Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today's Mystery Author Guest: Jennifer Harlow

As promised yesterday, fellow Midnight Ink mystery author Jennifer Harlow is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post.

Above is the cover photo for the first book in her F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation mystery series, titled Mind Over Monsters. The sleuth, Beatrice Alexander, is no ordinary schoolteacher—she can move objects with her mind, an embarassing skill she has yet to master or embrace. After nearly killing her brother in an accident, she joins the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, the Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. This top secret branch of the FBI combats ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters threatening humanity. With her teammates—among them a handsome fomer-detective werewolf and an annoying vampire hell bent on seducting her—Beatrice investigates her first case. Disgustingly dismembered bodies have turned up, bearing the bite marks of the undead. Someone—or something—is raising a horde of hideous, bloodthirsty zombies. Armed with Bette, her trusty machete, Beatrice takes on the master of the flesh-devouring corpses who’s guarding a horrifying secret…

Shudder! Doesn't this sound like a fascinating read? And there's a lot of humor in it, so it's fun, too. Below is Jennifer's interview with Beatrice. Please leave a comment for either one of them, and if you have a question of your own for either, ask it!

An Interview with Special Agent Beatrice Alexander
By Jennifer Harlow

Through some of my Pentagon contacts (thanks Daddy and Uncle George W.) I was given exclusive access to the clandestine branch of the FBI known as the F.R.E.A.K.S. or Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. Their newest agent, former schoolteacher and telekinetic Beatrice Alexander, agreed to meet with me under the cover of night at a coffee shop somewhere in the Midwest. (It rhymes with “Ansas”)

So, thanks for agreeing to do this.

BA: It’s okay. Gave me an excuse to get away from a pest. As long as I’m home in time for The World of Henry Orient. I love Peter Sellers.

I understand you just got back from your first case in Colorado. Killing zombies must be a far cry from finger-painting with fourth graders.

BA: Totally. Though about the same amount of biting involved.

What made you decide to make such a drastic career change?

BA: I, uh, almost killed my brother one night. He was saying awful things about me and I snapped. Almost blew out a vessel in his brain. I never had much control over my curs—sorry, gift, they insist we say that, and the F.R.E.A.K.S. offered me a chance to learn about it. Get that control.

Have you always been telekinetic?

BA: Ever since I was a kid. My mom’s boyfriend was about to hit her, so I sent a plate across the room flying right into his head. There were…other incidents too, but I don’t want to talk about them if you don’t mind. (pause) I don’t really like talking about what I can do full stop. Sorry. For years only three people ever knew, my brother, Nana, and friend April. She only found out because my first and only sleepover her stuffed animals were dancing in the air. She thought it was cool.

Most people would love to have your gift.

BA: Then they’re morons. Would they love to wake up and find their bed levitating? Getting angry and almost killing someone without lifting a finger? Knowing that if you tell someone what you can do they’ll run for the hills? Being called a freak, an aberration? (scoff) No, it is nothing to love.

Did you know that there were others out there like you before you joined? Others with gifts?

BA: No. God, no. If you came to me three months ago and told me Dracula and the Wolfman were alive and sharing a house, I’d have called you nuts. Like everyone else I thought they were all made up. Now I have a werewolf living across the hall and a vampire in the basement, among others.

Who else is in the Squad?

BA: There’s Carl, he touches things and knows all about their history. Uh, Andrew is a medium, Irie a pyrokinetic, and Nancy can teleport. She’s not big on privacy and locked doors. (a private smile; turning red) Then there’s Will. He’s the werewolf. Oh, and Oliver.

Was it hard joining such a tight knit group?

BA: Well, I moved around a lot as a kid, so I’m used to being the new girl, but still. Yeah. We had some growing pains, to say the least, but…we stopped the necromancer and all the zombies. Together. I think they’re warming to me. At least I hope they are. Time will tell. (face falling) Oh, crud. Not again.

When I turned to see what had gotten her so annoyed, my jaw dropped. Sauntering into the shop was the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen. The picture I viewed did not do him justice. I recognized him from my dossier as Oliver Montrose, another F.R.E.A.K. A vampire one. He slid into the booth right next to Beatrice but flashed me a smile that scrambled my brain. Thank God I had the tape recorder still running.

OM: Well, well, well, what do we have here? Who is your new, delectable friend here, Trixie?

