My Year in Review

OK, 2017 was a cataclysmic year for disasters and politics, capped by a massive tax bill that required me to study the law like any first-year associate. My personal approach to these cataclysms was to dive into my writing and related activities, and the result was–well, the year is over!

In mid-March, I forced myself to attend Left Coast Crime in Honolulu (where pal Laurie King was a guest of honor). There we launched Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted, co-edited by Laura Caldwell (Liveright Publishing/W. W. Norton). Laura was stuck in Paris, so we put on a panel discussion without her in front of a deeply moved audience. The book sold out! Laura and I then hosted an event in New York City, headlined by Lee Child, Barry Scheck, and several exonerees, succeeded by an event in Connecticut and then two in Chicago. We continued with events in Washington, D.C., Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles (two!), plus a ton of radio and newspaper coverage. All proceeds from the book are benefiting innocence organizations, and it was a great honor to be associated with so many amazing writers and extraordinary exonerees.

In April, I was on a panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books with Pulitzer Prize-winner Heather Thompson, discussing social justice and mass incarcerations in America. That same week, I flew to New York for the Edgars–it’s always a thrill to be immersed in the mystery community.

In August, my New Annotated Frankenstein (with an intro by Guillermo del Toro!) came out from Liveright, and I was delighted that we were able to launch the sale of this book at San Diego Comic-Con, with the help of my friends at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore. It was also in evidence at NecronomiCon in Providence, NH, which I attended in August. At Bouchercon, in Toronto, we did another very moving panel on Anatomy of Innocence, and again the book sold out. I also spent time with Canadian Holmesians–what was planned to be a quiet dinner turned into a gathering of 35!–and toured the Pop Sherlock! exhibit at the wonderful Toronto Public Library. I also got to see the amazing exhibit of Guillermo del Toro’s personal collection of fantasy and horror items in Toronto, where I was thrilled to find both my Frankenstein and Lovecraft books on sale, thanks to Guillermo!

On the writing front, at the end of June, I turned in the manuscript for New Annotated Lovecraft: Beyond the Mythos, to be published by Liveright/Norton, as well as completed assembly of all of the 200+ illustrations. Unfortunately, due to scheduling considerations, that won’t be out until October 2019. Meanwhile, the editing of Watchmen: The Annotated Edition was underway, working with the incredible Dave Gibbons, and that got done in October, as did the editing of In the Shadow of Agatha Christie: Forgotten Female Crime Writers, 1850-1916 (for Pegasus). I also completed the manuscript for Classic Crime Writing of the 1920’s (to be published by Pegasus Books in October 2018), in time to turn it in in late December.

So here’s the final scorecard for 2017 publications: Anatomy of Innocence (March), New Annotated Frankenstein (August), and Watchmen: Annotated (December). Looking ahead to 2018 publications: In the Shadow of Agatha Christie (tomorrow!), Baker Street Reveries (a collection of my Sherlockian writing from the past 10 years, to be published by Wessex Press next week), For the Sake of the Game: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon (co-edited with Laurie R. King, due out in October from Pegasus Books) and Classic Crime Writing of the 1920’s (also due in October from Pegasus).

My travel plans for 2018 are relatively modest: I expect to attend an academic conference on Frankenstein in March, a San Diego Comic Fest in April, the Edgars in New York, San Diego Comic-Con in July, and Bouchercon in Florida in the autumn. I love these events, mainly as an opportunity to visit friends!

I try to keep busy!


  1. Donna. Laybourn on March 27, 2018 at 6:36 am

    I so am looking forward to your book “Classic Crime Writing of 1930’s. My most enjoyable authors over the decades have come from the Golden Age of Crime.

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