I don't have to tell any of you that it's been a crazy seven months. The heartbreak for our family started last November when we, suddenly and unexpectedly, lost our precious pup, Mickey. He was a Boston Terrier/Chihuahua mix, and he was "my special boy." One night we went to bed, Mickey between my husband and me, cuddled against my legs as he always did - and the next morning he was gone. We were, as you can imagine, devastated. Saying goodbye to pets is never easy, especially when it happens without warning.
As the above picture shows, however, we now have a new member of the family: Jackson, the Pug/Jack Russell mix. No, he's no Mickey. But, he's definitely "his own dog" and we rescued him from a very bad situation. He's the four-legged man-of-the-house now, and we couldn't love him any more than we already do.
Like most writers, I've met some unique challenges thanks to Covid-19 - the greatest being the delay of my tenth book, Pretty Evil Pennsylvania. Three chapters into the research and writing of this historical true crime compilation, all of the repositories closed. And I mean all of them: state library, state archives, county courthouses, local archives… It was like the world suddenly stopped.
Even my publisher, Rowman & Littlefield, temporarily suspended operations, prompting the (current) decision that my book will likely be at least three months delayed - perhaps as much as a year.
To be honest, there's no way of knowing the actual release date right now. Supposedly the county I live in in Pennsylvania is reopening next week, which means both the state library and state archives might become accessible. For now I'm playing it by ear. I'll let you all know what's happening… as soon as I do.
As many of you know, I used to publish a quarterly mystery magazine called Prose 'n Cons. That publication morphed into an online version that is today known as Clouded in Mystery: Mystery, Myths and Crime from the U.S. and the U.K.
Clouded in Mystery is a complementary venue to my popular website Hauntingly PENNSYLVANIA™ - Where History and Hauntings Meet. Both of these websites have a strong focus on purportedly "supernatural" events that are studied and filtered through a historical lens. What was therefore missing was a website focusing on crime. And that's where Old Fashioned Crime steps in. Old Fashioned Crime features the criminals, victims and heroes that time (nearly) forget. It also serves to fully round out my two passions: historical true crime and the 19th century Spiritualism movement. It's still under development, but there are a few feature articles already posted.
If you have a moment to check out any of these sites, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Contact me any time.
As much as it pains writers to admit, not everyone enjoys reading. Some folks like to sit back and have the content served to them. That's what I do in my podcast Stephanie Hoover Has That Story.
With a little help from my husband - a former radio air personality - I tell (and sometimes dramatize) stories about crime, mysteries and legends. Truthfully, it is one of the most enjoyable projects I've ever created.
If you'd like to listen, visit the home page of my website for a complete list of episodes, check it out on Buzzsprout, or search for it on any of your favorite podcatchers including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
And, speaking of podcasts... I was thrilled to be a recent guest on Erik Rivenes incredibly popular show Most Notorious! where I talked about my book, The Kelayres Massacre: Politics and Murder in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Country. You can hear this episode on the Most Notorious! website, or Apple Podcasts.
That's my news... what about you?
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Until we meet again - be well, be kind and be happy.