Saturday, July 14, 2018

Summer in the City

Good morning everyone. Mid-July already! The best time of year for fresh produce - I think I've eaten four pounds of cherries alone.

Bleeding Darkness has been on the shelves for two months now and I've been working with Dundurn on the next book - Turning Secrets, which is due for release in May 2019. This week, designer Laura Boyle sent along a preliminary version of the cover and she nicely captured the major theme. I also spent a morning tightening up the cover text which I'd written a while back. Dundurn needs this now to start publicizing in catalogues. I'll share the cover once I have the final.

Meanwhile, I continue writing the latest manuscript and am in the dreaded middle. This is the point in every manuscript where I question the plot, the writing and my ability to pull this off. I'm comforted that other authors all report this same self-doubt mid-way through their manuscripts. The remedy is to ignore the negative thoughts and to keep writing. This seventh book in the series is the last so I'm tying up ongoing plot lines and this makes the writing even more challenging. I'm aiming to hit 50,000 words by the end of July and have 3000 words to go so I should reach the target without problem.

I was invited back to Radio 1310 News and the Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe on Monday. I enjoy speaking about topics in the news, not normally voicing my opinions except to Ted :-) You can watch the half hour show, which was broadcast simultaneously on 1310 Facebook Live and Rogers Cable 22.

Our street work continues, making concentration a challenge. They dug up our lawn to lay new pipe so I was typing while they excavated and pounded and beeped a few feet away. The noise and shaking starts at 7 a.m. on the dot and stops at 5 or 6 p.m. I've surprisingly managed to ignore most of the noise except when the entire house shakes and the pounding feels like it's going right through one's body. The dust is incredible - our cars are coated in it every day and it sifts into the house. I have a dust allergy so my sneeze count is up. Anyhow, we need the new sewers so this is small pain for big gain and I applaud the guys who spend the long, hot days doing this dusty, dirty, unpleasant, nasty work.

So, time for that last cup of coffee before I get the day underway. I have a little bike ride and writing on my agenda capped off by a BBQ and glass of wine.

Ahh summer ....

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Writing Through the Heat

Another week spent writing. Nothing all that exciting about sitting at my computer typing ... plugging away and moving the story forward. I have, however, passed the half-way mark in the word count.

As you may recall, I was on Radio 1310's Power Lunch a month ago with host Mark Sutcliffe. Well, I've been invited back and you can tune in this Monday between noon and 12:30. The show is also broadcast live on Rogers Cable 22 and on 1310 Facebook Live--just do a search and there it will be on your computer. We get five topics in the news the morning of the show along with opinion choices and then discuss our points of view over the half hour. The other guest will be a surprise until the day of.

I'm also going to get some photos taken on Tuesday with Graham Law, a photog friend who curls at the Granite and lives a few streets over. This came about because Dundurn requested one for next year's book Turning Secrets along with a couple of pages of information. That took some time to get together but I managed to make yesterday's deadline. The photo will be late but this won't be an issue.

Man, this past week was blistering hot. A few days in the forties with the humidex and the air felt so heavy and thick, it hurt to breathe. I made it outside early every morning to water the garden and flower pots before the sun was fully up. By lunchtime, it was too hot to spend any time outdoors.  Too hot to barbecue at suppertime even.  We've had heat waves before but never one like this. Not encouraging Mother Nature to make a habit of it.

So, another week ahead of writing. Thank you to everyone who's been posting comments, pictures of Bleeding Darkness in different locales or photos of themselves reading the book. Every photo makes me smile and helps spread the word. Also to those posting reviews on social media. You know, I grew up in the generation told not to blow your own horn and marketing does not come naturally. However, I've come to realize that if people don't know about the books or receive enough positive feedback on them, they will never pick them up -- and it's a great feeling to know people are enjoying my stories:-)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hot Time in the City

Heat has settled like a Hudson's Bay blanket over the Ottawa Valley and most of Ontario. Tomorrow, Canada Day, is expected to hit 47 degrees C with the humidex factored in. We're about to experience the tropics in the Canadian North. (I will not be attempting to straighten my hair.

