Showing posts from 2018

Where's the Next One????

Lots of places I go, I hear, "When's the next Sleuth Sisters book coming out?" (I also hear, "Who's Maggie Pill?" but that's a topic for another day.) As to the where, it's in my head, and I'm hoping it's like cheese, getting sharper with age. As to the when, sometime in 2019 if my cheese-head comes together as it should. I say "cheese-head" because the book is set in Green Bay, WI, the home of the Packers and many, many cheese-heads. I've always liked the Packers, a team that's different from all the others in that the fans own it. I was with them in their down years, and there was a time I could probably have named all the starters. The only time my loyalties are tested is when they play Detroit, my home-state team. So the sisters will travel to Green Bay. I know why. I know the crime and the bad guys who must be caught. I know the season and the subplots and where the dogs are going to be. All I don't know is

News Flash: Books Don't Just Sell Themselves

A version of this post originally ran on the  Hometown Authors  site on October 9, 2018 You wrote a book. Hooray! Now comes selling the book. Let's talk about that. If you go traditional, your publisher will do some of the work needed to sell your book. My (now former) publisher arranged reviews, announced the book’s release to libraries, and featured it on their website. I learned I was expected to help get the word out, which back then was a surprise. I thought books sort of sold themselves. It takes effort to get a book noticed, and whether you publish independently, traditionally, or somewhere in the middle, you're the one who cares most about your work. You can pay people to promote for you, but that’s expensive and often doesn’t result in the sales authors hope for. You can promote for yourself, choosing how much time and effort you want to put into it. Here are a few ways that can happen. Book tours : Authors do tours so they can talk about their books to

Check Your Reading

Readers are smart people. We know that. Reading almost anything makes you learn things, even if they're not massively important things. Non-fiction is the most reliable source for learning, although you have to be careful whose nonfiction it is. Recent studies showed that reading fiction make a person more empathetic, presumably because you frequently put yourself in the place--even inside the head--of others and see life from viewpoints other than your own. (I enjoy writing the Sleuth Sisters Mysteries for that very reason: I have to think like each sister in order to tell the story the way she would see it.) We develop habits over time with our reading, and that's both good and bad. If you always read one genre and even one sub-genre, sooner or later you're going to end up in a rut. I've gone through quite a few phases in my lifetime. For a while I read lots of biographies and autobiographies. Then I read almost exclusively historical fiction. Now I read mostly my

The Evolution of Book #7

There was some concern after PERIL, PLOTS, and PUPPIES came out that the Sleuth Sisters series was finished, and to be honest, I wasn't sure myself. I've said many times that I don't want to write the next book just because. I need a story that I want to tell, because it's very hard work to write a book (at least one people will want to read). Sister anecdotes can go on forever, of course. There's always fodder for more humor in the way we interact with each other. Cute animal items are also easy to come up with. The fact that the real-life Styx almost broke my leg last week while trying to tell me he was glad to see me demonstrates that. Setting can become a problem in a series; call it the Cabot Cove Syndrome. How many murders can a small town expect? I felt that if there was a Book 7, it should take place somewhere else. Series writers will admit that after a few books it's also difficult to get all the secondary characters in if the characters remain


Now available as an audio book here: or on Audible if you do things that way:

The Listening Days

Judy Blue, who reads Retta I received the files for PERIL, PLOTS, and PUPPIES from Audible on Friday. Since I had an event on Saturday, I couldn't start listening until Sunday morning. I plan to do about 2 hours/day until it's done, so I'm currently on Chapter 30. I thought I'd tell you how it goes. Once a book is released in e-book and/or print, the author or publisher can contract for audio. Generally you can pay up front or share revenue, and costs for narrators run a large gamut. You submit the book for auditions and choose from those you receive. You make an offer, and if you're lucky, the narrator accepts. The studio in Chicago that does the Sleuth Sisters books hires three actors to read the three parts: Barb, Faye, and Retta. They've been the same for the first five books, but on this one they replaced Faye. I listened to the audition and agreed they'd found a good voice for her. Once that was done they went ahead and read, each woman readin