Thursday, July 29, 2021

All the News That Fits to Print from James W. Ziskin

Subbing for Catriona this week. She’ll be back next week!

QUESTION: Do you have hobbies outside of your writing life? Tell about them. Do they feed your writing life? Do they get your mind off your current projects and their attendant frustrations? Do they satisfy a different part of you than is satisfied by your writing?

This week’s question reminds me that I lead a boring life. And I wrote a piece quite similar to this in October 2019. Have a look here:


This week’s post is my one hundredth here at 7 Criminal Minds. If you’re a masochist, you can view the links to them all on my website,

To celebrate the 100-post milestone—and since I’m in the driver’s seat—I’ve decided to write on a topic of my own choosing. Some exciting publishing news.

🔘 First, some blatant self-promotion.  I am so honored to have eight industry award nominations this year. An embarrassment of riches, for which I am truly grateful and humbled. Turn to Stone, the seventh Ellie Stone mystery, was named a finalist for the 2021 Sue Grafton Memorial Award, the Lefty Award for Best Historical Mystery, the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original, and the Macavity for Best Historical Mystery. The Sue Grafton Award went Rosalie Knecht and the Lefty to our own Catriona McPherson. So deserving. I can’t complain. The Barry and Macavity have yet to be awarded. They will be announced at Bouchercon in August.

And if that weren’t enough, my short story, “The Twenty-Five-Year Engagement,” was a finalist for the 2021 Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards for Best Short Story. Congrats to Maaza Mengiste for winning the Edgar, and to Barb Goffman for the Agatha. Wonderful authors and great stories. I was honored to be a finalist alongside them and my fellow nominees. The Anthony and Macavity are still in play, and will be presented at Bouchercon in August.

🔘 Second, I am pleased to announce that I have a new agent. I signed with Kimberley Cameron of Kimberley Cameron and Associates earlier this year. It was a difficult decision to leave my former agent, but it was a very amicable parting of the ways. I will forever be grateful to him for his representation, his advice, and his selling my first seven books. Thank you, Bill.

Over the past few months, Kimberley has been tireless in her efforts to find a good home for my latest book. (Spoiler: it’s not an Ellie Stone mystery, but the first of a new series set in 1975 India during the °Emergency.”) The Emergency was the twenty-month period from June 1975 to March 1977, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ruled by decree. For all intents and purposes, she was a dictator. In response to the legal challenges to her 1971 election victory, Mrs. Gandhi engineered this virtual coup, using Article 352 of the Indian Constitution as justification for the drastic action. Article 352 provided that, in order to protect the nation from domestic threats or disturbances, the ruling government could suspend due process and curtail civil liberties, including freedom of the press and elections. It also gave Mrs. Gandhi the power to throw her political opponents in jail. And that she did.

That’s the background. Now for the third bit of news.

🔘 Third, I am thrilled to announce that Kimberley has sold Bombay Monsoon to Pat and Bob Gussin at Oceanview Publishing. They have published so many fine writers, including many friends whose work I admire. Matt Coyle, Steve Goble, R. G. Belsky, D. P. Lyle, and Joe Clifford are just a few whom I know personally. There are more still who are Facebook friends and others I don’t know at all.

Bombay Monsoon will come out in December 2022. Here’s the elevator pitch: 

A thriller set in 1975 India, Bombay Monsoon is “Graham Greene meets Gatsby on the Subcontinent.”

Danny Jacobs, an ambitious, young American journalist, arrives in Bombay for a new assignment and gets caught up in the chaos of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s “Emergency.” His enigmatic expat neighbor, Willy Smets, is helpful and friendly, but the man’s secretive business dealings trouble Danny. The reporter falls hard for Sushmita, Smets’s beguiling and clever lover, and the infatuation is mutual.

The Emergency is only the first twist in the high-stakes drama of Danny’s new life in India. The assassination of a police officer by a Marxist extremist, as well as Danny’s obsession with the inscrutable Sushmita, conspire to put his career—and life—in jeopardy. And, of course, the temptations of Willy Smets’s seductive personality sit squarely at the heart of the matter.

One hundred blog posts. Wow. I can’t believe I’ve wasted so much of your time… 

Until we meet again, Jim


Susan C Shea said...

One hundred and still going strong, Jim. Congratulations on all of the attention and praise your writing is getting! I must track down the short story...And congrats on going with Kimberley - she is a fine agent and a lovely person.

Cathy Ace said...

Happy 100th, Jim! And congratulations on navigating a new path forward x

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Congratulations on all the nominations, Jim; that's quite an accomplishment. Best of luck with the Anthony and Macavity awards still to come — and I'm looking forward to your next 100 posts.

Brenda Chapman said...

Congratulations, Jim - such a great year for you! And so much to look forward to as your writing career continues to thrive. One hundred posts is also quite a milestone :-)

Ann said...

Knowing you is one of life's pleasures, top shelf in a manner of speaking. I hope you sweep the awards in NOLA. And kudos on the newest production. Of course you're leaving us wanting more Ellie Stone, and that's as it should be. But maybe just one more?

Looking forward to Bombay Monsoon.


Catriona McPherson said...

Thanks for the sub, Jim. We could have lied and pretended it was deliberate for your 100th! Cx