This has been another quiet week on the publicity front so I've been able to write every day. My goal was to reach 40,000 words by the end of June and I'm now heading up to 43,000 words - a good thing as July is going to be busy. I started filling in information Dundurn requested for the publication of Turning Secrets (book 6 in the Stonechild series) next year and have to focus on this soon. It's due back July 6 and I have a ways to go. So, another week at the computer ahead.

Speaking of which, the City of Ottawa is 'revitalizing' our street. This involves replacing sewers and water lines. The truck noise, which includes continual beeping, diesel trucks idling, and pounding that shakes the house, begins at 7 a.m. and goes on until 5 p.m. or so every week day. The dust blows and settles around and in our house and yard so that I have to keep the windows closed - and we're told to expect this for the entire summer. I've been typing at my computer and it's vibrating from the pounding going on metres away. Makes concentration difficult, sometimes impossible. I feel for the construction workers who have to live with this day in and day out, slaving away out there in the heat and humidity and dirt. We have it easy by comparison. Still, everyone on the street is eagerly anticipating the autumn silence.

I went downtown to Tim Wynne-Jones book launch on Tuesday evening and picked up a signed copy of The Ruinous Sweep. It was great to see Tim and to hear him read from his latest book - he's also the voice on the audiobook version. The protagonists in this book are two older teens but Tim says the book crosses into adult and is a mystery/thriller. I'm excited to give it a read.

And that's it for my book news.

So plans for Canada Day? I went strawberry picking yesterday morning before the heat settled in and will be baking my annual strawberry shortcake to bring to our friends' house for supper. We've been getting together with them most Canada Days since the kids were little. This year as always, it's worth stopping and appreciating this vibrant, inclusive and free country that we call home. Now more than ever. we cannot take all that we have for granted.

Cheers Canada! You're looking mighty good for your 151 years.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Into the Rhythm

This was a week to decompress. After a month of events and media, I was happy to get back into the rhythm of my normal life.

This is a decompressed me - very easy to achieve :-)

I often get asked when I write and for how long. Many writers work best in the morning but I'm finding that I use the mornings to get my chores and running around done and start writing around eleven. I break for lunch and then write most of the afternoon, sometimes after supper if I'm on a roll. I aim for minimum 500 words a day and sometimes manage closer to 1000.

Often, I've got other work going on in addition to the writing. For example, this week Dundurn sent along a request for a page of information to prepare for the release of my next book entitled Turning Secrets, which is the sixth Stonechild and Rouleau mystery. It has a May 2019 publication date so you can see we prepare well ahead. As part of this info, I have to write a book cover synopsis so this is going to take some thought and time. I worked an hour yesterday morning on the material and expect I'll be working at it off and on all next week. I also did some to-ing and fro-ing this week with Diane Walker and Amanda Malone to set up a signing at their Chapters store in Gloucester. We've chosen Sunday, August 19 so I'll be give you the details later in the summer.

Bleeding Darkness is getting some terrific reviews from readers on Goodreads as well as from Booklist and Publisher's Weekly. I'm mighty pleased that the series is striking a note with readers and thank everyone who took the time to post a review or to send a note to me privately with your thoughts.

Last night, I went to see the iconic Boz Scaggs at Jazz Fest and what a great show. I can't tell you how many times I played Silk Degrees on the turntable over the years and it was very cool to hear Boz sing several of the songs live. Such a smooth, one-of-a-kind voice with songs that truly hold up.

Also did some reading this week. I finished Truth by Peter Temple. He's an award-winning Australian writer and has a unique style that I quite admire. I'd previously read The Broken Shore, which won the 2007 Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award and which I was blown away by. I'm now rereading a Denise Mina book called Still Midnight. A different style but another marvellous crime writer. I highly recommend her work, especially the Paddy Meehan books. Some summer reading to put on your list!

So, we've turned the corner into summer and the first few days have been warm and sunny. Today promises to be rainy but the gardens will welcome a drink. I'm about to put on another pot of coffee as I start a slow easing into the day. I hope you also have a relaxing weekend with a good book on the go and time to savour the longest days of the year. This is a pic of my writing and reading nook - a great spot to while away the hours.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

TV, Radio and Bookshops ...

