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Summer must be over because I’ve started receiving e-mail from readers doing author reports. How can time pass so quickly? It seems like yesterday that I was getting e-mail from those same readers exulting, “School’s out! No more dumb author reports till next fall!”
Well, here's some exciting news -- Little Brown, the publisher who brought out my early suspense novels, is now publishing new, updated editions with wonderful new covers. During the past two years I had the fun of bringing those stories into the 21st Century. I haven't changed the characters or plots -- those have held strong over the years -- but I've been able to update the language (which was sometimes sort of old-fashioned) and the clothing (which was definitely old fashioned -- polyester pantsuits?) -- and the hair styles. Most important, I've given my characters computers and cell phones and digital cameras.
New technology has created some challenges, because many of my suspenseful situations were caused by the fact that my endangered characters couldn't make contact with the outside world. (Think of DOWN A DARK HALL, for instance, with those girls closed away in a boarding school with the gates locked.) So I've had to find ways to disable their e-mail and have their cell phones fall into rivers or toilets.
We've also included author interviews in each book so I can respond to the questions that readers ask me most often. For instance, about DON'T LOOK BEHIND YOU: "Is the Witness Protection program really as difficult as you portray it in this book?"
Actually it's worse. I received an e-mail from a teenage boy whose family is in the Program. He says, 'In our case, the feds staged our deaths. It's hard to disappear, but it's even worse to know that the family you left behind believes you're dead. I've grown up without being allowed to have a girlfriend, go to parties, or have friends over, because something might 'slip out.' I can't even be part of a social networking group like Facebook."
new editions are being released
And, for younger readers, we now have MOVIE FOR DOGS, the third book in my HOTEL FOR DOG trilogy. In this new story, Andi and Bruce produce a video about their dogs' adventures. They enter it in a contest, get into the finals, and they and their dogs go to Hollywood where Red Rover gets to compete with a dog who can talk.
Warm wishes for a happy autumn -- LOIS DUNCAN
My daughter, Robin, has now established me on Twitter. If you’re interested in trailing me around and listening to me chirp, feel free to join me at
We are excited to announce the release of a new DVD, created specifically for classroom use:
The name LOIS DUNCAN means different things to different people.
On this 35 minute DVD, you and your students will meet the “real” Lois Duncan, visit in her home and office, and hear her describe the ups and downs of her career.
You’ll even get to meet some of her children and grandchildren.
Classes who view “A Visit with Lois Duncan” can write to Duncan by e-mail, and she will respond, so it can be an interactive experience.