Showing posts from April, 2021

The Triple Crown

For those of you who aren't familiar with horseracing, the first leg of the Triple Crown is tomorrow (Saturday, May 1). With the exception of last year, which was...after all...LAST YEAR...the Kentucky Derby is run on the first Saturday of May. It holds the distinction of being the longest-running sporting event in the United States, dating back to 1875. My personal history with the race doesn't go back quite that far. As a horse-crazy kid, I'm sure I've watched it every year since I was born, thanks to my dad, who was a sports aficionado. But my first memory of it was 1971 when a longshot by the name of Canonero II came charging from the rear of the pack to win.  Everyone thought it was a fluke. Until he repeated the feat to win the Preakness, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown and is run two weeks after the Derby. Not a lot of time for a horse to rest up between races. It had been 25 years since the world had seen one horse sweep all three races. I remember t

Party Time!

It's almost time to celebrate the launch of Death by Equine ! The release date is sneaking up on me. May 11th! The party is being held on Zoom this time, so everyone can attend. Hosted by Mystery Lovers Bookshop , the event involves a discussion between me and my dear friend and longtime critique buddy, Donnell Ann Bell .  Donnell helped me create the earliest version of this book over a decade ago. When my first agent couldn't sell it, Donnell hounded me to do something with it. For a long time, I resisted, having moved on to my Zoe Chambers series. When the lull in the publishing action happened, and I decided to dust off, revise, and indie-publish Death by Equine , Donnell became the obvious choice to include in the launch party.  I haven't seen her interview questions yet but last I heard, she had something like FIFTEEN of them. Yes, I'm a little scared. Mostly though, I'm excited. I get to hang out with one of my dearest friends. Laughter is inevitable.  The p


If writing is your career, you're never really resting on your laurels. For instance, this week, I'm continuing to prep and format the print version of Death by Equine and juggle the marketing side of its impending release. I'm revising and rewriting a chunk of Fatal Reunion (the next Zoe mystery) following Sunday's meeting with my critique group. And I'm working on the first book in the new series, which my agent has out on submission.  The location of the new series "Working on" doesn't really mean "writing" at this point. Sure I have three chapters and a synopsis completed. Those are what are out on submission. I'm eager to pick up at chapter four and start putting words on the page. However, I'm not quite there yet. When I'm offering a critique on a new writer's first few chapters, nine times out of ten I find the story doesn't truly begin until page 25. Or page 30. Or page 50. Prior to that, the writer is laying out

Taking Care of Business

Last week, I finished the second draft of Fatal Reunion AKA Zoe Chambers #11. Does that mean it's done? Oh, heck no. I have a critique group meeting this Sunday and they'll give me feedback on fifty pages of it. Next week, I'll work on their comments and make fixes as needed. But for the moment, Zoe and Pete and the gang are resting. I was supposed to teach an online writing workshop for a local library this Saturday, but it's been postponed. Happily, the reason for the postponement is the flipflop of last year's cancellations. We're putting it off until we can have the workshop IN PERSON, inside the library , later this summer. This makes me extremely happy. I love to teach, but much prefer seeing the looks of understanding or confusion on my students' faces, thereby allowing me to shift focus to keep everyone up to speed. That's nearly impossible when focusing on a shared-screen PowerPoint.  Which brings me to what my main focus is this week: Death by

2021 Pennwriters Conference

My newsletter went out this morning. If you missed it, check your inbox. If you aren't a subscriber, you should sign up now . (There's a free short story as a gift for subscribing.) The real reason I mention the newsletter, though, is even if you did receive it, there was one topic I didn't cover. The 2021 Pennwriters Conference. There's a link to it on the Events page of my website, however.  I've long touted Pennwriters as one of the writing communities without which I'd never have been published. It's a multi-genre organization that offers networking, workshops, meetings, critique groups, and...yes... an annual conference .  This year's conference, like so many others, will be virtual. If travel, lodging, and the cost of all those meals have been your excuses for not attending in the past, here's your chance.  Check out the schedule here . I'm teaching two workshops on Friday. First is Red Herrings and the Moonwalking Bear. If the name makes y