Saturday, September 15, 2018

Write On

A good writing week. I managed to draft a few scenes in the latest manuscript and am at the 58,000 word mark. I'd planned to be at 60,000 words at the end of August but the edits of Turning Secrets threw a wrench into that schedule. Speaking of which, I received some final comments and questions about Turning Secrets on Friday that I need to respond to by Tuesday. Nothing major, but will take a bit of time. The manuscript is like a boomerang!

I'm visiting a book club on Tuesday so that should be fun. The Ottawa Public Library has also lined me up to visit two groups of new immigrant women in October to speak about the Anna Sweet novellas and other high-low books, which are written for adult literacy and English as a second language. When I taught years ago, I worked with some adults on improving their reading skills and lamented that we had to read kids' books. Somebody must have been listening - these novellas are adult themes and subjects but at a grade 3-5 level. Grass Roots Press publishes the Anna Sweet mysteries and their entire focus is adult literacy and ESL. Such good resources if you're teaching in this field. In addition to the series, I worked on a book of main idea paragraphs at the grade five level last year and believe the book will be published this fall.

I haven't had a lot of time to read lately but am currently reading Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery. Louise has a huge Canadian and international following and has won many, many awards for her series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and set in the fictional town of Three Pines in the Eastern Quebec townships. Still Life is the first in this acclaimed series if you are looking for a new mystery author to read and haven't sampled Louise's work before. Louise is a former CBC radio host and a natural speaker in addition to being a fine writer.

So, last week, Ted and I visited friends in Niagara wine country and managed to visit a few wineries, including the Niagara Wine College where we took a morning tour. The weather started out warm but cooled during our visit, a sign of the autumn weather to come. Niagara is an area of the country you need to put on your bucket list if you've never been. The beautiful countryside, fresh fruit and vegetables, and fabulous restaurants make it well worth the visit (in addition to all those wineries).

Niagara Wine College also makes beer!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Gone Fishing

I'm taking a bit of a holiday this week. In St. Catharines visiting friends and doing some wine touring. Ted and I checked out Henry of Pelham yesterday afternoon - glass of Baco Noir, some pate and chutney outside on the patio - then over for wine and cheeses at Marilyn Bodogh's lovely home. Marilyn is a two-time world ladies curling champion and has become a fan of the Stonechild and Rouleau books :-)

We're now getting set to head over to the Niagara Wine College where we have a tour and lunch booked. Life in wine country isn't too hard to take.

I have written a longer post about my other creative pursuits for the 7 Criminal Mind blog, which you can read on Monday.

Other than this brief update, have a great week everyone!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Summer's End

September long weekend used to be the time for getting ready to return to school. We're long past that but this is still the lull before we launch into fall activities. I'm going to miss the long days of summer - feels as if I didn't get half of the things done that I wanted to.

The author-to-author piece ran this Wednesday on CBC Radio's All in a Day and you can give it a listen if you missed the broadcast. Author and Ottawa U. English prof Gerald Lynch and I had a great discussion about writing, which actually took an hour but was edited down to eleven minutes or so. I really enjoyed our time together. Below, Gerald and I had just completed the interview at Thyme and Again on Wellington, and CBC Associate Producer Julie Delaney snapped a few pics.

And for this week - I'm going to be a return guest on 1310 News Radio and The Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe this Wednesday, September 5th from noon to 12:30 EST if you have a chance to tune in. There certainly is lots of news to discuss these days!

I spent the past week completing my for sure final edit of Turning Secrets and could finally step away from the computer ... well, for an evening anyway before I got back working on the latest manuscript. It's been tough starting and stopping as I feel a loss of momentum each time, but I'm going to write through the long weekend and try to get back on track. I see a good deal of editing on my horizon to pull this plot together.

