Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cheers to 2018!

So the end to 2018 is a few days away. Time to recap the writing year and look ahead.

In February, I travelled to Toronto to take part in the Ontario Library Association (OLA) annual conference. The OLA had shortlisted No Trace (Anna Sweet mystery novella) for the Golden Oak award and I was invited to their breakfast. I also signed copies of Shallow End at the Dundurn booth.

Signing with Barbara Fradkin and R.J. Harlick at the Dundurn booth

No Trace was also shortlisted for a Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award in April. While the book didn't take home either award, its double nomination felt like a win :-)

Later that same month, Ted and I flew to Pyeongchang, South Korea to watch our daughter Lisa curl in the Olympics. Not a writing event, but it sure was a highlight! I did do a bit of writing though - you can read the article here.

Team Homan representing Canada at the Olympics
Such beautiful topography - sunset in Pyeongchang

Bleeding Darkness, fifth in the Stonechild and Rouleau series, made it to store shelves with a May release. The Ottawa launch was held at The Cross on Elgin and turned into a great party with  Green Floyd playing and Perfect Books on hand to sell copies - we even sold out! It was so great to see everyone who came out, many old friends and some whom I'd never met before but who are fans of the series. My cousin Janet from Montreal and my friend  Dawn from Toronto even made the trip to help celebrate, adding to the specialness of the day.

 Cortez from Perfect Books
 Lead singer Bernie from Green Floyd
Photos by Fred Taylor

I followed up the release with some media, including an overnight trip to Kingston to appear on the Morning Show and sign books at Novel Idea bookshop. I also appeared on CBC Radio's All in a Day with Gerald Lynch on a series that paired two local authors to interview each other. (link to interview)

Other television appearances included Daytime Ottawa on Rogers Cable 22 and Hollywood in the Valley with Matt Demers (you can find it on Bell Fibe television - season three). In addition, I did seven guest spots on The Power Lunch with host Mark Sutcliffe and another alternating guest as we discussed the news of the day. All this to say, lots of media exposure and fun along the way.

With host Dylan Black on Daytime Ottawa

With host Matt Demers
The Power Lunch - 1310 News

As for bookstore signings, in addition to the Novel Idea visit, I spent two afternoons at Coles Carlingwood, another at Chapters Gloucester in August signing with Robin Harlick, and a stint at Chapters Barrhaven with Jim Napier and Barbara Fradkin as part of a mystery writers' weekend. I also took part in a most pleasant evening at Books on Beechwood with fellow authors Barbara Fradkin and Iona Whishaw hosted by Linda Wiken.

Barbara Fradkin and Kathy Prairie, Eastern Ontario rep for Crime Writers of Canada
 - Chapters Barrhaven

(l to r) Iona Whishaw, Linda Wiken, Barbara Fradkin and me - Books on Beechwood

I had a few speaking engagements including a talk in May about the Stonechild mysteries at the Abbotsford House, which is a seniors' centre, and two visits to the Emerald Branch of the Ottawa Public Library in October to introduce the Anna Sweet mysteries to new Canadian women's groups. Along with four other Ottawa mystery writers, I attended a Sorority Sisters event, which included supper and interesting discussion about our books and writing.  I also had a lovely afternoon visiting a book club in the East end of Ottawa to discuss Cold Mourning .

(l to r) me, R.J. Harlick, Barbara Fradkin, Linda Wiken & Mary Jane Maffini

Mixed in with all these great events, I managed to complete editing book six in the Stonechild series, Turning Secrets, which is now being circulated for advance reviews. The book is slated for release in early May so looks like another launch to plan. Green Floyd has said they'd love to play again since they had so much fun last time around - another party coming up! I've also written book seven entitled Closing Time, and will be submitting it to Dundurn in a few days. This has been the project consuming me for this year.

Looking ahead, I'll be travelling to Vancouver in March to attend Left Coast Crime. I've also been invited to be one of the authors at a festival but you'll have to wait for the announcement to find out which one :-) I also have two Anna Sweet mysteries due for the fall with Grass Roots Press planning a campaign to launch them together since these will be the last two books in the series.

The past year has been busy, great fun and highly entertaining. I'm excited to find what new adventures the new year holds. Happy 2019, everyone - cheers to the year that was and the new year to come!

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