The production of a book takes a long time, and yet many things happen at the same time. Cover art and copy - and cover design - are done early in the process. It all has to do with how the publisher actually produces the physical book. The cover and the blurb are used in the publisher's catalog, and it has to be ready months ahead of the book itself.
While the art department and the designers are creating the cover, the editor and the author are going through the process of polishing the writing and the story, making it the best it can be. It can be a complex and daunting process, and I want to say right here and now that my editors - Denise Little at Tekno Books and Michelle Vega at Berkley - made the process manageable. Oh, and they also made the book better. My thanks to both of them.
Somewhere in the process of edits and rewrites, it comes time for the writer to add the dedication and acknowledgements - if they want to. There are writers who don't put these in their books, and writers who include multiple pages. Often non-fiction writers will have acknowledgements that run for several pages, thanking the many, many people who were instrumental in their research.
My dedication came about because I realized where my love for mystery originated: my great-uncle Hubert Darrell Rader. This the story behind that dedication.
Uncle Darrell was born in 1900, so he was nearly fifty when I was born. He never married, living with his widowed father until his father's death.
I was fortunate to grow up with my family nearby - grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins of all sorts, all living within a few miles. I attended church with my grandmother just a few blocks from Grandpa and Darrell's, and after church she would take us to visit her father and brother.
I was a bright kid, and Uncle Darrell had a soft spot for bright kids. When I was really little he would dig in his pocket and let me keep as many pennies as I could count. I outgrew that game far too soon, but the adults would take the vocabulary quiz in each month's Reader's Digest, and they would let me try it with them. As I got older he taught me to play chess, and then one magical day he lent me one of his books: a Perry Mason mystery. My very first adult mystery. Sure, I'd read every Nancy Drew book I could find, and had tried the Hardy Boys, but I'd run out of "kid's" mysteries and I wanted more.
Perry Mason was absolutely what I wanted. Uncle Darrell read a lot, so there were many books to borrow. I'd borrow a book on Sunday and devour it - often within a day or two - then take it back to Uncle Darrell the next Sunday and exchange it for another one. There wasn't a new book every week, but there were a lot of them.
I remember those years with affection. Uncle Darrell gave me a passion for mystery novels that eventually led to the three books that are now on the road to the bookstore. Fot that reason, and so much more, my first mystery novel is dedicated to the memory of Uncle Darrell.
Darrell and Grandpa were a couple bachelors, they had their own life style and their own food choices. Every Sunday we could count on what we would find at Granpa's house for lunch: Smokie Links, rye bread, yellow mustard, Fritos, and Spanish peanuts. OK, not the most balanced meal, but it's loaded with nostalgia for me. So if I have a launch party for SINK TRAP the menu may be a little, um, different.
I hope I'll see you all there.
Critical praise for Christy!
For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings
For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance, FreshFiction.com"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner, Bookreview.com
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" - CozyLibrary.com