As interest in real crime podcasts and documentaries continues to soar, Christian publisher Barbour is launching a six-book series of fiction based on real-life events in American history. The new True Colors series will feature cases of murder, kidnapping and grave looting, each inspired by the past, said Barbour editor-in-chief Rebecca Germany.
“What if we put fictional characters in real life events and make them experience those events,” Germany asked, while addressing PW. “We sent a list of interesting crime stories to potential perpetrators and let them choose; they then sent out proposals on the basis of this list. Some proposals highlighted crimes that I did not know about.
According to Germany, the books will not be bloody, “but they will include thrilling moments,” she said. Barbour categorizes the faith-based series as suspense first, then romance, as each book will include a romantic element.
The inaugural title of the series, The white city by Grace Hitchcock, is based on the crimes of serial killer HH Holmes at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. “Holmes is a fairly well-known serial killer, which is a good starting point for the series,” said declared Germany. “The author uses some of his real employees as characters, but the main characters in the novel are fictional.”
The book, which appears March 1, follows Winnifred Wylde who believes he witnesses a kidnapping at the Fair, but struggles to convince his father, a police inspector. He later accepts that there may be something to his request, as there are other women missing, and with the protection of a bodyguard, Winnifred goes undercover at the principal’s workplace. suspect — Holmes.
Book two, The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma, takes place in Memphis, Tenn. and presents the crimes of Georgia Tann, a serial kidnapper who ran a fraudulent child adoption agency in the 1930s. It is scheduled for publication in June. Additional books in the series include The yellow lantern by Angie Dicken (August), who depicts the once common and macabre medical practice of exhuming corpses; The gray room by the aforementioned author Hitchcock (January 2020), who follows journalist Nellie Bly who infiltrated to reveal the horrors of a women’s asylum; and The blue cape by Shannon McNear (March 2020), taking place at the end of the 18e century along the Wilderness Road during a slaughter of several years. Book six is to be determined.
The first draw of The white city is 10,000 copies and the publisher places ads on Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, etc. Germany is also hoping to reach the library market: “We include author’s notes that will inspire readers to delve into the story of the events, which libraries really love. “
Barbour is “certainly” open to expanding True Colors “if the series generates interest and readers want more,” Germany said. “I would like to expose readers to the unspeakable [crime] stories from history.