Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yesterday I received the cover art for my May, 2009 release, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET. It's gorgeous and just what I envisioned when I sent directions to the art department. In the first scene of the book, there's an accident on a Breckenridge, CO ski slope, and Claire has to position her skis in an X on the slope to show the ski patrol where the victim is. The colors are breathtaking and give you a chill. I love how the artist "tied" it in with the gift bow theme of the first book, A REAL BASKET CASE. I'm pleased as punch with this beautiful cover and would love to receive comments on it. What do you think?

Comment, you ask? Didn't I used to have comments turned off on this blog? Yes, I did, because I didn't want to have spam or porn appear and I wasn't sure I wanted to check all comments. I've finally decided to turn on comments, with checking, for awhile and we'll see how it goes!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Author of the Week

This week, I am the Author of the Week in the Book Lovers Cafe group at the EONS social networking site. I will be checking in there all week to answer questions from readers. Also, I'm posting periodic discussion questions for those who have read my debut mystery, A REAL BASKET CASE. If you belong to EONS, stop by and join the fun!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm in Wikipedia!

In early October, I looked up the Wikipedia article about the Agatha Awards (A REAL BASKET CASE was nominated for the 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award) and noticed that I was the only author in my category who did not have my own Wikipedia page. So, I read up on how to create Wikipedia pages, thinking I would make one for myself, and was thoroughly flummoxed by the complicated directions. I did figure out how to submit a request asking that a page be written about me, however. Then, I sent an email to the author representative at my publisher suggesting that someone in their promotion department create Wikipedia pages for all their authors. The reply was that no one could take on that daunting task yet. So, I put the idea on a back burner.

Then today, I Googled my name and book title to check which online vendors were still offering it for sale, and voila, a couple of Wikipedia references were listed! I went to both pages and read them and was very impressed by the professional job the Wikipedia editor did in creating them. They were both created on October 18, so they're brand-spanking new, and must have been created in response to my request. I want to offer my deep appreciation to that Wikipedia editor and encourage my blog readers to check out the links below:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Novella Work

Last week I was up in Breckenridge, CO for a relaxing get-away with my hubby. I also was working on my science fiction novella, The Epsilon Eridani Alternative. My editor had given me her comments on it right before we left town, so I spent 2-4 hours/day going through those comments and responding to them with acceptances, fixes, rewrites, etc. Now that I'm back home, I'll make one more pass through it, then send the edited manuscript back to her.

I'm also busy this week making final preparations for a joint Pikes Peak Writers and Pikes Peak Romance Writers workshop this Saturday. Debra Dixon is flying in to teach us all about "Goal, Motivation, and Colflict" from her book of the same name. This should be a good one!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Book Promotion Ideas

During my chat stint in the EONS Book Gallery Meet The Authors event, a fellow author asked for book promotion suggestions other than signings. I realized that my reply might help other authors, so I decided to copy it here:

There are lots of ways to use the Internet to promote books, as evidenced by this EONS Meet the Authors event! You can choose a few social networks that are likely to contain your reader population and join them and join the relevant groups in them, start making comments in those groups, and start inviting people to be your friends. I joined Eons, because people who read cozy mysteries also tend, by and large, to be older and to be female. I also joined the ning group "Crimespace" since I write mysteries, and Facebook (tends to have older members than MySpace) and Goodreads (a book discussion network).

You can also search for topics related to your book in yahoogroups and join groups containing folks you think might be interested in your book. I'm a member of three or four mystery-reading yahoogroups and try to contribute to the discussions every now and then, so when I have an announcement to make about a book release or some such, the members already know who I am. Also, find online ezines in your genre and contribute stories or articles and ask to be interviewed. And, if they have book reviewers, ask if you can send a copy of your book to them to be reviewed. You can also ask to be a guest on blogs written by authors in your genre.

For in-person event possibilities, I suggest contacting local libraries to arrange talks with their book clubs or writer groups or to participate in their local author days, if they have them. And, find nearby fan conferences for your genre and talk to the program chair about getting on one of their author panels. For instance, in the mystery genre, there's Bouchercon, Left Coast Crime, Malice Domestic, and the Mayhem in the Midlands conferences, to name a few. The science fiction/fantasy genre has World-Con, Mile-Hi Con, and lots of others, the romance genre has the Romantic Times convention, etc. You can often save costs by finding a conference within driving distance then carpool with another attendee, and share a hotel room with another attendee.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Meme: I've been tagged!

Apparently there's a new blog-tagging game called Meme going around, where each taggee has to write six book-related things about him/herself, then pass the word by tagging six other bloggers. I was tagged by Christine Duncan and her Rule of Three blog at and you can read her answers in her September 29th entry titled "Meme?". Here's my six book-related facts:

1. My TBR pile includes lots of mysteries, but also some literary, women's fiction, romance, and short story anthology books.

2. I'm in a book club that meets monthly to drink wine, eat dessert, gossip, and discuss that month's book.

3. I took a speed-reading class in elementary school, so I can read pretty fast.

4. My favorite children's picture book is Possum Come A Knockin'. My kids tired of it long before I did. It's hilarious!

5. I suck at writing book reviews, so I don't do them, and having to write a back cover blurb for someone else makes me break out in a sweat.

6. I did indeed read Nancy Drew when I was young, but my favorite mystery writer in my teenage years was Edgar Allan Poe.

Here's my six taggees:
Mike Befeler
Judy Clemens at The Little Blog of Murder
Elizabeth Zelvin, Sandra Parshall, and Lonnie Cruse, all at Poe's Deadly Daughters
Ann Parker at The Lady Killers

Here's the rules of the game:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random bookish things about yourself.
4. Tag sixish people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Novella Work

Working with an e-publisher is much quicker than with a traditional publisher. I turned in cover art guidelines yesterday and my editor says she should have the edited manuscript of The Epsilon Eridani Alternative ready for me to review sometime next week. I can't wait to see what the artist comes up with and to get a pub date! Now, to find some SF authors who might be willing to read the darn thing and blurb it...