In Houston? Stop by Murder by the Book on Bissonnet tonight at 6:30, where I'll be reading from Royal Street and signing copies.
Why did it take so long between signing the contract and the release of the book?
Ah, the mysteries of the publishing industry. I'm not sure what all went into it. There were two sets of revisions on this one. But, honestly, I think most of the decisions on when a book gets released comes out of marketing and what other books are already scheduled and when a book might be able to get the best play. And that's about as much as I know!
How long did it take to write, and did the first one take longer?
Royal Street took about eight or nine months to write, then went through a couple of revisions. River Road took about four months, with one big revision process. I think four months is about the ideal time for me now that I've learned I need to write from an outline. Without an outline, easily two or three times that.
Did I pick the model used on the cover?
Authors don't have a lot of input into cover art, but I was asked what I didn't want to see (a redhead in a leather bustier wielding a gun), and I was very, very happy with what artist Cliff Nielsen came up with. DJ on the Royal Street cover looks much like I envisioned her in my head. With River Road, I saw rough sketches early on and really liked the concept.