Posts

Trip Through My Tale

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  What's the next book?     FAKE When will it be ready?     September 1st What's it about?       Well...      I propose that we take a while to figure that out. I will try to entertain and enlighten you over the next four months--about once a week.  What will that entail?      Cover art      Character sketches      Plot teasers     Other fun stuff.  So let's begin!      The story is told by several characters. In the first section, "Fake" applies to the main character, Kip Morgan. That's not his real name, and he's not exactly an upstanding citizen. In fact, he makes his living   as a con artist. Kip is on the run from the Chicago cops when he sees an ad for an investigator. He figures he's perfect for the job, since he has valuable criminal experience...from the criminals' side. What has he got going for him?       Good looks, charm, family tradition, and chutzpah. What's against him?     We'll talk about that next week.  
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  Questions for Readers (and My Personal Answers) Question 1: Do you prefer stand-alone books or series? My answer: Both. I like a good standalone for new, interesting characters and a great plot. Some stories have to be one-offs, because it wouldn’t make sense to continue them. (A reader claimed I should write a sequel to one of my books in which all the major characters were dead at the end!) Series are great for going back to familiar places and people. While for authors it often becomes difficult to find new directions in a series, readers seem okay with repetition. Just ask James Patterson and Janet Evanovich. Although series are fun (and generally easier to write), I eventually get tired of them. My publisher was eager for me to continue the Loser Mysteries (Peg Herring), and fans asked for more of the Kidnap Capers (Peg) and the Sleuth Sisters (Maggie Pill), but I felt like I was done with those people. I didn’t want to force myself to write about them to the point tha

Answers to All Life's Questions

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  Just kidding, but here are the answers to the newsletter quiz from last week.  __7__What holiday song says to “put on your yarmulke”? __1__Which song describes water “like a stone”? _10___Which song do we associate with Charlie Brown? _5___Song to avoid to play Whamageddon. _8___In which song will we get pumpkin pie later? _2___Which song mentions rosy cheeks? _9___Song that mentions the hautbois (oboe) _4___Christmas wishes on steroids. _3___It should be tragic, but we laugh anyway. _6___Most popular Christmas carol in the U.S.   1.   “In the Bleak Midwinter” 2.   “Sleigh Ride” 3.   “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” 4.   “Santa Baby” 5.   “Last Christmas” 6.   “Silent Night” 7.   “The Hannukah Song” 8.   “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” 9.   “Il est nĂ©, le divin Enfant” 10. “Christmas Time Is Here”   Aunt Marge is getting good reviews from the pre-sales set, which makes my Christmas season a little brighter. One of my beta readers told

Here's Aunt Marge! Well, Almost

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 Aunt Marge has been one of my longest thought-to-production books ever. Life kept interrupting, for one thing, a broken leg and a local situation that makes me leave my writer hat off for days while I work to protect the community I love. Add to that a complicated plot. As my editor said, there's a lot going on in this book, and I had to be sure it all made sense and led to a believable ending. As the story begins, Gwen finds herself in crisis. She's overdosed on prescription painkillers, partly because she fears her husband Jeff is cheating. When her aunt offers to take her to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to recuperate, it seems perfect. She'll get back her strength and kick the drug habit. And with her gone, Jeff will realize what he's missing.  The problem is that Marge's place, called Giiwe , is full of secrets. Marge shares nothing of herself, and her ward/farmhand Charlie seems nice until Gwen learns about his violent past. When she finds out the wo

Authors Recommending Books

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  I got interested in Shepherd.com, Ben Shepherd's attempt to help readers connect with authors through recommendations, over a year ago. Authors get their books on the site by telling readers about stories with similar themes. I compared my book, Sister Saint, Sister Sinner, to others with sisters as the main characters and sisterhood as a theme. You can see the complete post HERE. The cool thing about this site is you search by the kinds of books you like to read, so you don't need titles or author names to locate books you might enjoy. Today is my day to be featured on a new endeavor as Ben lets authors list their 3 favorite books read in the last year.  It was difficult to choose 3 books, since I read a lot, but I tried for a variety. I copied the image above, but you can also see it at Shepherd.com. https://shepherd.com/bboy/2023/f/peg-herring  You can see the overall results at Shepherd's Best Books of 2023 page  

Writing "to Market" Makes Me Shudder

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    At the urging of a fellow author, I joined a site for writers a month or so back. Though it’s interesting, I don’t feel that it fits my style—not for writing, not for publishing, and not for promoting. The idea is writing books “to market” or “for market,” which means an author writes what will sell, not what she wants to write. Early on in my career I had an agent who tried to get me to do that. Her push was that I should write Amish romances, because they were big at that moment in time. Later, I had a publisher who wanted me to continue the Loser Mysteries, though I felt they'd reached a logical conclusion. At a conference once, I heard an editor for a big publishing company say that anyone who had anything… anything with vampires in it should send it to her. The market. The market. The market. Book industry people look for books that will "sell through," meaning they earn more than it cost to make them. If you’ve read my work, you know I do pretty much the