Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm B-a-a-a-a-c-k!

I'm so, so so sorry for the long absence - it's been CRAZY over here I can't even tell you all that's been going on, since that in itself would fill a book! But the long and the short of it is that I'm DONE, and my editor loves The Dying Breath and I now know when it will be out. The Dying Breath will be released in the fall of '09! Just so you know, that is a very quick turnaround in the publishing world and I'm very happy that those at Penguin Putnam are happy with the manuscript! It'll be in your hands before you know it!

For all of you who have written and wondered what planet I had dropped off (answer - Earth!) I am officially back in business. Just lot and lots of long hours completing the revision and family things that have been both wonderful (our daughter Kristin is pregnant - yeah!) and sad (two deaths in the family). A huge, wonderful group of sisters/parents/in-laws came from all over for Thanksgiving at our home, eight of whom stayed in my home for a week, which was a blast! Fourteen people and four large dogs makes for tons of fun - we ate and sang and laughed and just enjoyed the season! I baked seven pies (cherry, apple, and of course pumpkin!) a 23 pound turkey and everything that goes with that yummy time of year. Now, as I come up on Christmas, I think of how many wonderful blessing there have been for me this year, including each and every one of you reading this message. Thanks for your love and patience and encouragement and good thoughts. I promise to do a much better job of keeping in touch!

Hugs from Elizabeth,

Alane Ferguson

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm Off to Florida!

Hi Everyone!

Well, it's still a waiting game, but I got an email from my eidtor and I think the plan is for me to turn the manuscript around quickly so TDB will be in your hands as soon as possible. I'm leaving for a speaking trip to Tampa for a week (my flight is Sunday morning at the crack of dawn!) and when I get back, I should have TDB on my desk, ready for me to dive in and revise. I'm planning to work very, very hard to make sure it's the best book yet! I also plan to work on TDB and nothing else so that my publisher can send it off the the printers.

I must run and pack my bags and get ready to share forensics with my Florida fans. Thanks to everyone who has written emails as well as messages on this blog - I promise there will be more upon my return. In the meantime, send in your ghost stories and feel a great, big Colorado hug from me to each and every one of you!


Alane Ferguson

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Will There be More?

Hi All!

So now we're in the waiting game to see what my editor says about TDB, and in the meantime my email mailbox has been jammed full (along with queries from readers of this blog) with the burning question: Will There be More! Well, if you all keep spreading the word (I've got an interview with a French magazine on Monday, which is a thrill, since The Christopher Killer is just being launched in France! I've gone international!) I think there will be much more for Cameyn Mahoney. I've just been invited to Georgia and I'm off to Tampa in a week, so it's exciting to meet all my wonderful fans. It is you who keeps these books going! Spread the word and you'll learn more of Cameryn and her amazing life!

As for right now, I'm going to write a short story for an anthology and then write my ghost book (anyone who has had a near-death or ghostly experience, please write and tell so I can shape my character's ghostly interactions accurately) which I am incredibly pumped to finally put onto the page! Then, who knows - it just might be more Forensic Mysteries!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Guess what!?! The Dying Breath is finished and in the hands of my wonderful editor, Tracy Gates at Penguin Putnam - huzzah! Thanks to one and all who prayed/sent good thoughts/lit candles for me, since I needed all of your energy to push through. I've had so much speaking that my voice is hoarse, and I had to try to go over the manuscript in hotels instead of my office, but it is now officially DONE! Yeah!

I started going over all the crazy things that have happened to me this year which pushed me behind - so many, many events on top of our pregnant daughter Kathy's preeclampsia (we had to basically flip a house for her, since Kathy and her husband DJ bought a trashed home only to discover the next day that Kathy was ordered to bed because her blood pressure was so high) to taking in a teenage girl to losing our dog (Jackie was 21 years old and we all cried when we put her down - she had bone cancer) and just a thousand other 'life' things. But I think in the end it's those very experiences that keep me as an author grounded in my characters. I have a life just like all of you do, with ups and downs and people who need me. But in between it all the Dying Breath was born.

I'm going to take a long walk and take in the cool, Colorado air. The leaves out here are just starting to change and I'm excited to enjoy my favorite season. Oh, and I just found out that in addition to the Florida Teens Read list (please vote!) I'm also on the Virginia Teen list Today is a great day! I hope you all have a fabulous week! Hugs all around!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Goin' CRAZY!

Hey everyone!

