Showing posts with label Peg Herring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peg Herring. Show all posts

Dec 7, 2020

Which Book Was That?

 It happens to me sometimes. A reader mentions a character or a scene in one of my books, and it takes me a second to find it in my memory. Oh, right, Caroline, the protagonist in Somebody Doesn't Like Sarah Leigh. I remember her--kind of.

https://books2read.com/u/4AgVOq
The thing is, authors move on. We have new ideas. We dream up new people. But there's no way to tell when a reader will find a book, read it, and get excited for more. My first book was published in 2006. I just saw online where someone ordered it. Yay...but how much of Macbeth's Niece do I even remember?
https://books2read.com/u/m0xYdY

My newest book, Deceiving Elvera, released on Friday. There are ads for it everywhere, and the introductory price is a bargain, so readers are talking about it. One beta reader suggested I could make it a series. Um, no. Some books are meant to be stand-alones, and this one is...big-time.

https://books2read.com/u/38RZoB


The other day a fan wrote to say she wished Maggie Pill (that's me) would consider another Sleuth Sisters book. I said I'd think about it, but it's probably not going to happen. 

I remember going to a Peter, Paul, and Mary concert late in their career as a group. They sang songs I'd never heard before, songs they'd written recently, and I left a little disappointed. I'd gone there to hear "If I Had a Hammer" and "Puff, the Magic Dragon," but they were tired of singing those old chestnuts over and over. I get it: creative people want to move on and do something new. Audiences want to recapture the joy they felt the first time they heard/read/saw a creative work. Some authors can make themselves keep adding another episode. I can't.

Then what am I doing? Tweaking the characters for my next mystery, The Cutest Little Killer. I'm thinking this one could be a series, but readers will have a lot to say about that. It's kind of a partnership, at least with independent writers. Authors let readers know what they like to write by putting the books out there. Readers let an author know they want more by buying books, reviewing them, and recommending them to others.

Sep 1, 2019







I was interviewed by NF Reads, a site filled with interesting articles about a variety of topics. To see the interview, go here https://www.nfreads.com/interview-with-author-peg-herring/.

Nov 12, 2018

Being All-Indie

I reported recently on the reversion of the Simon & Elizabeth Mysteries, my historical series, to my own again. When you sign with a publisher, they get the rights to a book or series for X number of years. They're professionally edited, and the publisher builds an audience that can speak for their quality. Downside: the cost is high due to people other than the author needing to make a profit. When I got Simon's stories back, I got new covers and re-published the series at a much lower cost.

Now Loser will get the same treatment.

The Loser Mysteries center on a homeless woman who finds herself involved in solving a murder. From the beginning I knew it would be a 3-book series, since the stories begin with her at her worst and follow her recovery from trauma. The books are beloved by a certain set, and many suggested I might extend it, but once Loser is back to (almost) normal, I felt that further stories would only have presented more murders to solve. There were too few further character revelations to be made.

But the rights are now mine again, so Loser will get re-published at a better cost. I'm required to have new covers, and I'm looking for input. The idea is feet, and we chose pics that represent her three phases: homeless, returning to her roots, and facing her demons.

Here's Book #1 two slightly different ways. Any preference? I was hoping the first (skewed) pic gave a sense of movement, but Hubby says he can't see much difference.


Jan 15, 2018

What Are You Working On?

I've been a little scattered for the last few months, so my workday jumps from book to book. I was stalled on the sequel to KIDNAP.org, but I think the breakthrough is close. I got the audio files (Authors have to listen to the whole thing and okay it before it's released.) and as I listened, I got inspired to continue the story of Robin and her gang of non-hoods. The narrator, Megan Scharlau, is excellent, and that's what I needed to get busy and finish the half-done manuscript from last summer.
Audio will be available by the end of January
Maggie has another Sleuth Sisters going (release date is March 23 if I recall correctly and it's up for pre-order on Amazon). It's been sent out to beta readers who'll tell her what needs tweaking. A fan wrote to say that Maggie missed a book when she published to the non-Amazon sites, which meant only Amazon had Sleuthing at Sweet Springs. A day was spent last week getting that fixed.
I did a boxed set of The Dead Detective Mysteries this past week. The series finished a few years back, but people still mention it fondly, so I thought I'd give readers a price break on the whole set. Everyone said it was easy to do that, but...no. Of course I couldn't use the same covers, so I had to get a new one, and apparently I wasn't as tech-savvy back then as I am now (still not much) so the files were different from each other and not "clean." I now know how to find and delete hidden TAB entries, but it took a dozen tries to get to that point. It's like this: Upload, pray, wait for processing, look, say bad words, go back to the original file. Repeat, repeat, repeat. FINALLY!

