Friday, April 28, 2017

Crime in the News...

In today's crime news...

A Delaware state trooper was murdered earlier this week.  This morning, his killer came out of the hole where he was hiding, tried firing on the officers who had his hole surrounded, and ended up dead.  Glad he took that way out instead of sitting in jail for decades. http://www.capitalgazette.com/bowie_bladenews/news/ph-ac-bb-bowie-trooper-20170427-story.html

Arkansas executes its fourth criminal in a week.  Should've been eight, in my opinion.  Anyway, people seem to be waving their arms all over the place because he experienced convulsions before he died.  Boo fuckin' hoo.  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/28/lawyer-calls-to-investigate-arkansas-execution-after-inmate-convulsed-before-dying.html

In Michigan, a group of butchers calling themselves doctors have been arrested for mutilating little girls' private parts in the name of their religion.  May they rot in hell.  http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/26/health/fgm-indictment-michigan/

A little, 1-yr old girl who was reported missing was actually dead inside the 'home' in Illinois where she lived with her family and a bunch of other people.  I get the feeling they made it sound like she'd just wandered off, but she'd only just learned to walk.  She was stuffed inside a couch in the house.  (I put quotes around home up there because it was a shithole where a bunch of people were squatting.)  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-missing-joliet-toddler-dead20170427-story.html

That's it for me for right now.  Searching crime is kind of depressing.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Crime in the News... Or Not So Much

Yesterday I heard about a horrific story being in the news.  Two men lured a 22 yr old autistic woman into their home where they held her against her will, raped her, and beat her for 2-3 days. 

I say I heard about it being in the news rather than saying I heard it from the news or directly in the news because I heard about it third hand.  So I searched the internet for more information and found it on a local news station's site.

Now, before we go much further, I'll admit that I stopped following local news back in December.  Well, except for really local, as in rural SWMO, news.  The big network stations?  Nuh-uh.  Too much spin and not enough facts.  Instead, I watch the headlines in my FB newsfeed every day and if I see something that interests me, I google for more info.  I also sometimes go directly to google and type 'news' into the search and then click on News.  It's a long way around, but I find more reliable sources that way.

So, anyway, back to this horrible story.  It wasn't in the newsfeed.  At all.  I didn't see it at any of the major news networks when I searched for it after hearing about it third hand.  One story on the NBC affiliate out of Springfield.

Why?

Well, it could be because another story about two Hispanic men raping and beating a woman harshes the narrative they're trying to push - because one of the men was an illegal alien.  Sadly, it could be because shit like this happens so often in our country these days that it's not worthy of being on national news.  (Although why anyone with the last name of Jenner/Kardashian or with a speck of celebrity is news and not this is beyond me.)  It could even be that the news - and I use that word loosely these days - feels like they have more important things to spin for the American public than one autistic chick getting brutalized by two assholes over the course of a weekend.

Or maybe I really am living in a cave.  Have any of you heard this news story?

Well, anyway, apparently they picked the wrong autistic girl because this one still had the presence of mind to tell the police exactly what had been done to her - albeit through a child advocate since she reportedly has the mind of a 9 yr old.  The illegal is being held without bond and the other one is looking at $150,000 bond.  Fry 'em both, I say.

But that's me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I'm Not Excited

So, it's been a week since I posted here.  One would think that since I had a new release on the 7th that I would be all SQUEE and in your face and confetti, but it didn't happen.

Natural Causes is my 8th book.  When I published Dying Embers back in February of '15, I was all of the squeeing and celebrating.  Now?  Not so much. 

I was talking about this the other night with Hubs.  When he finished a long project at his work, he didn't squee and celebrate.  It was finished and he moved onto the next project.  It was his job.  Writing is my job.  You do your job, you get it done, you move on to the next bit of work. 

I know some other authors celebrate every book.  That's cool.  It's just not me. 

The problem, I guess, comes when I wonder 'if I don't celebrate it, will readers?'  If I'm not excited about a book release, how will I ever get readers excited about it?  I would hope they'd be excited because it something fresh and new for them.  It's neither fresh nor new for me.  I could try to fake it, but... yeah, that's just not me.  My FB post after I learned Natural Causes was available in the Amazon store?  "Well, it's live." with a link. 

