Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Coming THIS SATURDAY, MAY 9!

If you're bummed out because you couldn't go to Malice Domestic this year (as I am, largely because there was no Malice Domestic this year, damn virus), hang on! This Saturday, May 9 at 4 p.m. EDT (do the math for where you live) a group of authors will take the best part of a conference - the stories told in the bar after a panel - online!

ABSENCE OF MALICE will bring 17 of your favorite crime fiction writers (including, modestly, yours truly) into your living room, your bedroom, whatever room you like and have a device attached to wifi and you'll get the GOOD stories.

And what an All-Star lineup!:

Cathy Ace 
Frankie Y. Bailey
Ellen Byron
Jeff Cohen / E.j. Copperman
Kellye Garrett
Lee Goldberg
Alexia Gordon
Dru Ann Love
Jeffrey Marks
Edith M. Maxwell / Maddie Day
Catriona McPherson
Lori Rader-Day 
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Julia Spencer-Fleming
Art Taylor
Elaine Viets 
Kristopher Zgorski

It'll be happening on Crowdcast, Facebook, or YouTube. It's free, of course, and if you can't make it at 4 p.m. on Saturday, it'll be available to view shortly thereafter.

 ABSENCE OF MALICE is going to be a ton of fun! You don't want to miss it!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Letters from Deepest New Jersey

So, what's new?

Okay, we're all hunkered down in our homes right now and for those unaccustomed to such things this might be a considerable shock to the system. The same (fill in number) walls, the same people (or lack thereof), the same activity no matter what day of the week it might be. Some of you might be working at home for the first time. Others might not be working at all.

You can only stress bake so much and Doordash is nice to keep local restaurants viable, but you can't do it every day. Grocery delivery services are booking up weeks in advance. And the worst part, except for those who are infected or know someone who is and might be in some danger, is that we have no idea how long this is all going to last.

Well, settle in, kids. I've been doing this work-at-home thing since 1985 and I can tell you a few things about it.

First: You're going to gain weight. I was pretty slim when I started freelancing from my apartment in Wallington, New Jersey 35 years ago. Of course, I was also 28 years old and had a metabolism, but that's not the point. The lack of moving around definitely contributed to making me the person I am today, who is roughly 40 pounds heavier and not happy about it.

So find yourself an online workout (or 1300) that fits your needs and set aside some time every day to do it. Really. I have been working out with Coach Kozak and Claudia at HasFit since December and have now started to sprinkle in some sessions with the good British people at the Body Project. Those work for me. My spouse has been doing yoga and fitness walking found online. In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't noticed a significant weight loss but I haven't gained anything despite eating like a moose since the stay-at-home order was issued here a little under a month ago.

Second: Don't turn on the TV during the day. It's a vortex from which you might never emerge, and let's face it, nothing good ever happened on daytime TV. If you're working, try to keep your schedule from back when the world was pretending to be normal. If you're not, read books (I can suggest some titles if you like). Cook meals for later in the week. Troll grocery delivery sites until a slot opens up. Listen to music.

Third: The one thing that this crisis has produced is a tsunami of streaming entertainment. Some services are offering free performances and screenings of recorded shows. Artists are performing from their homes because going on the road (in many cases the main source of revenue for musicians) is not possible. You can "tip" if you like but you often don't have to. I have been checking in for a Sunday double feature every week: Circe Link and Christian Nesmith on Facebook (at Christian's page) at 6 p.m. EDT and then quickly switching to Susan Werner at 7 p.m. EDT, also on Facebook. There are many, many others. If you have a favorite I'd like to hear about it.

Fourth: If you're working, work every day. Okay, take weekends off like always, but don't just slough off a day because you're not into it. Keep doing as much of your daily routine as you can from your house. I've been writing a book that I probably didn't have to start for another two months because I want to keep the 1000-word-a-day habit alive. It's too easy to let one slip turn into an indefinite slide. Don't do that.

Fifth: Hobbies. Aside from my newest obsession, which is washing my hands, I've taken up the most cliched time consumer of them all, jigsaw puzzles. Given that I already have a pretty serious crossword puzzle habit, that's a lot of puzzles. It occupies the mind and distracts from the grimmer aspects of reality for a time. Which is what baseball used to do for me. Here's hoping that'll return at some point (my guess is July).

Sixth: It's good that social media had been up and thriving before this pandemic hit. Staying in touch with friends and family would have been torture without it and we'd be feeling even more isolated. So keep up with your loved ones and check in with ol' E.J. once in a while because I like to hear from people, too. (And how did Zoom become the go-to networking tool? What happened to Skype?)

More than anything, do all you can to stay safe. Wash those hands, and then wash them again. Wash anything that is brought to your house. Use wipes (if you have them) or some sort of cleaning product on common areas (doorknobs, light switches, a computer mouse, keyboard and cell phone) every day. Stay six feet away from all people who don't live in the same house as you.

And hang in there. I can't afford to lose any readers.

E.J.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Coming Later This Year: A New Series!

From today's (January 13) Publishers MarketplaceJeff Cohen writing as EJ Copperman's INHERIT THE SHOES, the first in a new series about a young female lawyer in Los Angeles who teams with an actor who plays a lawyer on television to solve murders he might have committed, to Kate Lyall-Grant at Severn House, with Rachel Slatter editing, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2020, by Josh Getzler at HG Literary (world English).

