Coming out of "Cold Storage"
VOORHEESVILLE — A mother-daughter duo has kept a grand secret for the last two years — they are mystery writers. On Nov. 23, the pair will reveal all at their book signing at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.
Cold Storage is the brainchild of Audrey and Kelly Iacobucci, who took their love of books and characters and created a mystery mini-series under the pen name A.K. Mason.
“We haven’t told anyone about it yet,” said Audrey Iacobucci. She and Kelly sent out 100 cards to friends and relatives inviting them to the signing, but their names are not prominent, she said.
“It’s like a mini-mystery, guess-who [event],” she said.
“The book is centered around Albany,” said Iacobucci. “I grew up in the area, and my dad worked in Albany.” Iacobucci and her daughter, Kelly, sought and received permission to use Albany locales like Jack’s Oyster House and the Old Central Warehouse in their novella, and pictures of area sights are included in the book.
The plot follows Audrey’s character, Angeline; and Kelly’s character, Jules, which is short for Julianna, as they solve the crime of a missing Albany defense attorney, Iacobucci said.
Angeline, like Audrey, is a nurse by day, and Jules, like Kelly, styles hair. At night, the pair are private investigators who meet a secret circle of seven recurring friends and informants at Jack’s Oyster House.
“It was our first project, and it was intended to introduce our characters,” Kelly Iacobucci said. “We wrote, edited, researched, promoted, designed the cover, [and] did all the photos. We had such a good time doing it!”
The writing was a two-year-long whim, both Iacobuccis said.
“We went back and forth for a long time. It was something we always joked about,” Kelly Iacobucci said. Once they realized they had a lot of material, they decided to put it together, she said.
Their muses were authors like Janet Evanovich, she said.
“We like the funny stuff that keeps rolling — humor, drama, mystery,” she said. “Both of us read a lot. We read all the time. I read a lot about the Navy Seals — I have a little fetish about Navy Seals.”
Cold Storage is their first novella; their second, set in Cape Cod, is awaiting a copyright before publication. The Iacobuccis vacation in Cape Cod each spring and fall, and, while sitting in a restaurant there, decided to use the setting for their second novel, Audrey Iacobucci said.
The series continues with the same characters in different situations, she said. The duo is already compiling notes for a third novel, which may be set in Boston, she said.
The two have enjoyed both the creative and the publication processes, she said.
“If we can just get a following, so people can say, ‘Well, when is the next one coming out?’ ” she will be happy, Iacobucci said.
Cold Storage includes an acknowledgement of the late local Albany political character Nebraska Brace, Iacobucci said.
“He knew my grandfather,” she said. She met Brace, who died last year, when he was signing his self-published book, A Man Named Nebraska: A Life Lived in Poverty, Pimping, and Politics, in a Wal-Mart.
“He was well-known in Albany,” she said, describing him as a neighborhood leader who had seen the underside of the city in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.
Brace served as an Albany alderman, and also had a small role in the movie Ironweed.
Brace and Iacobucci often chatted, she said, and he signed her copy of his book. When she and her daughter were ready to publish their book, they used the same printer, Troy Book Makers, she said.
“Everything that happened seemed to happen for a reason,” she said.
Iacobucci contacted Brace’s print shop, which is co-owned by Susan Novotny, of The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.
“We wanted the whole experience for ourselves,” said Kelly Iacobucci, “to see what it was all about. It was a fun experience. We did the best we could. I would recommend [self-publishing]. Everybody thinks you have to go through a publisher. I would highly recommend a bookmaker.
Cold Storage retails for $11, and is a 5-by-8-inch paperback. The Iacobuccis chose a flat cover rather than glossy.
“We wanted the cover to be as eerie as possible,” she said. The duo also worked with T.J. Spaulding of Spaulding Computers on Western Avenue to Photoshop the cover picture, and the UPS Store in Guilderland to create the front and back covers and posters, she said.
“We did everything ourselves,” Audrey Iacobucci said. “We did it, and it was more than we expected. We had such a good time doing it! It’s just been like a roller coaster.”
The Iacobuccis will hold a book signing at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m.