Showing posts from October, 2015

Researching Chickens? Why Not?

You don't know what you don't know until you try to write about it. Chickens, for example. The fourth Sleuth Sisters has chickens, and though I grew up with them, I guess I wasn't really paying attention. We always had chickens because, like the punch line in the old joke, we needed the eggs. My grandmother was the expert, and now that I need details about raising chickens, she's not here to help. I've been reading online about feed, temperature, water, and safety measures, which brought back some childhood events, like playing catch with eggs--that almost never ends well. My most memorable chicken experience was terrifying. My little sister was probably three years old, and we were playing in the yard. The rooster was a mean sort, and he attacked my sister, knocking her down. I recall turning to see her flat on her back in the mud while the rooster stood on her chest. Dad was nearby, and he shooed the bird away and hurried to comfort my sister, who was sobbing

Grand Hotel & Book Goodies

JoBe Cerny & Maggie Pill Leaving Mackinac Island--yes, it did snow! Saturday I traveled to Mackinac Island to sign at Grand Hotel. It was cool, so I have to tell you about it. The weekend was a celebration of the movie Somewhere in Time . Each year the hotel hosts the event, and actors who were in the movie return to the place it was filmed and meet their fans. How does Maggie Pill fit in to a celebration of a Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour film? Maybe not so much, BUT-- My audio book producer, JoBe Cerny, was in the movie all those years ago. Now he owns his own studio in Chicago and does voiceovers (He's the Pillsbury Doughboy) as well as a lot of other creative things, including writing mysteries. He decided that since he'd be on the Island and I was so close, I should come up for the day and sign with him. Niece Samantha and I started early and caught the ferry then took a horse-drawn carriage to Grand Hotel. (For those unfamiliar with Mackinac Island, no

What Should I Call Book 4?

   I've finally started writing the fourth Sleuth Sisters (Remember, there's another author in my head who has obligations too). Though a title isn't required for the writing part, my mind is toying with the possibilities. A lot of cozy titles are plays on words and that's okay, but I don't like them to be too cutesy. Since this mystery has to do with water rights, I'm wondering if A Long, Tall Drink of Murder is a good title. Be warned: tomorrow I might have a whole different idea, and to be honest, titles with "dog" or "cat" in the title sell extremely well. Maybe I should get Styx or Buddy or Barb's stray cat into the title, because of course they'll all have a role. Opinions?

Let Me Tell You About My Sister...

When I go places to promote my books, I usually begin with an introduction to the Sleuth Sisters , explaining that Barb and Faye start a detective agency but don't want Retta involved because she's so very bossy. Audiences get a kick out of Barb's penchant for secretly correcting grammatical errors around her home town. S ome who've read the books tell me what a sweetie Faye is, and a few have confessed that though they didn't like Retta at first, she's become tolerable because her strengths contribute to the agency's success. What's most rewarding about talking to audiences about the books is that women tend to compare their own sibling relationships to my characters' situation. "I have a sister who--" or "There are four of us and--" and interestingly enough, "I'm the bossy one in my family. I'm Retta." They see their own families in the Sleuth Sisters, and they try to decide which sister they're mos