My first book, I'm pleased to say (since I thought for many years that I'd never be able to say such a thing), comes out in spring 2009. The title, thus far, is The Love Pirate and the Bandit's Son: Murder, Sin, and Scandal in the Shadow of Jesse James.
Now that it's finished -- an eight-year effort -- my thoughts turn to another remarkably wicked woman I would like to explain to the world. The subject of my next book, if the stars align, will be Countess Marie Tarnowska.
My research so far has been thoroughly enjoyable. I'm studying Italian every day and plan a trip to Venice. Closer to home, I've spent days at the University of Michigan libraries hunting through vaults for books so rare you can only read them if you have a state bar membership card, a special pass, and a flashlight.
I hope to hire researchers in Kiev, Ukraine, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Santa Fe, Argentina, who are willing to conduct library research and translations. Finding them has proven a lot tougher than I thought, and the dead ends are accumulating. While I studied Russian in college, the only thing I can remember beyond "Privyet! Kag dela?" (hello, how are you?) is that it was a beautiful, subtle, and extremely difficult language to learn, and anyway I can only keep two languages in my aging head at one time. If you know anyone who might fit the bill, I would be so grateful to hear from you.