Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wednesday after work, I hurried over to Cafe Toulouse to meet publicist Rachel Sentes and her partner, agent Brian Wood for some tea and conversation. Rachel lives in Edmonton and Brian in Vancouver, and they are on a tour of authors, publicists, agents - people in the business. Networking is a major part of any profession, but especially so for publicists and agents. Rachel and I discussed the release of In Winter's Grip and she is keen to start ramping up the publicity. Our goal is to get my book into the western and U.S. markets. She meets with my publisher in Toronto early next week so there will be another connection made. All very exciting but daunting too.

This week, I will attend the Ottawa Public Library's Awesome Author contest event at Ben Franklin Place. I'm to hand out the English short story awards so I'll fill you in on that next week. From what I understand, most of the kids who entered the contest show up with their families - there were about a hundred short stories alone (also poetry and French short story categories) so it could be a packed room.

My writing started off great guns last weekend until a doozie of a headache hit and laid me up for a few days. I'm now at 27,000 words. Tune in next weekend to see if I hit 30,000. Could be close. I give five to one odds.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It has been an unusual week of record-breaking warm temperatures for March. The snow is gone and spirits have been lifted, mine included. I've been back in the writing saddle and cracked 25,000 words on the latest manuscript. Ideas are beginning to flow like spring sap. (Okay . . . that was a sad reach.) Anyhow, it's good to have some ideas bubbling up. I'm playing with point of view in this manuscript, and it's fun but also daunting. So far, I think it's coming together, but I still have a long stretch to go. I aim for 80,000 words, which equates to about 325 pages.

Writing events - I'm going to be part of the Arthur Ellis shortlist event at the Ottawa Public Library on Thursday evening, April 22nd and will take the opportunity to read for the first time from In Winter's Grip. I'll be discussing writing with three other mystery authors - R.J. Harlick, Linda Wiken (owner of Prime Crime) and Brian McKillop. Kate Jaimet, another young adult author and Ottawa Citizen reporter, will be leading the discussion. I've also been asked to work on publicity for the event with my buddy C.B. Forrest and will be sending a notice out to blogs today.

Also this week, I'm meeting with Rachel Sentes and Brian Wood, who are in from Edmonton for a few days. Rachel is doing publicity for my adult book and Brian is an agent. More about the visit in my next blog.

Guy Mercier created a funky little animation on my website on the Contact page. Check it out:

Friday, March 12, 2010

This week has been a write-off, writing-wise. I must have spring fever. My lofty goal of 500 words a day might have been a tad ambitious.

What did I do instead you ask?

I seem to have this curling addiction. I'm on three teams - two as skip (the one who decides strategy and throws the last two stones) and the other as third (the one who helps the skip with strategy and throws the second last two stones). I also like watching the sport on tv. Olympics, Briar . . . both take up a surprising amount of time. The good news is that all this wraps up in April.

I did accomplish a few things though. I wrote some Q's and A's for a press kit that my publicist Rachel Sentes requested, and we also set up a meeting. Rachel lives in Edmonton but will be in the Ottawa at the end of March. We've never met so I am looking forward to a visit over coffee. I also finished reading and judging all the short stories for the Awesome Authors contest. The library asked me to present the winners at the awards night on March 31st. The reading and judging also took up a surprising amount of time. There are some good young writers out there.

Oh yes, and last night, I finished reading Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It closes in on 900 pages, also taking a great deal of time to read. I'm going to put off reading the last in the series to give my eyes a rest . . . and to write a few pages . . . .

Saturday, March 6, 2010

An early morning. I wake up before six a.m. weekdays to go to work and can't seem to change my schedule much on the weekends . . . but this promises to be a warm, spring-like weekend so it's good to be up and about.

Still a lot to accomplish over the next few days. I intend to finish reading and deciding on stories for the Awesome Authors contest. My latest manuscript is now 23,000 words long and ideas are starting to flow. I'm aiming for 500 words a day, but don't always make it, finding little spaces of time to write. I'm at the stage now when I'm wondering if the story is going to come together. I haven't yet hit the period of thinking it's all a load of rubbish as I do with every book. Something to look forward to . . . The trick is to keep writing through the times of self-doubt and to ignore the critical self hovering over the keyboard.

I'm reading a good book - the second inthe Stieg Larsson trilogy called The Girl Who Played With Fire. The first is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Stieg wrote about corruption in Sweden in these murder mysteries and ended up dying, some argue suspiciously, of a heart attack in his early fifties. These books are well worth a read and have received much international critical acclaim.

Highlight of the week: Katherine Hobbs posting my info on Wikipedia. Very cool to be part of the encylopedia as it feels like a milestone - one of the most exciting moments for me was when I saw my first book on Amazon. It's all about having the impossible become real.