Saturday, July 30, 2016

In the Great Northwest

Good morning from Thunder Bay. The weather here has been absolutely beautiful all week and so good to see my family and Lake Superior again.

I went to the CBC radio station Thursday morning to pre tape an interview that ran on Superior Morning early Friday. Host Lisa Laco was on holidays but her replacement Matt was great and it turns out he knew my sister Donna who came with me to the studio - in fact, they used to be next door neighbours. Thunder Bay is about 110,000 people so that makes for mighty small odds! If they post the interview in a podcast, I'll post the link. It was a fun interview.

Today, I'm slated to be at Chapters in Intercity from 1:00 to 3:00, so let any of your Thunder Bay friends know if they'd like to drop by. My niece Laura is going to keep me company. I fly home Monday and have another radio interview scheduled on 1310 News AM radio with Carol Anne Meehan on Wednesday sometime between 1:00 and 3:00. Still have to confirm the date and time.

I haven't got any writing in this week but will get back on schedule Tuesday. My fingers are itchy to get back at it, but I haven't minded a holiday. The Shallow End manuscript will be popping back for one last look as well with another tight deadline. I have to wonder when did I ever find time to work full time?!

It's another sunny, gorgeous morning here in Northwestern Ontario. I can just see Lake Superior between the rooftops and hope to get down to the harbour again before I leave. You can see the lake from almost anywhere this part of the city. Time to get a cup of coffee and go sit in my sister's back garden to get this day underway.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Lazy Days and Big News!

Another lovely weekend! I've already watered the garden and biked to the grocery store and library. Just brewing another pot of coffee and I'll have a cup with Ted on the back deck before settling down to write.

My happy place and the view from my chair. Ahh, summer.

I have some great news to share. Dundurn is going to make the first two Stonechild and Rouleau books into audio books! You'll be able to listen to the books while relaxing in your back garden or driving or walking with your iPhone. I get to help select the voice actor and sit in on a studio recording so all very exciting! I'm not sure when this all gets underway, but my sense is that it will be very soon - I'll keep you updated as the venture continues.

On my latest manuscript, I have the next two scenes plotted out in my mind as I approach 44,000 words. I'm aiming to pass the 45,000 word mark before I leave for Thunder Bay next week and should make it. Still having fun with this one.

So, I'll be on CBC radio in Thunder Bay likely this coming Friday on Lisa Laco's show Superior Morning, which we'll prerecord on Thursday. Then, I'll be at Chapters in Intercity on Saturday from 1:00 to 3:00 - hoping to see some people from my past!

Good weekend, everyone. Enjoy the last of July! (Lots of happy exclamation marks :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Writing Through July

Good morning, everyone and it is a beautiful morning in Ottawa. Warm but the humidity dissipated last evening with a good dousing of rain.

I had a busy week at my computer to make the Friday editing deadline for Shallow End. The manuscript looks to be in good shape, thanks to the good work of the copy editor Shari Rutherford, who happens to know the city of Kingston very well - helpful to get all the details right.

I managed little writing on the current manuscript and will start back on that today. I'm at a stage where I'm trying to work out the plot line for the second half of the book.

I spent a lovely evening yesterday with a local book club who invited me for supper at Biagio's restaurant where we talked about Tumbled Graves over wine and pasta. They'd each read the book and everyone enjoyed it, even those who weren't fond of mysteries as a rule. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and answering all their questions which ranged from my writing process to the road to publication to selecting a book title. Thank you to Brenda Clement for inviting me and to all the ladies for such an enjoyable evening and for your enthusiasm for the Stonechild series!

I received an invitation from Carol Anne Meehan to be on her 1300 News  radio show and we've settled on Wednesday, August 3. I'm looking forward to talking about the books with her as well as my interview with Lisa Lasco in a couple of weeks on Superior Morning on CBC radio in Thunder Bay. I'm also booked for Ellie's Read on Ottawa on Cable 22 with filming the end of August. Lots going on!

So back to the coffee pot for another cup before I get started on the writing. I'm reinvigorated after visiting the book club and receiving all their positive feedback - one of the best parts of this writing business :-)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Writing, Editing and Talking Mystery

A busy writing week coming up. I'm zeroing in on 40,000 words on the latest manuscript and averaging over 500 words a day, including weekends. The writing has been flowing the last few days, which is a pleasant change from the struggle with plot I've been having lately.

The Shallow End manuscript boomeranged back yesterday late in the day. It has been edited by a copy editor and I now have to go through her edits and comments and do another check of the text. I have exactly a one week deadline for this so it will get priority over writing. The advance reader copies (ARCs) go to reviewers six months ahead of release, which will be September or October since the release is slated for  early March 2017. Once I return the manuscript by next Friday, the editor will go through it again and I get one last look in August.

Meanwhile, I'm now booked for an interview on CBC Radio in Thunder Bay when I'm up that way in a couple of weeks. I'll be on the morning show Superior North with host Lisa Laco. I was in the studio for an interview with my kids' series some years ago, but Lisa was on holidays. I've phoned in from Ottawa for a couple more interviews with Lisa but have never met her so I'm looking forward to the in-person interview this time. I'll also be at the Chapters in Thunder Bay on Saturday, July 30th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm so please spread the word if you have friends or family in Thunder Bay.

Also this week, I'm meeting up with a local book club for supper and a chat about the Stonechild and Rouleau series on Friday. I met a few of the book club members at Prose in the Park in June and look forward to seeing them again.

So it's a rainy Saturday and I have lots to accomplish at the computer. My writing buddy Trooper is here until Sunday to keep me company although he's made it clear that all work and no play makes for a dull day.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Catching Up

I almost forgot to make a blog entry today as I've begun working on the latest manuscript. Hitting 35,000 words today and pretty much on target. I'll be honest when I say that this portion has had me struggling as I figure out the plot lines. I finished reading a nonfiction book that I've got from the library along with a historical video that I've also watched. I want to incorporate some of the information into the main story line and am still working out how it will fit in with a couple of my characters. Some thought-provoking reading.

No publicity in the works this week although I received an invitation to speak at one of the local writing groups later this year. The topic will be about writing a series and how to keep one going. This will involve some prep work but always good to consider the writing process and figure out what needs refining.

Whenever I meet up with friends lately, they ask if I've got a writing routine going now that I'm retired. It's been tougher than you might think to settle down into a daily schedule. I tend to write for an hour or so in the morning and then a few hours in the afternoon. Sometimes, I'm tapping away in the evening but usually if I haven't managed to sit at the keyboard for very long during the day. I'm more or less into a routine, but its never the same every day if that makes sense. I'm managing to get the minimum word count in, and the few days that I don't, I up my word count for the next day. If I'm really into a scene though, I can write for hours straight.

I took yesterday off, however. Canada Day. We had some friends over for a glass of wine before heading into Westboro village for supper at a very fine Italian restaurant. We were watching the end, or what we thought was the end, of the Blue Jays - Cleveland game on tv. It went nineteen innings before Cleveland won 2-1. The Jays had even used two infielders to pitch the last two innings. Crazy but entertaining. We ended our evening listening to a live band at Whispers pub so all in all a great way to celebrate Canada's 149th birthday. Next year is going to be a celebration not to be missed.

So, back at the keyboard now. I'll put on CBC radio and listen to The Last Chapter later in the afternoon. I love these lazy Saturdays. In fact, I love these lazy weekends with nothing major on the agenda and what feels like all the time in the world.