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(Update: 3/13/2010)

I havem't forgotten Jade Darcy. A whole lot of people seem to love Mary's and my tough/fragile waif as much as we do. The new prequel, Jade Darcy: Run Out of West, is moving forward at a glacial pace--but it is going in a forward direction. This is a book set 5 years before Jade Darcy and the Affair of Honor, and it details Jade's initial arrival on Cablans and her eventful first few days there. You'll see more of some of the characters you already know, as well as meet a few new ones--including Aka-Mar, whom I think you'll like (even if Jade doesn't). Work is progressing very, very slowly due to real world problems--but we still have hopes.

Nellie Bly in 1890Jade Darcy fans will probably be furious with me, but I have once again allowed myself to be seduced by another woman. (This will not be a surprise to anyone who knows me.) First there was Polly, and now there's ... Nellie Bly.

For those of you who don't know about her, Nellie Bly was a ground-breaking female reporter. In an age (1885-1895) when the few women working at newspapers at all were writing about fashion and cooking, Nellie went undercover to get the inside story of social abuse and political corruption, setting the standard for modern-day investigative reporting. Time and again she disguised herself to get first-hand knowledge of unsafe and unfair working conditions. As a tireless champion of working women and the underprivileged in general, her exposés brought about numerous reforms. She spent six months in Mexico as a foreign correspondent until her article about the political dictatorship there brought credible threats against her life. She had herself committed to an insane asylum to learn the hideous conditions the most helpless people in society had to cope with. She brought down corrupt politicians and crooked lobbyists. Probably her most famous stunt was traveling solo around the world to beat Phileas Fogg's (fictional) record of eighty days. With Jules Verne's encouragement, she didn't just beat the record, she shattered it--becoming a worldwide celebrity in the process.

Nellie was smart, courageous, resourceful, talented, and--as you can see--beautiful. She obviously cries out to be made the heroine of her own series of adventures. How could I possibly resist? Stay tuned for further news.


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