After all that I was very ready for some good news, and it came in the form of a review of KIDNAP.org that not only praised that one but also included ALL my books. The review, which appeared on DorothyL but came originally from Buried Under Books, says the reviewer has yet to find something I wrote that she doesn't like. Yay!
This One Is Done and Released
Last but not least, I'm working on putting the Simon and Elizabeth series out in paperback. For those who don't know the process, a writer gets a contract that gives a publisher rights to publish her books for a set number of years, 5 in my case. Five Star put the books out in hardcover, and they were beautiful, but a lot of people don't want to pay $25.95 for a book, especially from a writer they've never heard of. As I get the rights back when the contracts run out, I can publish them myself. Right now the first two books are back in my name, so I'm working on paperback and e-books. They'll be much cheaper and still available from most e-book sellers. Print will be Amazon only.
Should Be Ready by the End of January
Have I been busy? Yes. Some days it seems like I don't know which way to go, but I think things are working out well. Sometimes, however, I feel like I need to do a roll-call: Simon? Are you all right? "All right!" Seamus? "All right!" Robin? "So far!" Maggie? "Almost!" It's hard having a head full of other people!

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!

Jan 25, 2016

Double Toil & Trouble x 2/3

Here's the new historical romance, and the answers to a few questions.
1. Another romance?
    I know! I didn't think I'd ever do it, but the story was so much fun I had to.
2. Available where?
    Amazon for e-book for sure.
    Amazon in print any minute now.
    Ingram in print someday soon. Since Ingram connects to bookstores, it's nice to have the book offered there, but they take longer to get things set up. Give it a week before you ask your favorite library or bookstore to get it for you.
    Hometown folks-It will be at Tom's, but probably not until March. It's just the way things worked out for me.
3. So what's it about?
   Jenna and Jessie, two more of Macbeth's nieces. If you remember Tessa from Macbeth's Niece, my very first book, you'll see her again. Because it's ten years later, I didn't call this a sequel. It's more like a relative.
4. Where do the characters come from?
If you happen to know sisters named Jenna and Tessa, you might guess my inspiration for these books. People often ask if characters authors create come from the real world, and I guess in my case the original idea does. Once I've chosen a name and a basic personality, though, the character becomes herself and bears little resemblance to the original. I also like the study of names (as anyone who sat in my English class can attest) so I collect interesting ones to use as minor characters. They have no relation to real people, so don't go thinking if my villain is named Gallivant, it's because I once disliked someone with that name.
5. Who should read this book?
If you liked Macbeth's Niece, I think you'll like Double Toil & Trouble. If you didn't read MN, you won't have a problem with the new book, because the situation is different (though still related to the troubles Macbeth's family might have suffered from his deeds). One of the beta readers who loved it gave it to her husband to read, which makes me cringe a little. Still, I think there's enough action in the story to allow non-romance readers to enjoy it (even if they are male).
Other questions? Just ask.


Sep 7, 2015

"What Are You Working On?"

Every once in a while, I update readers here, because so often I get questions about "What's next?"

Here's a rundown:

The Loser series is finished, at least for now. The first two are out as audio books. The third is in the pipeline, but the narrator is at university and just had a baby, so she's asking for patience.

The Simon & Elizabeth series will have one more installment (#5), but it's going to be a while. I'm slow and so is the publisher of this series. (To their credit, they like to get it right.)