Yeah, that was anti-climactic.  But that's me. 

Push a big rock up a hill.  Get it all the way to the top.  Walk back down the hill and starting pushing the next one up.  Woo.  No hoopla.  No fanfare.  (At least I'm not Sisyphus and the rock doesn't roll back down.  That would suck.)

The satisfaction is in getting the work done.  But, when you think about it, it's never really done.  There's just more work. 

Wow, that sounded depressing.  It wasn't meant that way.  I love the work.  If I didn't, I wouldn't put up with the crap.  I could easily get a job outside the house.  Or I could just fritter away all my time and not worry about sales and marketing and editing and cover art and... you get the gist.  The satisfaction then, in reality, is in completing the book and getting it out there for readers to read.  And in knowing there's another book waiting to go through the process again.  I think that's pretty exciting. 

Hopefully, when you see I put another book out, you get excited and buy it.  Sales excite me.  Woohoo. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

For What It's Worth

I was reading a news story this morning about the suspect in a triple homicide jumping off the 4th floor of the court building to his death.  They're thinking it might be suicide.  I'm thinking it's probably a cause for the victims' families to celebrate.  And a load off the taxpayers who would have to foot the bill for the trial and incarceration of this asshole*.

I was watching Homicide Hunter a while back.  The dude obviously did it, but at the end, he got off.  (One of the rare occasions when one of Joe's cases did end in a guilty verdict.) Don't remember how.  Probably something to do with liberal Colorado.  All I know was I was pissed off.  Until... as a footnote at the end of the show, they told how the suspect had moved to New York City after the trial and months later someone pushed him out a 10th story window to his death.  Woohoo. Splat.  And that made me happy.

I'm not bloodthirtsy, per se.  I just believe in justice. 

And another thing...  What is it with these assholes who are suicidal, so they kill their entire families before they kill themselves??  Seriously.  If you want to die, do so and decrease the asshole population.  Don't take out other people.  I even heard about one heinous asshole who shot his dog before he killed himself.  Dude, what did the dog do to deserve that shit?  Sick freaks.

Then we were watching Murder Calls the other day.  A serial killer in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area was murdering women and then calling in to the police.  He'd call and ask to be caught.  He'd say he wanted to die.  All in this whiny voice.  They called him The Weepy Voiced Killer.  (Lame, right?)  Anyway, he would always hang up without giving any indication where he was or how to find him.  Asshole.  They did eventually get the squirrelly little fucker, but not before he killed several women.  No clue why.  Something about them wearing red.  No clue.  He got 40 years - again, I assume because of liberal Minnesota or some such crap.  He died in prison in 1998, but if cancer hadn't gotten him, he would've been a free man in six years.  Think he would've been reformed?  Umm, right.  He would've been old, but old people aren't incapable of murder.

What do you think?


*Provided he actually did it, of course.  If not, there's a murderer still running around out there.

Monday, April 10, 2017

New Release and a Sale!

The long awaited sequel to Accidental Death has finally arrived.  (Well, I was waiting for it for a long time anyway.)  Natural Causes is now live across the board on Amazon (check your local listings or go here for English speaking Amazon affiliate countries). 

To celebrate, I made Accidental Death a Kindle Countdown Deal.  It's available now thru Saturday for the low low price of 99c (or .99p in the UK).

And, as always, my books are all available for the Kindle Unlimited program which means they're free for subscribers (well, free after you pay you subscription fee, of course).

You don't need to read Accidental Death to understand what's going on in Natural Causes but, naturally, it helps.  See where I started Dennis's story, how he met Jillian, and the reason Dennis has got some baggage this time around. 

Loads of fun for everyone.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Release Day!

Yes, I know.  I wasn't scheduled to release Natural Causes until Thursday, but I got the manuscript finished and uploaded and I suck at waiting, so I published it.  It went live last night some time.