BA: (shooting daggers with her eyes) None of your business. What are you doing here? Are you following me? Again? Because this is getting close to stalkerish. I’m beginning to feel like I’m in a Lifetime movie. (to me) He does this. All the time! I turn around, and there he is with that stupid grin on his face!

OM: My grin is not stupid. (to me; grinning to show fangs) Do you find my grin stupid, my dear?

BA: Oh, leave her alone! Now you’re just being childish. We’re trying to do an interview here. Go away.

OM: (cocking an eyebrow) An interview, you say? Fantastic. I do not mind answering a few questions about fair Trixie here. Perhaps your readers would be interested to know some nights she sleeps in nothing but a towel.

BA: (mouth dropping open) I do not…we have not…will you shut up? Get out of here or I’ll…

OM: What, tell Will? (to me) Our team leader has such a soft spot for Trixie here. If she asked him, he would stake me without a second thought. He almost did in Colorado. But my darling Trixie would not let him. (growing serious) She saved my life, you know. She saved us all.

BA: He’s exaggerating.

OM: No…I am not. She was magnificent. Truly.

Their eyes met, almost cooling her anger, replacing it with nervousness. She looked away.

BA: Just go away, okay. Please?

He stared at her face for a moment, almost sad to see she was serious. He rose.

OM: As you wish, my dear. See you at home.

He walked out of the café, and she shook her head.

BA: I am so sorry about that. Sometimes he’s really great and sometimes he’s…that.

It’s alright. So, how did you save his life?

BA: He’s exaggerating. He, um, the necromancer did something to him and he attacked me. Will wanted to stake him, but I wouldn’t let him. It wasn’t his fault. And as you can see he’s fine now. Relatively speaking.

Did this cause a problem with you and your team leader?

BA: Um, no, We’re fine now. Great. He’s actually, um, teaching me some more martial arts. (turning red again) Among other things. He used to be a police officer in D.C. so he knows a lot. He’s just…wonderful.

So far what do you like best about the job? Besides your team leader.

BA: Well, I really liked the whole investigation part of it. Interviewing people, finding clues, getting to the truth. I love mystery novels and now it’s like my life has become one. (sweet smile) Though I felt more like bumbling Stephanie Plum than Sherlock Holmes.

So all in all are you happy with your choice to join the F.R.E.A.K.S.? No regrets?

BA: (laughing) Of course I have regrets. What happened in Colorado was horrible. People died. I had to chop up two zombie hordes with a machete. I have literal scars from the whole ordeal. And it was my first case. But...a large part of me loved it. I’ve faced monsters and won. I can be myself here, warts and all. I need that. I never realized how much until I got here. I’m not alone anymore. That…makes it worth it.

Her cell phone rang. As she listened to the other end, she grew grave before standing up.

BA: I’m so sorry. There’s a golem on the loose in New Jersey, I have to go. Nice meeting you.

She ran out the door off to face another monster. I for one feel safer knowing she’s out there.

Thanks, Jennifer! Please visit Jennifer Harlow's website to read her blog “Tales From the Darkside” and to get the soundtrack to the book. You can also friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at jenharlowbooks. Now, who has a comment or question for Jennifer or Beatrice?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tomorrow's Guest: Jennifer Harlow

Tomorrow, fellow Midnight Ink mystery author Jennifer Harlow will be a guest on my blog.
Jennifer spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virginia home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

In her guest post tomorrow, Jennifer Harlow interviews her protagonist, FBI Special Agent Beatrice Alexander, and I'm sure you'll be intrigued by what Beatrice has to say. Then, feel free to ask her some questions of your own in the comments.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I'm Grateful for this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for stepping back from the hubbub of everyday life to celebrate with family and/or friends all that we have to be grateful for. I'm grateful for my family, my health, financial security, and being lucky enough to live in the United States of America. I'm also grateful for my ability to write mystery novels and for the readers who read those novels and let me know how much they enjoyed them.

What are you grateful for?

I wish all of my blog readers a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings for which you can be grateful!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photos from a Book Tour - Part Two

Today I'll be sharing some more photos from my eight-day book tour with fellow mystery author Ann Parker. After leaving the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort Monday morning, we made our way to my home in Breckenridge, where we signed stock at Weber's Books & Drawings.

Tuesday, we drove to Ann's brother's home in Boulder, where we would stay the next three nights. That's when snafu number two happened. I left two hangers in my house that had my booksigning outfits on them, and all I had with me were a couple of nice tops and jeans and exercise pants. Ann's sister-in-law pointed me to a nearby thrift shop, where I found a cheap pair of black pants and a blouse to put together a couple of signing outfits. Then I arranged a rendezvous Thursday with my son, who would be returning to Denver from a couple of days of skiing in Breckenridge, to pick up the rest of my tour clothes from him.

