice Blue? I was publishing via Kindle merely as an experiment, after all.
So here I am. Stephanie Abbott, or Emma Jameson, obsessed with London and England from an early age, writing English cozy mysteries from somewhere deep down inside. At this point there are four entries in the Lord & Lady Hetheridge Mystery Series: Ice Blue, Blue Murder, Something Blue, and Black & Blue. Sometimes people ask rather nervously when the series will end. I say, never! At least, I hope it never will. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get a book right (I am trying to go faster these days) but I adore the characters and have many plans for their futures. The next Hetheridge book will be called Blue Blooded.
I also write another series, the Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries. The first one is called Marriage Can Be Murder. I’m currently at work on#2, Divorce Can Be Deadly. That series starts in 1939 and it’s another I hope will go on for a long time — at least through the end of World War II.
Now I have a new trilogy in the making. At least, I think it’s a trilogy. It’s called All Our Yesterdays, here’s my plan as of this writing:
House of Secrets (AOY #1)
House of Lies (AOY #2)
House of Vengeance (AOY #3)
Each book will have, at its heart, a murder to investigate. The motives behind each murder will fit together, allowing our amateur sleuths to solve the overarching mystery. And yes, this trilogy will be a bit different, in that the leads are Americans, and much of the action will be set in Colorado Springs, in an area called “Little London.” But because this story deals with reincarnation, there will be flashbacks to London — Victorian London, no less. Time for me to put all my knowledge of gaslights, horse-drawn carriages, and bustles to good use.
I’ll post more information on All Our Yesterdays as the story develops. Did I mention it will be different? There are five — count ’em!– five leads, five women and men whose fates have been intertwined for more than one lifetime. In addition to the murders and deepening overarching mystery, there’s a star-crossed romance. How many times can you live? And how many times can you die for love?
We’ll find out. As soon as I finish House of Secrets, we’ll at least have a piece of the puzzle, so I’d better get back to it.
One last note: I love interacting with readers. You can friend me on Facebook or shoot me an email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, please be mindful of public comments that issue spoilers. What good’s a whodunit when someone tells you who done it? Those I’ll have to delete, to make sure no visitor learns the identity of a book’s killer prematurely. But you can email me any comments you wish!
June 10, 2015