Welcome to my Front Parlor, where I hope to engage you in some stimulating conversations about my journey as an indie author, the lessons learned about marketing, and the joys of writing fiction. The past eight years have been enormously rewarding, with the publication of five novels in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series Maids of Misfortune, Uneasy Spirits, Bloody Lessons, Deadly Proof, and Pilfered Promises, as well as two novellas, Violet Vanquishes a Villain, Kathleen Catches a Killer, and a short story collection, Victorian San Francisco Stories, and the publication of a science fiction trilogy, Between Mountain and Sea, Under Two Moons, and Through Ddaera’s Touch. Do come in, look around, comment, and before you go, please leave a visiting card (url, twitter, fb address, etc) so I can return the courtesy and visit you next time.
Medieval to Modern: An Anthology of Historical Mystery Stories
99 cents for two days only, August 11-12
On all major online stores
Five authors, six series, three novellas and five short stories, this anthology (which includes my novella Katherine Catches a Killer and short story Mr. Wong Rights a Wrong) is the perfect introduction to these five authors historical mystery series.
Although I imagine most of you already have read the first 4 books in my series of Victorian San Francisco Mysteries, I did want to alert you to this sale of the Boxed Set, a $8.99 value for only 99 cents until July 15. In any event, you might think about what a nifty gift this boxed set would be to give to someone who could use some light summer reading. (Amazon and other retailers have made gifting books to others pretty simple.) You can get the boxed set at Kindle Apple Nook Kobo GooglePlay
I also thought you might enjoy the post I wrote over on the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative page, entitled “Writing Historical Mysteries: What comes first, research or plot?”
M. Louisa Locke, July 9, 2018
For over eight years I have been an active member of the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative, a group that now has over 52 members and over 280 books in our catalog. One of the popular sub-genres that a number of us write is historical mysteries and five of us decided to put together an anthology of shorter works as a way of introducing our different historical mystery series.
This collaborative project was great fun, with everyone helping in choosing the content, coming up with the title, creating the cover, editing, formatting the interior, proofing the text, and writing the product description. And unlike the old joke that getting writers to cooperate is like herding cats, this was a very smooth and organized operation.
I am proud to announce that here is the result, a 495 page books filled with 3 novellas and five short stories (including my Mr. Wong Rights a Wrong and Kathleen Catches a Killer) for only $4.99.
Medieval to Modern: An Anthology of Historical Mystery Stories
Join amateur sleuths, private detectives, and feisty female protagonists in a journey through time with this anthology of historical mysteries spanning nearly a thousand years, from Medieval Wales to 1940s Ohio. This collection of eight novellas and short stories is the perfect introduction to five award-winning series in settings ranging from the back streets of Elizabethan and Regency London to the steep slopes of Victorian San Francisco.
— Libi Astaire, the Jewish Regency mystery series.
— Anna Castle, the Francis Bacon mystery series and the Professor & Mrs. Moriarty mystery series.
— M. Louisa Locke, the Victorian San Francisco mystery series.
— M. Ruth Myers, the Maggie Sullivan mystery series set in Depression-era Ohio.
— Sarah Woodbury, the Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries.
Dandy, the Boston Terrier in my Victorian San Francisco Mysteries series, modeled on the Bostons in my own life, has always been one of my favorite characters. He was the first to get his own short story, Dandy Detects, and he always makes sure to show up in my longer books, if only for a cameo appearance. For some time, however, he has wanted to have another starring role, and I found that before I could get serious about writing the next novel in the series (title Scholarly Pursuits, estimated publication date some time this fall), I had to write this story, which became Dandy Delivers.
As with Kathleen Catches a Killer (my most recent story in this series), this started out to be a short story and turned into a short novella, which means that I will price it at $2.99. However, I want all the fans of the series to get a chance to get it first at a discount. So for a limited time it will be only 99 cents.
It’s January, 1881, and while the adults in Annie and Nate Dawson’s San Francisco O’Farrell Street boardinghouse are busy with their own affairs, two boys and a dog find their own adventure. Ian Hennessey, a poor boy from South of Market, who is trying to shoulder a man’s responsibilities, gets in trouble, and his best friend, Jamie Hewitt, does what he can to help. But it is Jamie’s young Boston Terrier, Dandy, who saves the day.
This short novella comes right after the events in Pilfered Promises and Kathleen Catches a Killer but can act as an introduction to the late gas-lit world of Locke’s historical mystery series.
In addition, Deadly Proof, the fourth book in the series, just won the 2017 Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem award for first in the historical mystery category. To celebrate, I have made it Free until May 10th (making it a great gift for Mother’s Day.)
It’s the summer of 1880, and once again the lovely and inquisitive businesswoman, Annie Fuller, is helping San Francisco lawyer and beau, Nate Dawson, with a troublesome case. Nate’s client, a female typesetter accused of murdering her boss, refuses to help in her own defense. Complicating matters, Nate’s sister Laura insists on getting involved in the potentially dangerous investigation, while Laura’s friend Seth Timmons, troubled Civil War veteran, finds himself a witness for the prosecution. Will Nate be able to win his first big case? Will Laura and Seth find some way of becoming friends? And finally, will Annie and Nate’s upcoming nuptials be derailed by their attempts to track down a killer?
M. Louisa Locke, May 4, 2018
Here is an excerpt of a piece I wrote for the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative this week. To read the whole piece CLICK HERE.
The five novels in my Victorian San Francisco mystery series primarily feature Annie Fuller, a young woman who runs a boarding house, and Nate Dawson, a San Francisco lawyer who helps her solve crimes. However, I frequently publish short stories and novellas to let the minor characters in my novels become major actors for awhile. (Yes, characters do seem to have an opinion about this, and no, authors aren’t crazy to see their characters as having minds of their own.)
For example, my short story, Dandy Detects, didn’t just let the young Boston Terrier pup from my first book, Maids of Misfortune, strut his stuff, but this story began to flesh out the past histories of two other characters, the school teacher Barbara Hewitt and her son, histories that in time would become crucial parts of the plot in my third novel, Bloody Lessons.
Perhaps even more importantly, these shorter works also let me go into more detail about historical tidbits about San Francisco, something that can get in the way of good pacing in the longer, more conventional mystery novels. Much as my two dressmakers, Miss Minnie and Miss Millie, lend notes of humor to all my books, it was only when I gave them their own short story, The Misses Moffet Mend a Marriage, that I had the time to go into specifics about how skilled dressmakers could make their living in nineteenth century San Francisco. And, in Mr. Wong Rights a Wrong, I was able to reintroduce a character people loved from Maids of Misfortuneand write a story that provided historical detail on Chinese immigration, anti-Chinese sentiment, and the charities that tried to help Chinese women in San Francisco.
In my most recent novella, Kathleen Catches a Killer, Annie’s boarding house maid, Kathleen Hennessey, has the opportunity to solve her own mystery, but I was also able to use this story to describe some of the methods used by the San Francisco police force because Kathleen’s beau, Patrick McGee, is a patrolman who is working hard to become one of the city’s plain-clothes detectives.
The rest of this blog piece can be found HERE.
I recently did an interview on the blog, mapyourmystery.com. This blog is a great place to find new mysteries, with a particular emphasis on mystery settings.
M. Louisa Locke, March 21, 2018