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.