I got a very nice email this morning from a reader. In addition to telling me they’ve enjoyed my books, they asked a couple of questions, one of which was, “Have you stopped writing?”

Not an altogether unreasonable question, given that my last book came out three-and-a-half years ago. While it’s true I’ve talked a bit about writing both here and on Twitter, it’s easy to miss information as it whirls past at the speed of social media.

I’ve mentioned my YA mystery off and on, and that remains a possibility. We’re still looking for a home for it. It’s still my personal favorite of anything I’ve written. When I have news, you won’t be able to get me to shut up about it. So count your blessings, maybe.

But I’m also working on something new, and making good progress on it after many fits and starts. Something I hope—when it’s finished—will become my new personal favorite.

SamueltonEarlier this month on Twitter I even mentioned cutting 20,000+ words from the manuscript-in-progress.

Ouch, amirite? But in order to have 20,000 words to cut, you gotta have done some writing to begin with. As it stands, that new manuscript is sitting about 40,000 words and growing. While I don’t want to say too much about it until it’s done, I will say it is something new—new characters, new setting—but still a mystery.

Part of the process has included some fun world building, as I carve out a section of real Oregon counties to create the fictional county where events take place. You can even see a snippet from my map of the county seat here.

Once again, when I have real news, you won’t be able to get me to shut up about it. Fingers crossed that will be soon.

Another question I get asked from time to time is “Will there ever be another Skin novel?”

The answer to that question is, Uhhh. Um. Er.

In the foreseeable future, I have to say no. I don’t have any plans for a new Skin novel at this time, and don’t have anything backburnered which might turn into a Skin novel. That doesn’t mean I’ll never write another. Skin is still with me, and unlikely to go away for good. Just this fall, a new Skin short story appeared in Murder at the Beach.

And while I can’t say anything about it now, another Skin story will be available in the fairly near future. Skin isn’t dead, and as of this moment you haven’t read the last of him. In the meantime, there’s the Kadash Chronology for a list of Skin appearances, in case you missed one and would like to check it out.

I guess this counts as one of those year-end updates so popular this time of year, though I probably wouldn’t have thought to do it if I hadn’t got that email. So to finish, I’ll simply say I hope this finds you well, and that you have a good holiday, whatever or however you celebrate, and an excellent year to come.

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