Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bookstore Non-Event

Because a tree had fallen across my long driveway I couldn't get out yesterday.  And the town couldn't come until today to clear the huge tree.  So that meant that I couldn't appear at DEAD END BOOKS to speak about BEAUTIFUL RAGE.

I felt terrible about this because the bookstore had promoted my appearance but there was nothing to be done.  The owner was very kind and understanding.  He wanted to reschedule but for personal reasons I can't.

Also because I'll be starting the new book. When I'm writing I find it almost impossible to do other things. I don't do much socially and never do anything connected with book promotion.  It's very important for me to lead a circumscribed life.  I write in the morning and spend afternoons doing chores and reading.  Evenings I watch a video or read.  The more I describe this, the more it sounds like I lead a boring life.  But it isn't boring to me. This is the way I need to live to write a book. 

Monday, September 27, 2004

More Stalling

Going out with my closest friend for lunch.  This means I won't even start reading the things I should be reading.  And tonight I'll be watching the newly released DVD of the orignial British PENNIES FROM HEAVEN with Bob Hoskins. It was written by Dennis Potter who wrote THE SINGING DETECTIVE, perhaps one of the best commentaries on what it's like to be a writer.  Don't let that put you off if you haven't seen it because it's very entertaining and one of the most brilliant pieces you'll ever see.  Don't confuse this with the movie with Robert Downey Jr. 


Sunday, September 26, 2004

Getting Ready

As my self-imposed deadline approaches I realize there are certain things I must read.  The new book will take place in the summer of 1943 in NYC.  I've already done a lot of research for that year but I need to do more. This week I should read OUR MOTHERS' WAR American women at home and at the front during world war 11 by Emily Yellin. I'm sure it'll be interesting but I've always resisted reading things I HAVE to read.  Besides, there are other books I want to read that have nothing to do with my research.

I also have to think of a good opening line.  And a title. I don't have to have a title but I like having one.

And if anyone cares or reads this I'm appearing at DEAD END BOOKS in Hicksville, New York on the evening of the 29th to read from BEAUTIFUL RAGE and do a Q&A plus sign books if anyone should buy one.  I hate doing things like this.

I had to tour a great deal during the years I wrote a series ...'91 to '98.  I eventually came to enjoy reading from those books because they were funny and I liked the laughs.  I also became good at it.  And I got over my fear of flying because on one tour I had to take a plane every day for 10 days.

I wouldn't want to do any of that again.  It's really not fun. You don't get to see anything except the airport, your hotel room and the bookstore you're doing that night or afternoon.

The reason I'm not looking forward to Weds. night is because what I'll be reading isn't funny.  And I can't believe anyone will come.  Still, this only requires a drive of about an hour and a half each way and then it will be over.

I have to resign myself to the fact that I'm doing it.  Bah, humbug.


Sunday, September 19, 2004


This past year I wrote the first book of a new series.  THIS DAME FOR HIRE will be published in hardcover next June or July by Ballantine.  This was a two book deal with the second book due by July 1st, 2005. 

Have I started it yet?  Guess.  I know who the victim will be and that's all.  I have most of the characters because this is a series.  That's both good and bad.  Good for the obvious reason and bad because I don't get to create that many new people. 

The  thing is I'm tired. I don't feel like writing yet.  I turned in the first one mid-July. 

So, I'm stalling. Since it takes place in New York 1943 I tell myself I have to read this, I  have to read that.  But I did a lot of research to write the first one.  Nevertheless....

I've given myself a start time.  October 4th.  That's a Monday.

I don't have to know much more than who the victim is. I never know who did it until way into the book.  So when October 4th comes around I won't have any excuses even if I don't know any more than I do now.

I hope my editor never reads this.



Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Don't Write What You Can't Read

How many times have I heard someone say, "I could write that...romance, mystery, fantasy novel, they're easy?" Guess what? They're not easy. The person who writes in that genre does it because he/she likes that genre.

And don't think you can write a bestseller because you think the one you just read isn't any good. The writer who wrote that book did the best she/he can. And believed in it every moment.

The most important thing is to never try to write in a genre or style of book you can't read. If you don't read horror novels, don't try to write one. You'll be doing it for the wrong be rich and/or famous. And it won't work. If you're writing a book for those reasons it will show. It'll be lousy. And it'll never get published.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

New Book (2)

Well, they've finally released it. Amazon says it's out and that only 4 copies are left in stock. They probably started with 5! If anybody wishes to buy it it's called BEAUTIFUL RAGE. Here's a review from Harriet Klausner:

Beautiful Rage

Customer Reviews
Number of Reviews: 1 Average Rating: *****
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Great stortelling
In Snowden County, Virginia, forty-three year old Sheriff Lucia Dove works a missing teen case. Apparently, good girl Julie Boyer came home from school and vanished not long afterward. The only clues are her Internet romance with Floridian Lyle Taylor. Lucia works closely on the investigation with Lieutenant Jack Fincham assisting her. The two cops have the hots for one another, but hide it as he is unhappily married to an alcoholic in denial and has a child. Lucia had a child out of wedlock, but she died in an accident. Jack’s wife apparently commits suicide, but FBI Agent Mike McQuigg, Lucia’s nasty ex-husband, thinks murder occurred. He legally searches Jack’s home only to find a razor with DNA evidence linked to two other female teen homicides in the area. Lucia believes that Jack is being set up and wonders why Mike got involved in the case starting with the missing Julie. She begins her own inquiries not sure where it will take her, but when she gets there she is in for quite a shocker. This solid police procedural contains an interesting lead protagonist who struggles with any wrong doing to children because of her daughter’s death even if she agreed with the official ruling of accident. The story line is fast-paced and the simmering desire between Jack and Lucia is hotter than the Arizona desert in summer. Though the identity of the serial killer will stun the audience who may think that it seems too way out, fans will appreciate this tense thriller.
Harriet Klausner

Monday, September 06, 2004

How to Get a Book Deal

I've had a question about this and it's one I get all the time.  Here's my advice: Get a copy of Literary Marketplace (usually in the library) and look up agents. Pick the one who appeals to you and send that agent a query letter with a paragraph about your book.  Give your name, address and phone number.  And include a SASE.  You really need to have an agent to get your manuscript read at a publishing house.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Publication Day

For those of you who look forward to a publication day, and dream of excitement, parties, presents and champagne...unless your partner or a friend does this for you, publication day is basically a non-event.

I have had flowers sent to me by an editor...once...and I did have one party thrown by my agent, but other than that, the day has gone by without a ripple.

The way I mark the day is to go to a movie. 

New Book

My latest book is BEAUTIFUL RAGE and was supposedly published on September 2nd. I say supposedly because no one can find it. Oh, yes, it's on Amazon and other sites but it continues to say that it's not published yet even though it says it will be published on September 2nd. It's baffling. It's been reviewed by Harriet Klausner on many sites but not on Amazon. Another bafflement. This book is published by Five Star Mysteries. I've never published with them before so I had no idea what to expect. I think the jacket is terrific. But what good is a picture of the jacket when you can't buy the book? I'll continue to hope the book appears somewhere. This is Labor Day weekend so maybe when it's over?

I have a website and this is the address: