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Monday, February 29, 2016

What do mystery writers read? Or do they?

During Left Coast Crime 2016 #LLC2016 I was a little, I was going to say alarmed, but lets cut it down to concerned, to hear comments to the point that as authors we don't read very much anymore; we are too busy writing. Makes you wonder do we read each others books? Mystery writers are very friendly willing to help their fellow writers with advise, marketing ideas, passing on of knowledge etc. but to what avail if we don't stop and smell the book glue?
Doubling duty as a reviewer as well as author, I do read many of my friends books and there are some magnificant books to be consumed. I also feel that even as genre writers we don't need to pigeon-hole our style and should feel the ability to pass on a little literature into our work. I asked some if they had read particular authors that I have made a habit of reading just because they are gosh, just darn good storytellers and was surprised to be met with blank looks.
Now while these authors names may not trip off the tongue as easily as say John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Herman Wouk, Norman Mailer, Daphne du Maurier, Graham Greene, John Le Carre, Stephen King the following as especially worthy of your attention (recommended books in parentheses). Nevil Shute (A Town Like Alice; The Pied Piper; The Chequer Board), Jim Crace (Harvest; Quarantine; The Pest House; All That Follows), Jennifer McMahon (Winter People; Dismantled; Promise Not To Tell), Jo Nesbo (the Harry Hole detective series), David Morrell - pick any you can't go wrong, Paul Cleave (his Theodore Tate detective series), Luis Alberto Urrea (The Hummingbird's Daughter; Queen of America; Into The Beautiful North).
It’s okay to put down the laptop for a little while and get lost in someone else’s world for the moment. It may expand your horizons and expand the grey matter and who knows, improve your writing.

Monday, February 22, 2016

While spending the last three years writing Kettle of Vultures I continued to grow a list of agents or publishers to send my novel to upon completion. Unlike with non-fiction, publishing professionals are generally only interested in fiction after it is completed.
During the years I was writing I also continued to read and review other’s novels for Suspense Magazine and as a Vine reviewer for Amazon. A friend, knowing of my review work, asked me to look at a debut novel that a New York attorney had recently had published. She had written about it, and him, on her blog and since it was a police-procedural thought of me as a way to get him a little more exposure. I was happy to do so.
The novel itself was fine, I was happy to review it and recommend it. A good solid debut crime novel. As I finished it I thought that in comparison mine was at least as good, and so I wondered who his publisher was. Perhaps they would take a chance with Kettle of Vultures.
I approached Moonshine Cove Publishing, and the rest is history. Within a few weeks I had signed a contract and have been preparing the final version of the book and preparing for publication and marketing. There have been back and forward emails as the publishers and I go over all the final edits to be sure the novel is perfect to be read. In the meantime I am preparing to head up the road to Phoenix next weekend to Left Coast Crime, a writer’s gathering, to meet and greet authors I have met and/or reviewed – Suspense Magazine has opened some doors for that would not have been available with that type of exposure. I have ordered copies of both novels to available for Tucson Festival of Books on March 12-13, just a short few weeks away.
I am also ready to launch a social media blitz to go along with Kettle of Vultures being released starting with a review in the March issue of Suspense Magazine and a blog-radio interview with Blondie and The Brit. I have prepared a Pinterest page that visually explores some of the images I talk about in the novel to give readers a new dimension in the reading process.
Hope you will tag along on line, buy a copy online when it becomes available, or for those of you in Arizona come check me out at the festival in March. You will have two opportunities to buy an autographed copy of Kettle of Vultures 1) at the West Pavilion on Sunday the 13th between 10AM to noon 2) at the Mostly Books location at 2PM. I’ll be looking for you so come find me.

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