I keep forgetting to mention that the next Stonechild and Rouleau book, Turning Secrets is now available for pre-order on in Canada and in the U.S. I'm told pre-sales can propel a book into stardom, but no pressure :-)

The other big news on our street is that we're finally getting the pavers in. After the second summer with a dug-up road, this is good news indeed. While we're pleased with the sewer and water systems upgrades, living in a dust bowl has been wearing. Even with the dug-up road, traffic is speeding past, creating clouds of choking dust. Makes us realize we need traffic calming when all is said and done because the majority of drivers are not slowing down even with the road under construction. Most annoying not to mention dangerous.

So, good, safe long weekend everyone. Let's enjoy the last days of summer before the autumn beauty rolls in.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Keeping Busy

So an interesting week that was.

Last Saturday, I spent three hours with R.J. Harlick at Chapters Gloucester. The store workers told us it was a slow weekend (such beautiful weather) but we met a lot of readers, handed out bookmarks and sold lots of books anyway. Thank you to friends Darlene Cole, Nancy Reid and Lynne Wells Baxter for stopping by and brightening our afternoon.

Robin Harlick with a new reader

Thursday morning was the CBC Radio taping for All in a Day. I biked over to Thyme and Again where I met author Gerald Lynch for the first time and we were greeted by Associate Producer Julie Delaney with her tape recorder and microphone. In addition to being an author, Gerald is an English prof at Ottawa U. with lots of interesting insights - and a great sense of humour. After picking up some coffees, we climbed the steps to the second floor and settled in for the 'author to author' interview. The hour passed quickly and we had no end of topics to chat about. Julie will edit the talk down to about 15 minutes and it is scheduled for this coming Wednesday in the 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. slot if some breaking news doesn't crop up.

I was getting back into the writing groove when last night the Turning Secrets manuscript reappeared in my email for another review, this time checking for spelling and grammar/punctuation errors. A new copy editor will be looking through the manuscript at the same time as I am - the final time before this goes to the printer. I thought I'd had my last look at it so this was something of a surprise, but a good idea nonetheless. However, my current manuscript is on the back burner again.

I received a couple of invitations this week - one to a book club in September and another to an evening at Books on Beechwood in October, both of which I'm happy to accept. In addition, Beth Bruder, former VP at Dundurn called this week about a book club meeting for lunch in Cobourg who had chosen Cold Mourning as their book for the month. Beth had kindly recommended my series and will be a guest at the lunch.

So, last week in August. It's my Monday to post in 7 Criminal Minds blogspot and I'll need to get that going before I settle in to editing once again. The summer is winding down but it seems my workload isn't!

Have a great week, everyone and don't forget to check out All in a Day on Wednesday:-)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Catching Up

Summer is slipping away. My neighbour Carol, a public school principal, has started going in to work in preparation for school starting in a few weeks. My daughters' curling seasons are days away from starting up again; in fact, may youngest Julia has spent the last week teaching at a curling camp. I know we say it every August, but where did the summer go?

I'm two-timing on this blog, having taken on a second gig. On Monday, August 13, I posted my first blog as a regular contributor on 7 Criminal Minds blogspot, which includes ten crime fiction authors from Canada and the U.S. I'll be posting every second Monday. We have a new question(s) every week, blogging Monday to Friday, and this past week, the topic was 'selecting a book title'. You can check out our different responses and find out how each of us go about it. Bookmark the site to keep up with the weekly topics.

This week, I'll be interviewing Gerald Lynch and he me, at a Westboro location for All in a Day on CBC Radio. We've yet to nail down the location but have a date and time. I read Gerald's book Omphalos in preparation and think we could have a most interesting chat! The episode should air the following Wednesday, but I'll confirm in next week's blog if you want to listen in. They post the interviews on the CBC site the next day, I'm told.

I've started back working on my latest manuscript, trying to get back into the daily groove. I'm going to have to settle in if I'm to make 60,000 words by the end of August. I'm not sure it's possible at this point but hope springs eternal.

And last note, I'll be at Chapters Gloucester signing copies of the Stonechild series this Sunday between noon and 3:00 p.m. if you have a chance to stop by.

