Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hello Boys, …..I’m Back


Michael Connelly at Bouchercon
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Bouchercon was everything I hoped it would be. I met a serious bunch of very serious writers and fans who love the mystery/thriller/noir industry so much that they just have to get together once a year to shake hands, tell lies, and brag. Loved it.

I want to thank Peg Brantley for inviting me to dinner and meeting four other women writers, talk about a thorn amongst roses. Peg was a delight and you should look up her books (Here). I want to thank R. P. Dahlke for pointing me to the right road for marketing my books. Thanks Rebecca, now if I could just get you to help me understand the thirty five page handout, not your fault just my lack of marketing talent.

I especially want to thank Les Edgerton, Giants fan extraordinaire, even though he lives somewhere in Indiana. His newest book, The Genuine, Imitation, Plastic, Kidnapping is a treat for both baseball fans and lovers of New Orleans. Great job Les and I still think it reminds me of Hunter Thompson's work from the 70s.

I fun lunch was had with George Fong, Kirk RussellColin Campbell, and Robin Burcell. All I could do was listen to these pros and well-known authors.

The list of mentions is too long. But it was a classy event, well organized, and informative. The Hyatt and the Long Beach Convention Center were the venues; unfortunately the Hyatt has one of the worst hotel bars I have ever been in. We managed, but liquor and thriller writers go hand in hand – and sadly this bar did not cut it.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Long Beach downtown and waterfront. It had a small village of touristy shops that were a lot better than San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, at least six good sized chain restaurants (all P F Chang quality) nearby and all had great bars. Just saying.

For me the high point was a front row seat to listen to Michael Connelly talk about his upcoming Harry Bosch Amazon TV series, his new book, and the tribulations of being the most popular crime detective writer today (hint: too much traveling, learning to write on planes, etc.). We all dream of being in his shoes.

Next year in September, Bouchercon is in Raleigh, South Carolina. Never been to Raleigh, should be able to add it to my cities visited list.

Now I am well inspired and forming the start of marketing campaign. I'm finished inserting my books into IngramSpark's magical distribution system, and most importantly getting back to writing. For the last six plus months I have been in production and editing mode with three new books – all almost done. Two more weeks then back to Tony Alfano and his new series, Sharon O’Mara and her travels to Istanbul, and the Smith family in Michigan in 1966. Remember that two new books are out this January, a third sometime this summer, and who knows what else by the end of the year.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone,


More Later . . . . . . . .

Sunday, November 9, 2014

BOUCHERCON OR BUST


This week is the annual Bouchercon: a writer’s rendezvous, swap-meet, conference, gab fest, liars club, etc. You get the idea. When more than four hundred crime and mystery writers and camp-folloers get together to discuss murder and mayhem, I can tell you it’s a lot more fun than an insurance convention.

The conference is held annually in the honor of Anthony Boucher, the distinguished mystery fiction critic, editor, and author. The venue is Long Beach, California, that is in and of itself not a bad place to meet. The Queen Mary is just across the harbor, the restaurants are good, and the bars reasonably priced.

I will be announcing two new books that are coming out this winter, Diamonds For Death, the newest Sharon O’Mara thriller, and the beginning of a new series with Chicago Swing featuring Detective Tony Alfano. Preliminary reviews have been great, more on pre-release information in a later blog.

One thing I’m looking forward to is meeting writer’s I’ve met on line and at other conferences. Always good to catch up and see how everyone is doing. There have been a lot of great new books this year and having a chance to meet their authors will be special. Most of us work alone in cramped little warrens piled with books and research materials, have a pasty pallor, and an insensitivity to sunlight (rumors abound that the first vampires were actually suspense writers). Getting together at these events is great for our complexions, ADHD, and sourcing vitamin D.

I will have my own twenty minutes of fame on Friday afternoon in the Author Focus Program where I take the floor to talk up my books and stories. It’s at 5:00 in conference room Harbor C – last of the focus sessions for the day – I understand the bar is just around the corner where we can continue the discussion.

Looking forward to seeing all my friends and to meeting new ones.


More later . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Editing, Editing, Editnig

Short one this week – way too much on my plate.

One of the pleasures of writing is obviously having others read and enjoy your work, but the greatest pleasure is knowing that you have a friend that has read the review copy and performed a final copyedit of the manuscript – in book proof form. I am finding, as any experienced author will tell you, that a manuscript is never done. But when it goes to press it has to be a perfect as it can be. And that is a very tough order.

My forthcoming O’Mara novel Diamonds For Death, was reread and edited maybe ten times before is went to a paid editor. She did an outstanding job and helped to clean up and clear up a number of issues. So far so good. Then I went through her track changes and revised accordingly—never click “accept all” in track changes—there are edits that must be looked at and fixed.

Then I formatted the book in InDesign for print and .doc for ebooks, I was sure I was at least 99% clean. My trusted beta readers then took hold (with Accent pen in hand) and went to work. OMG – they found twenty-three typos. Nothing big but missing a’s, multiple repeat words, confusing sentences, and one or two to’s with too many o’s. Done and done. Now all I’m waiting for is some input on Cuban baseball strike and ball calls (if anyone out there knows what an umpire calls strikes in Cuban Spanish please let me know), and comments on the Iraqi war scenes.

Diamonds For Death will publish this winter.

See you all at Boucheron in two weeks.


More later . . . . . . . . .