Saturday, February 18, 2017

Shallow End Arrives!

Good Saturday morning. You can start your day by entering your name in the Goodreads giveaway for a copy of Shallow End - Dundurn is giving away three copies and here is the link. Only a day left to enter so don't delay!

Dundurn also has a discount on some 'hot books' including Tumbled Graves so worth checking out.

Well, I'm back working on the sixth Stonechild and Rouleau series and am corralling my main themes and characters. I'm just over 4000 words in so only 85000 left to go ... always seems daunting at this point. The person I had murdered initially wasn't working for me so I rewrote the opening chapter with a different character being bumped off. And as I struggle with this one, UPS arrived late yesterday with my copies of Shallow End - motivation to keep going:-) This book will be available widely within a week or so if you are looking for the next Stonechild installment. A huge thank you to Ann Cleeves for reading an advance copy and giving her recommendation - I am truly honoured to have the creator of Jimmy Perez and Vera Stanhope read and enjoy one of my books!

I've had a few invitations to speak recently including an evening with the Ottawa Independent Writers in April to talk about writing crime fiction. I'll also be visiting the Russell Public Library in April to read from Shallow End and meet readers. And of course, the book launch at the Heart and Crown on Preston Street on Friday evening, April 7 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. (mark your calendar!) It would be wonderful to have a good crowd to help celebrate.

I also received an offer from Grass Roots Press to work on a project that will take me the summer through to September. The work involves writing paragraphs on various interesting topics that will be included in four workbooks - I'm excited to be part of this initiative. The books will be used by educators who are working in adult literacy.

So lots going on this spring - enough to keep me out of trouble. As if all the writing stuff isn't enough, today marks the beginning of the Scotties national curling championship in St. Catharines with my daughter Lisa playing lead on Team Homan. You can catch the games on TSN beginning today at 2:30 EST. Should be an exciting week!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Great Week That Was

News first: I'll be at Chapters Kanata today (Saturday, Feb. 11) from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. signing copies of the first three books in the Stonechild and Rouleau series. Come by and say hello if you're in the area. Crime fiction makes a great Valentine's Day gift (sharing the date with that infamous massacre :-)

I spent last week on the road - a week in Cobourg watching the Ontario provincial curling playdowns and most happy to report that my daughter Lisa's team (skip Rachel Homan) won the ladies side and will be off to the national Scotties in St. Catharines beginning next weekend. The competition was first rate and the final against team Harrison was a nail-biter. Kudos to all the teams for a hard fought and exciting week of play and good curling to Team Homan in the Scotties!

Lake Ontario and the beautiful Cobourg Beach 

On Thursday morning, I caught the train from Cobourg to Toronto to sign copies of Shallow End ARCs at the Dundurn booth at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference, which brought together librarians from across the province for four days of panels, speakers, workshops and author events. I signed alongside two other Dundurn authors: Steve Burrows and Suzanne Kingsmill, authors I'd heard about but never met. Both lovely! Steve and I will be signing at Sleuth of Baker Street in Toronto on April 15. I also had a chance to catch up with Michelle Melski, publicist for the Dundurn crime fiction authors.

Tamara, the first librarian at our booth, hailed from Marathon and her mother taught me in grade three while her father taught me in grades six and seven as well as science in grade eight. Mr. Trach had a huge impact on me as he fostered my love of reading and writing. I even remembered when Tamara was born! Here we are at the booth :-)

 Great to meet Penny who'd read the first three in the series and gave a glowing thumbs up!

With Michelle Melski and Steve Burrows

Kendra Martin in Publicity and Marketing told me that she loves the Stonechild series :-)

Friday evening, between curling games, I visited the Let's Talk Books bookshop in Cobourg to chat with the mystery book club, which meets in the store. About twenty-five people came out as well as a photographer from the local paper Snapped. Most of the club members had read Tumbled Graves, which was the chosen book for the month. Tracy Shillington led the group discussion - lots of great questions about the series and writing - and I did a brief reading from Shallow End, which comes out early March. I signed books afterwards and have to say that the evening was a delight because Tracy, the club members, and the store owner Sandra were so welcoming and enthusiastic about the books.

 Tracy, me and Sandra

So a busy, terrific week, but now I'm back at my desk getting the next manuscript started, drinking my second cup of coffee and looking forward to another week of cold and snow. In fact, we had an overnight snowfall and I'll soon be out shoveling to ensure I can get the car out of the driveway to make it to Chapters Kanata after lunch.

Stay warm my friends and have a heart-filled week ahead.