Showing posts from March, 2016

Mystery + Something Else

Releasing May 30, 2016 Since E. A. Poe wrote the first mystery, the genre has been popular with readers. Though most of us will never deal with murder and wouldn't want to, we like peering over someone's shoulder as he or she pokes into a crime, unearthing secrets and eventually the perpetrator. We began with police officers, whose involvement is logical, since they're paid to find out whodunit. The genre soon picked up private investigators, who also get paid but aren't as hemmed in by rules as the coppers. Then came the amateur detective, someone who should be doing something else, like writing novels (Jessica Fletcher) or Miss Marple (making tea?). They're often just plain nosy, but they can also be clever and fun. Of course there are those who are falsely accused, or connected to someone who is, but that usually works only once (unless you're Jessica Fletcher's nephew). Today's mysteries spread across all those lines. There are lots of police

Pet Adjustments

They're not very big, and they have no words to tell us what they want, but we make all sorts of adjustments for our furry little friends. Why? Because we love them, and maybe a little bit because they'll get us if we don't. Before: "Not yet happy w/arrangement" After: "This works for me" A few months ago I chronicled the search for the perfect napping place for Old Cat. She wants to be with me as I work, but her preferred place was between me and the keyboard, which didn't work well for my writing. We compromised on a second chair at the desk, where she's sleeping as I write this. Still, it took two pillows and a couple of different blankets before she attained the desired effect. Downstairs, Old Cat has her own section of the couch (protected by her own blanket--note the strings from her kitty claw push-ups) where she spends her afternoons in pretty much the same position as she spent the morning. Evenings are spent either in my

After I Write "The End"

This is the final cover for the 4th Sleuth Sisters mystery. It's still a way off, probably May, but it's nice to have something to show to readers. When an author is traditionally published, she gets some say in a cover but not much. A lot depends on the publishing house. I was always asked what my initial concept was, and after that they'd say, "Here's what we did." I've had author friends who hated their covers but couldn't do anything about it. I had one I didn't much care for, but I trusted the publisher to do what worked for the masses, not just for me. As an independent, an author is responsible for everything, including the cover. Knowing I have the artistic talent of a Brahma bull, I hire people to do my covers. I've been lucky to find cover artists who can take my germ of an idea and make it beautiful. When the first Sleuth Sisters came along, I had no idea it would be a series (or so popular: Thank you all!) I wanted three pairs

A Kinda Cover & a Thought-Story

Here's the first version of the SS#4 cover. I asked for some change with the purses and the lettering, but I think overall it will work. On a different note, watching political stuff (and I try not to) makes me think about how differently we think. That brought to mind a story meant to make you think about how you think (and isn't that as clear as mud!) We can have fun with it if readers share their opinions because, unlike politics, the fiction created here has no effect on you or me or anyone. The Drawbridge Exercise A baron once had to leave his castle for several days. As he said goodbye, he told his wife that she was under no circumstances to leave while he was away. Once the baron was gone, however, the baroness slipped across the drawbridge and went to see her lover. The next morning when she returned to the castle, a madman stood at the drawbridge, brandishing a knife. "Don't try to cross!" he shouted. "I will kill you if you do!" The ba

The State of the Next One

I finished the 4th Sleuth Sisters, SLEUTHING at SWEET SPRINGS, earlier this week and sent it to my #1 beta reader, my sister. I've got no cover art yet (sigh), but here are some random thoughts. *It isn't done. Not only will my sister make suggestions (and after that there's the editor and other beta readers), but the time that passes while I'm away from the book will make me look at some things differently. I already have an idea for an addition--just a couple of lines to create humor. *I'm not sure anymore which sister I'm most like. While I didn't base the characters on real life, I do have two sisters and we are quite different in our outlooks on life. I'm not sure which Sleuth Sister is closest to me. Like Barb, I had a good primary career before taking on my second. Like Faye, I've been happily married for years and don't regret anything I've lived through. And like Retta, I can be clueless and shallow, though I'm not stupid a