So that was some week! Two store signings and three television interviews, including an overnight trip to Kingston. The Global interview was in the CKWS Kingston studio yesterday morning and you can view the clip.

A few photos from the signing at Novel Idea - a lovely bookshop that you need to visit when you're next in Kingston.

With Kathy Prairie and her husband Bill - Kathy is a mystery/thriller author and we had a chance to catch up over dinner the night before.

The Hollywood in the Valley taping was downtown last Saturday with host Matt Demers. The episode will be on Bell Fibe tv On Demand but I'm not sure of timing. This was a light-hearted interview and we managed it in one take. I couldn't recall what I said until later talking to Ted when I remembered his name came up a few times .... lucky for me he has a good sense of humour. I'll let you know when the show airs once I get the word.

On set with Matt Demers aka Mr. Hollywood

And Tuesday, I was on the Power Lunch on radio 1310 News with host Mark Sutcliffe. The show was broadcast simultaneously on Cable 22 television. The other guest was Ottawa lawyer John MacDonell, who was Chief of Staff for Peter MacKay when he was Minister at Defense and Foreign Affairs. We were given five topics with multiple choice opinions in the morning about topics in the news that day. It was a fun experience and I enjoyed meeting Mark and John, both interesting, friendly men who made me feel welcome.

Nothing planned this week so I can get back writing. I have about 5000 words to pump out by the end of the month to stay on the schedule I've set for myself. I alternate between working at the computer in my office and taking my laptop outside onto the back deck. More often than not, I get the bulk of my writing done in the afternoon once I get the running around and social media stuff done.

I should also have time this week to get back in my garden. A shot of the poppies in all their glory!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

On the Horizon

A busy week ahead.

This morning I'll be at Coles Carlingwood from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for any Ottawa readers who are looking for a signed copy of Bleeding Darkness.

And the rest of the week:

Saturday June 9 - 2:30 filming an interview with Matt Demers for Bell Fibe tv Show
Hollywood in the Valley                                           
Tuesday June 12 - Guest on Radio 1310 News Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe from noon to 12:30
Friday June 15 - Guest on Kingston tv CKWS The Morning Show
Friday June 15 - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. signing at Novel Idea bookshop, Kingston

The Sunday launch at The Cross on Elgin was terrific - lots of old friends and new friends came by to raise a glass and celebrate. Thank you to Katherine Hobbs for being MC, Green Floyd for entertaining us and Fred Taylor for snapping the photos below.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The Launching

The Ottawa Bleeding Darkness book launch is tomorrow!! It promises to be a party with Green Floyd playing live music, finger food on order (come hungry), Perfect Books on hand with copies for purchase and lots of interesting people to chat to, not least of which is my buddy Katherine Hobbs who will MC. The weather is slated to be warm and sunny so we can spill onto the verandah ... lots of space to spread out. And I hear the road construction on Elgin in front of the pub is completed!

Here are the details once again:

So I had a busy Monday. In the morning, I was guest speaker at the Abbotsford House monthy topical talks meeting. The location is a limestone house in the Glebe across from Lansdown. The crowd was attentive and many came up to speak with me afterwards so a pleasant morning all around. In the afternoon, I drove to Orleans to an event organized by Nancy Reid and her sorority sisters. Five mystery authors attended and sat on a panel moderated by Nancy before we were treated to supper, cake and yellow roses. A lovely end to the day.

(l to r) Me, R.J. Harlick, Barbara Fradkin, Linda Widen, Mary Jane Maffini and Nancy Reid

A few events on the horizon:

Saturday June 9 - 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Signing at Coles Carlingwood
Saturday June 9 - 2:30 filming an interview with Matt Demers for Bell Fibe tv Show
Hollywood in the Valley                                           
Tuesday June 12 - Guest on Radio 1310 News Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe from noon to 12:30
Friday June 15 - Guest on Kingston tv CKWS The Morning Show
Friday June 15 - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. signing at Novel Idea bookshop, Kingston

Lots going on as spring blossoms into summer starting with tomorrow's launch. It's exciting to finally have Bleeding Darkness in the hands of readers.

