Over the past few years I've been working on a exciting new series very close to my Californian heart.
The Western Mysteries will be set in wild and wooly Virginia City in the fall of 1862.
Back east the American Civil War is in its second year.
Out West the Silver Boom is taking over from the Gold Rush.
And in the final days of September, a dusty prospector walks into the offices of the Territorial Enterprise Newspaper to take up a postition as a 'local' reporter. His name is Sam Clemens but within half a year he will begin writing under the name 'Mark Twain'. But Mark Twain isn't the only exciting thing about Virginia City in 1862. There are also gamblers, miners, con-artists, hurdy girls, prospectors & gunmen galore.
Here are some of the original ideas I had for The Western Mysteries.
1. The series will be for children aged 8 - 14+
2. The detective will be a loner: the western hero is always a loner.
3. The detective will be a kid.
4. The detective will own a Smith & Wesson seven-shooter.
5. Real historical figures will appear in the books.
6. The bad-guys will be gunfighters, tricksters & newspapermen.
7. The mysteries will be based around real historical events.
8. The books will be told in the first person.
9. My detective will love black coffee and layer cake.
10. I am going to have a lot of fun writing these books.
Here are some of the things which have made it into the first book:
1. A hero like nobody you've ever met before.
2. A terrifying, sadistic bad guy...
3. ...and his two side-kicks.
4. A terrible massacre, apparently by Indians.
5. An exciting stagecoach chase.
6. A beautiful hurdy girl, a Chinese boy & a handsome gambler.
7. Shootouts galore and some Bowie knife action, too.
8. A Pinkerton detective. Kind of.
9. A heart-stopping showdown in a deep mine shaft.
10. An ending that promises more.
Even if you don't like Westerns, I think you'll like these books. For more news, watch this space!