Sheldon Siegel writes one of my favorite series - the attorneys/legal partners/ex-spouses Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez. He has written 7 and is working on #8. They are all enormously entertaining. As a bonus, they take place in San Francisco (work) and Marin County (home).
If you have been reading my blog (and you 3 know who you are), you'll know that I just reviewed Sheldon's latest book, The Terrorist Next Door, on October 16. It's his first book that strays from Mike and Rosie. In fact, it takes place in Chicago with a brand new protagonist, Detective David Gold. I liked it a lot, as you will see if you check out the review.
I met with Sheldon a few months ago. His story is pretty darn interesting. Sheldon is an attorney. And he found that he had about 90 minutes each day, coming and going on the ferry, commuting between Marin County and San Francisco. Around 1995, at the age of 37, he began to write. It took him until 1998 to finish book one. Along the way, in 1997, he took a writing class. He wrote 100 pages, and his 2 teachers encouraged him to keep going.
When he finished book 1, Special Circumstances, he sent it to only one literary agent. Folks, for those who don't know how this works, that is unheard of. When Joni and her partner shopped their book, they sent the query letter to a string of literary agents. That's just the way it's done. So the one agent that Sheldon sent it to is a friend of an attorney in Sheldon's office. Margret McBride got the manuscript on one day, read a 100 pages on the next day, and called Sheldon that evening to say yes, she would represent him. 2 weeks later, she had it sold to Bantam Books, a division of Random House. And in the year 2000, Special Circumstances hit the bookstores. Not bad, huh?
Sheldon has had several different publishers, but The Terrorist Next Door was originally self-published - until recently. The book just got picked up by Poison Pen Press out of Phoenix (talk about alliteration!). It's no longer available on Amazon but will come back out in June, 2013. At that time, it will be for sale in hardcover, paperback, digital form, and audio. Congrats, Sheldon.
This book took him 3 years to write. Why did he decide to write a stand-alone? There were 2 reasons. The 1st being that he was just ready to try something different. It was time. The 2nd reason, which I learned from his website, is that he promised his mother that he would write at least one book that was based in his hometown of Chicago. He has now honored that promise.
There is one thing in particular that Sheldon told me that was very illuminating. He said that the 1st book was the easiest to write because there were no deadlines. Since he didn't yet have an agent, an editor, or a publisher, nobody was putting pressure on him to finish the book. For his 2nd book, though, he had a finish-by date. After the 2nd one, he got more in the rhythm of writing within a timeline.
I told you that I've already written a very positive review of The Terrorist Next Door. Well, so did The Huffington Post. And I have a feeling that it might carry a slight amount more weight than mine does. Go figure. I've got it posted, in its entirety, below.