Saturday, November 17, 2018

Out and About

Good Saturday morning.

Two events coming up this week. On Thursday, you can catch me again on 1310 News Radio's Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe discussing the news of the day. Every week brings new topics in this off-kilter world so tune in if you have time to hear our take on the goings-on of the day.

Then on Saturday, I'll be at Indigo Barrhaven from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m., the first two hours with Jim Napier and the last hour with Barbara Fradkin. This will be my last signing before Christmas so please drop by and say hi if you're in the area and maybe get a jump on your shopping. I've always bought books for my daughters for Christmas gifts and think what could be better than giving several hours of escapism into a good story? I've been lucky to be on the receiving end as well - makes my holidays that much more relaxing to bury myself in a book between visiting and eating. You can also meet other Ottawa crime fiction authors on Saturday and Sunday as part of the store's Mystery Weekend and check out their work.


Last Saturday, I signed for a few hours at Coles Carlingwood and met some new readers and had some good chats. We sold out of Cold Mourning and Butterfly Kills so I hope that I hook them on the series! Here I am getting set to meet people.


I've buckled down at the computer this past week, writing about 1000 words every day and getting so close to the end of the manuscript's first draft that I can see the finish line. I'm actually into the big reveal scenes and lo and behold, the plot is holding together. I'd hoped to be done by today, but there's still a bit more story to unfold. This will give me five or six weeks to whip the draft into shape before January 1st. I'm told that I'll be working with Shannon Whibbs who edited the last couple of books. Things are falling nicely into place, much like the snow falling outside my window.

Winter  arrived in full force Thursday night with our first major storm of the season. Hard to believe Christmas is slightly over five weeks away ....

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Waiting on Winter

Nothing like a bit of freshly fallen snow to make you think of Christmas shopping. I'm going to be at Ottawa's Coles Carlingwood from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. today (Saturday, Nov. 10) if you want any signed books for your gift list ... or for yourself.




So my plan to finish my latest manuscript got sidelined by seven curling games, including last Saturday's charity event run by the marvellous Kelly MacNaull. It's the fifth year with the money raised going to a different charity each year. This year, we raised over $12,000 for the Ottawa Heart Institute. I raffled off a name in Closing Time, my last Stonechild book. I've done several name raffles over the years for different charities and the winning names are sprinkled throughout the series. None of the winners was killed off or did the killing although I've had people say they wouldn't mind being the bad guy :-)

The Curling for a Cause teams in 2017 at the Ottawa Hunt Club

On Monday, I posted in 7 Criminal Minds blogspot. The week's topic concerned picking a fictional world I would like to enter and a character that I would like to become. So, check out my choice! What would yours be?

Turning Secrets is now posted on NetGalley for those reviewers wanting an advance read.  The first couple of reviews have been decent, always a relief. The book is also available for pre-order on Amazon, Chapters, etc. I've put in a request for bookmarks and I'm already thinking about the May launch. Time does trundle along ....

I have a quieter week ahead - well, the start of the week anyhow - so I'm hopeful that next week when you check in, I'll have completed the first draft of Closing Time. Maybe this is all psychological - I'm having a hard time finishing because I know this is my last foray into the world of Stonechild and Rouleau. Good thing I have a deadline to force me to wrap things up sooner rather than later.







Friday, November 2, 2018

And the Days Get Shorter ...

Ah, the lovely month of November.

Kidding.

This is my least favourite month of the year ... well this month and February because of the crappy weather and early darkness. But on we go ...

Not a great deal to report this week. I spoke with my Dundurn publicist Tabassum for a while by phone earlier in the week as we plan the Turning Secrets release in May. The book went up on Net Galley the same day - this is the place reviewers (usually blog) go to read an advance copy and give their assessments. Tabassum said that the newspaper reviews are being given less and less space in their respective papers and reviews in mainstream media are becoming harder to come by as a result, something of which I was well aware - just look at the book section in The National Post and the Ottawa Citizen. The infrequent reviews or even stories about authors are tragic for writers. Many readers buy based on the reviews and unless people hear about a book or an author, sales stay low.