The Dead Detective series will have its final story sometime in early 2016. The manuscript is not complete, but the story's down.


The Sleuth Sisters series book #4 will probably be next. It's in my head but not written down anywhere yet.


My new/old standalone mystery about the death of a friendship in northern Michigan is out. (It used to be just an e-book but I rescued it, got a new cover made, and arranged for print copies.)
(FYI: There are copies of the two books above locally at Tom's Market, per reader requests).

And yes, (sadly) I have a new idea circling my brain. I hope it will be as fun to write as it seems, but there's the problem: EVERYone has a book in his/her head. It's the writing-it-down thing that stops so many.

Aug 1, 2015

FREE E-book!

THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY is free for Kindle right now: August 1st through the 4th.

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Detective-Agency-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B010MF5J9E/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

This is a re-release, so you might have read it, but if you haven't yet met Seamus, Dead Detective, and if you have a sense of humor about the Afterlife, you might enjoy this series (follow-ups are Dead for the Money and Dead for the Show. I'm working on Dead to Get Ready--and Go.)

One reviewer made me giggle when she said though SHE liked the book, she wouldn't want her children to read it and conclude that this is the way heaven actually is.

Really? Can you say FICTION?

I had fun with what we're taught about the Afterlife as I wrote this mystery, which another reviewer says is "Sam Spade meets Quantam Leap." Not sure about that, since there isn't much sci-fi stuff here, but I think you'll enjoy the book, which won Best Mystery of 2012.

Here are some snippets of the reviews, since Amazon hasn't yet put the old version (published in 2011 with the female close up and looking outward) together with the new one (published recently, with the female looking at the semi-transparent man).

"The story and writing proceed at a furious, breathtaking pace, and when we finally come to the end of our voyage, it's with deep regret, as if saying bon voyage to a dear friend we have known and loved for years." New York Journal of Books, Reviewer Sam Millar.

"A fun concept of afterlife and well-developed characters makes this an entertaining page turner. I am certainly looking forward to the next in the series. Would be good material for the big screen. A refreshingly new idea." Amazon Reader

"Loved the whole idea for this book. I enjoyed the comparisons about what we think of as ghosts as actually the dead using our bodies. Can't wait to read the next one!" Amazon Reader

Jul 6, 2015

What Am I Working On, You Ask.

The weekend was great. Lots of people come "home" to our tiny town for the Fourth festivities, so we ran into old friends everywhere. The question often came up, "What are you working on now?"
Short answer: the 4th Dead Detective Mystery, but it's been interrupted a lot by the other three in the series. The first book The Dead Detective Agency, was published in 2011, the second, Dead for the Money, in 2012. Then the publisher got overwhelmed and didn't move forward with Book 3, even though it was edited and ready to release. At the beginning of this year, I asked for the rights back (the contracted time was up) and went about re-releasing the books with new covers, which you learned about last week if you're a regular reader. (I don't want people to re-buy the books, thinking they're new.)

Now it's time to finish Seamus' story, so my first priority is Dead to Get Ready--and Go, in which he will investigate his own murder. Its release is a long way off, probably early 2016.

After that, I plan to write one more Simon & Elizabeth mystery to end that series.

And that slacker Maggie Pill needs to get to work on the fourth Sleuth Sisters.

And I'm finally getting Somebody Doesn't Like Sarah Leigh into print, for all you non-Kindle readers. I know it's been irritating, but it's hard pushing those publishing people around! I like what the cover artist did with the new cover, and I'm hoping the print books will be out by the end of July. Audio books might follow, if that's your thing.


Apr 20, 2015

New Dead Detective Mystery

DEAD FOR THE SHOW is scheduled for release today. It's ready on Kindle for sure. (If you don't have a Kindle, there's an app you can download to get your other e-readers to read Kindle books. I know nothing about this, being a Kindle owner, but I'm told it's great.)

The book is also available in paperback from Ingram, which means you can order it at a bookstore and they'll have it in a day or two.

I don't see the print version on Amazon yet, but it's in the works. There's no way to predict how long it takes after we approve the proof copies.