Tuesday evening, we signed at Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins. Fellow mystery authors Patricia Stoltey, Charlotte Hinger, and Cricket McRae were some of the folks who came out to support us, and they appear with Ann and me in the two photos below.

On Wednesday, we stopped at Who Else! Books in the Broadway Book Mall to sign stock and had a late lunch with Lauri Ver Schure, owner of Murder By the Book, and signed more stock for her. That evening we gave a presentation at the Highlands Ranch library and signed books provided by the Tattered Cover bookstore. Below is a photo of us with librarian Lisa Casper, who organized the event.

Thursday, I picked up my clothes from my son, and that evening we joined mystery author Michelle Black for a panel discussion and signing at the Oriental & Navajo Rug Gallery in Longmont, Colorado, organized by Cynthia Nye of High Crimes Mystery Bookshop. Below is a photo of Ann and me with Cynthia in front of one of the beautiful rugs.

Friday morning we drove to Leadville, Colorado for our last day of events. We presented a workshop at the Lake County Library in the afternoon and signed books at the Book Mine bookstore in the early evening. Below is a photo of us with two members of the Friends of the Library group who organized that event and provided goodies. We finished up the evening at my Breckenridge home again, and Ann caught a shuttle to the airport Saturday morning. It was a busy, whirlwind tour, but we enjoyed it all. Ann was a perfect tour buddy, and I'd do it all again with her!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Photos from a Book Tour - Part One

Last Saturday I concluded an eight-day book tour with fellow mystery author Ann Parker, whose historical mining era mysteries are set in Leadville and Manitou Springs, Colorado. Ann was promoting the fourth book in the series, Mercury's Rise, which was released in November, and I was promoting the November re-release of A Real Basket Case, though I think I signed just as many copies of Deadly Currents.

After flying in to Denver, Ann met me at the Denver Press Club Thursday evening, where we both attended a meeting of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. She rode back with me in the Colorado Springs carpool, and we used my Colorado Springs home as a base of operations for the next three nights. Our first event Friday evening was a wine, cheese, and chocolate signing at Black Cat Books in Manitou Springs, the setting for Mercury's Rise. The photo below was taken by Doris McCraw at the event.

Saturday we breakfasted with researchers who helped Ann with her book, then we attended an authors tea at the Pikes Peak Library for Mara Purl and Margaret Coel. Our own next event was a shift at the Pikes Peak Writers Fundraiser Booksigning at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers location in north Colorado Springs late Saturday afternoon. The first photo below shows us with Mark Stevens, who signed before us, and the second photo, taken by Doris McCraw again, shows Ann and I toward the end of our two hour shift, still laughing and having a great time. After our signing, we went to a launch party for my friend Donnell Bell's debut novel. A full day!

Sunday marked the first of two snafus that could have been disastrous. Ann and I loaded up my Prius with our luggage and books, and when I turned the ignition key, nothing happened. I looked up and saw one dome light burning dimly, so we had somehow left it on overnight and drained the car battery. AAA couldn't get there for at least 45 minutes, which would have put us in Salida, Colorado, our next stop, too late. So, we moved all of the stuff to my husband's SUV and used that vehicle instead for the rest of the trip. That made our gas cost higher, but we had the luxury of heated seats, too.

Unfortunately, we didn't get any photos of our "Constructing a Mystery" workshop at The Book Haven in Salida, probably because we were too busy having a good time and signing books. That night we gave ourselves the treat of a stay at the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. We soaked in one of the hot springs pools until clouds moved in and snow started to fall. Then we had to come up with a quick exit strategy that got us out of the pool, dried off, into our snow boots and coats, across the bridge, down the stairs and around the corner into the bath house as fast as possible before we caught a chill. Being a "pantser," Ann said she did more planning for that run than she does when she starts a novel!

Tomorrow, I'll post more photos from the trip.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today's Colorado Mystery Author Guest: Mark W. Danielson

As promised yesterday, fellow Colorado mystery author Mark W. Danielson is visiting my blog today. To read his bio and see his photo, please page down to yesterday's post.

