Smell that? That’s that new book smell. There’s a certain feeling you get when you finish a book and today I’m basking in it. My daughter (and co-author) and I just finished, The Original Battle Creek Crime King: Adam “Pump” Arnold’s Vile Reign. When you finish a book there’s a sense of relief, happiness, and a hint of dread (will people like it?)
The book was re-titled last week by the publisher, before they read the book. I know, it doesn’t sound like it makes sense but almost every publisher I have had seems to be keen on renaming the book. As I told my editor, “You could call it Free Beer if it will help sell books.” By the way, I am someday going to title a book just that to prove the point.
This book was fun to write. Victoria did a lot of the heavy lifting with Pump’s trial for the murder of his son. It wasn’t easy work given the months of testimony, trying to distill that down into something that made sense. Arnold was a character almost worthy of a Dickens novel. There’s a bit of Victorian villain about the man that makes him both hated and entertaining.
The publisher insisted on a lot of photographs for the book and Heritage Battle Creek and Willard Library came through for us. We tried to weave in the early history of the city into the story of Pump’s rise to power. There’s some great stuff we came across and I think the large number of photographs will only enhance the book.
Every city out there had a Pump Arnold lurking in the shadows. This is not as much the story of Battle Creek, but of every city. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did writing it.
So what is next? We begin the final edit process, then the magic happens and it becomes a book. We have been told that the book will be out sometime this summer. As authors, we are often the last to know the release date. It’s a strange industry to say the least. Victoria and I will then schedule some events in Michigan to lecture about the book. Follow my blog if you want to know more.
Are we looking at any other true crime books? Victoria turned in her chapter and said, “What’s next dad?” We may shift to Virginia next. I wrote an article about the Colonial Parkway Murders and interviewed one of the victim’s brother – Bill Thomas. I have to admit, that story is tugging at me. Of course, it’s an unsolved string of murders and I have to be mentally ready to tackle a cold case. You get emotionally involved any time you embark on an unsolved murder…or in this case, eight. As the only father/daughter duo writing true crime, we both need to determine if we’re ready to commit to these murders and do it right.
In the meantime, I need to do a little bit of fiction – just to clear my mind.