Just a quick update - I'm back from my speaking trip to Kansas (so much fun!) and am hard at work finishing up TDB. But while I was gone my Outlook Express email went bottoms-up - which is so strange because EVERY time it's crunch time something will go bizarrely wrong. On The Angel of Death my computer actually melted, including the external thumb drive. On The Christopher Killer my computer contacted a virus that wiped everything out, so I had to piece things together from printed chapters and old thumb-drive files - what a nightmare! I received at corrupt file on The Circle of Blood that messed everything up, so THIS time I have saved, resaved, saved again, and sent my chapters by email to outside sources just in case. Well, I've got my book (thank heavens) but when I got back from Kansas I discovered my email was completely gone and now I have to go through this strange 1&1 Internet server to try to get messages, which is soooooo sloooooooooow! (That includes messages from my blog - each one takes five minutes to upload since they normally come first though Outlook. Aack!) If you don't hear from me promptly that's why. Sorry!

My husband has been trying to make it work and he's bought a couple of supposed 'fixes' that haven't done a thing. Ron laughingly calls it The-Curse-of-the Home-Stretch, which is how it feels. Again, I'm asking for patience (please!) if you write me and don't hear back, because we've got another huge mess to figure out - I am SO not tekkie and I can't believe I have another computer issue when I'm just days away from sending in my manuscript (through email, of course. IF it will work!) Do you think it's a ghost? My sister claims it's because she and I put out this strange energy that disables all things electric (yesterday, in Kansas, the Power Point projector at Sterling College where I was giving my presentations glitched out on me, and the computer guy kept muttering 'This makes no sense. It was JUST working. I can't figure out what's wrong!' Hmmmmmmmm.) Anyway, thanks for the good cheer you're sending my way - it has kept me focused and energized and ready to hit the 'send' on my electronic manuscript - it should arrive in New York on Monday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Still a Happy September For Me!

Hi everybody!

Well, this last thread has been a blast - you're learning about me an I'm learning about you! I got a really wonderful email from a reader in Florida that I thought I'd share This is what Barbie wrote!

Hi, Alane --I'm probably a little bit older than your average reader; much as I'd like to dispute the fact, I have reached middle age. Egads, I certainly don't feel like it! I discovered your series last spring when The Christopher Killer was selected as one of Florida's Teen Reads books for 2008-2009. I was then working in a high school library as an aide, and when I heard about your book I knew I had to read it. I love forensic novels. I started with Patricia Cornwell and have since moved onto Tess Gerritsen and Kathy Reichs. Since working in a school library, I've become more acquainted with YA fiction. I was introduced to Stephenie Meyer that way, and now you. After reading Cameryn's first story, I had to get my hands on the following two. And I'm just as eager as Nicole (re your current blog) to read this fourth installment. I'm looking forward to the progression in the relationship between Cameryn and Justin. Please let there be more heat! Okay, chaste heat. ;) Everything you've written about The Dying Breath promises an exciting read. I'll be keeping an eye out so I'll know when to start looking for it in the bookstores.I'm thrilled you're coming to Orlando for the FAME conference later this month. I wish you a wonderful and safe journey to the sunshine state.
I've taken up enough of your time. Now, please get back to finishing The Dying Breath! :)

So this was especially fun for me, because I've got readers of this series now who are all different ages! It's exciting to think that mother/daughter teams are reading my work (Team Justin or Team Kyle - just kidding!) and I want you all to know how honored I am to hear all of your kind comments! They really keep me going!

Darla wrote: it's funny how you can be so contradicting of yourself and not write at all like that.

Wow - is Darla ever right! I am an enigma! No one, not even me, can figure me out! So now it's back to work so I can write you that I am finally done. I am very close! Keep me in your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happy September!

I'm so happy everyone is so anxious for The Dying Breath, and I'm about a week out from being done (YEAH!) and then it's up to my editor. She'll give me the date and then I'll turn around and give it to you. She should tell me fairly quickly what list it will be on.

It's starting to turn into autumn here in Elizabeth, Colorado, so I feel that little nip in the air that I love so much. Most of you are probably back in school now or just getting ready, so I hope you enjoy each and every second you have in your new classes - may this be an awesome new year for you all! Enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

About My Friend's Death....

