Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Annie Kincaid and Art Forgery

A lot of readers are asking me when the next Annie Kincaid Art Lover's Mystery is coming out.

I wish I knew.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the Art Lover's Mystery series, I'll say this: It was my first foray into writing.  It was my entree into the world of publishing, into making a living as an author, into friendships with other authors --it ushered in a whole new phase of my life.

I love this series.  Cherish Annie Kincaid, and her quirky friends and associates.  Adore the crazy world of art fraud, forgery, and theft.  Plus, I wrote the series with my sister Carolyn, who's a super smart history professor by day...our mutual project was so much fun, taught us so much, and brought us even closer as sisters.

The series has a lot of SERIOUS, committed fans, and FEINT OF ART was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. 

Unfortunately, the Art Lover's books did not have the sales numbers the publisher wanted (needed) to see, so the series was cancelled after the third installment,  BRUSH WITH DEATH.  Carolyn and I had been working on the fourth, ARSENIC AND OLD PAINT, so we finished it up and published it with Perseverance Press -- a wonderful, small publishing company that specializes in continuing on with popular series that have been discontinued. 

I was fortunate that I had a great relationship with my editor at Signet (a Penguin imprint) and she asked me if I had anything else "sitting in a drawer somewhere" that she might read.  Thus, the Witchcraft Mystery Series was born, and then the Haunted Home Renovation series.  I was lucky this time -- both series have become national bestsellers, and Dead Bolt (latest in the Haunted Home Renovation series) was a New York Times bestseller!

I love writing, and I feel confident that I write good books.  That doesn't mean everyone will like them, of course -- what we choose to spend our precious time reading is a very personal choice.  But I am hyper- aware that there are many great books that never quite catch on with readers, just as there are some wretched novels that strike the right chord at the right time and become huge sellers.  There are things that can be done to help a book, of course, and every author in the world is happy to enumerate precisely what the publisher or booksellers could have done to better support their novels.

But when all is said and done, I believe it's mostly about luck.  Good placement at the bookstores, a great cover, a general zeitgeist that swings toward your topic, chatty librarians or book group leaders who happen upon your novel and push it to their friends...any of those things can make or break a novel, and a series.

It broke my heart when the Annie Kincaid series was cancelled.  But there's one attribute an author must have: persistence.  In the immortal words of song, "you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again." Or, you know, get a job at a coffee shop.

So all of that's possible that Annie and the gang might rise again.  Both of my paranormal series have done so well that the publisher is talking about the possibility of re-issuing the Art Lover's Series with the Juliet Blackwell name, as in "Blackwell writing as Hailey Lind".  If it happens, we would add another two or three books to round out the series...and maybe even conclude a few hanging threads, like which fascinating man Annie winds up with...

In the meantime, if there are any Annie Kincaid lovers out there who want to send along ideas for the next few books, well...I'm already working up ideas :-)


NoraA said...

I'm a reviewer who is on the list at Perseverance. What are the chances of those lovely people publishing another Annie book?

Hailey.Juliet said...

Hi Nora! Perseverance Press was wonderful to work with, and they did ask about another book in the series. Unfortunately I had to decline at this time--since writing is how I make my living, I have to fulfill my other commitments and get that darned paycheck...but I would always love to work with Perseverance again!

Colleen said...

Hi Juliet!

It's been a while since I read the art lover's series but I think one of the characters need to have a relapse and revert to their old ways!! (art theft, forging etc); I was watching an art heist on tv yesterday, I think it was in Dec 2001, Stockholm when they took the self portrait of Rembrandt and 2 Renoir paintings. They finally got the paintings back about 5 years later. Keep up the great work!!

Juliet Blackwell said...

Colleen, please forgive me for not getting back to you sooner -- I left a response a while ago but somehow it was eaten! I wanted to say that I'd love to have Annie relapse a bit and get back into her old business, for the best of reasons, of course ;-) And I do remember that theft--I actually interviewed the FBI agent who ran the whole sting to recover the paintings!

colleen said...

That is so cool!!! I think that's why I like the Annie Kincaid series so much; you feel like you are there in the middle of all the excitement!! And who wouldn't like to know a hunky art thief???

Justine said...

I LOVE the Annie K series best of all. I hope my rapid fire purchases from B&N get those publishers asking you for more!

knitter par excellence said...

Let's see...Annie could have to do some community service as a volunteer at the Oakland museum white elephant sale in the Art department. The WES takes place in the Jingletown community in Oakland. It is also home to a mosaic academy and the neighborhood is glittering with mosaics everywhere...and all this is quite near to Fruitvale... As to the plot, well that's your bailiwick.

By the way, the WES is an institution. It's been going on for over 50 years. Here on the left coast, that's a VERY LONG TIME! And, of course it benefits the Oakland Museum!

Brandyn said...

I love this series and am sad to hear it was cancelled. I first read the Witchcraft series which led me to your site and to Annie. I hope they do re-release the series so it can have a second chance.

Sarah said...

The Annie Kincaid series is my very favorite mystery series, so I hope!!!!! that Annie and Mary and everybody get some time to whoop it up again!

easily amused said...

How about Michael moves somewhere and gets a lead on the paintings that were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Annie somehow gets involved (he needs her assistance in some way?) and hijinks ensue