Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Season

If I were still writing I would've taken off the last month. I always did that...took off the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I have no idea why.  It was part of my writing routine.  A writing routine means when you're not writing, too.  It all counts. In the end, like now, I'd have as many books published as I was  meant to.  Had I worked all those weeks of the holiday season for 30 years would I have more than 19 published books?  I don't think so.  Lots of times I didn't write in the summer.  More books?  Who knows? 

I've enjoyed my time between the two holidays as much as I always did.  But now I don't have to dread January 2nd.

Happy  Holidays to All.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I've been trying to put a picture of some of my kindle books on this blog. Not in a post, but on the side.  It can't be too hard because there are some people who do it who don't know that much about computers.  I want to be able to click on the picture and go straight to the source. Any easy help would be welcome.

I've also spent a lot of time redesigning one of my covers.  Also a mess. I know how to upload it but I can't get the cover itself right. How do you add something to a picture in Photoshop?  You have the picture there but now you want to add another picture within it. How?

Not knowing how to do these things is making me feel stupid and depressed.  Or am I depressed because it hasn't stopped raining for three days?

Or is it because my browser is constantly saying "not responding?"

I've signed up for a flash fiction piece and now I'm worried that I won't be able to do it.  It's been so long since I've written any kind of fiction.

This is my life in retirement.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

All Books Ready

I realized this morning that I never posted their links here.  I know you've all been waiting breathlessly.  There are five books in the Lauren Laurano series and each book is 1.99.

Everything You Have Is Mine
I'll Be Leaving You Always
My Sweet Untraceable You
Let's Face the Music and Die
Gonna Take A Homicidal Journey

The other three were originally published under my pseudonym, Jack Early. Each is a stand alone and each is 99 cents.

A Creative Kind of Killer
Donato & Daughter

There's also a short story that people are buying.  I didn't expect that but it's happening.  Only 99 cents.

Tag Sale

I hope you'll read one or two.  I think you'll enjoy them.  But what do I know?

Monday, August 01, 2011

R.I.P. Silvio Narizzano

I don't usually write about anyone who doesn't have anything to do with writing, but this is different.

Silvio was a movie and television director and my cousin. Some of you may remember a movie called Georgy Girl.  It starred Lynn Redgrave, Alan Bates,Charlotte Rampling and James Mason. It was a big success.  Later he did some other movies that weren't  as successful but he did some lovely things for Granada television.  Although he was a Canadian he chose to live in England.

He was great fun and although I didn't see him that often when I did it was "a party just being near him." Sil was smart and funny and spontaneous.  Also very generous.  When he knew I didn't have any money he optioned a play I'd written.  We both knew nothing would come of it, but it was a way to help me without loaning me money.  Occasionally a phone call would come in and in the last years an email.

He was also a manic/depressive (called bi-polar today).  But I never saw the depressed side.  This disease crippled his career.  He could have done so much more.  But hell, he worked with Ingrid Bergman, Glenda Jackson, Trevor Howard, Laurence Olivier, and Joan Hickson (Miss Marple) among others.

I loved Silvio and although I hadn't seen him for years, I'll miss him being in this world.

BTW, all the obits say he was 84 but he was 87.  Somewhere along the way he changed his typical of him to do that for only 3 years.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


The last of the Lauren Laurano books is finished.  Gonna Take A Homicidal Journey This is the fifth book in the series.  I have no plans to put up any of my other back list books, so I'm really done with this project. I rushed to finish because I was expecting my toy (Ipad) and it arrived yesterday morning.  Do I love it?  I do.  But there's a lot to learn. Patience is not my long suit, in case you haven't noticed.

I've also lowered the price on the Jack Early/Sandra Scoppettone books to 99 cents each. They are:
A Creative Kind of Killer
Donato & Daughter

The whole experience of turning my novels into E-books has been boring, exciting, wonderful, mind numbing and necessary. Why necessary? Because the idea of having new readers is important to me.  The Laurano series began before some of these new readers were born.  Same with the others.

I started this project back in January when I sent my books to be scanned.  I think I put up my first book in February.  I had no idea when I started it would take this long.  There were a few times along the way that I wanted to quit, but I had a friend, Consuelo Saah Baehr, a wonderful writer, who had gotten me into this thing by constant nagging!  When I wanted to throw in the towel she simply wouldn't let me. Thank you, Consuelo.

