Saturday, August 7, 2010

Laying the Groundwork

My big news this week is a contract with Orca Publishers in Vancouver to write a book for their Rapid Reads series. The editor sent e-mails to some mystery authors asking for proposals. I submitted two chapters and a synopsis for a story idea and he liked it! These books are short - about 15,000 words and aimed at adults with literacy issues. It's a relatively new project but one that has been well received so far. I'm really thrilled to be writing one of these books since I taught reading for so many years to kids and adults who were struggling - it was difficult to find books at lower reading levels with appropriate, age-level content. Anyhow, I have to get writing as Orca want this book for the spring 2011 list.

Emma Dolan of RendezVous Crime sent along the final front and back covers of In Winter's Grip for me to see, and they are absolutely fabulous. Our good friend Frank Bowick (who was best man at our wedding some years back) took a photo of a forest in winter that I knew was perfect for the cover, and he agreed I could use it. Emma took the photo and came up with the final concept. It meant a photo shoot in Toronto to get the woman's face that you see super imposed on the woods. The final result has a thriller feel that reflects the suspense inside the covers. I hope you think so too.

Travel news: I'll be heading to Saskatoon in November for work and Rachel has set up a book signing and reading at McNally Robinson for the evening I arrive. I've never set foot in Saskatchewan and am looking forward to the visit. I hear Saskatoon is a pretty city - I'm hopeful it won't be snowed in by early November!

So, my evenings and weekends are busy with writing. In addition to the new manuscript, I'm revising the ending of another and waiting for the final draft of In Winter's Grip from Allister to give it one last going over before it goes to printing. We're getting close . . ..

And on the home renovation front, progress on the front deck stalled this week as Ted fusses with final measurements and prepares to build the steps. A few tenacious door-to-door salesmen have managed to ignore the fact we do not have stairs and climbed up to ring the doorbell. (I wonder if our insurance covers broken legs and sprained ankles if they were to slip or something.) In any event, stay tuned for next week. Ted promises the progress will be rapid from here on in . . . . and who am I to question such optimism?

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