And one last blog posting today: A link to a piece I wrote for the Dundurn blog entitled "Floating Ideas" in which I give a smidgin of insight into where I get ideas for a book.

Good week everyone.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

And We're Off!

The Bleeding Darkness book launch is a week away and the publicity is picking up speed. I was on Cable 22 tv on Wednesday but not the show I was told I'd be on! I began to figure out something was not as intended when I checked online and saw that The Author's Journey was not listed for Wednesday ... and all the material I'd been sent was about this show. I went to the studio anyhow thinking I might not be on air that day, but the first thing I saw in the green room was my book lying on the table so I knew it was the right day. I was slated to be the final guest on Daytime Ottawa which was fine by me. There were several other guests and the host Dylan Black spoke with each of us briefly before heading into the studio. We watched the show on a giant tv screen while we waited our turn. A girl put mics on each guest right before they left the green room and were taken into the studio. I counted three cameras when I first entered the studio, but you really don't notice them once the interview starts. Below, I'm with Dylan Black after my segment and here is a link to the interview.

Monday, I have two events: Abbotsford House in the Glebe in the morning where I'll be speaking about my writing and reading from Bleeding Darkness, and a trip to Orleans in the afternoon to present my work to a sorority sister organization alongside Mary Jane Maffini, Barbara Fradkin, Linda Wiken and Robin Harlick. This one includes supper :-)

So the second complete edit of Turning Secrets is in the can and next, the manuscript goes to the copy editor. I'll be seeing it again soon to go through their changes so I'm not out of the woods yet. I managed to start writing again on the latest manuscript and should make my target word count for the month.

And somehow between writing and editing and publicity, I made five or six trips to plant shops and finished putting in my garden, which now includes a lot of flower pots and annuals. The perennials pretty much take care of themselves although a couple died over winter that needed replacing. Sadly, we're going to lose the big balsam in our front yard as slashes in the bark keep appearing and the tree tilts further with every good wind. It's kind of like losing an old friend that's been there forever.

Well it's race weekend in the Capital and we have my daughter Julia and her dog George home from Toronto. The coffee's on and the rain has stopped for the moment. Time to get this day underway. Good running to Julia and all those racing today and tomorrow and happy gardening to everyone!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Royal Morning ... and Release Day!

So I don't think it a coincidence that Harry and Meghan picked today - the official day of my book's release - as the date of their wedding. One might outshine the other, but both worth raising a glass:-) You too can walk with me down the aisle ... of a local bookstore ... and celebrate this auspicious day. You can even wear a fascinator. No judgement.

The Turning Secrets manuscript boomeranged back to me Thursday afternoon for my second review after Shannon Whibbs incorporated our first round of changes. I have until Wednesday to make my changes. After Shannon has a last look, the manuscript goes to the copy editor for a review of punctuation, spelling and grammar. I'll then have a last look. I also worked on the acknowledgements this week and will submit them with my edits. I'll also look for an appropriate quote or two, usually from poetry, to add to the opening page. The cover is currently being designed and I'm looking forward to seeing what Laura Boyle creates.

I've got one media engagement this Wednesday. I'll be a guest on Rogers Cable 22 and the show The Author's Journey with host Mony Dojeiji at noon. The show is live but rebroadcast twice more at 6 and 11 p.m. the same day so you can see how I make out if you have Rogers. It could be posted and I'll repost here if so.

I got in a bit of writing on my latest manuscript before the editing started up again yesterday. I'm almost one third of the way through this seventh and final Stonechild and Rouleau. I have to tie up the storylines of my main characters as well as plot out the new crime so a bit of a challenge. I'll get back at it next week and should make my monthly word count if I buckle down.

Well, I watched the royal wedding live beginning at 5:45 a.m., not intentionally, but I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. This could be a two-pot of coffee morning as I get back to the editing. Rain is forecast for the afternoon and then two lovely days of sun and warmth to round out the long weekend. I've managed to get a lot of gardening in this week and hope to finish planting on Sunday. Never enough time in the day to get everything done.