I've been fortunate to have started in this industry when newspapers were still a prime source for getting the news, and my first Stonechild and Rouleau books were reviewed in The National Post, Ottawa Citizen and  Globe and Mail as well as local community papers. These reviews definitely helped me to build an audience. Whenever a review came out, sales skyrocketed on Amazon. Happily, Margaret Canon still reviews crime fiction for the Globe and Mail on quite a regular basis and the book section is updated constantly so a good paper to read for book news and recommendations.

So, now us authors have to get creative and look for new avenues to get the word out :-) the best way though, remains word of mouth because readers only recommend books they like. I've been fortunate here as well and am forever grateful to everyone who mentioned the books to friends or gave a copy as a gift.

I've got two signings coming up: Coles Carlingwood on Saturday, November 10 from 1l:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Indigo Barrhaven on Saturday, November 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. as part of the store's Mystery Weekend. The Mystery Weekend will see a number of local crime fiction writers and I'll be spending the first few hours with Jim Napier and wrapping up my last hour with Barbara Fradkin so I hope you can come by one store or the other!


One good thing about this rainy, grey weather - I'm spending a lot of time at my keyboard working on the latest manuscript. I should have the first draft wrapped up in a week or two and then the first rewrite begins. I might just make that January deadline yet :-)

And thanks to Courtney Mellor, librarian at the Emerald Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, who took this photo from our presentations last week to the new Canadian women's group. A nice memory from a lovely afternoon.








Saturday, October 27, 2018

Frost on the Pumpkin

How can this be the end of October already?


Monday, I posted my blog on 7 Criminal Minds and you can read where I'd go if I could time travel and find out what other authors think about the idea. Tuesday, I was invited back to the 1310 News Power Lunch, the day after the municipal election. The other guest was David Thompson, ex-mayor of Deep River ... so guess what we talked about with host Mark Sutcliffe? I follow the news quite closely so this gives me a reason to stay on top of events, and I get to give my opinion!

I also went with librarian Courtney Mellor to visit a second group of new Canadian women at a community centre on Thursday. Courtney talked about all the great services and ESL books in the public library and I introduced the Anna Sweet novellas along with a short reading. A woman translated everything into Arabic - again, a very welcoming group and fun afternoon. Courtney and I met several years ago when I was giving a writing workshop to kids at another branch so great to meet up again.

And between gigs, I was back at the keyboard but progress is going slowly. I think it's because I'm working out the ending and still not certain where this one is heading or how to tie everything together. I've jumped out of the plane and not sure if the parachute is working ...



Speaking of not working, my computer went on the fritz again so back we went to Staples where I'm on a first name basis with Steve and Steve (manager and repair guy with same name) who know their stuff and have been nothing but reassuring and thorough at getting the problem sorted. My computer is running much better now, and I've purchased additional Malware protection so fingers crossed this is the end of my problems.  Luckily, no writing lost.

I'm reminded of when I started working in the government with zero computer skills. We're talking twenty years ago when computers were just getting off the ground. Anyhow, it got so when I'd call the Help Desk, no matter who answered, they'd say, "Hey Brenda, how's it going today?" The worst was the time I deleted an entire drive and the tech guy worked for a couple of hours to find it. He didn't even seem all that surprised. Who knew you could even do that?!

I trust the Staples guys and I won't become  that chummy :-)

Looks like snow in the forecast tonight and tomorrow for the first time. I will admit that November is not my favoritest month of the year. The darkness comes so early in Ottawa and the days are often gray and overcast.

Good murder mystery weather though. Also, the perfect weather for some spooky Hallowe'en shenanigans. Have a good week treatful everyone.




Saturday, October 20, 2018

Giving 'Er

Such a busy week working at my desk. You know when you wake up in the middle of the night because you have all these things to do and know you should already be working on them? Well, that happened Sunday so I knew I had to get myself in gear.

Dundurn marketing team kept sending me more tasks to do over the week, all needed urgently. The biggy was a complete plot outline of Turning Secrets. Luckily, I had started a chapter synopsis, but it was far from complete or usable for the purposes of the marketing folks so I spent two days reworking it. They also wanted advance materials for the book out two years from now, including the cover blurb ... and I got that finished in time for a request for a cover letter to go out with the ARCs for Turning Secrets. I finished that yesterday and actually managed to get back writing on the latest manuscript. I also received the catalogue with Turning Secrets listed so onwards and upwards.

