Today marks the seventh anniversary of the first episode of The Case of the Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. I still remember when I first put together the first episode, and then moved along to create the following four episodes. I remember the email to the creative mind behind Rubber Band Banjo who was gracious enough to offer his music as the theme to Billiâ€™s podcast. It was 2007 and still podcasting was a wild frontier. Back in 2005, it was me, Scott Sigler, and Mark Jeffrey as the Three Musketeers of Podiobooks. Two years later, it was me, Scott, and new guy J.C. Hutchins, and we were dubbed â€œThe Rat Pack of Podcasting.â€
I was Dean.
So how does one celebrate a podcast’s anniversary? For me â€” I launch a Kickstarter.
Itâ€™s been a long and hard debate about whether or not I wanted to go through with this, between the approaching Dawnâ€™s Early Light release and working on my work-in-progress, Wolf in the Fold. The idea and inspiration for this took hold at the Smoky Writers Retreat in 2014, where Pip and I seriously talked about the Billi franchise. We started to kick around the idea for a new Billi book, and the consensus of my fellow writers was to get the dwarf detective on the set of The Wizard of Oz, seeing as The Ruby Slipper Caper seemed to resonate with everybody.
Problem is, that would put eight years between cases, and Iâ€™m thinking we need something closer.
So Pip and I went looking for the history of Chicago between 1930 and 1935, and that was when we came across the new Public Enemy in town, Henry Dillinger.
Reading his story, there was just too much not to love. Add to that his demise in 1934 and the climate of crime involving such crime legends as Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie & Clyde, this set a very promising stage.
Then it was talisman time. Iâ€™ve had a sword and a pendant. What was Billi after this go-round?
And just like that, rolling off the tongue â€” The Curse of Dillingerâ€™s Diamond.
Now, it is all up to you.
I know there are a lot of fans of the dwarf detective out there (and I hope Peter Dinklage doesnâ€™t mind my posting this gratuitous shot of him from his GQ interview; but dammit, he would be brilliant as Billi!), and I know how often I am asked â€œWhereâ€™s the next Billi?â€ Now is your chance to make a new Billibub Baddings mystery happen. We have thirty days to make this idea into canon, so blog, podcast, and share often this Kickstarter project with people you think would enjoy a Billibub Baddings mystery. You can introduce friends to the podcast or Billiâ€™s first mystery on Kindle. Itâ€™s in the hands of Billiâ€™s fans presently, and I hope Iâ€™ll be back here talking about delivery dates and upcoming developments for Billiâ€™s next case.
Happy Valentineâ€™s Day, everybody.