Saturday, July 28, 2018

Aye Aye Maties

Well Ted and I managed to find one of the only places in Canada with cold/rainy/foggy weather and I have to say that it's a nice break from Ottawa's heat and humidity. We're in Meteghan Nova Scotia in a summer curling bonspiel staying in a cottage near the ocean which we haven't really seen yet because we're fogged in. Our record is one win and one loss - well we tied the second game but lost on a draw to the button. We could have five more games in two days if we keep winning ... so might be more merciful to lose and find our way to the bar. The spiel includes a scallop and a lobster supper, so really, we're all winners :-)

The Dundurn team sent along the copy edited Turning Secrets for my final review. I'll be working on it when I get home and have about six days to go through it. My last kick at the can so I want to focus on every word. From past experience, I know that it's time-consuming, meticulous work.

I also heard from Alan Neal about the guest appearance on CBC Radio's All in a Day. I've been paired up with another local author and we'll be meeting at a coffee shop later in August to interview each other for an upcoming show. This will be one show in a series and should be a lot of fun, both for us and for the listeners. I have a copy of the other author's book, which I've begun reading but need to also focus on soon.

So not much time for writing this week but I'm just 500 words short of my 50,000 word goal for July. Hopefully if this manuscript goes like the others, I'll start to pick up the pace as I get closer to the end. But for now, curling, seafood and fresh salt air.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Big Reveal!!

So this morning, the big reveal! Below is Laura Boyle's front cover design for Turning Secrets, book six in the Stonechild and Rouleau series. A somewhat unsettling and suspenseful vibe? This one will be released by Dundurn in May 2019 so a little wait ...

And not to end here, photographer/videographer/neighbour Graham Law took some publicity pictures of me in his backyard on Monday and here is a sample of his handiwork (Hopefully, this one isn't unsettling too :-):

Other news - I'm going to be on CBC Radio's All in a Day with Alan Neal in early August. The date is being finalized but I can tell you that it should be a fun and somewhat novel (ah hem) interview. Stay tuned!

Writing chugged along this week but I had to fill in a publicity grid for the next book and this took me a couple of afternoons. I've gotten used to working on a few books at the same time: writing one, editing another and publicity for a third, and while confusing, everything seems to get done on time. I've learned not to sweat it. Working in Communications in the government was a great training ground for juggling projects.

Not a great deal more to report this week. The road construction has turned our street into a dust bowl but my garden is taking little notice and thriving. It helps that I'm out there every morning hosing down the flowers. The grass ... not so much. It's become yellow and crunchy - I believe what you call 'gone dormant' although it sure looks dead to me. I'll end this week with a few more photos - the first two of my front yard/street and the third of my hardy side garden. Good week everyone.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Summer in the City

Good morning everyone. Mid-July already! The best time of year for fresh produce - I think I've eaten four pounds of cherries alone.

Bleeding Darkness has been on the shelves for two months now and I've been working with Dundurn on the next book - Turning Secrets, which is due for release in May 2019. This week, designer Laura Boyle sent along a preliminary version of the cover and she nicely captured the major theme. I also spent a morning tightening up the cover text which I'd written a while back. Dundurn needs this now to start publicizing in catalogues. I'll share the cover once I have the final.

Meanwhile, I continue writing the latest manuscript and am in the dreaded middle. This is the point in every manuscript where I question the plot, the writing and my ability to pull this off. I'm comforted that other authors all report this same self-doubt mid-way through their manuscripts. The remedy is to ignore the negative thoughts and to keep writing. This seventh book in the series is the last so I'm tying up ongoing plot lines and this makes the writing even more challenging. I'm aiming to hit 50,000 words by the end of July and have 3000 words to go so I should reach the target without problem.

I was invited back to Radio 1310 News and the Power Lunch with Mark Sutcliffe on Monday. I enjoy speaking about topics in the news, not normally voicing my opinions except to Ted :-) You can watch the half hour show, which was broadcast simultaneously on 1310 Facebook Live and Rogers Cable 22.

Our street work continues, making concentration a challenge. They dug up our lawn to lay new pipe so I was typing while they excavated and pounded and beeped a few feet away. The noise and shaking starts at 7 a.m. on the dot and stops at 5 or 6 p.m. I've surprisingly managed to ignore most of the noise except when the entire house shakes and the pounding feels like it's going right through one's body. The dust is incredible - our cars are coated in it every day and it sifts into the house. I have a dust allergy so my sneeze count is up. Anyhow, we need the new sewers so this is small pain for big gain and I applaud the guys who spend the long, hot days doing this dusty, dirty, unpleasant, nasty work.

So, time for that last cup of coffee before I get the day underway. I have a little bike ride and writing on my agenda capped off by a BBQ and glass of wine.

Ahh summer ....

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Writing Through the Heat

Another week spent writing. Nothing all that exciting about sitting at my computer typing ... plugging away and moving the story forward. I have, however, passed the half-way mark in the word count.

As you may recall, I was on Radio 1310's Power Lunch a month ago with host Mark Sutcliffe. Well, I've been invited back and you can tune in this Monday between noon and 12:30. The show is also broadcast live on Rogers Cable 22 and on 1310 Facebook Live--just do a search and there it will be on your computer. We get five topics in the news the morning of the show along with opinion choices and then discuss our points of view over the half hour. The other guest will be a surprise until the day of.

I'm also going to get some photos taken on Tuesday with Graham Law, a photog friend who curls at the Granite and lives a few streets over. This came about because Dundurn requested one for next year's book Turning Secrets along with a couple of pages of information. That took some time to get together but I managed to make yesterday's deadline. The photo will be late but this won't be an issue.

Man, this past week was blistering hot. A few days in the forties with the humidex and the air felt so heavy and thick, it hurt to breathe. I made it outside early every morning to water the garden and flower pots before the sun was fully up. By lunchtime, it was too hot to spend any time outdoors.  Too hot to barbecue at suppertime even.  We've had heat waves before but never one like this. Not encouraging Mother Nature to make a habit of it.

So, another week ahead of writing. Thank you to everyone who's been posting comments, pictures of Bleeding Darkness in different locales or photos of themselves reading the book. Every photo makes me smile and helps spread the word. Also to those posting reviews on social media. You know, I grew up in the generation told not to blow your own horn and marketing does not come naturally. However, I've come to realize that if people don't know about the books or receive enough positive feedback on them, they will never pick them up -- and it's a great feeling to know people are enjoying my stories:-)