• AJ Vanderhorst

New Year, New Casey Grimes


Happy new year!—and maybe more to the point, here's hoping you've enjoyed some pleasant distractions lately. A few recent favs at our house: Cajun food, mystery puzzles and sled gladiating.


In case you missed it, Casey Grimes #2, Trickery School, was released right before Christmas. Feliz Navidad! I never know how many industry details to include in these updates, but I’ll be honest: Getting that second book published during the pandemic was rough.


Various parts of the process—cover design, interior design, print orders—got backlogged, delayed and rushed. It was stressful. It made advance planning endlessly frustrating. But it happened.


Oops, did I just describe 202o? Regardless, Trickery has entered the world, and from the reviews coming in, I know some of you are already reading it. Thanks for that! No consensus yet, but several of you have confirmed my suspicion that book 2 is better than book 1. Intriguing.


A few quick hitters:


Casey #1, The Mostly Invisible Boy, got a glowing review from Kirkus:

“A steppingstone path of small mysteries and action scenes. Sylvan Woods is a splendid conception...fast moving and exuberant, packed with imagination."

And a great write-up from Midwest Book Review:


"The Mostly Invisible Boy excels, venturing into unpredictable territory, combining the feel of a fantasy with a treasure hunt."


Also, thanks to a Christmas crowd-funding project on Facebook, I was able to donate 20 Casey books to Racine County Jail upon request. That makes a total of 40 books donated to jails and juvenile detention centers last year. Being able to do this kind of thing, give books to people desperate for reading material and hope, is something I am really, really happy to have the chance to do.


Looking back, another 2020 highlight was unboxing the very first copies of Mostly Invisible Boy and celebrating with my wife and kids. Toasts were made. Dances were had. We won’t forget that anytime soon.


A final highlight is the thoughtful reviews many of you left on Amazon and Goodreads. You probably don’t know how much those mean to me and the books. Thanks for the encouragement, and for helping new readers find Casey.


I’ll close with a 2021 teaser: Three more projects are in various stages of development, all taking place in the Casey Grimes universe. Working titles are... DARK SKY’S ASHES, CROOKED CASTLE, and CASEY GRIMES #3. (Last one’s catchy, huh?) Hard to say which will appear first, as stuff is happening behind the scenes and I’m currently looking for a literary agent. Details as they develop!


As we veer crazily into 2021, enjoy the small things and try not be be blindsided by monsters.

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