The Cormorant: Back In Print!
AND THE CYCLE IS COMPLETE.
My third Miriam Black book, The Cormorant, has returned from the briny depths — it’s been back in digital for a while now, but as of today, it returns to print.
Sometimes people ask me what book of mine is really my favorite — like, the one book where I think I actually sorta nailed it? And that book is routinely for me this one. I loved writing it, and I think — contrary to how I feel about most of my work — that it actually holds together. In it, a very-wealthy-someone discovers that Miriam Black knows that she can see how people are going to die just by touching them, and this someone summons her to the Florida Keys. The offer: he’ll pay her if she tells him how he’s going to die. Simple, right? Except when she touches him, she receives a murderous vision containing a message just for her — a message that is both a promise and a threat to repay her for the past. Someone is out to get her. But who?
The Miriam series went through interesting genre gymnastics — I sold it as horror-crime, it got initially printed as urban fantasy, and now it’s being presented as supernatural thriller. (“Supernatural thriller” these days is basically code for “horror,” since the latter is perceived as a toxic genre that does not sell well. Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 for instance is referred to not as horror but as supernatural thriller. Which is fine — it’s not inaccurate, exactly, but I am a fan of leaning into the purity of the term “horror.” The Miriam Black books are not pure horror, for the record — in fact, supernatural thriller is pretty apt, I think. Horror-crime still works, too. Urban fantasy far less so.) The goal with these books is to never let you stand flat on your feet with them — you should forever be off-balance. Ideally excited, scared, laughing and cringing all in equal measure, one after the next, sometimes all at the same damn time.
Things I like about the book:
- Miriam in Florida is fun to write. She is a character equivalent of a dark blotch on an X-Ray, so to have her endure the sunshiney heat and light of Florida — well, c’mon. One of the greatest treats for a writer is to put characters in discomfort, and this is very much that.
- Okay, fine, Miriam in general is fun to write. I’m like a dog rolling around in pure profanity. Miriam gets to just say things that none of us would ever say, and that is a ticklish delight for an author like me. She’s kind of a bad person who does good things, which is just as much fun to write as a good person doing bad things. And because the narration (3rd person present) is so intimate and close, Miriam bleeds through always. Her meanness is there, but so is her kindness, I think. She gets a lot of things right and she gets a whole lot wrong and — well, I dunno what to say, but it’s a blast writing an anti-hero with basically zero filter.
- It widens the “mythology” of the story by a good bit.
- It also evolves Miriam’s abilities.
- I got to jigger with the timeline — these books have never been perfectly linear. The Interludes have always served as an opportunity to do flashbacks. But with The Cormorant, most of the book is nested as a kind of flashback into itself — it begins (see photo above) with Miriam held captive by two people claiming to be FBI agents (echoes there of Blackbirds), and then much of the story is them working through how she got there.
- The ending of the book is gloriously fucked up. YMMV, of course.
Anyway! So, the book is out. Grab it if you care to. Spread the word.
The fourth book, Thunderbird, lands next year. And then the following two — The Raptor & The Wren and Vultures — come out in short succession afterward. If you want to read the novella that takes place after Cormorant, that would be Interlude: Swallow, and can be found in the Three Slices anthology alongside Kevin Hearne and Delilah Dawson. Please to enjoy.
(Oh, one more tip: The Cormorant on bookstore shelves will likely be the paperback version, but you can order a hardcover version if you are so pleased.)
(Awesome new covers by Adam Doyle, FYI.)