Monday, May 14, 2012

Granny Goes To Harvard!

Today’s question has been on my mind a lot lately because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, although it is, kind of, sort of, in the same genre.
Recently Berkley bought the next two books in my Ghost of Granny Apples series. I had wanted to locate my bestselling series to a bigger publisher and was thrilled when Berkley made an offer.  The problem is, with schedules the way they are, there would be a two-year gap between Gem of a Ghost, the third Granny book, and the fourth Granny book, which will be released April 2014.  My editor at Berkley contacted my agent with the idea of my doing an e-book novella involving the character of Granny Apples to bridge the gap.
Sure, why not?! I liked the idea so much I offered to give them two novellas – one now, another later.
Then my editor suggested that the novella involve Granny but not Emma Whitecastle and her usual posse in California. And it did not necessarily have to be a murder mystery.
Rut Roh! Granny going solo! No murder! What’s an author to do?
Now don’t get me wrong. I adore the character of Granny Apples, but she’s the comic relief in the books – a hundred year old crotchety ghost with a taste for TV crime dramas and the NFL, particularly the Chargers – who helps Emma solve spirited crimes.
Like most writers, I mulled it over and came up with a plan, a plan to absorb my editor’s suggestions and still keep Granny up to her old tricks. In the novella, Granny comes to the assistance of Kelly Whitecastle, Emma’s daughter. Kelly is in her third year at Harvard, and just discovering her paranormal talents when a young journalist asks for her help.
I believe the novella will be released in early 2013. It doesn’t have a working title yet, but it’s coming along nicely and it’s been fun working with Kelly and new characters in this shortened environment. Granny is still a bit dizzy from the spin off, but once she recovers, I'm sure she'll be a Patriots fan!


Meredith Cole said...

I was just reading a story in the paper about writers getting asked to write novellas by their publishers. How interesting! For a long time, it appeared to be a dying format, but now--with ebooks--everything old is new again!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Yes, my agent told me more publishers are putting them out now. And the short story has also had a wonderful boost. Can't wait to see how this novella does.