Above the Fold: My 1980s Mystery Featured at New York Comic Con
Quite a bit has been happening this summer, including a ton of travel out west to California. But the biggest was the release of Above the Fold, my 1980s mystery with romantic elements set in Manhattan and starring Trisha Connell, my punk rock crime reporter. My elevator pitch was “punk rock Lois Lane in 1980s New York City.” I refined that to “punk rock crime reporter in 1980s Manhattan,” for those who didn’t get the Lois reference. (I know! But there were some.)
Given that pitch, it’s more than appropriate that my debut signing for this book is at New York Comic Con on Friday, October 13 at the City Owl Press booth.
Yes, Friday the 13th! Trisha would be amused. In her honor, I bought a yellow jacket similar to the one on this cover and I’ll be wearing it at the signing.
What’s Above the Fold about?
Trisha’s out to get the story behind a museum murder. To do that, she must work with uptight security agent Edmund Grayson, who was responsible for protecting the museum. Naturally, they clash. And then some. There is also banter, Nazi-punching, and a climax involving a knightly sword. Plus, 1980s gadgets including a Walkman, pay phones, subway tokens, and a car phone or two.
Some Amazon reviews:
“This was a great read — it took me back to the days when gender role expectations were more rigid, when terrorism wasn’t an everyday issue, and when the only way regular people could “call in” from the street was by finding a pay phone. Even with all the grit and tension, of which there’s a goodly amount, it feels like a more innocent time and that makes it all the more enjoyable to follow Trisha and Grayson on their case.”
Corrina Lawson brought me back to the 80s, in a spectacular way, I fell in love with the kick-ass punk Trisha, and the relationship that develops between Trisha and Grayson. 1980s NYC is vivid and alive. I am looking forward to more of their adventures.
I’d also like to share my mother’s review, which was “I picked it up and couldn’t put it down until the end.”
I suspect you will believe my mother is biased. I think she’s absolutely brilliant.
For those who follow me on social media–I’m most often on Facebook and also now on Bluesky—Above the Fold is a personal story to me. I started it more than 20 years ago as a newbie writer and while I didn’t have the skills to do right by it back then, I kept working and revising it, having faith in Trisha and Grayson. But as time passed, the job of being a reporter changed beyond my recognition, as did the newspaper business.
So my agent said “Set it in the 1980s,” and so Above the Fold became a 1980s mystery in Manhattan and City Owl Press bought it!
Trisha grew up in the gritty 1970s Manhattan and especially frequented the punk scene, though, being incredibly curious, she knows a little bit about all of them. (There was more overlap than generally thought. There are so many interesting books on 1970s New York out there…)
It’s 1984 as Above the Fold begins. We usually view the decade as the shiny 1980s but that change from gritty to dayglo was just happening in 1983/1984. Trisha looks at this odd new world and is more than a little skeptical about it all.
Quoting my mom again, “Trisha is you, right?” and the answer is…somewhat. I was a daily newspaper reporter and everything to do with the newsroom and the attitude of reporters chasing a story is from me. Trisha’s also somewhat of a loner, as I was way back then, and keeps people at arm’s length. But her backstory isn’t mine, save that we both knew grief at a young age. She’s more fearless and much more reckless than I am.
When I ask myself “What Would Trisha Do” when confronted with a problem, the answer is either a very good or very bad idea. There are no in-betweens with Trisha. That makes her a blast to write. It’s also forced me (c’mon twist my arm!) to spend more time in New York City for research. As you can see, that’s been such a chore. (Hah!) This photo is from the new Museum of Broadway in Times Square.
I hope to see some of you at the New York Comic Con. For those of you who’ve already read and left reviews to let me know how much you loved the story, thank you!
For others, please give Trisha & Grayson a chance. I think you’ll also have a blast.