Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts

Dec 19, 2016

Not a New Book--Just a New Look!



From time to time, authors pick up on readers' opinions, either directly ("I hate that cover!") or indirectly ("That sounds too scary for me.") I learned from listening that readers didn't consider one of my books because the cover looked dark and the title seemed harsh.
Hence, a new title and a new cover:


The old title was GO HOME AND DIE, and the old cover looked a little like a thriller, with two figures silhouetted against a city skyline. At the time I thought it was okay, but when I looked at the book honestly, it's more girl meets boy, grows up a little, and solves a murder along the way.
If you haven't tried it, here's the link so you can download a sample and see if HER EX-GI P.I. doesn't bring back some '60s memories for you.


Here's what you might want to know about Peg and her work:

Writes: Mysteries, mostly. There's suspense and death but no graphic violence, sex, or language.

Unique Qualities: In each book/series, the characters have an interesting view of the world. Though single, small-town females who just opened a small business is all the rage for protagonists, but I don't find that interesting unless something more about their character makes me want to get to know them. So yes, I have written books about small-town women, but the stories explore their character, their relationships, and their personalities along with a puzzling mystery.

Recognition: Authors these days love to tell how they're Amazon Bestsellers and such. I've received those kinds of benchmarks and more, but my favorite thing is when a reader contacts me to say, "I loved that book!"

Current projects: I've been updating my books online, making the links better and refining the wording. It should be done every couple of years, since technology keeps changing, but it's an exhaustive process! Now I'm on to something new--just not sure what that will be yet.

Cutesy facts about me that readers will love:
Hmmm. There's the 22-year-old cat, of course. She's very lovable except for last Friday night when she brought a live mouse to me when I was asleep in bed. Result: chaos for one human, one feline, and one (now deceased) rodent.






We live in northern Lower Michigan, where the daffodils are braving our cold spring quite well.→→→→→→→→→→→










I have the love of my life (well, the last 47 years of it), banging around downstairs as I write this. Here he is at a Tigers spring training game.


 And of course I love books, not all at the same level, but still. Here are my personal categories.
 🌟: Don't care about these people: 20 pages max
 🌟🌟: Might care: Finished but no more from this author
🌟🌟🌟: The end is worth working for, but it might take me a while and others books in between
🌟🌟🌟🌟: Oh, I like this one! Bedtime delayed.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟: Did I remember to eat today?


A "Good Book" recommendation from my recent reading: .
Currently reading:

Started Dennis Lehane's SINCE WE FELL. Gripping, though I fear tragedy awaits. Same with Anne Perry's SHOULDER THE SKY, a WWI story.  I'll read on in both cases, depression or no!

May 25, 2015

Waterfall Hunting


 Facebook was the instigator, as usual. Someone posted a map of waterfalls in the UP, and I mentioned to JC there were some we hadn't seen. That led to plans for a weekend of waterfall hunting.
It isn't difficult to find waterfalls within a day's driving distance of us. We just head north, and no matter which direction we take from the Mackinac Bridge, we'll find them. This time we went through Sault Ste. Marie and into Canada, up Highway 17 all the way to Wawa. Most of the falls we'd seen before, but there's always a thrill for me at the powerful pulse of water in the springtime. Magpie Falls (above) is one of my favorites, but we climbed up to see Crystal Falls from above, and that was impressive too. It turned out the map wasn't very accurate, leaving out several good falls (like Magpie) that John knew about from his travels in the area.
We were surprised at how much ice is left along the eastern shore of Lake Superior, but it is, after all, Ontario, which has enough different weather zones to be its own country.
Back to Michigan, we drove west, hitting Tahquamenon Falls as well as a bunch of smaller ones along our way to JC's hunting camp, where we spent a night . (Yes, there are mice inside and mosquitoes outside, but it's very, very peaceful.)

I didn't write a word all weekend. Waterfall hunting is a great way to really take a break from work.

