Sunday, May 12, 2013

Personal Best by Carolyn Hart

When our children were young they were on a swim team. Both were good swimmers though never destined to be champions. But always in each race they strove to achieve their personal best. If that won a race or brought a pink or yellow ribbon that was added delight. But the important objective was to do your best.

I have always tried with each book to write the very best book I could write. But as books went out of print, their worth seemed to diminish. 

We all have a tendency to be immersed in now or as Zen enthusiasts understand, we are in the moment. My energy was focused on the new Annie and Max - DEAD, WHITE AND BLUE in May, the new Bailey Ruth - GHOST GONE WILD in October, and the new standalone - WHAT THE CAT SAW, last fall.

And I am excited about those titles. Since DEAD, WHITE, AND BLUE is the 23rd in the Death on Demand series, I made a special effort to offer something fresh. This time the book doesn’t open with murder. Instead a reckless, careless young woman walks into the pines and is never seen again. In GHOST GONE WILD, I maroon Bailey Ruth on earth and who knows if she will ever make it back to Heaven. In WHAT THE CAT SAW, Nela Farley and Steve Flynn struggle with their own heartaches as they seek the truth about a forceful woman’s death.

But the past is suddenly very much in my present. Unexpectedly and happily, two small presses are publishing many early titles. Perhaps because they were out of print for so many years, I was dismissive of those early books and uncertain of their worth. For the republication, it was my task to read galleys of books that I had not read for more than 30 years. I was apprehensive and ended up feeling great relief. I hope readers will not begrudge me a moment of happiness when I realized that I had done my best with the early books just as I have for the later books.
There are more titles than readers will have time for but perhaps one or two might appeal. These books are harder edged and faster paced than the series books.

Out last year: RENDEVOUS IN VERACRUZ, college students plunge into danger in Mexico City in the early 80s; FLEE FROM THE PAST, Janey Hamilton builds a new life but the past catches up with her; SKULDUGGERY, the missing Peking Man bones surface in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Out this year: THE DEVEREAUX LEGACY, February, a ghost haunts a South Carolina plantation; A SETTLING OF ACCOUNTS, March, Kay Emory returns to post war London but the danger of the war isn’t over for her; ESCAPE FROM PARIS, June, two American sisters in Occupied Paris help British airmen escape but the Gestapo is only a step behind; NO EASY ANSWERS, July, an Army brat opposes the Vietnam War; BRAVE HEARTS, August, star-crossed lovers flee from the Japanese in the Philippines; DANGER: HIGH EXPLOSIVES!, September, students oppose the Vietnam War; DEATH BY SURPRISE, November; K.C. Carlisle is a street savvy street lawyer who comes to her family’s aid when a blackmailer threatens.

The year ends with publication in December of CRY IN THE NIGHT, a suspense novel set in Mexico City in the early 80s. Never before published, Berkley released it as an e-book last year. In December, it will be in print for the first time.

For the first time in many years, almost all of my books are available. I hope some may appeal. My only promise is this: I did my best each time. 


Connie said...

Congratulations, Carolyn, for having written so many amazing novels. As you noted, you did your best and what more could anyone ask for? I hope you are very proud of yourself as you very well should be. All the best and keep on writing!

Pat Cochran said...

I love the title Dead, White, and Blue! I've
added it to my TBR listing along with a couple
of your other books. Thanks for giving us your
best efforts!

Mary Preston said...

Looking back, if you can say you did your best, then you have to feel great about it.