From time to time I'll have to do some marketing with these books if I want new readers, but I'm going to take the summer and have a vacation.  A vacation to me means reading.  I have so many books lined up there's no way I could read even half. 
 From the front.

And from the back.

I think of this as my store.

As far as writing another book....I'll never say never.  But if I do you'll find it as an Ebook and in no other form.

A side note.  When I was proofing one of the books I got down to the last 10 pages and still didn't know who did it!  Maybe it's my memory...or something worse, but whatever it is I find it fascinating.  I hope you'll give some of these books a shot. 

I'm not going anywhere.  I'll be posting from time to time.

Maybe I'll start to rant.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let's Face the Music and Die

I've finally gotten this fourth book finished.  I wasn't in the mood and kept getting involved in other things...mostly reading.  Lately it feels like I have to go to work and write.  It's not. I keep forgetting I can take my time and it doesn't matter.  But it does, If you're me. I want to get this over with so I can retire in peace.  Also my Ipad is arriving on Friday and I know I'll be completely occupied with my new toy.  So I'll finish up this post and get back to proofing book 5.  Here is book 4:

Let's Face the Music and Die

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A Sale and A Tale

The sale is A Creative Kind of Killer for 99 cents. It went so well the last time I thought I'd offer it again.

The tale will be on Monday the 13th when Allan Guthrie posts his interview with me on Criminal-E .

Today I start another tale.  I'm beginning to proof the fourth book in the Lauren Laurano series, Let's Face the Music and Die.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Short Story

I might as well mention this because people have been buying it without me ever giving it a push.  I've written a short story called, Tag Sale .  It's 99 cents. I put it up for another reason but that didn't work out.  Meanwhile quite a few people found it and bought it.  See what you think.  Let me know.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Sweet Untraceable You

The third book of the Lauren Laurano  series is finally available for $2.99. I had to u/l it 3 times because of formatting problems.  But it was there to buy in the wrong version and 3 people bought it.  So if any of you did you can exchange it if you wish.

I have 2 more to do and I wish I didn't.  But I can't leave the series unfinished.  It's almost summer and all I want to do is read.  I guess I'll be finished by July.  Maybe sooner.

There may be some Amazon/Kindle book sellers who are making a good living out of this, but not me.  I didn't expect to.  What makes me happy about this is that I'm getting a lot of new readers for my back list.

I hope some of you will get into this series because I think it's fun.  And so did a lot of other people and reviewers.  You can read these accolades if you go to the books.

Everything You Have is Mine is the first and the 2nd is I'll Be Leaving You Always

Try the 1st. It's $1.99 and if you like that you can go on to the others.  A long weekend is coming up, have Lauren spend it with you.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Today I'm lowering the price of Razzamatazz to 99 cents for a short time.

The last thing veteran reporter Colin McGuire , fleeing his job on a big-city newspaper in the wake numbing personal tragedy, expects to find in sleepy little Seaville on Long Island’s North Fork is murder. In a few short weeks Seaville has brought him friends, some comfort and perhaps more in the person of Annie Winters, who is also trying to build a new life. But as the murders multiply, so, too, do the questions and the doubts. Friends suspect friends, lovers suspect lovers and sooner or later a lot of people begin to suspect Colin.

The New York Times said:
"This is one of those down-to-the-wire stories, very well written, guaranteed to keep you flipping the pages."

"New writer Jack Early (Sandra Scoppettone) ranks with Leonard, Ludlum and King."

Tacoma, WA. News-Tribune

"Crisp writing, plus abundant surprises will keep readers riveted until the last page."
Publishers Weekly

You're going to love this book.
Sandra Scoppettone

Friday, May 06, 2011

Donato & Daughter

I've lowered the price on Donato & Daughter to .99 for a short while.  This is what Publishers Weekly had to say when it was first published:

“Topping his award-winning A Creative Kind of Killer and Razzamatazz Early’s third thriller combines a story of alienated family members with the case of a maniac who is murdering nuns in New York City. The suspense is unremitting.”