Above is the cover photo for his most recent book, Writer's Block, A Maxx Watts Mystery, which is being released this month. Maxx Watts is no stranger to murder. As a Fort Worth homicide
detective, he has smelled death often. But this murder was twisted. A dead publisher lying face-down on a bloodied manuscript, the marble paperweight beside him labeled Writer’s Block. All evidence points to The Guillotine Press authors, but determining which one is only the beginning for Watts.

A writerly mystery! Below are Mark's answers to my interview questions. Please leave a comment for Mark, and if you have a question of your own for him, ask it!

1. Who or what inspired you to start writing and when did you start?

Like many novelists, my writing career began with writing non-fiction freelance articles in 1977. Most of my early work involved subjects on flying because it was a way to share valuable information. Since then, over one hundred of my articles have been published in various periodicals and I still contribute an occasional article.

2. What tools and process do you use to “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

No doubt many of my characters evolve from my own investigative experience and/or encounters with others. Many of my friends and relatives have worked for police departments so it is easy to draw from them. My former position as an aircraft mishap investigator has certainly aided in creating believable situations and characters in my mysteries. Before beginning a new story, I have a good idea about what the main characters are like, but everyone in between is usually a surprise. I never know until the end who lives, who dies, who gets lucky, and whose luck runs out.

3. How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

For fiction, I’m a “seat of the pants” guy. For non-fiction, everything must first be outlined. It’s a lot more fun giving my characters liberty to walk me through their stories. Since everything is told through their eyes, I often feel as if I’m watching from afar.

4. In the age-old question of character versus plot, which one do you think is most important in a murder mystery and which one do you emphasize in your writing? Why?

We’ve all seen movies with Oscar-winning casts that could not save the ghastly plot. Conversely, an unknown cast can be magnificent if the plot is masterful. Whether cinema or a novel, the plot must be sound or it will fail. In both mediums, the audience must connect with the characters. Even the antagonist must have a reason for being the way he or she is. Evil for evil’s sake never works. But to answer the question, I’m not sure you can separate the importance of plot versus character.

5. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

Everything in life involves risk. We think nothing about car-jousting with opponents closing at two miles a minute because we’re certain we will pass shoulder to shoulder with inches to spare, but as we walk dark alleys and parking lots, our level of fear skyrockets because of the unknown. Mystery authors risk everything by opening their souls to strangers and choosing topics that publishers may not want. At the same time, mystery writers capitalize on their readers’ deepest fears. Go overboard and you either cross into horror or lose your audience. Although I take my writing very seriously, I am not overly concerned about the topics I write about. My main concern is to have fun and craft an entertaining story. There are endless tales yet to write, but I doubt I’ll live long enough to complete them all.

6. What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

As an airline pilot, my workdays are quite atypical. When I’m home, I spend much of my time on outings with my wife or getting things done around the house. When I’m on the road, I devote as much time as possible to writing. If my layover is long enough, I may write continuously for ten to fourteen hours whereas at home it may only be an hour or two. Given enough uninterrupted time, I can complete a first draft in thirty days, but most often it takes roughly three months.

7. What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

I’m no different from anyone else when I say, “Read and write.” Reading other authors, particularly those in your genre, offers perspectives on what topics and styles are publishable. Writing is mostly a matter of persistence and dedication. Given the right mentoring, anyone can learn to write well. The most important thing is to have fun and never give up.

8. Now here’s a zinger. Tell us something about yourself that you have not revealed in another interview yet. Something as simple as your favorite TV show or food will do.

For me, writing has been an extension of painting. I’ve been painting my entire life, but it’s much easier to carry a laptop on a trip than an easel, brushes, and paint. For some reason, the TSA prefers it that way, too.

9. What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

Writer’s Block, a Maxx Watts murder mystery, was just released, and I am currently working on two sequels. The first one concerns a haunting in Fort Worth’s Scott Theater. Did this young man hang himself as legend says, or was he murdered? Maxx and his team are determined to find out. It’s been fun researching the paranormal for this story. The next story is a moving hostage situation where everyone, good and bad, has lost track of them. Both stories are a lot of fun.

10. Is there anything else you would like to tell my blog readers?

On November 19th, I’m making my tenth consecutive appearance at the Men of Mystery event in Irvine, California. Some of the biggest novelists in mystery have attended this event, and I am honored to be included. I am also among a group of talented authors who write for the Murderous Musings blog. My personal website shares my travels, pertinent articles, chapter previews for my books, and also some miscellaneous stuff just for fun. Please drop in!

