My Detroit Free Press story on author Steve Hamilton

secondlife.jpegThe release of an acclaimed new crime novel called “The Second Life of Nick Mason” also marks, in a way, the start of a second life for its best-selling author, Michigan native Steve Hamilton.

Why? Because after publishing novels with St. Martin’s Press for 17 years — books that earned Hamilton two Edgar Awards, inclusion on two New York Times notable books lists, a Shamus Award, an Alex Award and more — Hamilton, 55, walked away from his latest four-book contract with SMP last August, even though his agent, filmmaker-screenwriter Shane Salerno, had to pay $250,000 back to SMP to buy out the author’s contract.

The shake-up made headlines, in part because of the reason Hamilton left SMP: He was about to launch a new book series  by way of “Second Life,” and although SMP had promised him a strong marketing plan, Hamilton learned as the book was about to be printed that no such plan was in place.

So Hamilton — best known for his series about Alex McKnight, an ex-cop who lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — took a risk, and it paid off. After 10 publishers vied to publish “Second Life,” Hamilton signed a four-book deal with G.P. Putnam’s Sons. (Two will be Nick Mason books, two will be Alex McKnight.) And that whole promotion thing? Hamilton’s 28-stop national book tour for “Second Life” kicks off Monday in Detroit and includes  13 stops in Michigan. READ THE REST HERE

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