Hart Johnson: aspiring author of main stream suspense, some adult some YA... This is my dark face, seeking to do really rotten things to my characters for your reading pleasure (using the fictional drama to keep me from stirring up the real kind). I've written ten (and three partials) suspense novels and two mysteries under this dark cloud, one of which I am currently publishing serially (A Shot in the Light), and my agent is interested in revisions of one of the mysteries (What Ales Me).
Alyse Carlson: This is my pen name for my Cozy Mystery contract with Berkley Prime Crime. The series has a gardening theme and takes place in Roanoke, Virginia, starring 30-something public relations guru Cam Harris, her crazy friends and family, and her eccentric colleagues at the Roanoke Garden Society. The first (The Azalea Assault) one came out June 5, 2012 and was selected one of Suspense Magazines best Cozies of 2012. The second (The Begonia Bribe) arrived May 7, 2013, and the third, Keeping Mum, was published March 4, 2014.
[and on this front, I'm the anomaly who got her book contract (sort of) via blog: look under the tag 'contract' if you want THAT story]
The Watery Tart: Alternately rules the world from a small tropical island, performs lingerie training on very bad boys, and tries to tempt all of you into playing just a little bit harder--perhaps even joining the Naked World Domination movement. My online persona is rarely serious and a little outrageous, but tries very hard to walk the PG line with her antics. It's my goal to help you lighten up and laugh--not to offend you.
The person behind all these faces has a day job doing academic research related to health disparities at a ginormous Midwest University.
All of us are currently unagented, so if you are an agent who thinks I might be awesome... erm... yeah, right... don't you WISH it worked that way?
The Books, in Brief, for anybody curious (most recent to earliest)
[published in purple, headed to publication in blue]
To Write this year Two cozy mysteries, both in the Corset Cop series, one YA. I also want to do a couple short stories and finish one of my half done babies.
Currently Working On:
Editing Medium Wrong with hopes to query in February
Next in the Corset Cop series
D. Summer of Bones: Half written for BuNoWriMo 2015 (my first WriMo fail--I mentioned 2015 being a rough year?) This was originally planned as part of my Chatcolet series and has a bully focus (YA) but I am thinking about adding a paranormal element (very lightly)
C. Undoing Trilogy: First 2/3 of first book is written for BuNoWwriMo 2014 (so 2/9 of full thing). I've always thought of this as three books in three acts each.
B. Shooter (working title) Started March Madness 2013: a new angle on a school shooting. I will get back to it
Substantially started March Madness 2013. This is a YA apocalyptic tale
that I am toying with releasing serially, though after my first serial experience, I won't do this until the full series has a first draft. The US has been invaded and
become a dangerous mix of lawlessness and militaristic zealots. Needs
about 1/3 more written and is scheduled to be restructured to be
released serially, maybe fall 2015.
13. A Shot in the Light: My 2012 BuNoWriMo project (and July, too) is undergoing a metomorphosis. It's a flu epidemic, Armageddon Conspiracy thing and was written as a one-PoV book, but revisions are adding PoVs and expanding this already large tale. I think it might be New Adult, but I need to look into that. These were self-published, beginning in fall of 2013. The set of the first four was an ABNA semi-finalist in 2014 under the mystery/thriller subhead. The Publisher's Weekly review is here. I am in the process of putting this into a print trilogy. (ready before Christmas)
The Garden Society Mysteries: By Alyse for Berkley Prime Crime. Set in Roanoke, Virginia.
12. Keeping Mum: this is my third Gardening themed Cozy Mystery. Cam is roped into helping with a political fundraiser and learns Annie's dad has convinced her to help with the same event. Neither is thrilled, but at least they are working together. They decide to stage a murder mystery dinner with attendees bidding for who will be 'killed' only to have a local businessman really wind up dead. Published March 2014
9. The Begonia Bribe: Cozy mystery by Alyse. Finished first draft May 2011; turned into my editor September 30, 2011. The Roanoke Garden Society is taking a brief hiatus for a murder trial, so Evangeline Patrick asks Cam Harris (the MC) to help her coordinate the Little Miss Begonia State Finals, a pageant for 7-10 year old girls. Cam is in her element, as she ropes in media for publicity, but a difficult judge promises to be a nightmare. Fortunately, the nightmare is soon over... Unfortunately, a murder at a Little Miss Pageant is a little bit hard to explain. An old high school friend of Cam's who is mother of a pair of contestants is accused, and Cam decides to help her out. Published May 7 2013.
