Mystery author Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A REAL BASKET CASE, 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, 2009, and A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 2013) and the RM Outdoor Adventures series starring river ranger Mandy Tanner (DEADLY CURRENTS, 2011, an Amazon bestseller, WICKED EDDIES, 2012, finalist for the Rocky Award, and FATAL DESCENT, 2013). Beth lives in Colorado, enjoys its outdoor activities, and loves talking to book clubs.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Awakening after an Editing Deadline
I reread the whole manuscript, accepting Deni's changes, for the most part, and doing some tightening, esp. in areas she marked where the pacing slowed down. I also had to contact the Breckenridge Nordic Center, where I set a snowshoeing scene. I'd done the research for this book two and a half years ago, and in that time, some of the trails had changed and the center built a new shelter. That changed the timing on that scene some. Also, I asked the Undersheriff of the Summit County Sheriff's Department to review 27 pages for me and address some technical questions I had. And, I thought long and hard about the problems that Deni brought up in the manuscript and how I could solve them.
I finished preparing the written ancillary materials last night, and I finally finished all the changes to the manuscript this morning. My husband and I hope to get a good headshot when we visit Breckenridge this weekend, and I'm still waiting for the Undersheriff's feedback, but other than that, I'm done! Now, I've put my head up and realized there's laundry and shoppng to be done, PPW programs to be planned, a Left Coast Crime hospitality suite waiting for me to solicit food donations for, etc. etc. Back to reality!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award contest
Amazon is asking customers to post reviews for those entries they read and is offering prizes to reviewers for the most and highest quality reviews. The entries will also be reviewed by Publishers Weekly. By March 3rd, Penguin editors will select ten finalists and Amazon customers will choose the winning novel.
I am one of many Pikes Peak Writers members who have made it into the semi-finalist round. The whole board of the organization is very proud that we have so many members represented. I hope you'll read and review them all. The entries can be found at:
Kirk Farber, POSTCARDS FROM A DEAD GIRL, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00122GTR8
Beth Groundwater, VIRTUAL DEATH, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0011ZCAME
Ian Healy, DEEP SIX, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00122GTTG
William Mason, PRIMORDIUM, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0011ZCADI
Chris Myers, OFFSHORED, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012658F8
Rebecca Noel, THE VENTARI INCIDENT, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00122GTR8
Bret Wright, NASTY, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0011G9XPU
My VIRTUAL DEATH entry was the first novel-length manuscript I wrote, and it has been extensively revised many times, but needless to say, it never sold. It's very different from my cozy mysteries, being a futuristic romantic suspense. It has some fairly racy bits further on. I'd appreciate it very much if you could take a gander, and if you like it, write a review. If you don't like it, that's fine, too. Just don't bother writing a review. ;)
Monday, January 14, 2008
Mock Coroner's Inquest
All of the actors really got into their roles, and many, esp. the roommate (an erotica romance author in real life), who turned out to be a porn star and the deceased's Lesbian lover, had the audience howling in laughter, clutching their stomachs and wiping their eyes. Many suspicious aspects of the case were revealed: the gun that the deceased supposedly used to kill herself belonged to the ex-husband who was cashing in on a large insurance policy, the deceased used illegal drugs and had an anti-depressant prescription from her psychiatrist, the deceased and the roommate had fought the night before because the deceased was going to leave and return to her ex-husband, and the P.I. found the spent shell casing days later that came from a second bullet embedded in a wound on the deceased which was not revealed until the autopsy, and more. The audience was fascinated as the case slowly unraveled.
The whole thing was done with no script and no rehearsals, just a scenario, some character profiles that the actors developed for themselves, instructions from Ms. Herndon as to what kinds of questions she would ask each witness, some technical data she provided, such as a fake autopsy report, toxicology report, and drug paraphernalia evidence, and a lot of ad-libbing. It's been a long time since I've had so much fun!
Monday, January 07, 2008
Bylines 2008 Writer's Desk Calendar
I just got word that this weekly inspirational planner put together by Bylines Magazine is out and available for purchase. I have an entry in the planner. According to the editor, Sylvia Forbes:
"The cover photo is the desk of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote all her books using this desk. The desk is located at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum in
My entry appears in the week of March 9-15, and is about how important it is to network with other writers. So, instead of sending in a photo of myself, I sent in a photo of a group signing I did with fellow authors, Mike Befeler, Linda Berry, and Pat Stoltey. I'm looking forward to reading weekly inspirational messages from all those other writers!
Friday, January 04, 2008
An Interview in Mysterical-E
If you continue to page down, you'll see a list of author interviews. I'm listed just above my editor, Denise Dietz. I'm thrilled to have my interview included with hers. Please take a gander at my interview and let me know what you think. Joe De Marco, the editor of Mysterical-E, had some tough questions that made me think.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Happy New Year, Happy New Contract!
On December 29th, I signed the contract with Tekno Books for the sequel to A REAL BASKET CASE, titled TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET. It should be published sometime in the first half of 2009. TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET takes place in Breckenridge, CO. Claire Hanover, gift basket designer, and her family's ski vacation goes to hell in a handbasket when the sister of her daughter's boyfriend is killed on the ski slope. I had a lot of fun researching the book, which includes scenes involving snowshoeing, riding snowmobiles, and a high speed car chase down I-70.