So what is this one about?
DEAD FOR THE SHOW is Book #3 of the Dead Detective Mysteries, featuring Seamus, a throwback to the '50s who operates pretty well in 2015. In this one he's investigating the death of a the woman who refuses to believe she's dead. She was a member of a a theater group in Toronto, and Seamus ends up trying to protect her sister so she doesn't end up dead as well.

The series has a lightly humorous slant on the Afterlife and how life on Earth is viewed there. When a person is murdered, he or she can engage a dead detective to go back to Life and find out the whos and whys of the case. The situations the dead detectives get into are sometimes humorous and often suspenseful, but justice always wins out.

I enjoy writing the Dead Detective series and plan at least one more, hopefully for 2016.
Book #1
Book #2


Book #3
Note: Books 1 & 2 will be getting new covers soon when they go into new editions. They'll feature the "new" Seamus pic (center above), so don't buy them a second time by mistake!

Apr 12, 2015

Freebie Day 2: April 12, 2015



Winner of Yesterday's books: Victoria K.

3 Sleuths, 2 Dogs, 1 Murder

Want 2 free copies of this book? Respond here or on Peg’s News on Facebook to be entered in the daily drawing.




Book #1 of the Sleuth Sisters Series by Maggie Pill (AKA Peg)

Setting: Allport, MI, a town seems a lot like a blend of Alpena and Rogers City

When middle-aged sisters Faye and Barb start a detective agency in their small town, most people think it’s a joke. Only Baby Sister Retta wants to associate with them, and since she tends to be bossy and manipulative, she’s the one person they don’t want around.


Aug 21, 2014

What It's Like When You're Expecting...a Book

My copies of KILLING DESPAIR arrived yesterday, and it got me thinking that expecting a book is a lot like expecting a baby.
*When you tell people about it too early, all those months of waiting detract from the excitement.
*You can't be sure when it's going to happen, despite the dates the experts throw out there.
*There are periods of discomfort, and you have to remind yourself that something good is going to result.
*Friends are supportive, but they're seldom as excited as you are about the coming event.
*You wait for it to be "over" but soon learn there's more work after it's "over" than you ever imagined.

E-book:
 http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Despair-Loser-Mysteries-Three-ebook/dp/B00MKBH3MU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408621189&sr=8-1&keywords=killing+despair

Print:
http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Despair-Loser-Mysteries-Three/dp/0990565513/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1408621189&sr=8-1

My signing itinerary is above if you'd like a personalized copy.





Jul 21, 2014

Loser Mystery #3 and Dead Detectives, Too

I know I've said it before, but it looks like this time Loser #3* really will release on August 9. If you're signed up for my newsletter (below on the right side), you'll be reminded when it's available on Amazon, and I'll post on FB when I have actual copies in O-town and for signings. My itinerary is posted here, just above this box, so you can track me down in various places if you want a personalized copy.

*Killing Despair is the third and probably final book in the Loser Mysteries. Though I love Loser and have enjoyed sharing her adventures, right now there's no continuation that does her justice in my head. I refuse to write a book just because a series is doing well, because it's too easy to get stale and repetitive. Loser was broken in Killing Silence, better but a long way from healed in Killing Memories. In Killing Despair she faces the things that almost destroyed her and comes to a sense of peace about it all. I hope you have enjoyed her journey as much as I did.

I've been asked several times about the third Dead Detective mystery (Dead for the Show), and in turn I've been asking the publisher--for months now. It got sidetracked (no one explains how or why) but they've promised they'll get to it the last part of August. I don't know what that means for a release date. It's been edited, but I haven't seen cover art or been asked for the ancillary stuff (Yes, authors get to write the catalog copy, the back cover copy, etc. We love it. No, really.) I'm guessing that means it's months away, so maybe it will be someone's Christmas present.


BTW, thanks to all those who ask about the next book. It's not bothering an author when you ask; it's affirming that what we're doing is worthwhile to others.

At the Point Where I Can Tell You

 I sent my next book to the copy editor a few days ago, which for me is a major turning point. It's a commitment of sorts; the book that...