Mar 16, 2015

On Living in the Woods

My home town in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula is so tiny it's easy to ignore it as you drive through--if you even do that. Since it's not on the road to anywhere important, most people never see it as they whiz by on I-75, miles away.

Residents often field questions like, "Where's your Wal-Mart?" or "Why can't I find your McDonalds?" Answer: There isn't one.

I don't even live in the "city." Our home is a few miles out, on a side road that has no name, only a number. The house is surrounded on three sides by trees, mostly big maples, that screen us from wind and sun except what comes from the south.

People who don't know ask, "What do you DO up here?" They comment on living so far from cultural events, hospitals, and shopping. I've listed some things I do, though others could name more activities, maybe better ones to illustrate why we live in our chosen location.

I enjoy the land. Any time of year, it can be my choice to walk, ski, or slog over many acres of land I know intimately. Often I share my walk with deer, sometimes with elk or smaller critters: raccoons, porcupines, and skunks. We try to respect each others' territories.

I listen to the trees. Trees never gossip, and they're pretty positive entities. A few of them groan at the pains in their trunks, but mostly they simply vibrate to the tune of nature, reminding me that the world goes on, even when I face setbacks and sadness.

I visit the creek--or the dry creek bed. Part of the year, a tiny little runnel crosses our property, chattering softly and disappearing into the ground after a quarter mile or so. It's a little miracle I look forward to on my walks: How big will it be today? How fast will it flow? When it finally dries up in summer, I'm always a little sad, because it's so very, very cool to see it grow and recede.

I grow things. Actually my husband does most of the work, since my back no longer tolerates much low-to-the-ground bending. Still, I hoe a little, plant a little, and pick when it's time. There's not much that can beat a meal of foods you coaxed from the earth and waited for.

I putz. My yard isn't as ambitiously flowered as it once was, but I work at it, trimming bushes, planting annuals in colors that make me happy, and--always and ever--pulling weeds.

I write, of course. In fact, I write a lot of the time. Still, it's reassuring to know I can pause when a plot knot irritates me and do one of the things listed above for a while. The plot problem usually works itself out while I'm doing something else.

Finally, I enjoy the privacy. Many people enjoy the sense of community living in a city provides, but I'm not one of them. While we're always happy to see those who drop in, we don't get company very often, and we're okay with that. If I sound hermit-like, I guess I am, a little bit. But right outside my door there's so much to do that I'm okay with being a hermit, at least part of the time.

Nov 3, 2014

The Winter Slowdown

I tend to book fewer author events once October is gone. In the first place, the tourists have returned home, at least the ones who shop for books. Visitors who come north in the fall and winter tend to have goals like skiing or snowmobiling, so they don't visit bookstores much.
In the second place, people who live up north start heading south. Michigan bookstores don't host many authors outside the summer months because there just isn't the return on the time invested.
In the third place, the weather is full of surprises, so booking a trip to Traverse City or Grand Rapids is a bit of a crap-shoot. Will I be able to get there, will it be a nail-biting ride, and will anyone else show up if I do make it?
In the fourth place, I need time to focus on writing. I plan one more Dead Detective book (though #3 has yet to appear). I got the cover art for the 4th Simon & Elizabeth (left), which comes out early in 2015, and I'd like to do one more of those. And my Maggie Pill books are taking off nicely, so a third one is forming in my head, sort of a cloudy mist right now with a title (MURDER IN THE BOONDOCKS) and a story line involving rescue horses.
I can't write more than one book at a time, so I need to get them prioritized and sketched out, possibly getting two rough drafts done over the winter. My rough drafts are always REALLY rough, but I write them (to get them out of my head), leave them alone for a month or two, and finally
go back and revise (usually I scream in dismay at how awful they are and THEN revise.)  :)
So winter is a good time to stay home and get back to what I'm completely nutty about: writing. That is not to say that if there's a sunny winter's day when someone wants to meet for lunch, I would ever, ever refuse.

What's the Deal with Subscriptions?

 I'll be honest. I know that the "deal" with subscriptions is guaranteed income for the entities that sell them. But if I were...