I'm sending a royal wave as I get out of my wedding attire (pale blue housecoat and black slippers) and prepare to eat the royal breakfast - granola and blueberries with a dollop of yogurt. I'm thinking that Pimm's sounds like a good idea and might need to pour a glass for afternoon tea.

Cheerio mates! Have a great weekend.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Bleeding Darkness on the Shelves!

Good Saturday morning. We're heading into a stretch of sunny, warmish spring weather here in the Ottawa Valley so spirits are lifting and gardening will soon be underway. Just in time for Mothers Day :-)

Deep into the editing this week. Shannon Whibbs sent along her edits for Turning Secrets I had until yesterday to go through them, rewrite a few bits and make my edits for Shannon to review. I finished Thursday afternoon and sent it back to her for round two. She wasn't doing a copy edit - i.e. grammar and punctuation but was looking at the plot and timeline. Another editor will be doing the copy edits. Yes, there are a few cooks working on this soup.

Needless to say, the writing was set aside and I started to get it back on track yesterday. It's taking a bit to figure out where I left off and the next steps in the plot. I'll be back at it in earnest next week.

It looks like Bleeding Darkness is making its way to readers. I received a few emails from people to let me know their copies arrive including this Twitter post from Kelly MacNaull. Kelly spearheads the annual Curling for a Cause fundraiser, an event that Ted and I have curled in every year since it started. She does an amazing job and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local charities.

On the publicity front, my publicist Michelle Melski also set up a couple of gigs in Kingston on June 15. I'll be appearing on the CKWS tv morning show and then signing at Novel Idea bookshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the same day. I also met up with friends Bernie and Darlene on Monday and we paid a visit to the Cross on Elgin pub to meet the owner Danny and talk about the launch set up. Bernie is lead singer in the band Green Floyd, which will be entertaining us the day of. I've ordered some finger food and we figured out where Perfect Books will set up. It's a great, roomy space with a veranda so fingers crossed for a warm June day. You really should be marking it on your calendar!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

More Excitement

Always a happy day - this was the first time I got to see the finished Bleeding Darkness as UPS delivered my author copies earlier this week. A box of bookmarks arrived from Dundurn the next day. The Canadian release date is May 10 so four more sleeps :-)

Oddly enough, the book to follow entitled Turning Secrets came back from my editor Shannon Whibbs two days ago with her edits for me to go through. I've combed through the first hundred pages already and am taking my time as I have until this Friday to get my changes back for round two. I'm also 25000 words into the book after Turning Secrets so you can imagine how confusing this entire process is becoming :-)

My publicist asked me to write a blog post to coincide with the book release and I managed to fit this in. I attempted to answer the question that I often get asked: "Where do you get your ideas for a book?" I'll post the link once it's posted.

More work going on behind the scenes to nail down dates for signings in Toronto and Kingston where I'll also be appearing on the morning television show. I also had coffee with Bernie who is lead singer in the band Green Floyd - they'll be playing at the Ottawa book launch on June 3. We talked about the music and flow of the afternoon. We're both meeting up with the owner of the Cross on Monday to talk about food and set up. I'm going to order some finger foods and will talk about the best spot to have Perfect Books have the books for sale. I'm also pleased that Katherine Hobbs is going to be MC. All seems to be coming together!

So back to editing today and watching the city clear away our neighbour's tree which blew down in the strong winds last night. We heard a big crack and saw an orange flash of light as the giant spruce hit the power lines. I initially thought something had caught fire. All the neighbours poured onto the street to have a look, happy that the tree missed hitting anyone or damaging property. This crazy spring weather continues ....

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Rounding Out April

This has been a good writing week as I round in on 24,000 words. My goal was 20,000 words by the end of April so I'm ahead of the game. Good thing too because I'll be spending next week editing the Turning Secrets manuscript. I got word from Shannon Whibbs my Dundurn editor late yesterday that she was three-quarters done her edits and should have it to me Monday for my review. She said the characters are feeling like old friends as this is the third manuscript in the series that she's worked on.

