By Laura Caldwell
I don’t know why I didn’t write a series before—a continuing character with a posse of interesting people around her. It was my friend, Sarah Mlynowski, an author friend, who sat me down one day in a Manhattan diner and asked me why I wasn’t writing about someone who was a lawyer and why all my redhead characters were always slutty or evil and why I wasn’t using Chicago even more than I had before. I opened my mouth, had nothing to say in response, and the Izzy McNeil books began to be hatched that day.
And I have news today—there will be more Izzy books! Specifically, my excellent editor, Valerie Gray, through my excellent publisher, MIRA, have asked me to write four more and my answer was a quick, loud, YES! I admit I did pause for a second and ask my excellent agent, Amy Moore-Benson, if the deadlines were going to look the same as they did with the Izzy trilogy (editing 1 of them and writing 2 of them in one year, while I also had to finish a non-fiction book). When she told me I’d get more time than that (at least a little), I was in. (We’ll be making an announcement in September about exactly when the fourth Izzy McNeil book will be out.)
I’ve been saying it all summer, but now it’s more true than ever—if you’ve read the Izzy books and have any thoughts on where she should go from here, the characters you’d like to see return, those you’d rather see disappear into the Chicago night or any interesting journeys Izzy might make, let me know about them. If I haven’t already stumbled upon what you’re suggesting and I use it, I’ll put the readers who contributed in the acknowledgements of the book, because really, you guys have been amazing. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of you who’ve spent time with Izzy or have written me to tell me your thoughts. And I truly do want to hear more—anything! So write a comment, visit me at lauracaldwell.com or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t hold back.
PS – Those of you who’ve read the books know that Izzy has been long trying to weed curse words from her vocabulary, replacing things like God damn it with God bless you, Fu#$ you with Flub you, and Son of a bitch with Son-of-a-motherless-goat. I got Izzy started on this campaign after my college friend Amy kept saying, “Mother hen in a basket!” instead of what she wanted to say when she was angry. (You can figure it out). So anyway, do you have any replacement swear words you’d be willing to share and let Izzy use? Let me know about that, too. Thanks!