Savannah Leigh Anderson was my very best friend through high school - she was an only child (I was one of five girls born in six years) so we sort of gravitated together since at her house it was always quiet and at mine it was always crazy. We were in Pep Club together (does anybody even still do that? We cheered with pom-poms the size of small horses) and stayed friends even after she moved to California. She wasn't there too long before I visited her, and not much longer after that she was murdered. Darla asked if I knew what state her killer (Robert Lloyd Sellers) died in, and I know it was California. He was dubbed 'The Orange County Slayer" and was caught in 1984, convicted of first degree murder which was overturned on a technicality by the California State Supreme Court, plead guilty to reduced charges right before his new trial began, was convicted on second degree murder in 1989, and then died sometimes in the mid-to-late-nineties. Savannah was beautiful, brilliant, fun, and just an all-around fantastic person. On our ten year high school reunion (Skyline High in Utah) I took a yearbook and had everyone who had a memory of Savannah write it down and then gave those memories to her parents, Al and Maxine Anderson. When I read those entries it reminded me of what we lost when she was so brutally taken. So I catch killers on the pages of my books, and that is how I get through it. The one thing I have learned is that everybody has really hard things in their lives, not just me, and one of the best ways to face it is by writing. It's kept me going - that, and my wonderful family, friends and FANS! Now I'll get back to writing - I've got a killer to catch!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I LOVE all of Your Amazing Comments!

Just want to check in and let everyone know how much I appreciate the great comments I've been receiving! Darla wrote about her own ghostly experience, which I completely believe - how creepy was that? Like my character Cameryn, I veer between my scientific side and my mystic side. And funny enough, I adore watching Ghost Hunters and GHI, along with 20/20 (real cases are aways the most interesting) A Haunting, I Survived, Dead Men Talking, and Cold Case Files! I really am a mixed bag - real life cases of crime followed by stories that show the afterlife. I'm quite eclectic!

Did any other "Twilight" fans read Breaking Dawn? What did you think? I paid full price and devoured it in one night, and I was curious what other 'Twilighters' thought. (I've been a 'Team Edward' girl from the start!)

As to another posted comment, there will still be a lot of suspense between Cameryn and Justin, so fear not. But Kyle is truly a wildcard in this book. As I've told you before, my best friend was murdered by a serial killer named Robert Lloyd Sellers, who has since (thankfully) died in prison. But trying to understand the psychology of someone who is a true psychopath is very chilling process, because in their minds their world makes sense - they feel entitled to kill and then they have no remorse. I've actually had to put down books that I use in my research because I get so upset, especially in cases involving children. My nickname has always been 'mother-of-the-world' becasue I am such a passionate mom. A few months ago a girl who was having problems actually moved in with us for a month - I have a very 'open door' policy if somebody need s me. (Which is also how I get behind on deadlines - yikes!) Okay, enough of my ramblings, I have to wrap up The Dying Breath so you can find out what happens! Back to work for me!

Alane Ferguson

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm Back!

Hello to all my wonderful friends!

I'm back from Ireland! It was an amazing trip, although we were in a serious car crash (not our fault!) that resulted in two totaled cars. I suffered a bit of whiplash, which has made it a harder to write since my neck hurts, but I feel blessed that we all walked away. The crash was so LOUD! Glass was blown out, the airbags went off, our car filled with smoke - wild times! But since I've been back I've been writing like a crazy and I'm happy to say I'm finally in the home stretch. The Dying Breath is almost done and those who have read it say it is definitely the best one. (Justin and Cameryn - wait'll you see!)

Thanks to you all, including whoever wrote the new 'Anonymous' post - you have given me the 'Olympic Spirit' to carry on despite the pain. You all make me want to put 'the end' on the manuscript! And for those of you who believe in ghosts, I was 'touched' by something at a castle, although it wasn't at Leap. We were in the ruins of an unnamed castle when I felt what is best described as a hard poke on my side. Later, a guide at yet another castle told me that in ancient times, the Irish would poke a person with their index finger as a gesture of hello. It was definitely strange...the only thing that brings out my skeptical side is that the wind was really blowing at gale force. A tiny part of me wonders if something caught up in a fierce gusts hit me, something that I, the two friends who were at my side, and my husband didn't see. We never found anything on the ground. I'm almost sure there is no logical explanation, but my dad is an aerospace engineer and there is always that voice inside my head that says 'prove it.' So I kept standing there in the wind, waiting for it to happen again, and it never did. Hmmmmm. Have any of you seen/been touched by a ghost?

Thanks to Courtney and her family who drove all the way from Texas - they stopped at my house with flowers for me (beautiful1) and books to sign. We had so much fun discussing forensics in my office. (If any of you come to Colorado, please feel free to look me up. I even put out a plate of home-baked cookies!)

Well, as always, it's time to get back to work. The Dying Breath is my favorite book so far, and I'm anxious to get it into your hands!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Off to See a Haunted Castle!

Hi all!

I'm taking a quick break from writing to fly off to Ireland to see castles and ghosts - my favorite thing to do besides writing! One of our stops will include Leap Castle, purported to be the most haunted castle on the Emerald Isle. I'll let you know if I see anything!