Murder is never natural...
As the new police chief in the mountain town of Last Ditch, Colorado, the worst case Dennis Haggarty has investigated dealt with vandalized decorations. Life is slow and laid back, exactly what he and his new bride, Jillian, need after the debacle in Serenity. But when a hiker stumbles onto a gruesome scene in a secluded ravine, the calm world he’s trying to build for them fractures. Now he’s faced with determining whether a cougar attack is actually man-made mayhem in disguise, who’s lying to him, and how to take down another killer with no regard for human life. 
Tough luck for him, he’s not certain he could pull the trigger again—not even to save his new life.
Amazon US
Goodreads




I'll add other buy links - for UK, AU, CAN - as I find them.  Until then, check your local listings. 


Friday, April 7, 2017

Formatting... Sick Bastard Cousin to Editing


Anyway, Sunday I said I'd talk about formatting in my Monday post, but then I forgot.  No post on Monday at all.  I blame pre-publication insanity.

So here's the formatting post.

Yeah, formatting isn't really anything like editing.  Except it can make one crazypants just as much as, if not more so than, editing.  I had hoped to remove some of the insanity-making by creating a checklist.

It looks like this:


Formatting checklist

Ebook:

1)  Type THE END
2)  Find and replace all double spacing between sentences with single spacing
3)  Remove all Bookmarks.
4)  Create Bookmarks: START, TOC, END
5)  Make sure everything is 12 pt font, Cambria
6)  Format all chapter headings as Headings.  Including THE END.
7)  Format all scene breaks for continuity within book and within series
8)  Create title page
9)  Create Copyright and Acknowledgements page
10)  Add in About the Author Page at the end
11)  Add in back matter.
12)  Create Table of Contents.
13)  Scan entire manuscript for continuity.
14)  Email book to Kindle and scan through again for continuity and formatting errors.
15)  Publish to Amazon

Print:

1)  Type THE END
2)  Find and replace all double spacing between sentences with single spacing
3)  Remove all Bookmarks.
4)  Make sure everything is the font you’ve chosen for the book.
5)  Format all chapter headings as Headings.  Including THE END.
6)  Apply print font for Headings to all.
7)  Format all scene breaks for continuity within book and within series
8)  Create title page
9)  Create Copyright and Acknowledgements page
10)  Add in About the Author Page at the end
11)  Add in back matter.
12)  Create Section Breaks after Acknowledgements and after THE END
13)  Add Pages Numbers to manuscript section centered bottom
14) Verify ‘Link to Previous’ is unchecked
15)  Format Page Numbers to chosen look
16)  Set to ‘Different First Page’ in manuscript section
17)  Delete page number from first page of manuscript section
18)  Verify no page numbers in front matter section or back matter section
19)  Set page size to 5.5” x 8.5”
20)  Set margins to Top .88”, Bottom .88”, Inside .75”, Outside .63”
21)  Make sure margins are ‘mirrored’
22)  Verify all chapters start on right hand page.
23)  Print a few pages to verify it will look how you want it to look.
24)  Upload to Createspace

Then I started to format Natural Causes on Wednesday.  Umm, yeah... there are things I forgot and the list wasn't helping and so I formatted the first page of NC and made notes all over it so I would know exactly what needed doing to each subsequent chapter beginning...
That seemed to work.  I had a real groove going on.  Got all of Natural Causes' chapter headings formatted.  Then I made the Table of Contents.  And see up there where I scribbled something out next to the chapter title?  I had made all the chapter titles Headings2.  Which put them all in the TOC.  Couldn't figure out a way to get them out of the TOC, so I went back and made all the chapter titles 'Normal' and formatted each of them again to meet the guidelines I had set.

Then I started to work on the formatting for Accidental Death because I want that book to match this book's formatting.  I decided to start by updating the back matter, because I had all that laid out already from doing NC.  But I couldn't get WORD to let me move a freakin' line, which was making it all farqued up. Which was making me a babbling idiot, so I deleted all the back matter and copied it from one of my other books where it wasn't messed up.  Tada.

As of typing this post, I still have some things to do, but I'm on track.  This book will be in your hands soon.