I had considered going to Left Coast Crime in Vancouver in the spring and had all but decided not to go. But a few pushes from a few people and I changed my mind and registered. I've also found a roommate not only to share the cost of lodging. but also to hang with, so I'm thinking this could be a great time. I previously attended the LCC in Monterey and Phoenix and really liked the feel of the conference, which brings together crime fiction authors, people in the industry, and readers. So I checked that bit of business off my to-do list.

Thursday afternoon, I met a librarian Jessica at the Emerald Branch and we went to another location to meet with a group of new immigrant women. I quickly realized that the talk and readings I'd planned were not going to work as most of the women did not speak much English and a translator was repeating what I said in Arabic.  I improvised and enjoyed giving them information about my Anna Sweet novellas (with a very short reading, first in English and then in Arabic) and sharing coffee and a snack with them after our presentations. I return next Thursday to meet another group of women - such a welcoming and lovely community.

And in addition to signing at Coles Carlingwood on Saturday, November 10, I'll be taking part in a crime writers' weekend at Chapters Barrhaven on Saturday, November 24. I'll be there between 10 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. with fellow authors Jim Napier (10-noon) and Barbara Fradkin (noon to one) (although they are yet to be confirmed). So two chances to come out and chat and perhaps buy some Christmas gifts!

I appear to have a quieter week ahead and plan to make inroads with my manuscript. Wish me luck:-)
I hope you're also having a productive autumn and are getting ready to snuggle in for the winter on our doorsteps.


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Autumn Celebrations

I spent a lovely Friday evening at Books on Beechwood, one of Ottawa's treasures for book lovers, and a great place to kick start Christmas shopping. The bookshop hosted three crime fiction authors - Iona Wishaw, Barbara Fradkin and me with Linda Wiken making introductions. We each chatted for a few minutes about our series and gave brief readings, but the bulk of our time was spent speaking with readers around a table laden with finger food and glasses of wine.

Iona, Linda, Barbara and me

Iona hails from British Columbia and is making stops in Montreal, Ottawa and Southwestern Ontario to promote her latest book. She was a school principal before retirement, and tells interesting stories with a series set after the Second World War that I'm looking forward to delving into. The lead character is Lane Winslow, an ex-intelligence officer who leaves London to settle in a secluded hamlet in the mountains.  I bought A Killer in King's Cove, the first in the series, which Iona recommends for those starting her series.

Iona with a crime fiction fan

Barb Fradkin has a new book out too this week - Prisoners of Hope, which is the third in her Amanda Doucette series from Dundurn. I'm waiting to buy my copy at her launch this Tuesday night at the Clocktower Pub on Richmond Road. She'll be launching her book alongside Vicki Delaney who is also releasing a new mystery. Everyone is welcome to stop by to raise a glass and hear about their books.

On my agenda this week besides more writing and a visit to the Emerald Branch of the Ottawa Public Library to speak to a group of new immigrant women about my Anna Sweet novellas for adult literacy. I'm excited to meet them! I also have some work to do for Dundurn to pave the way for my last Stonechild book, not due out until 2020 ... one has to be organized in this business :-)

Also, a note that I'll be signing at Coles Carlingwood on Saturday, November 10 from 11:00 to 1:00 if you're missing any of the Stonechild series or want signed copies for Christmas gifts.

So Ted and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary last weekend in Stowe Vermont, travelling south of the border with two other couples, our neighbors, who coincidentally celebrate their anniversaries the same weekend. We booked a house outside the town and enjoyed three days hiking around the town and settling in each evening around the fireplace. The autumn leaves were at their glorious peak and it was an idyllic break from 'real' life.

 Ted and I on the gondola - a misty morning on top of the mountain



Hiking up the mountain






Friday, October 5, 2018

Into the Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving my Canadian friends! I imagine the turkey's bought, the pumpkin pies are in the oven and the wine is chilling. Enjoy this long weekend with family and friends!


I'm taking a long weekend too and will be brief today aside from inviting everyone in the Ottawa area to come out to Books on Beechwood this Friday to meet Iona Wishaw, Barbara Fradkin and me as we talk about our latest books and crime fiction-writing. I'm told wine and cheese will be flowing so a fun evening ahead and I hope to see you there!






