Saturday, July 18, 2015

Long and Winding Road

'Achieved 79, 300 words this week and will surpass my target of 80,000 words by the end of July. I'm rounding into the story's climax and having great fun heading to the finish line. I sort of know how things are going to unfold, but surprises always pop up as I write. I compare this creative process to going on a trip. You can take the 401 and stay on the major, straight-line highway, or you can choose less travelled, more scenic roads that lead to surprises and sometimes getting lost. You end up at the same place, but by completely different routes.

Speaking of surprises, I had a lovely one this Tuesday when I found out that Ottawa CTV News at Noon featured Butterfly Kills as a summer read recommendation. Peggy Blair's Hungry Ghosts was the other mystery novel featured on the show. We're both reading in Perth before the play Wait until Dark at the Perth Theatre Festival on August 15th, so rather fitting to have our books recommended  together!

The first chapter from Tumbled Graves is available for free download on iTunes for those of you who want a sneak preview. You can pre-order the book from most bookstores or online book sites, but it won't be released until early 2016. In fact, it's helpful if you request the book at your local bookstore or even library since this puts it on their radar and they often order in more copies.

Another great way to help your favourite author(s) is to post a review on Goodreads and the book sites, like Amazon or Chapters. The number of reviews will move the book up in its standing, and an honest review can help readers decide whether or not to buy the book - of course, all authors naturally hope for good reviews over bad. It's very nice to receive feedback from readers by e-mail, but even better if they take the time to post a review publically.

To be candid, the book business is tough - review sites are few and far between for crime novels; shelf space in bookstores (of which there are fewer and fewer) is limited, and often the same established authors garner the most publicity, no matter the media. I've seen some new authors put out one or two books and then disappear because they can't get the support needed to keep producing. So, purchasing books, writing reviews, chatting up books to your friends... all this is vitally important and the impact cannot be underestimated.

We're having a couple of hot, hot days here in Ottawa, not to mention muggy and humid. I give up completely on my hair these summer days and let it do whatever it likes. My writing process resembles the twisted, curly path of my hair - always surprising and never entirely to be predicted.


  1. Thanks for the mention! Very much looking forward to our event in Perth! Cheers, Peggy