I'd still rather do it myself than pay someone else, but if anyone tells you this stuff is easy, slap them in the back of the head for me. (Okay, so maybe it isn't that hard, but it is tedious as all get-out.)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Editing Never Stops Until You Stop It

So, anyway, as you all know, I'm in the final stages of getting Natural Causes ready to launch into the world.  In fact, I'm doing the final read-through for typos and gaffs.  Or what I thought was the final read-through.  I'm finding too many irritating things that I need to go back and fix.  Once I fix these, I'll have to do another read-through to make sure I didn't insert any typos again. 

Ugh.

This is not my editor, btw.  She's awesome.  These are things I'm finding personally irritating.  A word here, a phrase there.  It all has to be changed before I can let this out into the world. 

It's entirely possible that any given reader wouldn't notice.  But I would. 

And I was thinking about it yesterday.  When is editing actually finished?  Well, never, I guess.  Or rather, it is never finished until the writer says 'enough is enough'.  I made my peace a long time ago with the idea that I will never produce a perfect manuscript.  Every read-through will offer up some little thing I would rather have this way than that.  (Sometimes taking something I already changed and changing it back.) 

I think this is the whirlpool some writers get themselves into.  Everything has to be perfect before they publish (or attempt to get an agent or whatever), and thus, they never do get it into the hands of readers.  Which is sad. 

Don't get me wrong.  A manuscript should be as error free as possible before someone slaps down their hard-earned cash.  That's proofreading.  (And even then, it isn't foolproofreading.)  I'm talking about wording and style and all the little things that make a manuscript a book.  Larry walked across the room versus Larry sauntered across the foyer versus Larry skittered across the brightly-lit entryway like a cockroach. 

At some point, though, a writer has to say 'enough'.  The writer has to stop the editing and make the decision to send their book out into the world. 

For me, that will be either this week or next.  Definitely by the 13th, as promised.  Exactly when depends on how long these last 70 pages take to read-through and then how long it takes for another proofreading.  (One where I actually proofread and don't edit.) 

Meanwhile, I'm busting my hump to make sure that exact release date is as soon as possible. 

While you're waiting, go 'want to read' it on Goodreads.  And if you haven't read Accidental Death yet, now might be a good time to do so.  Or, if you want to wait, I have plans to do something salesy with AD around the time I release Natural Causes, so you might save a couple bucks. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Executive Decision Time

First, I received my final round of edits from my awesome wonderful editor last night.  The edit letter started with the following:  "Awesome!! NATURAL CAUSES is a winner - and I know it's early, but I can't wait for another Dennis Haggarty Mystery! Well done, you!!"

The email carrying that awesomeness also contained a bit about scheduling for Wish Hits the Fan.  If I can have WHTF to her by the 17th of April, she can get it done before she gets tied up.  Otherwise, she can't start working on it until May 29th.

Panic ensued.

It didn't last long.  I thought about what I had left to do on WHTF and what I still need to do on Natural Causes to get it publishable by the 13th.  Then I made the Executive Decision that I would not be sending her WHTF until 5/29.  

No worries for those expecting this book to be out in August, like I promised.  I will still meet that deadline.

If I send it to her on 5/29, she'll have those edits to me on 6/29. Two weeks on my end to input those edits, send it back to her on 7/13.  Three weeks to get the second round back from her on 8/3.  Two more weeks for final edits and polishing and formatting will put the release day at 8/17.  Tada.

And my stress level dropped precipitously.  I can now focus on finishing Natural Causes and getting that out to y'all on or before 4/13.  Then I can take my time and do WHTF right.  Whew.

Leaving me free to stress about other things.  LOL

Any questions?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How I Edit w/ My Editor

I said something in Monday's comments about addressing this in today's post, so here it is. 

First, I hate track changes.  Loathe it.  Everything all crammed over on the right side of the page, so I have to glance there and then glance at the writing and then glance there and then glance at the writing.  Bleh.

My editor, bless her, doesn't make me use track changes.  What she does is put her notes and comments right in the manuscript.  In pink font.  All I have to do is scroll down. I see pink, I stop.  Then I fix it in my manuscript file. 

