I need to make a public announcement to answer the question that several readers have been asking me. I've told a few people, and did post it in the comments section of my Killer Characters post on the 4th.
You're welcome to bop over there and read the comments, of course, but I'll also tell you the news here. It's official that there will be no more Fat Cat books. As you might know, as a cozy reader, Berkley Prime Crime is mostly getting out of the cozy mystery business. They are keeping a few authors, but not many. A lot of cozy writers are continuing their series at other publishers. I'm so glad for them and happy to see this. In fact, they're getting snapped up, since this is such a popular genre.
The Fat Cat books have a lovely, loyal fan base, too. I get emails almost every week from happy readers who enjoy the books. (See the comments above for more of this, also.)
So, you may ask, why am I not continuing this series at another publisher? For a few cozy writers, the contract doesn't allow this. I wrote this series as a Work For Hire, WFH. The contract stipulates that the publisher owns the copyright on the books. They own the characters so that I can't write short stories featuring them without approval. They even own my author name for this series, Janet Cantrell. For those of us writing WFH, there will be no transferring to another publisher.
You might ask another question. Why did I sign a WFH contract? At the time, about three years ago, it was a good way to get my foot in the door at Berkley. I used a concept they came up with. When they approved the proposal I wrote, I knew they would publish it. Also, they know the market well and I was assured of an audience and probably success of the series. The natural progression, in years past, would be for me to get another cozy series with them, written as Kaye George. No one at that time foresaw how Berkley would forsake the cozy writers, of course.
My agent is sending another cozy series around to several publishers. If it gets taken, it will be announced in capital letters in my newsletter. You may even hear my shouts of joy from wherever you may be!
Meanwhile, the books continue to sell and Janet and Quincy will live on until people stop reading them. I hope that will be in a long, long time!