Monday, 20 March 2017

BURN COUNTRY is Now Available for Review!

BURN COUNTRY, the much-anticipated sequel to the 2015 Hammett Prize finalist SORROW LAKE, is now available for review.

The Plaid Raccoon Press is pleased to make review copies available in paperback or eBook format (mobi for Kindle, ePub, or PDF).

If you are a journalist who reviews books for print or electronic media, an online book blogger who reviews crime fiction, or a fellow published author interested in providing a testimonial, please contact us at the e-mail address below to obtain a print or eBook review copy.

If you post reviews to Amazon, contact us and we will arrange to send you a courtesy review copy for your Kindle device.

If you post reviews to Goodreads, send us an e-mail and let us know which eBook format you'd like!

Contact us at theplaidraccoonpress@mjmccann.com and let us know you're interested!

Read the back cover blurb here: http://michaeljmccannsblog.blogspot.ca/2017/02/burn-country-whats-story.html

Monday, 13 March 2017

BURN COUNTRY - Why Has It Taken So Long?

If you've read SORROW LAKE, the first March and Walker Crime Novel, you probably noticed the back-page ad stating that BURN COUNTRY, the second story in the series, would be coming out in the spring.

Spring last year, that is. Now that BURN COUNTRY is in full production mode and will be published this spring, you may wonder what caused the delay.

In fact, the title was ready to be produced last June. However, not long after the announcement that SORROW LAKE would be a finalist for the Hammett Prize for best crime novel, I was contacted by the acquiring editor of a major New York publisher who inquired about the US rights for SORROW LAKE and the North American rights for BURN COUNTRY.  I won't say which publisher, but let's just say this acquiring editor is extremely well known for her work in the US with Scandinavian noir in translation and that Amanda Hocking, the very successful paranormal romance author I studied closely when deciding to become an independent several years ago, had blazed a glorious trail to this particular publisher back then. I was very excited.

They held onto the manuscript of BURN COUNTRY through the rest of 2016. Once the winner of the Hammett Prize was announced at the end of October and Lisa Sandlin had gone home with the statue, I thought my chances had dimmed significantly, but still no word. Finally, I queried in December but received no response. A month ago, in February, I queried again and was told the publisher was not adding any new authors to their list at this time. I said thanks, and the next day obtained an ISBN for BURN COUNTRY to start the production process.

Essentially the publisher took out an option on the story while the Hammett Prize process unfolded, and afterward lost interest. I completely get it. While writing is a joy and a passion for me, publishing is a business. Understood. I wish I was a better businessman, I guess.

At any rate, explanation completed. Those of you who have waited patiently for more than a year to find out what happens next with Ellie March and Kevin Walker, I thank you very, very much. I hope you'll like what happens next!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Rural Policing in Ontario

Photo (c) Michael J. McCann
How does a large-scale police bureaucracy deliver effective service in a thinly-populated rural area?

BURN COUNTRY, the second March and Walker crime novel, continues to follow detectives of the Ontario Provincial Police featured in SORROW LAKE as they investigate homicides occurring in rural/small town settings.

Ontario is the most populated province in Canada, and it includes this nation's largest city, Toronto, and fourth largest city, Ottawa--our nation's capital.  This province is also the fourth largest in terms of area in square kilometres. While the larger municipalities in Ontario have their own police service, of course, the OPP's jurisdiction outside these metropolitan areas covers over one million square kilometres and well over two million people. As a result, the OPP is one of the largest police services in North America, with more than 6,200 uniformed officers.

As Kevin Walker reflects as he rushes out to the crime scene at the beginning of BURN COUNTRY,  the OPP Leeds County Crime Unit is responsible for investigating criminal offenses in "a rural jurisdiction covering 2,100 square kilometres with only 35,000 inhabitants scattered along county roads and back lanes that hooked and bent around countless lakes, swamps, and rivers. "

One of the questions explored in this series, then, is how such a large police bureaucracy with such an extensive mandate can still deliver effective service to a thinly-populated rural area like Leeds County.

Detective Inspector Ellie March, born and raised in Toronto, is a resource assigned out of OPP General Headquarters to lead the investigation of major cases in East Region, including homicides. Detective Constable Kevin Walker, on the other hand, was born and raised in Leeds County and comes to the crime unit from a defunct local village police service. Together, they represent the meeting point between a large, bureaucratic force and its individual boots-on-the-ground.

Readers who enjoyed Henning Mankell's portrayal of rural policing in Sweden in Faceless Killers, for example, his first Kurt Wallander novel, will want to see how it's done in Canada. BURN COUNTRY will be available for review in two weeks.