It says he/Early because that was me using my pseudonym, Jack Early.

And Sara Paretsky said:

“I liked the book. The complex family feelings between Donato and his mother, wife and daughter transform this into something more than just another police procedural. The shadow of Donato’s dead son hanging over the family provides a somber leitmotif for the contemporary action. Donato and Dina command both respect and affection and remind us all too clearly of our own complicated family relations.”

BTW, it was made into a movie with Charles Bronson and Dana Delany.  If you try to find the video I think they changed the title to Dead to Rites...or Rights. I can't remember and never knew why the title was changed. I was only the author, after all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

2nd In The Laurano Series

I finally got the second book finished and you can find it here:

I'll Be Leaving You Always

As for the cover...I lucked out.  A fan, who is a graphic artist, wrote to me and offered her services. I think she's terrific.  Her name is Virginie Brun and she lives in Brittany.

This one took so long because I got sick for two days in the middle of it.  And I have to confess I took a week off before I started doing the proofing.  I had to remind myself that the schedule of this adventure is mine.  That's the beauty of it.

It's fascinating for me to see how I've grown as a writer. I wanted to get better and better and I did. A lot of that came from reading other novelists.  Learning what to do and what not to do.  This has been my writing school.

I may take another break or start on Tuesday.  I have a standing coffee date on Mondays.

While proofing this last book I thought "Well, why not write another book?"  With no one to reject me or to tell me what to do, it seemed appealing.

Who knows what might happen...maybe I'll even do a trilogy.

Just kidding.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Fourth ebook up

I finally have finished the first of my Lauren Laurano P.I series.  I say finally but I don't mean that Everything You have is Mine took so long, it's that it took me a long time to get to it.  I spent two months getting the three Jack Early (my pen name) books readied. That link will take you to one of them and the other two are there to click and buy!

The good news is that this one didn't take as long and the formatting was easy.  I only needed help from the writer Consuelo Baehr one or two times.

I did have some problems with the cover. It wasn't the fault of the usual man who has done the other three, it was my fault for giving him the wrong info.  So I ended up doing it myself.  Go see it and tell me what you think.  Better yet, read the book and tell me what you think.

The Lauren Laurano books are a series. Five in all. Everything You Have is Mine is the first in the series.  I originally wrote it as a stand alone.  It never occurred to me that it would be a series, but that's what the publisher wanted. Who was I to say no?

So I only have four to go. If anyone wants to write a customer review of any of the books I'd be delighted. No, I'm not begging.  Much.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Donato & Daughter

It was a week ago I wrote below that I'd be u/l my latest Jack Early book and then I'd be taking off a few days. Didn't happen that way. I had personal things to deal with but the process with the book took much longer than expected. For author I mistakenly put in Jack Early instead of my name which caused the Amazon Kindle people to question my rights, etc. I have the rights, of course. Still it made me anxious and worried. So it took days for it to become "Live" (which means that it's able to be bought.)

But before that I couldn't get the formatting to behave. Why is this always a problem? Of course it made me wonder what I was doing this for. The whole process is time consuming and now and then irritating. But I'm learning tricks to make it easier with each book I do.

This coming week (dare I make plans?) I'll start on the Lauren Laurano books. The first is EVERYTHING YOU HAVE IS MINE.

But for now it's DONATO & DAUGHTER. A father and daughter cop team chasing a serial killer. It's also a family story. This was made into a TV movie with Charles Bronson and Dana Delany. Here's the link to the book. DONATO & DAUGHTER

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Doing Ebooks

It seems like I've been proofing Donato and Daughter for the last 15 years.  Today I finished.  And now I have to do a cover before I can put it up there for you who haven't, can read it.

BTW, the Jack Early books are not a series.

You can't imagine how many times I wanted to throw in the towel.  But maybe if you're a frequent reader of this blog you can believe it.

I've always put real names in my books...the whole name or a friend's first and a different friend's  last.  I said that I was doing it because when I read it I'd know where I was when I wrote the book.  Of course, I never read the book again...until now.  It absolutely told me what I was doing, what was happening in my life, who my friends were and how I was feeling about things.  Reading the Jack Early books has been a fascinating adventure.