So the countdown is on for the release of Bleeding Darkness on May 10. That leaves 12 days to go if all goes as planned. The Ottawa launch is June 3 because it's good to allow a few weeks grace in case of printing delays and to give some time for shipping the books from the warehouse. I've heard back from lots of people and there should be a good crowd. These launches are becoming like my annual block party - a chance to see everybody in one place!

Michelle, my publicist, is working on a signing at Sleuth of Bakerstreet in Toronto and a signing in Kingston. I've been invited to be on the Kingston tv morning show in May and we'll finalize the date once we know if a signing date is available. I know the Chapters is moving locations next month and Michelle is checking with the other bookstore. I've not done a signing in Kingston since I started this series so it's high time!

Linda Wiken launched her latest mystery entitled Marinating in Murder at Books on Beechwood this past Sunday and I drove over to buy a copy and help celebrate. We Ottawa mystery writers are so fortunate to have several dedicated readers who come out to all our events, buy our books and spread the word. The authors also encourage and support each other, making this feel like a bit of a family. Here I am with fellow crime fiction writers (l to r) Barb Fradkin, Linda Wiken and Mary Jane Maffini - thanks for the photo Nancy Reid :-)

This week I've been reading the book X by Sue Grafton, which is her second last book in the Kinsey Millhone series. I met Sue at Left Coast Crime in Monterey a few years ago. We were the only two in the hallway - she was on her way to be interviewed and I was heading to another room to be on a panel. She asked me to help her turn the sound off on her phone and we tinkered with it for a bit before giving up. At that time, I only had knowledge of my work Blackberry and had never used her type of phone. Even in that brief encounter, I felt her warmth and enjoyed her sense of humour which comes through in her writing.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Fires Burning

Woke up to sunshine this morning and it feels as if spring has arrived. Only five days ago, the ice /snow/hail storm tied up the city and an event I was to attend with Mary Jane Maffini, Linda Wiken and Barbara Fradkin was postponed. Such odd April weather. I have put away my winter boots in a reckless leap of faith ...

The Arthur Ellis shortlist events went on across the country, however, on Wednesday evening. The Ottawa event was at Chapters Rideau and I made my way there with Barbara Fradkin and Alex Brett after we stopped for supper at a bistro across the street. Mary Jane Maffini MC'd with about eight local crime fiction authors speaking about their books and most doing a two-minute reading, myself included. This was the first time I read from the upcoming Bleeding Darkness with the Canadian release now less than three weeks away. Congratulations to all those on the shortlists and especially to Gail Bowen who will receive the Grand Master award for her body of work. So well deserved.

Presenting Bleeding Darkness

With the release of Bleeding Darkness so close, my publicist Michelle Melski has been pulling together a few appearances in addition to ones I've organized. Here's a list of confirmed dates:

Wednesday, May 23 - guest on Rogers Cable 22 - The Author's Journey - live beginning at 1:00 p.m. with repeat shows at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. the same day.

Sunday, June 3 - launch at the Cross, 360 Elgin Street Ottawa, 2:00-4:00 p.m. with special musical guest Green Floyd. Perfect Books will be on hand with books for purchase.

Monday, May 28 - guest speaker in the Topical Talks series at Abbotsford House, Glebe Centre.

Saturday, June 9 - signing at Coles Carlingwood, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

I'll add more to the list as they're finalized and hope we can meet up along the way.

Writing progressed well this week. I reached my target 20,000 words for April and now feel like this is a bonus week coming up. I'm aiming for 10,000 words a month, allowing for editing work next month on the sixth Stonechild manuscript Turning Secrets. The cover is being designed now - I sent in my ideas Monday.

So, lots of little fires burning behind the scenes as this feels like the calm before the storm. I'm excited for you to finally be able to give Bleeding Darkness a read in a few weeks. Booklist highly recommends this one and calls it "a complex and suspenseful mystery". Rather a nice advance endorsement :-)

Good weekend everyone.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Behind the Scenes

It's been a week of lining up the ducks.

As those of you who follow my blog know, Bleeding Darkness is coming out early next month so lots is going on behind the scenes. I've begun sending out the Ottawa launch invitation - takes place Sunday, June 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Cross on Elgin. All welcome. I've also lined up a signing with Coles Carlingwood on Saturday, June 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The bookmarks are being printed, the book is also at the printers as I type, the champagne is chilling ...

