Saturday, November 28, 2015

That's a Wrap

Good morning. The last weekend of November and the weather can't decide if it should be raining or snowing. Perfect weather for staying inside and writing. I hope to get some writing time in later today.

I'm off to Cable 22 this morning to tape a literary show with Barbara Fradkin, Mike Martin and show host Elizabeth Potvin. We've received a few advance questions, but the conversation could go in unexpected directions. I haven't got the details about when the show will run, but I'll post when I know. I love shows about books and authors so this should be great fun.

My fellow crime writer R.J. Harlick, whose latest Meg Harris mystery A Cold White Fear has just hit the shelves, invited me to guest blog on Criminal Minds blogspot. I received a question in advance: Where do you set your novels and why? You can check out my response.

Writing has been coming along but not as quickly as I would like. I'm at about 8000 words and the bones of the story have been presented. I've just added a twist to the plot and am slowly revealing its impact, which will help pave the way to the conclusion. I have a few more twists up my sleeve before all is said and done. Wahaha

Finally, Tumbled Graves, third in the Stonechild and Rouleau series and due out in February 2016, has been getting great reviews by bloggers who read advance copies. You can read them on Goodreads and advance order copies from booksellers as well as the first two in the series.

Now, I have to decide what to wear to the taping and try to make myself look presentable. Remember that the camera puts on ten pounds and I'm really a svelte and slender. I'm pretty sure the camera adds ten years too.

(Who says authors aren't good at making stuff up?)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Little Catch Up

Just a little chat this morning. I slept ten hours last night (not including the hour of snoozing in my chair in front of the TV), got up and had two cups of coffee before biking sixteen miles and pumping a little iron - if five pound weights are considered iron. A shower and I am ready for the day.

I was remembering the days back in high school, university, twenties, when sleeping through a Friday night would have been a social failure. Now, it feels like something to aspire to.

The current manuscript that I'm working on is set in a grey, wet November so I'm getting lots of real-time experience as I add the elements of time and place. My two least favourite months have to be this one and February although this year, I'm offsetting cold grey February with a trip to Phoenix to attend Left Coast Crime. My flight is booked and I'll be south for part of five days. These conferences are a terrific way to see another part of the country and to meet authors and hear about their work - a respite from real life. You might consider Bouchercon in Toronto in 2017. Keep an eye on the website to see the author lineup and book early to get a discounted hotel room. Boucheron normally draws 1000-1500 people, including some of the best-selling authors writing in the crime/mystery genre.

The week ahead. I'll be guest blogging on the Criminal Minds blog on November 25th and am working up a piece based on the question R.J. Harlick sent along a few days ago. A great blog to check out - several crime-writers regularly post about writing and the industry.

On Saturday morning, I'll be going to the Cable 22 television studio to film a roundtable show with Barbara Fradkin and Mike Martin. I've been advised not to wear yellow, white or stripes so I got my bee outfit dry cleaned for no good reason it seems.

And, I'll be writing late this afternoon and into the evening if all goes as I plan. I have the next two chunks of the plot worked out in my head and am eager to get them down on paper. The story seems to be coming along well so far and I'm almost half-way through the novella. I'm about to enter the free fall part where I'm not too sure how all the little threads will come together. Easier to go back and fix stuff in these shorter books though.

Okay, enough chatter - time to clean up the kitchen, put on some laundry and get ready for a lunch date with a friend. The writing life is not all the glamour it's cracked up to be although the lunch bit is nice:-)

Have great week, everyone. Don't forget to put books on your gift-giving list - especially some cool Canadian crime!

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I attended the November Capital Crime Writers meeting on Wednesday evening where the guest speaker was an expert in extremism and terrorism. Yesterday's horrible attacks in Paris are another deadly event in a chain of incomprehensible violence. Today, the world grieves for the innocent lives lost and for those who mourn their loss.

I've had a quiet week. The latest manuscript is coming along and I'm starting to enjoy the story although I'm still unclear about the plot. A few of the characters that have appeared in the story are changing the direction. I've learned to let the various details percolate until the trail of clues come together and the mystery makes sense.

 I read an interview with Ian Rankin who said that he works much the same way - he starts with a theme and writes his first draft without even knowing whodunnit. The plot unfolds as he writes and the murderer reveals themself during the writing.  He said that a lot of crime writers whom he's spoken with work much the same way. This strategy seems in direct contradiction to the complicated trail of clues, suspects and motivations inherent in a crime novel, but the process works for many, including me! However, I start with a crime and know the culprit before I start writing the first draft. A lot of the in-between is a surprise and it can take a leap of faith to believe all will be worked out. One also needs a good editor to make sure nothing has been missed and that all ties in together and is logical.

Last post I mentioned taking part a Christmas craft sale with some other local authors, including Barb Fradkin. After some discussion, we decided to give it a pass this year. It is difficult to believe that Christmas is a mere six weeks away - I feel like I have to get busy. Shopping and meal-planning are now in my sights. I'll be writing when I have spare minutes, but this is getting into hectic season. It's also a time to see friends and family. Today, more than ever, spending time with those we hold dear is what counts the most.

I've had some lovely praise recently for the Stonechild and Rouleau series from many readers. Some send their thoughts be email and others tell me at events or in passing. Thank you to everyone for reading the books and for going out of your way to let me know they've brought enjoyment. I also appreciate the reviews on social media and book seller sites as well as recommendations to friends. Your support is invaluable. 

Well, time to get myself organized and on with the day.  I wish you a good weekend, everyone. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Lining up the Future

A week into November. We've had unusually warm weather for this time of year and winter still seems a ways off. I kinow this can change on a dime. Cue the ominous music.....

Writing went slowly this week. I typed in dribs and drabs and really need to spend bigger chunks of time at my desk. But other publicity stuff is going on behind the scenes.

Crime writer and good buddy Alex Brett came over last weekend and we booked flights to Left Coast Crime, which will be in Pheonix in February. This is the same conference that I went to a few years ago in Monterey. I left the snowy north to find not all the world was covered in frosty white. There are still lots of seats to Pheonix if you'd like to come along!

I've been invited to take part in a Canadian crime writer event at Poisoned Pen Bookstore on the Wednesday evening when we arrive in Pheonix, and hope to meet some Canadian snowbirds as well as American readers. There will also be a Canadian author event during the conference and panels - lots of fun and a chance to widen our readership. 

I also signed up to take part in the Beechwood Christmas Market on December 5th from noon to six. Barbara Fradkin and I will share a table - I'll post more information as it draws closer.

And I've got a date for the Tumbled Graves book launch - third in the Stonechild and Rouleau series. Save Sunday, April 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 at Whispers pub to come out to raise a glass and to buy a signed copy from Books on Beechwood. The early reader reviews are giving Tumbled Graves a big thumbs up and I'm excited to share it with Ottawa readers. 

Next up is the taping of a show for Cable 22 the weekend of Novemer 28. Time to stop eating to lose the 10 pounds the camera adds:-) 

Well Ottawa, let's hope this warm weather lasts another week. A girl can dream. 

Have another cup of coffee everyone, and let's get this gift of a day underway!