In the meantime, a reader named Natalie sent me this message:

Hey! Ms Alane,My name is natalie and i absolutly love to read one day i came across your book The Angle of Death and decided to read it. I ABSOLUTLY LOVED IT!!!!!! Then i read The Christopher Killer. I LOVED IT SO MUCH! After that i read the third one and holy crap Kyle freaked me out soooooo much! I was reading it at night around 11and i finished it then man was i freaked out but i am sooo obsessed with this series now i can not wait for the fourth! When do you think the fouth one will come out i have been waiting since Febuary when the third one came out! Als how many more do you tihnk you will right i hope this series never ever ends!! This series and the TV Bones inspired ne to go into forensics. Do you watch Bones? What about NCIS?You Are So Awsome,Natalie

First of all, I want to thank Natalie for her kind comments - I'm smiling right now! And second, I wanted to address a question I get a lot, which is if I watch forensic programs on television, like Bones or NCIS. I usually don't watch fictionalized shows because I catch mistakes and they make me crazy, but I DO watch Cold Case Files and Forensic Files and shows that follow REAL cases. One of my favorites follows the cases of Dr. Baden - it shows actual autopsy photographs and follows real cases. So those are the shows I never miss!

Well, I'd better get packing since I've got a plane to catch. I'll be back August 2nd and then I'll finish up the last chapters and we'll have The Dying Breath DONE. Whoo hoo!


Alane Ferguson

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Forensic Tip of the Day!

Hi everyone! It's been crazy/busy with all the killing going on in THE DYING BREATH, but I wanted to take a quick minute and assure everyone it will be done soon! I was just asked if Kyle will kill anyone else, and the answer is YES! He is such a scary character and so much fun to write! Thanks so much for all of you emails and blog quiestions - it really means the world to me. Now, for the tip of the day! After a body has been autopsied, the diener has to scrub the skin with a degreasing soap. This is done with a Scotch Brite sponge, followed by a rinse with a hose. You can't make this stuff up!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Forensic Tip of the Day!

Hi all!

Time has flown - we've had the family down for Father's Day and it's been hectically crazy. I'm still writing and see the end in sight on THE DYING BREATH. Thanks to all who have posted your encouraging emails! I thought I'd share a recent, interesting email I received from Mrs. Huges's reading class. The questions were fun and my reply will directly follow the questions! Here they are:

Dear Mrs. Ferguson,

We are an eighth grade Teens Read class at Tippecanoe Middle School in Tipp City, Ohio, and we have read your books based upon the suggestion of our teacher. We really enjoyed them, and we can't wait until the fourth one. They're awesome!

We do have some questions for you.

#1--do you watch any forensic shows like CSI? Do you get your inspiration from these shows?

#2--How did you come up with the idea of the Christopher Medal? Does your religion have anything to do with this?

#3--When will the fourth book be published? Any sneak peaks?

#4--Do you know the girl on the covers of The Christopher Killer and Circle of Blood? Our teacher, Mrs. Hughes, told us about Walter Dean Myers whose son was on the cover of the book Monster. We wondered if this was true of your books as well.

#5--Do you respond to all of your fan mail?

#6--Do any other authors inspire you?

Thank you for your time.

Mrs. Hughes's Teens Read class:









Sydney is my reply! Enjoy!

Hi All!

What fun to get your wonderful email – thank you for your thoughtful, intelligent questions!

#1. I do not watch shows like CSI because, although they’re fun, they’re not accurate, and I’m kind of a stickler about realism. I DO watch the reality shows like Cold Case Files or Forensic Files – you’ll notice cases are much harder to solve in real life. My newest favorite is called I Survived. That one’s intense but awesome!

#2. Now that is an interesting question – did my religion have anything to do with the idea of using the Christopher medal? The answer is yes, since I was raised Catholic and I remember my grandmother (who I called Mammaw, just like in the book!) telling me to wear the medal to keep me safe. I am extremely drawn to the question of ‘what comes next.’ One of my favorite shows is Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International, so you can see that faith and science and how those two intertwine is very important to me. Through Lyric and Adam and now Justin, I hope to address questions on the afterlife. My next book after the Sleuth series concludes will deal with forensics and the paranormal!

#3. I’m a bit behind on my fourth book because my daughter (married to the amazing DJ Thompson!) had her first baby April 6th, but she had a complicated pregnancy (preeclampsia) and I had to leave to help her. These little ones just don’t cooperate! But The Dying Breath should be on the very next list. It’s the most intense one yet, since, as you know, Kyle is b-a-a-a-c-k. He is stalking Cameryn, there are some truly bizarre murders (wait’ll you see how I kill them in this one!) and those who have read my manuscript so far tell me it’s the best one of the four. I sure love writing it!

