Across the East River Bridge releases tomorrow!

It’s hard to imagine a more serendipitous release date. I wrote a ghost story that is being published in October, when everyone is all excited about Halloween. I wrote an m/m novel that is being published on National Coming Out Day. I wrote a book that is being published two days before I leave for a convention/retreat at which I will talk about books with lots of people.

Across the East River Bridge has its first review already, too! 4.5 stars from Aunt Lynn at Jessewave.

We’re enjoying an Indian summer in New York right now—80°F and sunny, or at least it was until a few minutes ago. I took a long, somewhat aimless walk around the neighborhood and did a few last minute errands relating to my trip to New Orleans. It was really nice.

I need to at least start packing today, that’s still left on my agenda for the day. (I have piles of stuff everywhere. Clean clothes, guide books, my books, postcards, etc., etc. These would be better if placed in my suitcase, eh?)

The book is out tomorrow!

getting ready for New Orleans!

Just in the nick of time, the last of the goodies I ordered for GayRomLit showed up in the mail today!

I’ve got postcards featuring my two latest books, and I’ve got bookplates (by which I mean I ordered some stickers that I’ll sign for people to put in their books). The bookplates are a leetle bit smaller than what I was expecting, so I guess that’ll teach me to read dimensions more closely, but otherwise these look great.

And these bookmarks are traveling ahead of me:

I ordered enough so that every one at the convention gets a bookmark. (I designed them myself. I’m kind of proud of my design skills.)

I’m sort of alternating between Eeee! and Holy Crap! I’m really excited for the trip—I’ve never been to New Orleans before and have been wanting to for a while—but I feel like September lasted all of five minutes and suddenly it’s here and I still have a bunch of things to do.

Other newsy things:

I’m now on Kindlegraph, so Kindle users can request virtual signatures from me. My author page is here.

And Across the East River Bridge will be out on Tuesday!

Across the East River Bridge: Book Trailer

I’m pulling out all the stops! Here’s a sneak peak at the new book:

I have to say, it was pretty fun to make a book trailer. I’d never done anything like this before. Most of the photos were taken by yours truly this past spring, and they’re of various locations described in the book. There will be a more complete explanation of those photos in my upcoming Special Features post. I also dorked out and made the fake newspaper and I dug up a bunch of historical photos of the Brooklyn Bridge. This drawing is probably my favorite, because it shows what the book would have looked like when my ghosts, Teddy and Wash, were alive in the 1870s:

I also recorded my own music, but I didn’t like the sound of the unaccompanied solo violin (plus this was turning into a “Directed by Kate, Starring Kate, Edited by Kate, Music by Kate” production, which felt a little much) so I decided not to use it. The piece I chose is a little obscure, but it’s the second movement in a suite I performed last year, and I really like it; I think it’s really evocative and sort of sad. The recording you hear in the trailer features Itzhak Perlman on solo violin, and really, he’s vastly more skilled than I am (understatement!), so it’s probably for the best that I decided to sub out the music before I uploaded the trailer. 🙂

I’ve just ruined all the magic for you, haven’t I?

Anyway, I hope you like my efforts and/or are inspired to check out the new book!

a few tiny things

Earlier this week, I ordered a bunch of goodies to give out at GayRomLit. (Bookmarks, postcards, and stickers!) I’m tinkering with the website some this weekend to match my new designs, starting with the new banner on the top of my site. It’s not a radical change, I know, and this banner is less sexy than the old one, but I like it.

Also, Fallen Angel Reviews gave four angels to The Boy Next Door.

I spent a good chunk of tonight putting together a Special Features post for Across the East River Bridge that has a ton of photos, plus historical background and some suggestions for further reading. The characters in the book are fictional, but there’s some real history tied into the plot with the ghosts. That post will go live a couple of days before the book comes out.

cover art, new story, other news

I have a bunch of announcements!

1. Across the East River Bridge, due out October 12 from Loose Id, has cover art, as you can see. (Valerie Tibbs was the cover artist.) I will have some cool stuff (a book trailer, an excerpt, some special features) up in the coming days. (The link brings you to the book page, where you can read the blurb.)

I’m pretty excited about this book. It’s about two old academic rivals who team up to solve an old mystery and then, naturally, fall in love. They investigate the deaths of two men who died in 1878. The novel is kind of a tour of Brooklyn, as Finn and Troy, my two main characters, visit neighborhoods all over the borough in search of clues. There’s also a glimpse into the Brooklyn of the 1870s, which was pretty fun to research. (Well, it was fun to research if you’re me, because I’m a nerd.) The book is kind of a love letter to the borough I’ve called home for the last five years.

2. I will have a story in Dreamspinner’s Advent Calendar this year. It’s about a guy who is in love with his roommate’s boyfriend. Look for that in December. (It will be available as part of the advent calendar, or for individual download.)

3. Here’s a pretty nice review of Blind Items from Top 2 Bottom reviews (4.5 out of 5 kisses!).

I think those are the big things. Here in New York, it’s cooled off some, so I guess fall is here. (We had a pretty mild August, so I’m sad about seeing summer go.) I’m still writing away, working on a few different new projects. Hope you all are having great weekends.

labor day weekend

First, announcement: I’m going to be participating in the Literary Nymphs m/m chat going on all this weekend. It’ll be at their Yahoo group. Lots of great authors are participating, so it’s worth stopping by.

