Unintended Consequences

When I was writing Beaumont # 13 and told my husband I planned to name it Name Withheld, Bill shook his head and said, “People are going to think you didn’t know what to name the book. Naturally I ignored his advice and plunged on. The week before an appearance in Port Angeles, the local newspaper printed an article saying that on such and such a day “mystery author J.A. Jance will be in town signing her new book. The name of the book is being withheld pending publication.”

Okay, okay. You can stop rolling on the floor laughing now. At least I had the good grace to admit to him that he was right and I was wrong. And now it’s happened again.

Last week we sent out a newsletter in which I thanked my fans for the fact that thirty years after writing my first novel, I had been awarded my first Anthony. (Please do not read this as a complaint. I was and am VERY grateful.) But this week I’ve been inundated with notes of congratulations along with a liberal peppering of “so sorry to hear you’re retiring.” What? Did I say I was retiring? No, I did not. I think my readers decided to read too much into my thank you note. So listen up:


And then people looked at the cover of the novella, entitled, “A Last Goodbye,” and assumed, all on their own, that the title meant that either Bella had crossed the Rainbow Bridge or that the novella was the last thing I would ever write.

So let me repeat and reiterate and chew my cabbage twice: I AM NOT RETIRING. BELLA IS NOT DEAD!!!

If you look closely at the little red Christmas tree ball on the cover, that’s a subtle hint. The Last Goodbye is a NICE story. Yes, it may make you shed a tear or two, but it will also gladden your heart.   

It turns out that when I gave the novella that title, Bill worried about it, but given his experience with Name Withheld, he didn’t bother bringing it up. That was probably just as well because most likely I would have gone right ahead and ignored his advice. Again!

So just for the record, I’m going to set things straight.

I admit it. Bill Schilb has been right.


9 thoughts on “Unintended Consequences

  1. I once bought a framed sign for a friend:
    “I married Mr. Right.
    I didn’t know his first name was Always.”

  2. It takes a big person to admit when they are wrong, lol but personally I did’nt get that from either title. Hope you never retire as I love your books, have every one of them and can’t wait for the next one. Wish you could write as fast as I read. Ha ha

  3. I just finished rereading Name Witheld yesterday morning!
    Enjoyed it even more this time than the first time …(or second) !
    Looking forward to reading The Last Goodbye soon.

  4. I am sure that I speak for ALL you fans when I say how greatful we are that you are NOT retiring and that Bella is alive and well.
    I hate it when my husband is right. Especially when he predicts the out come and is correct. That’s my job don’t you know! I am mostly always right.. LOL.
    We hope you had a wonderful THANKSGIVING with your family. I miss having a large gathering. Since black friday is not my thing I think I’ll re-read your last book again. It’s foggy so a good book and a fire is in order. Have a grand week enjoy the quiet for the day.

  5. At least you give him credit for being right two times but I figure there was at least a third time. That was when he asked you to marry him. ha ha I hope he celebrated those red letter days. This from a husband whose wife hates to admit that I might be right once in awhile.

  6. HaHaHa. I am laughing so hard. It cracks me up how people can misinterpret something so simple and after the fact it is so easy to see why. This happens in business writing all the time and so I try to make myself verrrry clear. It still happens that sometimes something is read into what I write no matter how careful I am. I can’t say that I’m glad this happens to others too, can I? If I say it, it will be mis interpreted.

  7. Couldn’t pass up the chance to comment–Bill’s only been right twice?! I know, I know that isn’t what you meant. But it made me laugh.

  8. Thanks for letting me start the day with a laugh! In business stuff like that happens all the time – that is also why they tell you to never put important info in e-mails as it can be interpreted incorrectly so easily. I have to say when I first saw the cover with Bella it did make my heart give a little jump – but then I read the blog saying all was well. Anyway, looking forward to many more good books,
    Regards from Connecticut,

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