Saturday, August 25, 2012

One week to Release!

One week until Second Chances hits the shelves. It was mentioned in the Quill and Quire this month in its fall preview of books for the younger set. It's in the seventh paragraph down and begins with the word 'Sex'. While I have a seventeen year old character named Elizabeth who acts out and likes boys, perhaps a bit too much, there isn't any actual sex in the book. But what is it they say about sex selling? Quill and Quire, you are going to make this book a best seller :-)

Two-time Governor General award-winning author Tim Wynne-Jones read the manuscript early on and gave the following cover quote:  The plot of Second Chances crackles like summer lightning ... Chapman skillfully weaves together a story, sensual and taut, that is a slow burn from the very first image.

(Okay, I'm on a roll - gearing up to promote.)

Now, the new Dundurn mystery series for adults, which begins with the release of Cold Mourning in the fall of 1213, has actual sexual shenanigans. Not 50 Shades of Grey kind of carryings-on, but enough that I wouldn't give the book to my twelve year old to read.

I've maintained my writing pace this week. I've given myself a 500-word a day minimum. The not-too-high, not-too-low word count seems to be working for me. Some days, I even get a thousand words written. I start in the evening after supper during the week and write off and on all weekend. I'm almost done a new little project I've had underway this month (details to come).

My next task is to do a bit of editing on Cold Mourning - I had Damien Coakley, a retired Ottawa cop, read it for technical advice. I'm happy to report that he only found a few inaccuracies, which I need to go through to update the manuscript. The cover concept should be arriving soon. I've given suggestions and am awaiting the first design from Dundurn. It's always a thrill to have that first glimpse. Covers are done way ahead of the editing process so that the book gets into catalogues and online bookstores.

Well, in line with my push to promote Second Chances, I'm going to spend some time this weekend e-mailing out the book launch invitation. I've heard from lots of people that they'll be coming by and I hope you can too - it's a little celebration really. A chance to raise a glass and catch up with friends, old and new.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What Lies Ahead

Another busy week - busy in my day job, busy writing, busy getting publicity stuff in order . . . boredom is a word I seldom use.

I was invited yesterday to give a workshop at the Smiths Falls Library one Saturday in September. I'll be teaching the short story workshop that I give to kids as part of the annual Awesome Authors contest for the Ottawa Public Library. It's part of Smiths Falls' culture days so should be a fun time. It's the week after the launch of Second Chances (Sept. 22nd from 2-4 at Collected Works) (I know you already have it on your calendars:-)

I don't get to too many events as a rule. There just aren't that many hours in my week once you factor in the full time job. I also start curling in October and am on two teams again this year. Actually, when I start to think about all the things I have to do this fall, little beads of sweat break out on my forehead.

I am really looking forward to the first two weeks in October though. I'm on holiday - Katherine Hobbs, Darlene Cole and I have rented a car to drive to Cleveland (9 hours) to attend Bouchercon. I'm hoping to be on a panel but already am lined up to be part of 'Meet the Canucks' night and the organizers have asked for bio and photo for the program. If I'm lucky, I'll meet Elizabeth George in
the pub or somewhere as I'm a huge fan of her Inspector Lynley series.We're going a day early to take in the sights of Cleveland, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I'll bring along my laptop and will blog at the scene. You may never have to leave the comfort of your living room again.

On my return to Ottawa, my sister and brother in law will be visiting from Thunder Bay and the following weekend, Ted and I will be going to a B & B in Kingston for a night so I can walk the streets . . .  (now that came out wrong) . . . to get the geography down for my second mystery in the adult series from Dundurn. (We'll be looking for more places to dump bodies.) The first called Cold Mourning, set in Ottawa, will be out in fall 2013.

Well, I've just exhausted myself so time to go mop my brow and have another cup of coffee. Hope everyone is having a great end of summer and enjoying the absence of oppressive heat. It's strange days when 25 degrees C feels cold.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Going for Gold

This has been a wonderful week - much needed rain and steady writing. I've set a 500-word minimum for myself each day and have managed to meet or exceed without exception. I'm like one of those long distance runners in the Olympics only with less sweat and heavy breathing.

So here is one of Ottawa's better kept secrets - the walled garden of Maplelawn. It's not too far from our house and a good place to sit and contemplate life in the middle of the city.

It's maintained by a group of volunteers 'The Friends of Maplelawn' who work away every Sunday throughout the spring and summer. Every few weeks, new perennials are in bloom. Hard to believe this little oasis is open to the public with a picnic table and benches in the shade.

The building in the background is the original residence and now a Keg restaurant - another lovely place to spend an evening although costing your wallet somewhat more than a walk around the garden.

Okay, enough of an interlude. It's time to get back at the writing and make my word quota. I have two books on the go and some accounting work to take care of today. I've set up a giveaway of Second Chances on Goodreads this morning - Dundurn will donate and mail out the book to the winners so enter if you are able: Just three weeks until the book is officially available although you can preorder now . . . marketing should be another Olympic sport.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Heat, Sweat and Beers

And the summer heat is not letting up. We're hitting 40 degrees C again today with the humidex, which is way hot for this August long weekend in Canada. It's a challenge to stay hydrated, but we're giving it our best shot..

It has been a good writing week. I've set aside my manuscript for a few weeks for the sequel to Cold Mourning (1st in an adult mystery series coming out next year from Dundurn) to work on a new project for adult literacy. I'll tell you more as it unfolds, but it is quite an exciting opportunity.

We've stayed in the city this weekend. With the Olympics on, I like to be close to a television to take in the events. So much sacrifice and work on the part of each athlete from every country- they are inspiring. Their success after failure and struggle makes a few rejection letters from publishers seem inconsequential!

Rosie MacLennan just won Canada's first gold medal this morning on the trampoline and talked about her grandfather as her main inspiration. He told her to enjoy each step in the process and not to just focus on the outcome. I feel the same about writing - enjoyment should come from the writing itself - the rest will fall into place (hopefully!). The same can be said of most of life's endeavors.

Well, the posters for the Second Chances book launch arrived from Dundurn and I'll be dropping some off at Collected Works later today. I'm timing it to meet Cathy Astolfo, who is in town for a booksigning. She writes a mystery series and is also past president of Crime Writers of Canada. That's another great thing about writing - all the people you get to meet along the way.

A neighbour was asking about Ted's latest bedroom 'painting' project and where it stands now. As it so happens, Ted told me yesterday that he decided that he needed better track lighting before he could put another coat of varnish on the floor - it was just too difficult to get it right with the poor lighting. He ordered the track lighting in April  . . and it arrived this week. Yes, it really took over four months to ship from point A to point B - I'm beginning to think there's a conspiracy going on . . .