Past signing at Chapters Gloucester

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, everyone!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Not Bored Yet

Eight days of editing ... no writing to speak of. That was my week. With the exception of a guest visit to Radio 1310 and the Power Lunch on Tuesday at noon. It was my third time this summer and each time, I've been with another guest new to me. This time, there was even a new host Mark Day who is filling in while Mark Sutcliffe is on holiday. The more radio and television I do, the more relaxed I'm becoming. Maybe after this summer, I should get my own show ... or ... maybe not.

A second media 'happening' went live this week. Matt Demers, a.k.a. Mr. Hollywood, interviewed me a few months ago for his show Hollywood in the Valley. The theme was mystery novels. The show went live this week on 1 Bell Fibe TV - a free station - season 3 episode 4 and it's under Entertainment although I found the show in a search for the name of the show. Rather a light-hearted exchange that was fun to tape.

I was exhausted after all that editing this past week, I have to say.  This should be the last time I see Turning Secrets until next spring. Some interesting developments in the lives of my main characters and some perilous situations ahead. Wa ha ha.

One more interesting thing to report this week. You may remember that a screenwriter in L.A. optioned the books for a television series. He called me yesterday and he's been working on the arc and plans to give his pitch to networks in the upcoming weeks. We spent an hour and a half chatting about the characters and plot line for season one - as you might know, these usually change from books to fit television or movies. I like that he wants my input and wants to stay true to my characters. Going from this point to an actual contract with a studio is still a long way from certain but exciting to contemplate and gratifying to know that he likes the books so much.

So, I need to get my head back around my unfinished manuscript and settle into writing next week. I don't think there's anything else to take up my time ... oh, except reading Gerald Lynch's book Ophalos for a CBC radio spot in which we're to interview each other. I'm a third of the way in. The recording date is later in August.

This is turning into one interesting summer!

Oh yes, if you want to catch up with me, I'll be at Chapters Gloucester signing books on Sunday, August 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Now, time to get this day underway.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Back to Work

Back home from the East Coast trip - left the cool nights and fog behind and returned to the sweat box. However, I'm spending the week at my desk as I go through the copy edits for my next book Turning Secrets with a tight deadline. So I'm spending the long weekend staring at my computer screen ....

I've been invited back to 1310 Radio's Power Lunch this Tuesday from moon to 12:30 if you have a chance to tune in. We talk about the issues of the day and the show is simultaneously broadcast on Rogers Cable 22 and 1310 Facebook Live.

I'll also be at Chapters Gloucester on Sunday, August 19 between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. if you'd like to come by for a chat and/or a signed copy of any of the Stonechild books. This is the only signing I have lined up for the summer although Chapters Carlingwood has asked me to set up another signing at their store in the fall. The managers in both stores have been super supportive so shout out to Amanda Malone, Heather Mallette and Diane Walker.

And my last bit of news for the week: my fellow crime writer and friend Robin Harlick invited me to join 7CriminalMindsblogspot, a long-running blog that has a cast of authors posting on different days. I'll be posting once every two weeks as I answer a question that will also be answered by other crime writers throughout the week. Should be fun to put my mind around different topics of writing interest. I'll share the posts here once I get started but you can also meet some other fine crime writers if you bookmark the link.

I don't have much time to chat this week if I'm to get that editing done on time but I'll close with some photos from my Nova Scotia holiday and the sea-bound coast. I'm already going through seafood withdrawal. The lobster catch is a good one this year although somewhat depleted after Ted and I ate our way through several pounds.

 Cape Forchu lighthouse south of Yarmouth

 Our B & B in Digby - the charming Bayside Inn
 The purple and blue hydrangea are gorgeous and in gardens all over the province.
The Digby lighthouse was rotting on a St. John pier and returned to Digby in exchange for a load of scallops. Our nephew Keith Weagle rebuilt the lighthouse and it stands in the centre of town overlooking the harbour.