Today the Forest Hills Connection published the first chapter of my new serial novel, The Scientists and the Spy.
Based on the World War II weapons work of the United States National Bureau of Standards, which in that time was based in my own neighborhood, it’s a weekly serial mystery for a general audience.
We’re kicking off the serial with a public reading and lecture here in Washington DC, with historian Margery Elfin and science historian James Schooley joining me and Marlene Berlin, the Connection’s Editor.
Very exciting times!
I’m so sorry! I have never shared my new novel with my blog. I think in part it’s because I view this as a less promotional space than a reflective one. I’ve posted about it in its future home, however, so I should talk about it here too. Perhaps more reflectively.
Starting in the first quarter of 2015 I will be publishing a serial historical mystery online at the Forest Hills Connection. It’s set in Washington DC in 1942, inspired by the wartime work of the National Bureau of Standards, which included proximity fuses for bombs and early uranium enrichment, along with many other unglamorous but vital duties such as alloys, radio crystals and weaponry sights. It’s also inspired by the strange life of Washington’s home front, a sleepy city become a world power and flooded with the nation’s first cadre of single women office workers. Here’s a promotional article with photos from the era.
The book came accidentally, an idea from the editor of our local neighborhood website to develop a serial novel about the neighborhood’s history, informed by the popularity of the historical articles the site publishes. Most neighborhoods at best have only a couple of novelists so my name came up quickly. I researched and I found myself interested.
But lots of things interest me. Novels are work and serials unfamiliar ground. I haven’t wanted to do anything but fantasy and sci-fi in decades. As a career move, another fantasy would be more in order, or a continued focus on short stories (but more about that in the next post). And it’s not as if I’m being paid.
So in the spirit of professionalism, in wanting my fiction to be more than a hobby — is this good business or bad? Continue reading →