Once upon a time, I wrote crime fiction. I wrote as Jim Winter. Why Jim Winter? Two reasons. One, there are a couple of obscure references to the pilot script for Star Trek rewritten with Captain Pike’s name originally changing from Robert April to James Winter. I wanted to see if any hardcore Trekkies noticed (after which I’d point and laugh and yell, “Get a life!” Mind you, I used to dress like a Klingon as an excuse to drink too much beer and yell a lot.) Second, when I decided to pursue crime fiction professionally, I just knew I’d be the next Dennis Lehane and did not want to get mobbed while shopping for Nut & Honey at Kroger. G’wan. Ask me how that worked out.
When I started writing science fiction, I decided to own it. I’d write as “TS Hottle” for science fiction. (“TS” stands for “terribly sexy.” OK, that’s what my fiancee calls me. Live with it.) So I was maintaining two identities. TS for scifi, Jim for crime. And an agent was pondering representing Holland Bay. When that didn’t pan out, I said, “Fine. I’ve been banging my head against the wall for 15 years. Time to hang up the crime hat and kick Jim out of my skull.”
Only now I get yelled at when someone who loved Nick Kepler finds out I took them off the market. And Holland Bay is in New York right now.
So I pinged Jonathan Clayborn, he of Clayborn Press (who will be making an announcement about the Compact Universe this week) and asked, “Interested in some crime fiction?”
So Nick Kepler, my Cleveland-based PI last seen in Gypsy’s Kiss, is coming back. Clayborn Press will be rereleasing all three Kepler novels, the novella Gypsy’s Kiss, and The Compleat Kepler, the short story collection. If all goes well, I will also be releasing a new Nick Kepler story. Yeah, I have ideas brewing. This on top of a Compact Universe prequel, Holland Bay‘s second follow up (Why get caught with nothing in the pipeline?), and everything I already have planned for this year.
So… Am I still going to be Jim Winter?