My publicist Michelle has lined up some media around the time of the launch. So far guest on a morning show in Kingston and a radio interview in Ottawa. The details are still in the works but I'll let you know logistics once confirmed. I've also been invited to speak to an organization in the Glebe around the time of the book release and am told there are usually 50-70 in attendance.

In the meantime, work is beginning on the next in the Stonechild series Turning Secrets. My editor Shannon Whibbs has been in touch and she'll have her first edits to me at the end of April. I'll have the first week or so of May to go through her edits and make more of my own. I also received a form yesterday to give my cover input. It's still exciting to see the cover for the first time. I don't imagine this ever gets old.

This upcoming week, I'll be taking part in two events. Monday, Barb Fradkin, Mary Jane Muffin, Linda Wiken and I will make the trek out to Orleans to present our books, mingle and eat supper with an organization of about thirty people so I'm looking forward to an enjoyable time. Wednesday is the Arthur Ellis awards shortlist event at Chapters Rideau from 7-9 p.m. Several Ottawa crime writers will speak about their books - we each have two minutes and another two minutes if we choose to read. I'm thinking I'll read the first page of Bleeding Darkness but I'll wait to see about the pace of the event before deciding. I'm the last author listed so if it's getting late, I'll make my talk even shorter and sweeter :-) All are welcome to this one as well.

The writing on the latest Stonechild manuscript progressed nicely this week as I approach 19000 words. I'm thinking if I keep a pace of a minimum of 10000 words a month, I'll make the January deadline, allowing for time to edit and rewrite before submission. I've convinced myself that I'm on schedule.

The weather has been crap again this week with a winter storm predicted for tonight and tomorrow. I'm starting to look brilliant instead of lazy for not getting the winter tires changed. At least the weather keeps me indoors writing although I wouldn't mind taking my laptop into the backyard with a glass of lemonade, sunglasses and sunscreen. No need to keep hanging around Winter on my account...

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Enough Already

We woke up to more snow on the ground today, April 7th when average temperatures should be around ten degrees C. We've had rain, sleet, strong winds and frigid temps this week just to make our lives interesting. Someone said that we're having our 22nd winter ... this year.

Killer Heat, the seventh Anna Sweet novella, is now fait accompli. My editor Pam and I made our final changes and she submitted the final manuscript on Thursday. The cover design was also chosen this week and I'm now tasked with writing the cover blurb. I'm contracted for one final Anna Sweet after this one but it's not due for another year.

I also heard from Dundurn about the Turning Secrets manuscript. I'll be working with the same editor as I had for Bleeding Darkness, Shannon Whibbs, and we get started on the editing this month. This one will be released next year so you can see that we work well in advance of publication - I submitted the manuscript in December last year!

Also this week, I spent a few days reading through short stories for Capital Crime Writers' short story contest as I'm one of three judges. I've whittled the pile down and will read through my top contenders this weekend once again to determine order of finish. After that, I'll compare my list with those of the other judges and the discussion will begin until we reach a consensus. Our short list will be announced the evening of the Arthur Ellis short list event on Wednesday, April 18 from 7-9 p.m. I'll be taking part at Chapters Rideau alongside several of our city's crime fiction writers and all are welcome to join us.

I didn't get much writing done on my latest manuscript and feel unsettled about that. I set a weekly word count for myself that I fell well short of and I have another busy week ahead so not sure how much writing I'll get in. At some point soon, I'm going to have to pick up the pace. This will be the last Stonechild and Rouleau mystery and I'm working to wrap up the storylines for my cops. Maybe I'm dragging my heels because it's hard to say goodbye!

So, that about does it for my writing-week round up. I also curled my last games of the season this past week - I was on three teams - finished first overall in two of the leagues in weekly play. Perhaps the winter weather will now decide to wrap it up too. Time to get the bike out and get into the garden.
Barbecues, long summer evenings on the verandah with the neighbours, walks to our local put to sit on the rooftop patio, dinner outdoors ... can't come soon enough.