|Posted on May 2, 2013 at 8:50 AM|
Big. Gal-damn. News.
It was premature when I announced earlier this year that Writer's Digest wanted to publish an e-book of mine about writing firearms and knives accurately in crime fiction. I'd noted 2013 as a possible release timeframe. It turns out that's not going to happen.
No, something much better developed since then.
In a meeting with Writer's Digest this week, the editor and I discussed turning the work - tentatively titled, The Thriller & Crime Writer's Guide to Firearms & Knives - into a formal print book for the second half of 2014. After reviewing my manuscript, the Writer's Digest team determined the guide needed the full works.
That means more photos, additional illustrations, moving around certain parts, expanding sections and generally transforming the project so it's suitable for print.
Yeah, it's more work. But it's the best kind of work. This is the first book deal at a major publisher I've secured, complete with all the bells and whistles that go with one.
Writer's Digest is putting a lot of faith in me to produce world-class quality. I intend to deliver. This won't be your garden variety, "Guns go boom, knives go stab-stab," writing manual. It'll be a practical reference that helps writers unfamiliar with firearms and knives pen weapons like pros. It's my labor of love. A gift back to the crime fiction community that's been so supportive to me over the years.
To keep things from getting too technical, it's loaded with just the right amount of gallows humor. I enlisted Maynard Soloman, my crusty and generally clueless RV-dwelling detective, to be my guinea pig. He gets shot, stabbed and bankrupted by even more medical bills. Because what could be more hilarious than medical debt? It was a pleasant surprise when the Writer's Digest editor mentioned how much Maynard's comic relief was appreciated.
Backing me up on this project is the staff at Gun Digest and BLADE. They've offered me full access to their publishing vaults. Gun Digest started publishing annual firearms books in 1944, with a magazine that started a few decades later. BLADE began publishing its knife magazine in 1973, then added annual books shortly thereafter. Between these two massive resources, the challenge will be to keep a lid on all the information I could mix into this project.
My comrads at Deer & Deer Hunting, Turkey & Turkey Hunting, Trapper & Predator Caller, Tactical Gear and Living Ready (the new national print magazine I helped launch) are also behind me on this project. All their books, magazines, TV shows and digital content are at my disposal.
If I can't turn out the best weapons guide for crime writers that's ever graced the bookshelves, it's time to hang it up.
My thanks to everyone who offered a kind word of support as this project developed. It's an exciting time for me. I want to share my journey as much as possible. Stay tuned!