Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Heading to the mountains--with manuscripts

Today I drove up to Breckenridge with my husband and son for an extended five-day Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, it won't be all fun. I brought two manuscripts with me. One is a mystery short story anthology that I promised to blurb. The second is the copy edited manuscript for TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET. Finally! I'm excited to read about Claire's Breckenridge adventure again--in Breckenridge. I've almost forgotten how the story goes. :)

I will have some fun up here, though, in between reading. There's hiking, shopping, eating out, and a rubber ducky race. Can't miss that!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Living up to my Bio

I recently posted about my poem, "Ride the Wind," appearing in RUBBER SIDE DOWN, The Biker Poetry Anthology, edited by Jose Gouveia ("JoeGo"). I received my author copies of the anthology a few days ago, and apparently JoeGo thought the bio I sent him for the anthology was too tame, so he made up one of his own for me:

"Beth Groundwater is SCUBA certified, learning tai chi, and has visited Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and the Galapagos Islands. visit Beth's website at"

Not a single thing in this bio is true, except for my website address. It looks like I'll have to get cracking to live up to my bio! Now where's that tai chi video my husband ordered years ago...?

Here's what I sent:

"Beth Groundwater is not currently a biker, but learning to ride a motorcycle is on her "Things to Do Before I Die" list along with getting a SCUBA certificate, learning tai chi, and visiting Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and the Galapagos Islands. She has accomplished at least two things on her list, publish a poem (this one) and publish a novel. Her debut mystery, A REAL BASKET CASE, was released in March, 2007 to good reviews and was nominated for a 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award. The large-print edition was released in January, 2008, and the sequel, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, will be released in May, 2009. Please visit Beth's website at"

After looking at the photos of some of the other poets in the anthology and reading their bios, I think Joe didn't want to admit that one of the poems was written by a non-biker! My local writing friends have been offering rides and the use of leather jackets and other accesories for any signings I do in the area. I'm thinking I'll have to straddle a cycle one day soon, too. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

My First TV Interview as an Author

On Friday, I had my first taped TV interview as an author. The interview will appear at various times in September on a Denver Cable Channel 8 television show called "Off the Page" hosted by an Aurora librarian. The show airs in nine markets around the metro area. The hostess interviews two Colorado authors per half-hour show to promote authors, libraries and literacy across the metro area. I shared the program with fellow Colorado mystery author, Mike Befeler, who looked cool as a cucumber through his taping.

I, however, was feeling a little frazzled after arriving late, because I spent 2.5 hours on the road to make what was supposed to be a 1.5 hour drive, due to rain, construction, and rush hour traffic. I made it through the interview with a minimum of sweat, though, and I'm anxious to get my DVD copy so I can analyze my performance. The interviewer emailed us our questions ahead of time, and I wrote out and rehearsed some answers. I didn't memorize them because I didn't want to sound wooden, but I ended up forgetting a few points I wanted to make.

The taping was interesting. There were two cameras, one looking over the interviewer's shoulder at me and one "long shot" camera that took in the whole view of the two of us sitting in our chairs. This camera was moved continuously back and forth along a track by the cameraman. After the interview was taped, they moved one of the cameras behind me to tape the interviewer asking the questions again, without me answering. The three types of shots will all be edited magically together afterward.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

And now for something completely different...

The one poem that I've written as an adult, "Ride the Wind," has recently been published for a second time. The reprint appears in RUBBER SIDE DOWN, The Biker Poetry Anthology, edited by Jose Gouveia ("JoeGo"). The anthology was released August 4th (Opening Day of the Sturgis 2008 Motorcycle Rally). All the poetry, including mine, is about motorcycle riding even though I've never ridden a motorcycle!

Like cowboy poetry, biker poetry seems to be a genre on the rise. The book traces the beginnings of biker poetry to a poetry throwdown of sorts on a farm in Colorado in 1975, attended by an assortment of bikers and hippies and a young Hunter S. Thompson. The contributors include the late Allen Ginsberg and Thom Gunn, Diane Wakoski, and a host of writers from the motorcycle press, including Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum (Harley-Davidson Historian Emeritus), Susan Buck, and K. Peddlar Bridges. The book features photos by noted motorcycle photographer, Michael Lichter ("Choppers, Heavy Metal Art").

Working with JoeGo has been a hoot, and I can't wait to get my hands on my own author copies. The anthology is available at the website of the publisher, Archer Books: and on Amazon:

Friday, August 15, 2008

And A REAL BASKET CASE is back on sale!

Amazon has my novel back on 20% off sale today, but who knows how long it will last? I can't keep track of the moves anymore, so if you're interested in buying a copy from Amazon and it's listed as full price, I suggest you keep checking back and look for a sale price.

Now, on to other news. This afternoon I'm driving up to Denver to be interviewed by a librarian for her Denver Cable Channel 8 television show called "Off the Page". The show airs in nine markets around the metro area. She interviews Colorado authors to promote authors, libraries and literacy around Denver and surrounding communities. We're taping the show this afternoon, and it will air at different times in September. Figuring out what to wear is a challenge! I'm going to try to get an airing schedule and ask a Denver friend to tape it for me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

That was quick ;(

Well, today when I checked Amazon, my book was back to selling at full-price. Their 20% sale on it didn't last very long, that's for sure! I've long given up trying to figure out Amazon's pricing strategies, and this is just one more example of how weird they are.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I just checked the Amazon page for my book, A REAL BASKET CASE, and they've discounted it 20% so its price matches the Barnes & Noble member price of $20.76. So, if you've been waiting for it to go on sale before getting your own copy, here's your chance! The link is:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Lovely Writers Retreat

This past Saturday, August 9th, was the annual retreat for Pikes Peak Writers volunteers to thank us for our service to the organization. The retreat was held at the lovely Monument home of Chris Mandeville, the outgoing PPW President. Workshops were offered, as well as massages and yoga and nature strolls, quiet places to write, and more. Everyone brought offerings for a pot luck lunch, and beverages and breakfast and snack items were provided. Also, Chris solicited prizes from local businesses for drawings, and free books were available for the taking.

I want to pass on my kudos to Chris Mandeville and all the volunteers who contributed to make the volunteer retreat a special experience. I had a great day playing with words with Sue Mitchell, turning my log line into a "high concept" pitch with Karen Lin, walking around Chris's peaceful neighborhood and getting a massage from the magic fingers of Barbara Spiller, dry-running a Character Toolbox workshop with co-presenter Chris (we hope to do it at PPW spring conference), and listening to some outstanding readings at the American Icon practice in "The Wretched Pun" pub. I left relaxed, renewed, and revved up (a motorcycle pun for those of you who were there) to write and write some more.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Article in The Writer magazine

I just received my two free copies of the September, 2008 issue of The Writer magazine that features an article by me on page 14. The article, titled "Networking, and more networking, did the trick", is my paid contribution to their monthly Breakthrough column. This column features advice from successful writers on what "breakthrough" made the big difference to them in their career. In my case, it was networking with other members of the writing community. If you're a subscriber, or can obtain a copy of the magazine at your local library or bookstore, I hope you'll read my column and that it helps you make a breakthrough in your own writing career. And how did I get the assignment to write that column? By networking at the 2007 Pikes Peak Writers conference and talking to the Senior Editor of The Writer magazine, who also attended!