I keep her marked up file and my clean file separate.  Both open.  I find the problems in her file, tab over to my file, find the pertinent sentence and fix it.  Voila!

Yeah, it's probably more steps than someone else might take.  I've had people suggest that I just accept the changes and make that file my main file.  Or something.  Nah.  For safety's sake, I keep the files separate.  I mean, what if I accidentally accept a change I didn't mean to accept and then I've got to go find it again and... The idea gives me a headache. 

This is what works for me.  It seems to be what works for her.  She's never indicated any differently, so we'll stick with this.  If things change, then they'll change.  And I'll roll with it.  For now, though, I'm set in my ways.

What's something you're set in your ways about?

Monday, March 27, 2017

How I Edit

Since I finished the first pass of edit notes on Wish Hits the Fan yesterday, I thought I'd take a moment and talk about editing.  Or rather, how I edit.

As you may already know, I write the entirety of the book before I edit anything.  Well, that's not strictly true.  I do edit as I go along, but it's unconscious editing.  As I type, I backspace when I make mistakes or when I think of better wording or whatever.  There's a lot of backspacing in there - as Hubs could probably tell you because he can hear the difference in the keystrokes between me writing and the telltale clicks of the backspace key.  I don't even notice it anymore.  Except when I make the same mistake after the backspacing and I hit that backspace key again like it was a bad little key.

Once I have a whole manuscript from Chapter One to the final words (I don't actually type THE END until the book has passed through editing.  It's a quirk with me, I guess.) I email the book to my Kindle.  Then I grab my handy-dandy five subject notebook (thinner notebooks are too thin, I like heft beneath my hand as I write) and head for the recliner.  I open the file of my manuscript and begin reading - making notes as I go.  In red.  Always in red.  (Another quirk.)

> = something needs to be edited here
R> = revise
D> = delete
E> = expand
I> = italicize
?> = wtf did I mean here?
GoM> Gun on the mantel*
>> = major note

Then I write down the line in question, so I can find it during a search of the manuscript later.

I> Well, isn't that just peachy? 
D> drew in a deep

Sometimes, I underline the problem and put a '( with the change' at the end of the line...

> cock and bill story  (bull

Sometimes the problem is bigger than a ( will handle, so I drop down a line and write out what I meant...

R> That's the best I know how to explain it.
      ^ lame and doesn't sound like Tryg

or

?> enslaved again... That last one
     ^WTF were you going for there? **

When I get all of that written in my handy-dandy notebook, I bring it back here, open the file and begin following my own directions.  I check off each line as I complete it - in black ink.  If I see something I can't complete right then, because it refers to something later in the manuscript, I make a big black ( in the left margin so I can go back later and make sure I really did fix it by the end.

After I get all the notes entered, I send the whole thing back to my Kindle again and start over, catching anything I might've missed or anything I might've screwed up while I was fixing other stuff.  Lather, rinse, repeat until I think I've gone about as far as I can go on my own.  Then I send it to my editor.

And that's how I do editing.  It's different for each writer, I think.

Hope you found this glimpse into my editing insanity interesting.  ;o)


*Gun on the mantel refers to a writing thing.  "If you put a gun on the mantel in the first act, you need to fire it by the third act" or something.  (Not sure who originally said it, but it's true, so I use it.)  It means don't put in something important if you never use it later.  Or, at least, that's what I mean by it.

** I refer to myself as 'you' when I write edit notes.  It just works for me.  Quirk #3, I guess.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What More Can They Do to Him?

We were watching an episode of Evil Lives Here on ID the other night.  (If you haven't seen that one, it shows the events surrounding a murder or murders from the perspective of a family member of the suspect or some other person peripherally associated with the case.)  In this particular instance, they were speaking with the wife of a man convicted of murdering and raping a 17 year old girl. 

They got him and he's doing life without parole.  Which is always good. 