Next I'll start on my series starring Lauren Laurano, a detective who lives in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York.  There are five of these all published by Little Brown and Bantam.

I'm so happy D&D is over.  Now I can read a little more than I have been.  For awhile. Like tomorrow and Monday.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Last week I spent a lot of time proofing Razzamatazz, a suspense novel published originally under the pen name, Jack Early.  But this time my friend Consuelo Baehr showed me a way to do the proofing that made it much easier.  Still, it takes time and diligence.  But I've chosen to do this, no one is pushing me or waiting for this book.

I'm going to do another one this week and that will be all of the Jack Early books.  After that I'll start on my Lauren Laurano series and there are five of those.  But I mustn't let myself think ahead or I'll slip into a deep depression.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is my choice and no agent is going to give me a hard time and make suggestions I can't use.  No editor is going to reject me.  And no editor is going to insist I cut this or that or change an ending.  None of that happened with these books but it's happened, believe me.

I think it's fun until I start the proofing and then it's hard and crazy making.  But it's interesting to read books that I wrote so long ago.  I'm impressed with me!  I've never read any of my books once they were published so this is a brand new experience.

So pop on over to see for yourself.  It's going for $1.99. What do you have to lose...except maybe $1.99. Razzamatazz

Thursday, February 10, 2011

At Last

A Creative Kind of Killer is up and is perfectly formatted.  So should you wish to get it you won't be disappointed.  At least not by the formatting.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Just found out that my ebook is a mess.  The formatting is crazy.  I don't know how that happened but if you want to d/l it wait until the next one is up.  And if you have d/l it you'll be able to do an exchange.

Very depressing.  Waiting for help.

Friday, February 04, 2011

One Up, Seven to Go

Yesterday I u/l my first ebook to Amazon.  I've been screaming about the tedium of proofing but it's all worth it.  The book isn't showing yet because they had some questions about my rights.  I've put it up saying by Sandra Scoppettone writing as Jack Early. So it isn't there yet which is annoying.  Still, I'm sure it'll be up by Monday. This first book is A Creative Kind of Killer which was originally published in 1984 under the Early name.  No one knew who it was.  I'd published quite a few books under my own name before that, but not a mystery. So lo and behold it was nominated for an Edgar in the Best First category and won the Shamus for Best First.  Nobody knew who I was then either.  Someone else accepted the Shamus for me.  Anyway, my first 3 ebooks will be Early books. 

The big news is that my cousin-in-law has done the cover.  I think it's pretty damn good.  His name is Andy Little.  I thank him profusely.

When Creative is up I'll put a link here.
I'm actually looking forward to the next book which I'll start on tomorrow.  Who said I couldn't be flexible?

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing,Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing,Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing,Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing, Proofing.

Do you call this retirement?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I can’t think of anything more tedious than proofing these scans. These, I say. I’m on the first one, fourth chapter. This isn’t like proofing in the old days when you’d go over your manuscript when it was finished or proof your galleys. Oh, no. You have to hit the backwards P in Word and the guts of the manuscript shows. This horror of proofing may only happen if you have your book scanned. If you’ve already got the manuscript typed in your computer it’s a matter of formatting and I don’t think you’d have this work.

I just realized if you hit the HTML Code tab in what you use to write your posts for your blog you see a similar thing. But the scanned page is much more annoying because of the way you have to format. Be aware that if you have your book scanned you’ll have this problem. Maybe you can afford to have someone else proof it, but I can’t.

I can’t because the money is mounting up. I’ve already paid to have three books scanned and I have at least five more to go, bought an up-to-date copy of Word and lets not forget about postage. And mostly lets not forget about the cover. The most important expenditure. I’m discovering.

That’s why I’m begging. If there’s anyone out there who wants to do my covers for experience and a credit please get in touch with me.

I await your reply.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Starting Off

It wasn’t easy. The copy of Word that I got looked slightly different from the 2007 that I’d been using. The one I lost when my computer crashed. For instance, Tools had changed to options and it was in a strange place. Why?

Once everything was uninstalled and installed, my mentor, Consuelo, sent me the scans of my first book having made it into one long document. When I got it there were all the pages. No one document. Over the phone we went back and forth trying to get it into one document. We tried everything. At least we thought we had. And then suddenly I did something and it happened. I quickly saved it.

Now came the formatting. This took a long time to figure out. While Consuelo tried working on it on her own computer, I acquainted myself with the Word program. This helped a lot. She called me back and we began.

This may sound like nothing but it was over a period of about five hours. Now it’s ready for me to start proofing today or tomorrow. I’d like to start proofing right now, but life interferes.

The hunt for someone to do a cover persists.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Word Arrives

Just as I thought, the package from Amazon was hanging from the mailbox. It was late in the day so I decided not to start anything until tomorrow. First thing I'll do is the uninstalling and the installing and hope that all goes well.  No reason it shouldn't.  Then I'll begin working on the first book:  A CREATIVE KIND OF KILLER.  Originally written under my pseudonym, Jack Early.

BTW, the UPS people wrote "delivered to front door."


It's cold here.  And windy. I live at the end of a long road. Sometimes trucks won't come down here.  I doubt whether UPS will today. So no Word software.

But maybe I'll be lucky and they'll leave it hanging on the mailbox which is on the street.  Sometimes they do that and say on their delivery pad that they've delivered it to the door.  Let them lie, I say.  As long as they leave it hanging on the mailbox I don't care about their morals.

I can track the package at Amazon and right now it's about an hour away.

If it arrives I'll uninstall the 2003 Word and install the new one. Then I can go back to being anxious or hysterical which ever is preferred.   What time I get it will dictate the process.  I think I won't begin actually working on the book until tomorrow.

The winds are howling.  And so am I.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Three Back

Yesterday I got an email from the place that's scanning my books.  It said that the 3 I sent were ready to be d/l. It also said:

1. Please be sure to unzip the file first before opening the contents of
the archive (we recommend using WinZip or 7zip, as the built-in Windows
utility sometimes has difficulty with multi-gigabyte files)
2. Please also be sure you have the latest service packs/updates
installed for Word.

I immediately started the d/l.  It took a very long, long time even though at the start it said 39 minutes.  I'd directed it to be saved on my desk top.  When it finally got there there was nothing in it.  My fault. I started over and this time I marked it to be saved in WinZip. It came in about 40 minutes and everything opened in the window of WinZip. I copied them all into a folder on my external drive. Also I put them on a CD RW and then I clicked on the first one. It opened in Word.  But I have Word 2003. Once again not paying attention to the directions it looked odd.  I realized I'd have to get Word 2007.  On to Amazon to buy it.

The thing about the scan is that it's in page form when it has to be one long document to u/l it to Amazon.  I didn't know how to get it into one document.  I called my Guru today.

I sent her the doc of the shortest book as she requested.  She found a way to make it into one long doc.  But we're not sure it can work that way.

My software should arrive tomorrow or Saturday. When I find a way to make it one long doc I'll have to start proofing.

I don't know why but I feel hysterical.  Maybe that's too strong a word.  Anxious.


Then there's the cover problem which is not solved.  I tried to do it myself but it didn't turn out correctly.  That's because I don't know what I'm doing.

So far this is costing me a lot of money.

Yeah, anxious.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Getting Close

I've started the process of putting ebooks up on Amazon.  As I said I found a scanning place that is reasonable. Three of the books are there now. I'm not sure when I'll get the scans back (in email) but it should be fairly soon.

I've chosen to have them scanned the destructive way. This means they will tear them apart and I won't get them back.  I didn't want to do this with my copies so I went on the Internet and found eight copies of the eight books I want to do this way. They were very cheap.

The first three are my Jack Early books.  They'll say on the covers by Sandra Scoppettone writing as Jack Early. And speaking of covers I'm not sure what to do about them. I need a designer who'll do it for experience or very little money.  So if you know anyone please let me know.

When I get the books back I'll have to proof them and that will take a bit of time.  This won't be like my failed attempt at typing them.  I don't think. I hope I won't start rewriting.

Once I do this I'll get help from my writer friend Consuelo Baehr how to publish.  I feel lucky that I have a mentor!

At this moment I'm looking forward to the process.  Ask me in a week or two.

I guess this blog will now be an account of doing the Ebook Rag!