Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fourth Blurb and Off to Alaska

Maggie Sefton sent my fourth and final published author blurb yesterday, a really good one. They're all posted on the Books page of my website now, and I mailed them off to Five Star, so hopefully they'll appear on my cover, too.

I won't be posting for the next three weeks, because I'm off on a family trip to Alaska tomorrow. We're spending three days in Vancouver, Canada, then taking an Inside Passage cruise from Vancouver to Whittier, with stops in Ketchikan, Skagway, and Juneau. After spending one night in Anchorage and visiting my mother's cousin, we'll ride the Alaska Railroad to Denali to spend two nights, ride the train to Fairbanks to spend two nights, then fly back to Anchorage. There we'll rent a car to drive to Valdez to spend four nights with my husband's cousin's family, then drive back to Anchorage to fly home. Whew! Lots of modes of transportation. We're all looking forward to the adventure and to getting out of this heat. Temperatures in the 90s are rare in Colorado, and are most likely in August, not June. Our house doesn't have air conditioning, because we usually don't need it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

An ISBN, Short Story Contract, and Speaking Engagements

Wow. Lots of interesting offers and news have been popping into the email bucket lately. I've been asked to be on a Short Story panel for the Pikes Peak Writers in Colorado Springs in September and to be one of the workshop facilitators for "A Day with Mysteries" hosted by the Rocky Mountain Sisters in Crime in Longmont, CO in October. I also received the ISBN for A Real Basket Case from Five Star, which makes that book so much more real in my mind. Lastly, my short mystery story, Murder Cache, about a a man and his son hiking to a geocache with a murder theme that winds up containing more than they expected, has been accepted into Red Coyote Press's Map of Murder anthology, which will be published this fall.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Entered a Children's Book Contest

I just sent off my entry to the Women's Day/Scholastic children's book contest. I've had an idea for a children's picture book that I've been polishing for awhile now. But, if your name's not Madonna, it's awfully hard to sell a children's book these days. So, I thought this contest run by Women's Day might give my story a chance. The entry requirements were interesting: fold 8 sheets of paper in half and put them together into a 32 page pamplet, then handwrite the story on the 32 pages, leaving the first page for the title and your contact information. It was a good exercise that made you aware of the resulting layout and made you consider whether the text on each page created the opportunity for an interesting picture. Wish me luck! I'll find out how I did in January, 2007.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Third Blurb

Margaret Coel, author of the Wind River Reservation mystery series, sent me a wonderful blurb for my book today and said she enjoyed it a lot. Wow! As Kathy Brandt said, "FANTASTIC NEWS about the blurb from Margaret. I've had people say when they are considering buying one of my books: 'Well, if Margaret Coel recommends it then it must be good' and they buy the book!" I sure hope Margaret's blurb has that effect for me.

I went to Kathy's launch party yesterday for Under Pressure, the fourth mystery in her underwater diving series, and brought her an ocean-relaxation-themed gift basket as a thank-you for all her help in my writing career. I enjoyed creating it: main color was blue, of course, and I included ocean-scented bath salts, a relaxation CD of ocean sounds, and a floating candle set with blue stones and blue candles. Fun! This is what makes gift basketry special, when you really know the recipient and pick a great theme you're sure they'll like.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Another Blurb

Christine Goff, author of the bird watching mystery series, just sent me her blurb today for A Real Basket Case and said that she really enjoyed reading it. Now, if that doesn't make a to-be-published author's day, I don't know what does! To have not just one, but two multi-published mystery authors tell you that they enjoyed reading your story makes all those past rejections fade into the mist. Thanks Chris!

Now back to chapter two of that new mystery...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Money in the Mail

After getting home yesterday from a few days of vacation in Breckenridge with my hubby and son, I got a pile of mail today that included two writing income checks: my advance from Tekno Books and a check from the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities. I'm rich! The advance check was late because the first one got lost somewhere between Tekno and my agent, so this time Tekno sent it straight to me. When I agreed to give my talk to Harrison High School, they sent me a form to fill out for expenses, and I claimed $10 for gas money. That form got sent to the Endowment, and they threw in a speaker's fee, which I hadn't expected. Found money! Between that and my advance, I'm feeling flush, but both checks are going straight to the bank to fund my promotion efforts next year. Now, to plow through the emails...