The book will publish first in the U.K. in the fall, and three months (or so) later in North America. Don't worry; I'll make SURE to update you as things progress, but I'm really anxious for you to meet Sandy Moss this year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Even More Free! Books!

Okay, here's the deal. The mass-market-size book club version of EDITED OUT, the second Mysterious Detective Mystery, has just been published, and as usual, I have been sent far too many copies. So I'm willing to give away 10 of them. But that's too easy, so here's how it'll go:
Let's have an internet scavenger hunt! Go online and find answers to the following questions:
1. Who is E.J. Copperman?
2. Which Marx brother invented a watch that measured its user's blood pressure?
3. Who is Aaron Tucker (as related to E.J. Copperman)?
4. Who is scheduled to be the guest of honor at Malice Domestic in 2020?
5. What is The Meaning of Life? (Trick question.)
Send your answers to ejcopperman [at] gmail [dot] com by Friday, Dec. 20 at let's say 10 p.m. EST. Do NOT post them here (or anywhere else). First 10 with all the correct answers will win a free copy!
Only those from the U.S. and Canada, please. The postage gets totally out of hand.
If you've gotten a free book from me in the past two years, please don't apply. Let's give some new people a chance, okay? I still love you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Wanna Read a Book? For (Almost) Free?

I'm cleaning house. Literally. And in doing so, I've come across some old ARCs (uncorrected proofs) of a few books. Now, since I'm cleaning house (literally) and want to free up some shelf space, I'm offering you a look at these, and I'm not going to charge you ANYTHING for the book.

On the other hand, I will need for $3 via PayPal for postage. That's not much to ask, is it?

Readers in the U.S. only, please, because otherwise the postage would be WAY more than $3.  So here's what we have:

2 copies (again, uncorrected) of The Hostess With the Ghostess (Haunted Guesthouse #9)
3 copies of Dog Dish of Doom (Agent to the Paws #1)
2 copies of Edited Out (Mysterious Detective #2)
1 copy of Night of the Living Deed (Haunted Guesthouse #1)

These are not the exact books you'd get if you bought a published copy. There might be typos and errors, and some minor changes might have been made along the line. But hey, it's free (except for the $3)!

So if you're interested, find me on Facebook or via email (ejcopperman [AT] gmail [DOT] com.)

Once they're gone, they're gone, so get in touch soon! And thanks for reading!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Two Years Out

It was May 24. Never think I don't remember.

Less than two weeks ago I passed the milestone I'd been told was significant. It's not that I didn't notice but I was busy that day so I didn't actually mark the date in any particular fashion. But I did remember and I did think about it.

May 24 was two years since I had my last chemotherapy treatment.

My Hodgkin's lymphoma is officially in remission and from all accounts is expected to stay that way. But the effects of it linger, almost entirely in my mind rather than my body. (There is still a very small nodule under my jaw that will probably always be there but is not a danger as long as it doesn't decide to grow again.)

They don't talk to you that much about how cancer affects you emotionally. I mean, they do if you go to the support meetings and the educational seminars and all that, but when you're going through chemo you're not really inclined to do anything that requires, you know, movement. And when you're through you want to put the whole experience in the rearview mirror as quickly and completely as possible. So I didn't go to any of those things and figured I'd just move ahead.

I did, but it's not that simple.

Most of what lingers is the anticipation of a relapse, the "waiting for the other shoe to drop." I wake up many mornings with a vague sense of dread, and there's nothing to dread that I know about. Then I realize I'm wondering if there'll be a reason for me to be worried again. Now, rest assured I've been told there is none; the kind of cancer I had responds very well to the treatment I had, does not serve as a harbinger for other forms, and once it's in remission tends to stay that way about 95% of the time. So this isn't a cognitive, rational anxiety. But it's still there.

It's not cancer I'm afraid of, although there are certainly many forms of it more potent and dangerous than the one I had. It's the feeling of helplessness and the treatment that I'm worried about repeating. When FDR said we had nothing to fear but fear itself he wasn't talking about cancer, but he nailed it right on the head. I fear the fear.

But that's not what May 24 is about. It's about marking the time that has passed since the fear. It's about noting that I got through what I had to get through. I cherish the fact that I'm still here and that my life didn't get cut short or suffer some horrible transformation.

For all intents and purposes, compared to other cancer patients I had it easy. I went for five chemotherapy treatments spaced every six weeks, then a year and a half (give or take) of immunotherapy once every two months. Yes, my hair fell out and I was drowsy most of the time. Sure, my fingers and toes went through neuropathy and I had that chemo taste in my mouth for months. If the worst thing you can say about chemo is that you couldn't play guitar for six months, you had a pretty soft time of it.

And guess what -- the hair grew back (for the most part). The fingers and toes still have a slight tingle every now and again, but they can do everything they did before. My taste buds, alas, work just as well as they ever did. I'm the only cancer patient in history to have gained weight in the process. I need to start doing something about that, and I will.

The process is about regeneration. It's about going through what you have to go through and then noting it, appreciating the situation, and not forgetting. May 24 is about the end of something and the beginning of something else. My current life is pretty damn good. That I had a bad year (more or less) in 2017 is the price of doing business. I'll take it.

I still have to go in for PET scans about every six months just to check. Nobody thinks there'll be a problem, but the next one is scheduled for July, I think. I'll go and be anxious for a day or two and then I'll go about my life again. Maybe I'll even exercise. Because being in remission doesn't give you a pass on everything else.

Next year on May 24, I'll be three years out. Maybe we'll go on vacation.