Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

For more info on my individual books, please visit!



Tuesday, January 03, 2006


The big day (for me) has finally arrived! "Axel of Evil: A Figure Skating Mystery" is officially on sale!

Run, don't walk -- don't even power-walk, (that's not fast enough), to your favorite bookstore and pick up a copy. Even better, let your fingers do the walking and click over to Amazon or!

Of all my books so far, "Axel of Evil" has taken the longest from idea to publication. (That's not counting all the rejected manuscripts that sit in my desk drawers, gathering dust; perhaps one of them will someday see the light of day, but I'm not counting any chickens).

I first began writing a figure-skating mystery in the Summer of 1997, right after working on ESPN's "Skaters' Tribute to Carlo Fassi." Of all the skating shows I've ever worked on, that one is still my all-time favorite. The genuine emotion, the affection, and the camaraderie of the cast and crew was unprecedented. It made me think about how often those writing about the world of figure skating from the outside in, fail to capture the incredible sense of community that evolves from a (relatively) small group of dedicated, talented people traveling around the globe for years upon years, seeing the same faces every time, and experiencing some of the strongest emotions -- both positive and negative -- of their lives in these other people's company. It makes for a pretty intense bonding experience, one that can be difficult to capture unless you've actually swirled around in it.

At the time, the only fiction I'd published had been four romance novels. But, it was enough to know that writing a genre book would make it an easier sell to publishers than a straight, literary work. I decided to write a skating murder mystery for a simple reason: because my then-editor told me a skating romance couldn't work -- everyone assumed all male skaters were gay; readers would never buy it.

So a murder mystery it would be. I spent that Fall and Winter working on it. (I even wrote a few paragraphs while in Nagano, working for TNT at the 1998 Olympics). I turned a three-chapters-and-an-outline proposal in to my editor in the Spring of 1998.

She didn't like it.

Oh, well, life went on.

I wrote one non-fiction book, "Inside Figure Skating," then another -- "Sarah Hughes: Skating to the Stars."

After I turned in the latter, my current editor called to say that she had been given a copy of my skating mystery proposal by my former editor. She said she didn't like it, either.

"Well," I was very close to replying, "Thank you so much for taking the time to call and tell me that."

It's a good thing I kept my mouth shut (not usually a strong trait with me). Because the next thing she said was that she'd like me to write up another proposal, featuring different characters. I said that I would, and what I ended up turning in during the Summer of 2001 was a proposal for the book that is today "Axel of Evil."

My editor liked it, but she thought that the foreign local (a World Championship in Moscow) would be off-putting to book buyers, and suggested that I write a second proposal, set in the United States.

That proposal became Book #2 in the Figure Skating Mystery series, "On Thin Ice."

It was supposed to be Book #1, but then Skategate exploded in February of 2002, and, after writing two comprehensive proposals, I ended up selling the book that became "Murder on Ice," on the basis of a single paragraph.

So, for those keeping score, that pushed "Axel of Evil" to Book #3, and a January 2006 (today!) release date. About TIME!

(For those curious whatever happened to that first proposal everyone hated, I reworked it and sold it as Figure Skating Mystery Book #5, currently scheduled to be out in Winter 2008. Over a decade after I first started working on it. I may not be particularly talented, but I am... tenacious.)


  • At January 03, 2006 2:43 PM, Anonymous said…

    What your publishers failed to realize is that skating fans are all over the world and are thirsty for skating books. I emailed you once before that your previous books were too USA focused and many of the conversations would not be understood by non-americans. I did send 1 or 2 to Scotland, but they couldn't enjoy them with so many 'americanisms.' I sincerely hope 'Axel of Evil' will be more international in flavor!

  • At January 05, 2006 8:28 AM, Nikki T said…

    I love "Axel of Evil" it was the best so far!!!!!!!Can't wait till #4

  • At January 05, 2006 8:38 AM, Alina said…

    Thank you so much, Niki!

    I know writers aren't supposed to have favorites (like mothers with children, LOL), but, I have to admit, AXEL is my favorite, too!



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