Thanks, Mark! Now, who has a comment or question for him?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tomorrow's Guest: Mark W. Danielson

Tomorrow, fellow Colorado mystery author Mark W. Danielson will be a guest on my blog. Mark and I both belong to the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (RMMWA) and have come to know each other from hanging out together at the meetings.

When Mark has to miss a meeting, it's usually because he's off flying somewhere. He is an international airline pilot, retired fighter pilot, and reality-based mystery novelist. Many of the topics he has written about have since come to fruition, which gives credence to his stories. A long-time Texas resident, Mark finds Fort Worth an intriguing setting for his Maxx Watts series.

In his guest post tomorrow, Mark answers my interview questions, and I'm sure you'll be intrigued by what he has to say. Then, feel free to ask him some questions of your own in the comments.

Monday, November 14, 2011

An Amazing Gift from a Fellow Writer

Andrea Gonzales is a fellow Colorado crime fiction writer and member of Sisters in Crime and the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (RMMWA). Recently I guested on her blog, answering a number of interview questions. As a thank-you for my appearance, and some other assistance I gave her, Andrea made a miniature tableau (see below) featuring my books and the whitewater rafting theme of my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series, complete with lifejacket (PFD), raft, and paddles. It absolutely blew me away!

Andrea is an illustrator as well as a writer, and this tableau shows her artistic talent. I've already shown it off to my critique group and at the RMMWA meeting. I'm also placing it on my signing table during all of my Colorado-based events this week for people to admire (see the Appearances page of my website). I hope you'll visit Andrea's website to learn more about this talented lady. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Road Trip!

Today marks the first day of an eight-day book tour that I'm conducting in the state of Colorado with Ann Parker, author of the Silver Rush historical mystery series set in 1880s Colorado that features saloon owner Inez Stannert. She'll be promoting her November release, the fourth in the series, Mercury's Rise, and I'm be promoting the re-release in trade paperback and ebook of the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, A Real Basket Case.

If you live in Colorado, I hope you'll be able to make it one of our events:

Friday, November 11, 6 – 8 PM
Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Signing
Black Cat Books
720 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO 80829

Saturday, November 12, 4 – 6 PM
Pikes Peak Writers Fundraiser Signing
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
1565 Briargate Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Sunday, November 13, 2 – 4:30 PM
“Constructing a Mystery” workshop followed by signing
The Book Haven
128 F Street, Salida, Colorado 81201

Tuesday, November 15, 6:30 – 8 PM
Joint Signing
Old Firehouse Books
232 Walnut Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Wednesday, November 16, 7 – 9 PM
Presentation and Signing
Highlands Ranch Public Library
9292 Ridgeline Blvd., Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Thursday, November 17, 7 – 9 PM
Panel Signing with Michelle Black for High Crimes Mystery Bookshop
at The Oriental & Navajo Rug Gallery
927 Main Street, Longmont, CO 80501

Friday, November 18, 2 – 3:30 PM
“Constructing a Mystery” Workshop
Lake County Library
1115 Harrison Avenue, Leadville, CO 80461

Friday, November 18, 5 – 7 PM
Joint Signing
The Book Mine
522 Harrison Avenue, Leadville, CO 80461

Now, here's a special request for all of my blog readers, regardless of where you live. Please pray/hope that it doesn't snow on us during our travels and that the roads remain dry and safe. Thanks!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Day in the Life of Claire Hanover

Today I am a guest on the blog, dru's book musings. My guest article is about "A Day in the Life of Claire Hanover by Beth Groundwater." Please stop by and read what a typical day is like for my gift basket designer amateur sleuth, then feel free to ask me a question or let me know what you think of the article in the comments. I'll be responding to comments all day. Also, I'll randomly draw the name of one commenter to win an autographed copy of A Real Basket Case, so be sure to comment to enter the contest!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Guest on Pat Bertram Introduces

Today I am a guest on the blog, Pat Bertram Introduces.... She interviewed me, and I had fun responding to her interesting questions. Please stop by and read the interview, then feel free to ask me a question of your own in the comments. I'll be responding to comments all day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Ta Da! Release Date!

Today is the official release date for the trade paperback and ebook re-release of A Real Basket Case, the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, though some retailers have been selling copies already. I hope you'll join me in celebrating the release with a libation of your choosing and by hollering hurrah! :)

Even better, you could buy a copy of your own or to give to someone on your holiday gift list.