Anyway, after he was in prison, his wife and her friend finally opened up his locked shed and found all manner of disturbing stuff inside, including what one could assume were trophies from his other crimes.  Throughout the show, they'd hinted that maybe the one girl wasn't his only kill.  So, it made sense there would be other trophies. 

What didn't make sense was near the end of the program when the wife said something to the effect of 'well, he's already doing life without parole, what else can they do to him?' 

Derp.  It's not about what they 'can do to him'.  It should be about justice.

They could provide closure for the families of all the other women he might've killed.  They could close out some cold cases.  They could bring justice for those other victims. 

I mean, the first thing we couldn't figure out was why the police never opened up that damn shed during the investigation of that man and the wife ended up opening it after the conviction.  Umm, police work a little maybe?  Holy shit.

They talked about all the 'gifts' this guy had given to his wife and their daughters that could've been taken from his kills.  Nothing was done about that either.  (I know.  I used the google-fu and checked around to see if he'd ever been tried for anything else.  Nope.  And sure enough, they said that at the end of the program.  He's NEVER been tried for other crimes.) 

Argh.

And it wasn't like he only committed crimes in the state where he was originally convicted.  He was a long-haul trucker.  He could've committed crimes in multiple states - which, unless I miss my guess would make this federal - but no one has done anything.  Yeah, they can't add more years to life, but that isn't the point.  They could find a crime he committed in a death-penalty state and use the treat of that to get him to pony up the details of his other crimes, but no.  Not doing that either.  He's just sitting there, getting older, wrapped in the knowledge that he got away with murder(s).

This happened back in 1994.  23 years. 23 more years of people never knowing what happened to their sisters, their daughters, their loved ones.  Imagine their pain. 

Then imagine how, with the technological advancements of 2017 vs 1994, all of those trophies could help investigators figure out how many other women this dude raped and killed. 

But nope. 

I know the end of that thoroughly pissed Hubs and I off.  It was a whole WTF, jaw-dropping thing. 

Oh, wait a second... That's right... His victims were supposedly hookers and runaways.  (The girl he was convicted of killing was a runaway.)  I guess someone assumes they don't deserve justice.  Umm, yah. 

That's messed up.

What do you think?  


Monday, March 20, 2017

Officially Official Natural Causes Cover and Blurb

Okay, so yesterday I finalized both the cover and the blurb for Natural Causes.




Murder is never natural...

As the new police chief in the mountain town of Last Ditch, Colorado, the worst case Dennis Haggarty has investigated dealt with vandalized decorations. Life is slow and laid back, exactly what he and his new bride, Jillian, need after the debacle in Serenity. But when a hiker stumbles onto a gruesome scene in a secluded ravine, the calm world he’s trying to build for them fractures. Now he’s faced with determining whether a cougar attack is actually man-made mayhem in disguise, who’s lying to him, and how to take down another killer with no regard for human life. 

Tough luck for him, he’s not certain he could pull the trigger again—not even to save his new life.

---------
And I created a listing for it on Goodreads this morning.  So y'all can go forth and 'Want to Read' it now.

If you go there, you'll see I set am O-fficial release date for it, too - April 15th.  Tax Day.  Yay.  I might have it out sooner, but definitely no later.  If I have to stay up all night for days, it will be done.

Special thanks to Silver James for helping me tweak my blurb.

I'll add the new book to all my blogs sometime soon.  Maybe this morning.  If I can muster the gumption.  It's hard to muster gumption so early in the morning.  Need more coffee...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Naming Names

Way back when I wrote Wish in One Hand, I inserted a throw-off character.  Jo needed backup, Basil sent her some, and I didn't really think any of those people would ever show up again.  Hell, only one of them even had a speaking part.  I named him Lyle.  I'm not sure why I called him Lyle.  I'm not even sure why I named the dude at all.  He wasn't supposed to ever show up again.

Flash forward to Up Wish Creek.  There he is again.  (He never showed up in In Deep Wish.)  Except I don't use a name and he's just referred to as the big dude who came to save Jo's bacon back in book 1.  He's kind of okay.  He's one of Jo's supporters, which is cool, but he's not impressed with the way Jo has handled things, so he beats feet. 