7. The Azalea Assault: Cam Harris, Public Relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society, has managed a PR coup. Garden Delights Magazine is featuring the spectacular gardens of La Fontaine in their June issue, and have contracted world famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges to shoot the spread. Jean-Jacques and his huge ego and bad behavior are going to be a challenge to deal with but Cam figures it will be worth it, but somebody else must disagree. Finished in August 2010. Turned in to editor December 31, 2010 originally. Published June 2012. (For more, including reviews and links, see here)
Novels in Various Stages of Editing
17. Argue Naked (Written November 2015; Corset Cop series) Claire Hornsby is a retired small town cop and now owns a lingerie shop. [specific book blurb goes here: local man achieves success as a bestselling author and is murdered at his home town book talk, and event Claire has attended because of a tie-in event with her shop. But when a neighbor boy is accused of the murder and the police seem to think that is that, Claire decides to pitch in and investigate a little deeper]
16. Teddy Trouble (Written November 2014; Corset Cop series): This is a hot mess of a first draft. I tried something that might work with some other story but really just didn't for this one. It needs a full rewrite.
15. Also Appearing, (finished June 2013; needs probably one final round of editing) Leah Clarence has always felt like a bit player in her own life--an extra, an 'also appearing', but a summer romance between her sophomore and junior year has left her feeling like maybe she's somebody special. Unfortunately, it doesn't last, and her grasps to feel that again grow more desperate as she tries alcohol, drugs, and casual sex to find the missing ingredient. But maybe she had it all along. This is a YA novel of self-discovery about what it means to be special.
14. Mean and Demeaned (first in the Pleides Series): My 2012 NaNoWriMo Project, just need to fill a few holes. Should be done at 53K (my shortest ever). This is young adult--younger than my other YA. Maya Roper is trying to get over her dad's suicide. She's been gone from school over a month and her friends try to coax her back. As soon as she's back though, minor bullying starts. She and her friends take note and decide to do something about it, joking about their superpowers... while on her own, Maya tries to figure out why her dad would have killed himself.
11. Medium Wrong: I'm paranoid about sharing too much on this. My NaNoWriMo project for 2011 involves a con job gone wrong and some bossy dead people: YA. Finished December 2011 at 80K and slated for first clean up this summer. This is my current editing project. Knocked out of ABNA 2013 at pitch. Scheduled for revision and I may try it for ABNA again--the year has been too busy to do anything but clean up the mysteries (which will go traditionally) and the serial, which I believe will end up too long, even if I were done.
10. What Ales Me: (Sassy mystery: written June 2011 BuNoWriMo; needs something... perhaps the advice of an editor because I thought it was there but it is missing something) McKenzie MacIntyre (Kenny) fled corporate marketing when the NASDAQ fell. Her marriage proceeded to fall apart and with her divorce settlement, she decided she needed something a little more tangible. She opened a microbrewery in Portland's Old Town. She has a collection of friends and neighbors, and in the summer, a teenage son. It is all good... until one of her neighbors finds a body in his bakery and her son ends up tangled with the Russian Mob.
8. Player Down: 2010 NaNoWriMo: A high school star basketball forward is found dead. When first, a favorite school counselor and then Callie's best friend Paige are accused of the murder, Callie decides she should investigate. First draft is done, but it is behind several other works waiting to be edited.
6. Kahlotus Disposal Site: BuNoWriMo 2010: Status: Needs another revision then seeking an agent Was an Amazon Contest SEMI-FINALIST! My reviewer comments were published on the blog March 23 and my Publishers Weekly review April 27. Helen Bixby has been dead 60 years. Her suicide shut down the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Mentally Retarded and Insane. Now, however, the building is reopening, and the teenage delinquents who are arriving are completely outside Helen's ability to understand. As a ghost, few can see her, but she hopes it is enough that she can help prevent the next generation of residents from undergoing the horrors that existed when she was alive. While this IDEA seems to be well liked, it hasn't had a publisher or agent IN LOVE so currently under 'workshop' with my writing group.
Honestly, this is about the point I hit my stride as a writer, so BELOW here (the old stuff) has needed far more to get ready and may never be published--above here, was written with a better grasp on how to write a book...
5. Conspiracy: Finished April 2010: 3rd in the Conspiracy Trilogy. 1st draft written but this needs a full rewriting, as I've changed my mind on PoV.
4. Illusions: Finished January 2010: 2nd of Conspiracy Trilogy. 1st draft written but ALSO needs full rewrite for half a PoV change.
3. Deniability: NaNoWriMo 2009: 1st draft written and major holes filled. It is back a ways in the editing stack though, as it seems to be my only book with no teen MC (aside from the Cozies)...
2. Legacy: Finished October 2009: 1st in the Conspiracy Trilogy, has had several large revisions and three rounds of peer feedback. This final edit might be next on my stack, though there are some decisions to make (it's vaguely possible I will self-publish this trilogy, as they refuse to slide into a marketable genre, but it's a great story). WAS A QUARTER FINALIST FOR ABNA 2012 CONTEST but was knocked out with a rather cruel review. The edits needed are not that large, but I have always known it wasn't a super easy sale (character age and plot age are mismatched, but it is STILL a great story!), so I am holding it until I have a few published YA--then I will either try it, or self-publish it.
Note: I had a half finished murder mystery here and the more I think about it, the more compelling it seems to get back to.
1. Confluence: Finished October 2008: This was my first book. It's had 4 rounds of revisions, but I didn't know what I was doing yet. I plan on rewriting it as YA.