Showing posts from 2017

Working On It, Boss

Working Cover Files If you keep up with my adventures, you know I was conflicted about a sixth Sleuth Sisters book. I do NOT want to be the author who stretches a series beyond logic, and I feel strongly that if I'm not interested in the plot, my readers won't be either. That was reinforced this past week as I read a book by one of my favorite authors, who has a long-running series I've always liked. The new story was beyond belief, with the detective getting naked in front of a crowd of people to force a confrontation that made very little sense and wasn't believable, at least for me. I never want the Maggie Pill name attached to a book just to have a new one out there. With that said, I found myself interested in the sisters again somewhere in August, and the questions began. What if Barb is caught, or almost caught, doing her Grammar Nazi thing? What if it's because there's a murder nearby, so the Nazi is a suspect? That was the germ of the idea for Boo

To Be or Not To Be--That Is the Problem

?????????? I know what my fans will say if I ask: Should the Sleuth Sisters series be done? I've already heard it from some: "No! We love them!" I get that. But what is the saturation point for a series? I always thought it was five books, but I've got #6 mostly done, and I like it. The sisters still have issues to work through, and the two cases this book covers are interesting (There are dogs in one; that's always good.) But in my own reading, I tend to lose interest when a series goes on too long. Yes, I've read twenty-three Sue Graftons, but I space them out so I don't get sick of Kinsey. I love Harry Bosch too, but I was pleased to see that Connelly expanded to the Lincoln Lawyer books and is trying out a new character in The Late Show.  I think I'll know if there should be another Sleuth Sisters book. What happens is my brain starts telling me the story when I'm ready to write it down. There's no telling when that will ha

When Writing Is Fun

I went to see SOMETHING ROTTEN this week, a very enjoyable show. In it there's a number in which Shakespeare sings about it being "Hard to Be the Bard." That got me thinking about writing and the levels of difficulty involved. It is hard, but it's also fun. It's hard to write the whole thing . I can't tell you how many people I've met who have three (or five or eight) chapters of a novel written but just can't go farther. Writers get that, but they also get past it. It's hard to make it good . Writing well takes a lot of understanding of language, story, syntax, conversation, style, character--all those things your English teacher used to go on about. They matter. It might be true that everyone has a story inside, but not everyone is ready to tell it well enough that others want to read it. It's hard to make it better. Another group I meet a lot are those who have written their masterpiece and can see absolutely nothing wrong with it. Fi

Sleuth Sisters #5: Eat, Drink, and Be Wary

I sent it for editing on Thursday! Anyone who has every written something for publication knows the feeling: half excitement, half dread. Our fondest dream is that the editor sends it back and says, "It's perfect just the way it is!" but that rarely happens. It's more likely to be, "Can you move Chapter Six to Chapter Eight and then merge Ten with Eleven?" Or worse, "You need to make Character D more outspoken, so look at every single line she speaks and see if you can make them all stronger." Anyway, we're on the road to Book 5, in which the sisters go to a retreat at a winery north of Traverse City, MI, (hence the "eat" and "drink" in the title and get into all kinds of trouble (the "be wary" part). The cover artist said I'd see something in February, so stayed tuned. If all goes well, the release will be in mid-April. I plan to put it up for pre-order soon. And for my audio friends, I'm sorry

Looking at Blogging Honestly

They'll tell you that you have to have a blog. They'll tell you your readers want to know what you're up to. They say blogging leads to sales. They. They. They. I think they might be wrong. I like blogging...sometimes. I like having something to tell my readers, like that a book is almost ready or POOF! Here it is! But I don't think many people read a blog just to know what I did last week. I say this after many years of trying to come up with fun and interesting blog posts. (Tweets, too, but that's another story.) Nobody much paid attention. That's not to say they're bad people or that my posts aren't worthwhile. People have other things to do with their lives...and so do I. So if you come here faithfully every week to see what existential musings I'm experiencing, you might be disappointed. This is my blog, but in the future it's going to be intermittent and book-related. I just don't think anyone cares if I decide to repaint my ki