Until he shows up in Wish Hits the Fan.  Tada!  There he is.  And he's got some major problems.  He's become a plot point. 

When I was writing the first draft, I called him Castor... and then Nestor... and then left it alone until I could finish the first draft because I ain't got time for no researching when I'm drafting.  I figured I could fix the name in edits.  And then, during initial edits, something occurred to me... Did I actually name this tertiary character already?? 

Which is when I discovered one spot in book 1 where Basil refers to the dude as Lyle. 

Lyle*.

I posted about this on FB.  One person suggested that with such a minor character placed in the first book, it wasn't that important if I used the correct name in the fourth book.  Yeah, I could've gone that way.  Except I can't.  His name is freakin' Lyle. 

And his name is Lyle because I got lazy at some point during that first book and just threw down a name without thinking about it.  Yeah, I never dreamed back then that he would be critical down the road.  Derp.

In my defense, when I wrote Wish in One Hand, I had no clue I was writing a series.  I had hopes, but no firm 'yeah, this is BOOK ONE' in my head. 

So, look at this as a cautionary tale.  Names matter.  Even when you think they don't, they do. 



*I have nothing against the name Lyle, or I wouldn't have used it for even a throw-off character.  I just don't happen to think it's the right name for who he ended up being.  Then again, I've met a lot of people who have names their parents gave them that I don't think really suit them.  I guess Lyle has to live with the name his writer-mama gave him.  And you know something?  It's kind of growing on me.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Research Frenzy

So, there I am, reading through Wish Hits the Fan, making edit notes with my red pen in my big spiral notebook, when I come across a :research this: note I left for myself in the manuscript.

Umm, yeah. 

Usually not a big thing.  I go, I research a little, and bada-bing-bada-boom, I have the answer. 

Not this time.

I sat down at the computer and went through about a dozen sites to find what I was looking for - a mythical being endowed with certain specific characteristics that I was absolutely sure I remembered existing*.  Nope.  Then I dragged out my big book of mythical beings and started the slow search going page by page down the alphabetical listings.  Nothing in the As.  I thought I found something in the Bs, but not quite right.  Sticky noted that and moved on.

This is kind of a crucial point here.  Several things I've already written hinge on this particular bit of research. 

So, last night I made a realization.  If I don't find something that fits, I'm going to have to either make something up myself or cobble that other 'almost right' thing in until it does fit.  

And as I was typing this post just now, I had an epiphany.  Huzzah!  I think I know exactly what I need to do.  Bwa ha ha.  :rubs hands together in evil fashion:  Now I just need to give it a name, so Zeke can tell Jo what she's facing and then put the name elsewhere in the book where I've left little :no name thing: notes for myself.

I wrote the epiphany down, so I won't forget.

Anyway, I wasted about an hour or so last night researching this thing when I could've been making some progress on my edit notes.  It was driving me a bit nuts.  And then I went to bed and couldn't sleep because I was still thinking about it.  Which is really irritating considering it just popped into my head this morning without too much urging. 

Ain't that the way?

Ah, the writing life.

*I figured out why I thought I knew this thing existed.  I'd read about something like it, but not it, in someone else's fiction and it was something the other writer had totally made up, so I can't really riff off of it.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Natural Causes - Cover Art and Blurb Draft

Good morning, All!

I'm kinda brain fried after all that editing, so I thought I'd just share the cover art this morning, along with the initial blurb I've come up with.



As the new police chief in the mountain town of Last Ditch, Colorado, the worse case Dennis Haggarty has investigated dealt with vandalized decorations.  Life is slow and laid back, exactly what he and his new bride, Jillian, need after the debacle in Serenity.  But when a hiker stumbles onto a gruesome sight in a mountain ravine, the calm life he wished for becomes more about uncovering the truth, discovering identities, and tracking a killer. Before they find themselves staring down the barrel of a gun.  Again.  

Okay, it's not the best blurb I've ever written (fine, it sucks), but it'll give you an idea of what the book's about in advance of the release.

The release date?  I'm looking at April 14th.  Earlier if I can manage it, but no later than that.