And to any of you going to Dragon*Con in Atlanta this weekend, I have sent a proxy! Or, a few close friends of mine are attending, and I sent them with a stack of postcards advertising my books. If you see a very tall woman dressed as a cyberwoman (basically, a sexy robot from the Dr. Who spin-off Torchwood) handing out Kate McMurray postcards, say hi!

I have a book being published by Loose Id in October that I’m pretty psyched about. The protagonists are rival historians who run afoul of a pair of ghosts. It’s my first attempt at dipping my toe in paranormal waters, but it was fun to write—I adore these characters. I’m a little bit of a history nerd myself. I’m particularly interested in 19th Century America. Which maybe explains why my new obsession this summer has been watching what I think of as junk shows, those shows where people find old junk and get it appraised for fun and profit. Like “Antiques Roadshow” on on crack. “Pawn Stars” is my favorite, but I’ve also seen a lot of “American Pickers” and “Storage Wars” (the latter mostly fun because the cast is entertaining). I love those quirky bits of history, the documents and books and ephemera that get passed down.

Here’s a tiny preview. There are two scenes in the new novel (called Across the East River Bridge) that take place in the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library. I found these photos last week. Check ’em out.

I plan to spend a big chunk of this weekend getting stuff together for GayRomLit in October. So excited!

to epilogue or not to epilogue?

I just finished the first round of edits on my next new book, a book called Across the East River Bridge, which is a romance that involves a couple of ghosts. (The romance is between two flesh and blood people, but the ghosts bring them together. Sort of.) So I’m thinking about whether or not the book needs an epilogue.

Some of the early feedback I’m getting about Blind Items is that readers want an epilogue, or a sequel maybe; they want to know what happens to the characters down the road. I actually usually really like epilogues, especially in books in which I’m really liking the characters—I want to spend more time in the author’s world or with the characters, or want to see them together happily if only for a few pages. With Blind Items, though, I felt like I’d gotten to the end of the story… although that doesn’t eliminate the possibility of a sequel somewhere down the line.

But not all readers like epilogues, or don’t feel that they’re necessary if the book ends with the characters committing to each other, or clearly on their way toward a happily ever after (I’m talking about romance specifically here, obviously). And I for sure am not always a fan of marriage-and-babies epilogues that mostly just serve to show the couple in gratuitous domestic bliss. So I’m of two minds about it.

What say you? Do you like epilogues? Do you hate them?

a pub date and an excerpt

Two big pieces of news:

1. My next, next novel, Across the East River Bridge is going to be published by Loose Id on October 11, 2011, just in time for GayRomLit! It’s a novel about two historians—long-time academic rivals—who are forced to team up to solve a murder mystery so that they can exorcise the ghosts of the victims, who currently reside in a museum one of them curates. The book is a real Tour of Brooklyn, as the two historians bounce around to different neighborhoods to research. It was great fun to write, and I’m excited for you all to read it.

2. I’ve updated the Blind Items book page with an excerpt. This scene is actually from Chapter 4, but it’s the first time our narrator, Drew, lays eyes on his love interest Jonathan. The book is out two weeks from today!!

I’ve got some promotional stuff on tap, including a couple of opportunities for you to win a copy of the book. Coincidentally, the book will become available the same day I leave for my brother’s wedding on the far end of Long Island.

Like probably a million other people, I am currently watching Deathly Hallows Part 1 in preparation for seeing Part 2 on IMAX on Sunday. I’m excited/sad.

chat tomorrow and some other news

Montague Street, Brooklyn, ca 1895; photo from the Brooklyn Historical Society

First, tomorrow I’m participating in a chat at Chatting with Joyfully Reviewed with other authors going to GayRomLit in October. We’ll be around all day (9am to 6pm CST). I’ll be giving away a copy of The Boy Next Door. There’s a complete list of participating authors at Ethan Day’s blog. It’s shaping up to be a fun chat, so stop by!

I’ve been somewhat incommunicado the last few weeks due mostly to computer problems. (First my hard drive died. Then a month later my logic board failed! The people at Apple were beyond amazing and I seem to be back up and running again, so let’s hope those issues are behind me. Nothing will set a writer on edge more than taking away her laptop!) I’ve been meaning to spend a little more time in Yahoo Groups and blogs and Goodreads and all those places, but I just haven’t had time. Sure, there’s the promotional aspect, but I just like hanging around this community of readers and writers, too. 🙂

One last big, awesome thing. I just signed a new contract with Loose Id for a novel that was my first stab at writing a paranormal romance. Two researchers, academic rivals, have to team up to solve a murder mystery involving two men who now haunt a museum. The above photo is a picture of Montague Street, specifically the old Brooklyn Academy of Music, in what is today the neighborhood Brooklyn Heights, where most of this novel takes place. Montague Street is sort of the central artery through that neighborhood, stretching from what is now Borough Hall (City Hall in the time before Brooklyn and Manhattan became part of the same city, which was right around when this photo was taken) to the East River, and the street is lined with shops and restaurants, not so different than 115 years ago! Anyway, there are edits and revisions to be made, and I don’t have an estimated pub date yet, but I’m hoping for maybe sometime this fall.