Oh, lordy. My ARC (advance reading copies) of Probable Claws have arrived. The new mystery doesn't publish until April, but these are the advances that go out to Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus, and other long-lead reviewers. Because Poisoned Pen is also a smaller press, this is also the first time I've seen my book set in type! (Bigger publishers usually send out unbound pages - this is bound like a book, though without the fancy cover.) I'm supposed to read it through over the next few weeks for typos and minor changes. And I'm terrified! When I was writing this book, I loved it. The characters were real to me and I fretted over them as if they were my children.
Now I'm caught up in my new project, tentatively called Dogs Don't Lie, and I'm finding it horribly difficult to go back. What was once a living story is now entombed in pages. What if the story doesn't race along of its own accord? What if I no longer like the characters? What if my beloved fourth mystery, once so alive, is now dead to me?