Have You Missed a Book in a Series?

   People often ask when the next book is coming out, and the answer at this moment is April 4th. This one is THIRD CRIME'S THE CHARM, and it's the 3rd installment of the Trailer Park Tales series. Some readers become confused about which books they've read and which they haven't. I have the same issue, and several times I've bought the same book twice. It seems to happen to me most often when I read it as an e-book. That doesn't sink in for me the way a print book does, so I realize about halfway through that I know exactly what's going to happen next and what this character or that one is going to say. Drat! Here's a helpful guide for my books. A la Seinfeld, I've made a list in which your memory is prodded by a statement beginning with "The One Where..." TRAILER PARK TALES (I was smarter with this series, using "once," "twice," and "third" as clues to the order.) Once Upon a Trailer Park: The one w

I Might Be Prejudiced

  😟 I have started listening to narrators for the audio version of the second Trailer Park Tales book, Twice the Crime This Time. I had a contract with a narrator a year ago, but COVID intervened, and the contract was never fulfilled. Now I'm looking for a new narrator, and I posted the audition yesterday. This morning I had three auditions...all men. I never thought about having a male narrator. The first book was read by a woman I've worked with before, and I didn't think about it much. Still, the stories are told by four men and four women, so it shouldn't matter who does the reading. Listeners will have to accept the change to another reader no matter what, so why shouldn't it be a male? All three auditions were good. So is it my prejudice that makes me think I should hear a woman reading this?  I'm afraid so. I will wait a day or two in order to get the best narrator I can find, but I need to get over the idea that a woman can read men but a man can&#

Step By Step

  The third Trailer Park Tale, THIRD CRIME'S THE CHARM, has taken its first baby step.  This time the folks at Beautiful Bird RV Park have to deal with (you guessed it) three crimes, the most serious one the disappearance of the local detective they've come to know a little. People don't just come to the park and vanish, but that's what Detective O'Connor apparently did. Of course the intrepid couples who solved the other crimes can't ignore this one, and as they investigate, they find two other suspicious situations. Once I have a manuscript sorta-kinda ready for someone else to read, I send it to what I think of as my First Editor. She's an intelligent reader who knows me well, and she reads through the (slightly rough) story to give me ideas about how things are going thus far. I respond to whatever comments she has, and I find that by the time she's had the book for a few weeks, I've got a few ideas of my own. (Nothing improves a writers view of

I'm Workin' on It!

 Being two people is tough, and lately, Maggie took a back seat while Peg worked on her upcoming release. Yesterday, I went back to being Maggie and took up the 3rd Trailer Park Tales book, Third Crime's the Charm . I had done a rough draft and then set it aside, which I find is very helpful, though sometimes scary: "What? I actually wrote this? What was I thinking?" In addition to Peg's book, Maggie got ahead of herself when her idea for Cutest Little Killer came along. I try to finish one series before starting another one, but sometimes the muse does what the muse wants. CLK was lots of fun to write, and from the readers' response, I expect there will be more of those. NOTE: This is why I will never be a household-name type writer. I can't write endless stories with the same characters, even if I like them a lot. So. Yesterday I went back to the rough draft of Third Crime's the Charm , and I was happy to find that, yes, I still like it, and surprise! I

A Love Song to Encouragers

   I was having lunch last week when a woman stopped to tell me that CUTEST LITTLE KILLER is my best book yet. I found a review on Amazon with this as its clincher "It's great. I loved it." I'm not sure if those people know how much that helps an author out. We work for months, even years, on a book. We ask for input. We hire editors. We polish and re-read. When it's finally out there, we wonder if it's good enough. Even the best writers of the day admit to asking themselves, "Is this the book that will sink my career?" If you've had success with a former series, as I do with the Sleuth Sisters, it's tempting to stick with the "safe" choice, writing more of the same. But while I enjoy each book and series I've written, I always come to a point where I want to try something new. Cutest Little Killer is quite different from the Sleuth Sisters. That could cause some to look elsewhere for their next read, but readers must at some p

Okay, THIS Is the Last One

 I have some theories about why I've stressed over the cover for CUTEST LITTLE KILLER so much. First, it's the start of what I hope will be at least three books, so a cover that establishes a theme is good. I had to ask myself, what thematic items will work for a BUNCH of books? Second, the character in the title is unique, which at first made me want to picture her on the cover. I started by choosing a photo of a little girl who looks slightly dangerous. But several fans said they'd rather create their own image in their minds, and once I thought about it, I had to agree. Who hasn't been disappointed with a movie that turned a favorite character into someone you didn't recognize? I love Matthew McConaughey, but he didn't fit my image of Dirk Pitt at all. And of course there's Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher... So here's the pic I thought would work.