A Real Basket Case was a finalist for the 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award. Here's what some reviewers and fellow mystery authors had to say about it:

“This will appeal to Desperate Housewives fans and those who like cozies with a bit of spice.”
-- Barbara Bibel, Booklist Review, February 1, 2007

“Drugs and jealousy add up to a Rocky Mountain murder. A tense, exciting debut.”
-- Kirkus Review, January 1, 2007

“A crackling good novel with the kind of twists and turns that make roller coaster rides so scary and so much fun!”
-- Margaret Coel, author of Wind River reservation series

“A gutsy sleuth, a fast-paced plot, and intriguing characters that keep you guessing. A Real Basket Case is a real winner! Don't miss it.”
-- Maggie Sefton, bestselling author of the Knitting Mystery series

You can find out more about the book, read excerpts and more reviews, and find "buy-me" links, at my website.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers Blog

Today I am a guest at the Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers blog, with an article titled, ""Recipe for a Mystery Lover's Gift Basket." This is part of my on-line promotion for the trade paperback and ebook re-release of A Real Basket Case, the first book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series, which was a finalist for the Best First Novel Agatha Award in 2007. I hope you'll visit the blog, read the article for gift basket ideas, and leave me a comment there. I'll respond to comments throughout the day.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Writer's Chatroom and MORE!

Today from 5 - 7 PM MST, 7 - 9 EST, I will be hanging out at The Writer's Chatroom, answering questions from participants and discussing whatever topics of interest come up. Please come join me there! One lucky participant will win an autographed copy of A Real Basket Case!

Also, fellow Colorado author and publisher, Terry Wright, has spotlighted me on the Author Showcase section of his website. You can see my page HERE. Thanks, Terry!

Also, also, Kevin Tipple, one of my favorite reviewers (for his insightful and always interesting reviews) just posted his review of Deadly Currents on his blog, Kevin's Corner. I hope you'll read not only that review but also check out some of the other reviews on his blog. Thanks, Kevin!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Deadly Currents in a "Year's Best Books" List!

I'm thrilled that Colorado Country Life magazine picked Deadly Currents as one of their "Year's Best Books"!!! And they gave it a lovely review, too. :-)

Friday, November 04, 2011

NaNoWriMo or NaNoTryMo?

November is National Novel Writing Month, and writers around the world are working toward a goal of finishing a 50,000 word rough draft of a manuscript during the month. They're keeping track of their progress and encouraging each other at the official NaNoWriMo website.

My local writing organization in Colorado, Pikes Peak Writers, is encouraging their members (like me) who don't have it in them to crank out that many words in one month to set an alternate goal and work toward that. They call their project NaNoTryMo and are offering a number of "write-ins" to get writers working together on their goals. See the PPW website for information.

I won't be participating in the official NaNoWriMo site, because I'm working on an existing manuscript versus starting a new one. But, I've set a goal of 20,000 additional words on my current manuscript for November. That's continuing at my current goal rate of 5000 words/week. I already have about 35,000 words written, so if I meet my NaNoTryMo goal, I'll be at 55,000 words at the end of November.

This manuscript is the third book in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series, titled Cataract Canyon. I need to finish the rough draft by mid-January, when I receive the galley proof for the second book, Wicked Eddies, to review & edit. So, I'm looking for motivation & encouragement to keep on cranking out those words! What will make meeting this goal especially hard is that I'll be touring November 11-18, cramming 8 events into that week to promote the trade paperback and ebook re-release of A Real Basket Case.

Are you a writer? Have you set a goal for yourself for November? What is it and what's your plan for reaching that goal? Are you working with a group of fellow writers so you can encourage each other? I hope so! Good luck to all of you NaNoWriMo and NaNoTryMo writers out there!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Blogtalk Radio Interview at GZONE

Today at 2 PM MST, 4 PM EST, I will be a guest on Giovanni Gelati's GZONE Blogtalk Radio program. I hope you will listen either during the broadcast (when you can phone in with questions) or later from the archives. You can find the program HERE.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Visiting the Barnes & Noble Mystery Book Club

Today I am a guest author on the Barnes & Noble Mystery Book Club. What is this, you might ask. It's an on-line discussion group at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers website, one of many Genre Book Clubs and Idea Boards that are available to readers at the website.

For those of you who are interested in mysteries (and who among my blog readers isn't?), I suggest you join this free discussion group and participate. The moderator, Becke Davis, is very active is encouraging mystery authors to visit and in posting worthwhile discussion topics.

My guest article today is about "Stretching the Boundaries of a Cozy Mystery," but I'm ready to discuss any topic or answer any question that book club members throw at me. So have at it!