Saturday, September 29, 2018

Seeing Out September

Last week saw six tornadoes touch down in Ottawa Gatineau, causing massive power outages and untold destruction to homes and trees in isolated areas. First responders and hydro workers have worked tirelessly to get the city up and running and to help those most affected. Miraculously, nobody died although a handful of people suffered injuries, a few severe, and we are all hoping they are soon back in good health. The new alert system really did save lives, according to media reports. This was a climate change wake up call if there ever was one.

Once the power returned, I settled in to do some writing, but had issues with my desktop computer. I took it in for servicing, kicking myself for not updating my backup copy of the latest manuscript. I kept working on my laptop, hoping that my work wouldn't be lost. Happily, the computer came back with my manuscript intact. My second wake up call of the week :-)

I've been invited back to the 1310 News Radio's Power Lunch with host Mark Sutcliffe this coming Thursday from noon to 12:30. There certainly is a lot of news to delve into lately. The show is broadcast live on Rogers Cable 22 and 1310 News Facebook Live as well as 1310 radio (link above) Tune in if you have time!

I'm also taking part in a Books on Beechwood mystery evening with fellow crime fiction authors Barbara Fradkin and Iona Wilshaw. All are welcome to come out on Friday, October 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. The location is Books on Beechwood bookstore, 35 Beechwood Avenue. We'll be presenting our latest works and I hear wine and cheese are on the menu.

One final update for this week. The L.A. screenwriter who optioned my Stonechild books for a television series has renewed the option for another three months. He's working hard behind the scenes on a pitch to studios so good the prospect is still in play. I recognize how difficult it is to actually reach production, but still exciting to contemplate

So, more writing this weekend as I round into the final chapters of this last Stonechild and Rouleau book. It's starting to feel as if I'm on the downhill whoosh, picking up speed and having fun pulling everything together. I must say that it's easier to sit inside and work now that the weather has turned cooler. Once the first draft is complete, I'll have a lot of editing to get through, but still with a few months before deadline.

And we're sliding into October ... pumpkins, turkey dinners, falling leaves, Halloween ... one of my favourite times of year. Enjoy the day, everyone.

A pic from last year

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Such a Good Week ... Until the Tornado!

So, my post was ready and the tornado hit west Ottawa taking out the power and Internet for a full 24 hours - but we're up and running as of a half hour ago. So without further ado ...

The first official day of autumn - well at 9:54 tonight to be exact. A gorgeous time of year in the Ottawa Valley before we settle in for the cold, snowy days ahead. If you've forgotten what those frigid days feel like, you can pick up copies of In Winter's Grip and Bleeding Darkness, where I've used winter as a chilly backdrop to murder. Ba da boom.

On Tuesday afternoon, I drove across the city to Orleans to meet with five lovely women in their newly formed book club to discuss Cold Mourning and writing over cups of tea. They were well prepared with questions, and happily, all liked the book:-) The time flew by with lots of interesting discussion and much laughter. They've since emailed me that they now consider themselves my groupies and have started reading Butterfly Kills and have put the entire series on their book list. How great is that?!

(sitting l to r) Audrey and Arlene, (standing l to r) Lynn, Laura and Rhonda -
 Thank you for all your hospitality and enthusiasm!
Signing some copies 

I had a quieter week overall and managed to get some writing in. I'm at the part in the book where I'm mulling over the how in the heck my detectives are going to put the clues together and find the killer(s). It's one thing for me to know motives and to manipulate the characters but quite another to have the cops figure everything out. As this is also the last Stonechild book in the series, I have some extra ends to tie up. Happily, I have a few quiet weeks ahead to get in more writing/thinking time.

Oh, and another good moment this week ... The Glebe Report published a terrific review of Bleeding Darkness in the section 'Books for the Season'. Between this and the book club visit, I felt like my cup ran over with so much encouragement and so many kind words.

Be sure to check out 7 Criminal Minds blog on Monday where I'll be answering the weekly question about how I keep my writing 'fresh and original'. Four more crime fiction writers will be answering the same question over the course of the week so a great chance to peek into our thought processes ... if you dare.

Off to find another cup of coffee. Good week ahead, everyone.

Hmmm. Groupies. One could get used to the sound of that ....


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 Amazon.ca in Canada and Amazon.com 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.