#4. I do not know the models on the covers, but I can tell you that the girl on my book Poison (it’s out of print) is my daughter Kristin. You can see the cover on my webpage at

#5. Yes, I respond to ALL my fan mail! Just this morning I got my blog up and running, so if any of you would like to post a question (I’d love it if you’d restate these as individual blog questions for me!) just go to my webpage and fire away!

#6. I am extremely inspired by Gloria Skurzynski, who is not only an award-winning author but my co-author (National Geographic Mystery Series) and my mother! So I grew up learning how to edit and really work on my craft. Beyond that, I love J.K. Rowling (genius!) and Stephanie Meyer (I just met her last week!) as well as Jeffery Eugenides and Alice Sebold. I LOVE to read!

What you may not know about me is that my best friend was murdered by a serial killer, so I have spent my life learning about the mind of a killer and what it would take to catch them. I’ve been to autopsies and have deeply researched this subject, trying, at least on paper, to catch those who harm others. In a strange way it helps me deal with Savannah’s death. Again, you can log on to my webpage and click on the typing computer for an interactive video that talks about my writing and my process.

Thanks so much for sharing your question with me. I hope to hear from Alex, Ellie, Krissy, Jayme, Logan, Evan, Schae, Rebecca, Sydney and Mrs. Hughes again soon!

Hugs from Colorado,

Alane Ferguson

Friday, June 6, 2008

Forensic Tip!

Hi everyone! Sorry I got a bit behind on my blog, but I'v been really pushing to finish THE DYING BREATH and I've been staying up late writing into the wee hours. (I can get a lot more done when the phone doesn't ring!) Also, I had a teen reading group ask me a lot of questions about my books that I answered via email, so I'm going to post those questions and answers soon. They were a lot of fun! Now, for my forensic tip of the day: Always wear a mask when using a Stryker saw to cut into a decedent's skull. Even though it only oscillates, the saw spews out bone-dust, which can be a hazard if inhaled. So play it safe and keep those masks on!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Forensic Tip of the Day!

Happy Monday! It's a glorious day here in Colorado - the sky is sea glass blue and the trees beyond my window are swaying in the breeze - it's perfect writing weather! I'm liking THE DYING BREATH the best of the four I've written because I've discovered I really like writing both science AND romance! So my forensic tip of the day is this: Even if you're a bit of a science geek like me (and Cameryn) you need to leave yourself open to the parts of life that aren't so easy to define. There are things that can't be measured or cut or examined beneath a microscope. Things like love. Always remember to let life in!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Froensic Tip of the Day!

Happy Sunday! this post was late because I was gone all day! I'm pleased to see people writing about the Justin/Cameryn age question - would any of your parents be all right with such a wide age margin?

My forensic tip has to do with music. Many pathologists keep music going to keep their minds slightly less focused on the grody aspect of what they do. It seems every pathologist has his or her choice of favorites that they play while working. I've even seen them move to the beat!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Forensic Tip of the Day!

Whoo hoo - it's Saturday! Things with Cameryn and Justin (and Kyle) are heating up, just like the weather! Now, for the tip of the day - always have a seperate pair of shoes on hand when performing autopsies. Whatever shoes you have on will be sure to have a bit of the decedent on them, so it's best to leave your 'morgue shoes' behind and walk out in a fresh pair!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Forensic Tip of the Day!

Happy Friday! I've spent the day glued to my computer writing some pretty scary stuff! But I thought I'd pause and share some of the gruesome/fascinating things I have learned about the profession of forensics. One of the hardest parts of an autopsy is pulling out the intestines - pretty yucky work. Enterotome scissors are used for opening them. The bulb-ended blade is inserted into the lumen (the hollow inside) of the gut and then the whole thing is basically unzipped. The blunt bulb keeps the internal blade from perforating the gut from the inside. This is not a job for the faint-of-heart!

Now, a tidbit about Justin. He's very worried that Cameryn will think he is too old, and so he is very nervous around her. What do you think?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hi all! This is my very first time at blogging, and I have to say I'm excited to share the world of Justin and Cameryn with my readers! Right now I'm writing a very scary part of my newest book entitled THE DYING BREATH. (*Spoiler alert for those who haven't read THE CIRCLE OF BLOOD!) As you all know, Kyle is b-a-a-a-c-k. He is such a frightening character - I'm having a blast writing about him. So if you have any questions about these books or writing in general, ask away. And welcome to my blog!

Alane Ferguson