The Val & Kit Mystery Series

Monday, July 3, 2017

Empty Nest (for Now)

Our baby is all grown up, and it’s time for her to leave home. And by baby, we mean the sixth novel in our Val & Kit Mystery Series. Her name is Foreign Relations, and we are excited to send her out into the world.

Even before she was conceived, we had many of our loyal readers asking when she would arrive. Her five siblings have paved the way, but as her creators, we are eager not to disappoint. As always, our creative process has been an exciting and rewarding journey: many Skype sessions between the two of us (since we live at opposite ends of the country, Wisconsin and Texas); many, many long phone calls; thousands of e-mails; and a rare-but-treasured in-person work session. And most of all, a lot of laughs. 

When our journey began, we had little idea where we were going, but as our plot formed, our story took on its own life, and in many ways took over. We merely had to steer Val and Kit in the right direction, admittedly stopping in several pubs and English restaurants along the way. While in Little Dipping, our imaginary and bucolic village in the heart of the English countryside, Val and Kit made their first foray into the theatrical world. Kit took to the stage like a duck to water, or should we say a sixteenth-century noblewoman to the Italian Renaissance. Val, not so much. At the same time, news from back home in the USA was often in the forefront of our heroines’ minds, and they also had an unwelcome American visitor show up. Eventually, mysteries were solved and loose ends tied up, and Val and Kit returned home to Downers Grove, Illinois.

Since Foreign Relations is set in England, the first trip abroad for our protagonists, Val and Kit, we turned to family in the UK for much of our research. What type of tea do the Brits drink? Does sherry come in a corked bottle? Do Brownies still wear brown uniforms?

Roz's Brownie niece Jennie, circa 1987

Roz's Brownie grand-niece Emily, 2017

Now, after much rereading, editing, and Skyping (thank goodness for Skype), Foreign Relations is finally done, and we have to push her out the door, into the world, so she can take her place alongside the others that went before her. Her cover is beautiful. Pre-orders were good (whew!). We are proud.

As always, we are so thankful for our wonderful readers who make the whole process worthwhile. We hope you enjoy reading Foreign Relations as much as we did creating her. In the meantime, while we anxiously await reviews, we also begin thinking of our next baby. She’s in there somewhere.

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