“Are you still writing?” asked Q, one of my Cornwall colleagues, during one of our recent day shifts.
“Of course! I just finished a novel. The Goa Yoga School of Slayers.”
A handful of you have met Octavia Ling, my newest protagonist. For her fortieth birthday, she dashed off to The Italian School for Assassins. As one does.
“The Italian School for Assassins,” Q repeated. “Sounds like something I would do.”
I held up one finger. “Silence.” Two fingers. “Strength.” Three fingers. “Swiftness.”
“Did you go to that?”I laughed and shook my head. “It doesn’t exist. And if it did, I wouldn’t go. But Octavia would. Now, she’s at the yoga school, hunting for a missing elephant.” And a missing woman. And protecting underage children. And falling in love with a mysterious man named Dario. But there’s so much plot in this book, it’s hard to explain. (No. There is too much to explain. Let me sum up.)
Mystery author Richard Quarry said, “What strikes me first off about this novel is the straight-ahead, wam-bam plotting. The book really moves. You keep bringing in new but related elements to keep up the momentum. These elements work not just because they are inherently dramatic, but emotionally charged.”
Q clearly wasn’t as intrigued by yoga as by assassin school, but he concluded, “You’re a machine.”
Not really. But I did move the Octavia & Dario Killer School Books over to my Melissa Yi name. They’re not medical mysteries, but they’re still mysteries, and because I have a SECRET DEAL (which will be revealed September fifth), it behooves me to shelve more books under the Melissa Yi name. In fact, I may move all the Melissa Yin books under the Yi name. The covers are very different from the Hope Sze medical mystery covers, and I think my readers are smart enough to figure out mystery vs. romance. Smarter than me, probably. I’m a dunce at figuring out genre because I read everything, as long as it’s good.
I’m on the train to Toronto. My only concerns are that I forgot the lightning cable for my iPhone and a bag of cherries in the car, where they will rot. But it’s worth it. I’ll tell you why in September. More mystery!
And, if you’d like to support a hungry artist (remember—my cherries are rotting, and I’m too cheap to buy a snack on the train when delicious fare awaits in T.O.), I sent an advance copy of The Goa Yoga School of Slayers to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine reviewer Steve Steinbock, who wrote back, “I enjoyed the book and really liked Octavia. What carries the book is the spirit with which you write. It’s that spirit makes it hard to stop reading – and stop smiling while reading.”