Regarding the Cleanup of Old Business

So, I write books. Sometimes I do it in beautiful isolation, locked away with my own thoughts, ready to make my own mistakes and claim my own victories. Sometimes I write with this Craig A. Hart fellow, trying my best to keep pace with him, but really just doing enough work so that I can send the book off to him and then wait impatiently like any fan would for what he sends back.

We recently completed one such co-authored work, namely book #8 in Craig’s Shelby Alexander Thriller Series, a book we called Serenity Possessed, which is currently INSANELY AVAILABLE just about anywhere in the online bookselling world.

With the release of Possessed, Craig and I took another step in our careers by launching e2books.com which is the hub for all of our co-authored work as well as our solo work. I mention this, because if anyone would like to learn a little more about the history of our writing partnership you can check out my first post on that site’s blog. It’s an interesting look at how this all developed to the point where we’ve gotten involved in what were originally each other’s solo projects. (Both the SpyCo series and the Shelby Alexander series were created by Craig).

And now we’re teaming up yet again to finish the next installment in my Cleanup Crew Thriller series. Beginning with The Beauty of Bucharest, the series currently contains two other volumes, The Count of Carolina, and The Terror of Tijuana, the most recent, which was released in 2019, and brought the story of Nicole Porter to a tipping point. Her sociopathic father, Conrad Barker, had kidnapped her son Tony, her husband Dan was reaching the limits of what he can endure emotionally, and daughter J.J. took another step down the same path her mother had taken, namely the way of the assassin.

(Just a quick reminder, you can get The Beauty of Bucharest for free by subscribing to my mailing list.)

As I’ve been writing this post I’ve been going back and forth with myself about what to tell you about the new one.

Obviously we’ve already touched on the key point: Craig and I are doing this one together, and that brings me to what I really wanted to talk about, which was about when a series is nearing its end. And so here comes the honesty.

When I finished writing Tijuana I was not certain I wanted to write another Cleanup Crew. Ever. And while I knew that I’d left the readers dangling from a very precarious cliff, I just wasn’t sure I could breathe life into a fourth installment. Maybe I was feeling a bit like Nicole did in the third book. To quote Danny Glover’s character Roger Murtaugh, were we both just “getting too old for this shit?”

I definitely went in a different direction with my next novel, Jelly Jars, which is a love story, and while I was trying to decide what to do next Craig invited me to work on the Shelby series, and we co-authored book #7, Serenity Reborn.

It had been a while since we’d worked together, our last before Reborn being the SpyCo novella Assignment London, which we’d released in 2018. As we worked on the new Shelby we remembered how much fun we’d had writing the spy stories. Now we had a few more years experience working individually, and the growth we’d managed in that time showed in the work. Serenity Reborn took that series to a new level, which Possessed has continued.

So when Craig brought up the possibility of working on a new Cleanup Crew with me, I didn’t hesitate in saying “Let’s do it.”

Which brings us to today, full speed ahead on Cleanup Crew #4, The Demon of Denver. We had started working on it before the pandemic took hold and it got set aside for most of 2020, but as we left that predominantly turdish year behind we dusted it off and are turning up the heat as we learn the fate of Tony Porter, Conrad Barker, and everyone else involved in this twisted tale of intrigue and revenge.

So if you want to keep tabs on the progress of what Craig and I are already lazily calling DoD, (and yes we know we nicked it from the Department of Defense – they’re big – they can handle us borrowing their initials), you’ll want to be jumping all over the place. I’ll be talking about it here, on the e2books website, and on Facebook, and I’m sure Craig will have a thing or two to say as we go along as well.

Stay Tuned!

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