Tag Archives: books

News!

I am happy to announce, that Bloody Murder #4 is now in revisions. This means that the (very) rough draft of #5 is complete as of last week. I do not have a publication date as of yet. There is a lot of work on my part, and the parts of my loyal editors Kimberly and Fae before #4 will be ready for your curious eyes. I hope you’ll patient when it isn’t exactly a year from Snow Job’s publication.

Meanwhile, I have developed the Bloody Murder Royal Street Irregulars Facebook page, and I hope you take a moment to pop over there and like the page. While there are not in-depth details and me ruminating on various subjects, there is plenty of randomness, sarcasm, and muffins. I may begin to include mystery/thriller book recommendations. Laura Lippman’s latest Tess Monaghan novel is fantastic, for example. JD Rhoades has a new Jack Keller book out, and there is both a Junior Bender AND a Poke Rafferty out from Tim Hallinan. There’s also a new Prey book due out soon.

I promise not to let all the reading I want to do get in the way of editing. Lucky for all of us I don’t get NESN, the New England Sports Network on my cable provider. Otherwise, Red Sox games would be causing more delays and a severe lack of sleep.

Next post: on creating evil.

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biting the hand that feeds you

My dear friend Opal, aka the Akamai Reader showed me a page that I’m really glad I read. I’m not familiar with Parajunkee, since the Bloody Murder books contain no paranormal elements (though I do plan to spend some time at the New Orleans Voodoo Museum on my next trip to the Big Easy so you never know!). Still, it’s a good read and I think any author or reviewer can take this post .

Scroll down a bit. Look at a couple tweets, preserved for all eternity, even though they’ve been deleted from the Twitterverse.

Really, Tiffany Reisz? Really?

I haven’t been in the indie business that long, but I’ve submitted enough books for review that I think I can fairly say I have sufficient sample size. Reviewers are readers first. Readers. People who love nothing more than curling up with the written word. How do you dis someone like that? Authors, especially us indies, need reviewers like gin needs tonic (and lime, gotta have lime). They get the word out, they highlight the good. Yes, they also point out the bad, but is that so awful?

One of my reviewers on Amazon said Bloody Murder was the very definition of a cozy mystery. Now if I were a fan of hard-boiled stories like thos of the late Raymond Chandler, or  liked my action seriously gritty and violent like James Lee Burke, I would know to turn away and look elsewhere. It’s an issue of preference, not quality.

When someone points out a flaw, I tend to have one or two of three reactions:

  • I meant to do that. Moving along now.
  • Oh shit . . .
  • I can make it better/more clear in the next book.

Usually it’s the latter two.

With those two comments, Reisz has shot herself in the foot. What reviewer is going to touch her new books now? I can’t see anyone but her loyal fans doing so now. Who wants to be called DumbCunt?

And if a reviewer is a failed author, so the hell what? If they don’t feel they can write, or someone they respect has told them they can’t write, what’s wrong with them making a contribution to the book world in the form of a review. Hell, a failed writer knows just how hard it is to put a story together.

Still just because all poodles are dogs, doesn’t mean all dogs are poodles. Reviewers come in as many flavors as authors do.

and we need each other.

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Life is what happens when you make other plans

Hi everyone.

A lot has been happening in the life of this indie author. I’m not quite sure where to start.

I have finished my Project Management classes. I did reasonably well on the assignments, but there’s s, still one assignment and participation to be graded. I should hear in a couple weeks. The textbook, while extremely dry, I think is the best resource for helping study for the exam.

The exam. I have been studying test questions (there’s an app for that. Actually, there are several), I have a couple of books and I am hoping to be ready to attempt at least the CAPM in March. Wish me luck.

BloodyMurder #3 is on its way to the editor as of Monday. It takes place in January of 2004 and takes Zofia to a few places she doesn’t usually go to. You’ll also find out a bit more about Michael and why his relationship with his dad is strained at best.

I was in the path of Hurricane Sandy, but was extremely lucky. The streets just south and east of us lost power, but we were generally okay. Just to be on the safe side, we put our biggest Rubbermaid plastic container in the freezer for ice, and filled up the tub in the guest bath in case we needed water for flushing. We also at the ice cream, because it might melt.

The week before Thanksgiving, I had surgery, specifically a hysterectomy. I was sent home in a scant 48 hours and have been slowly recovering since. I have a scar that looks like a question mark on my abdomen. I’m not in a lot of pain (yay Percocet!), but that cuts two ways. I keep feeling “all right” and then I move the wrong way. Bending and twisting are not the order of the day, let me tell you. I expect to try and drive again this weekend.

I’ve been neglecting poor Zofia and friends because of narcotic fog and because I am terribly tired all the damnn time. I have made a good start on #5 (#4 is in revision and will be for a while). I have quite a few more stories to tell, and I thank you for sticking with me.

While recovering, I have been doing a lot of reading. I’m back into Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series. Lippman writes deeply real characters and has a talent I’m trying to cultivate–making the scene function almost like a character.Chandler did it with LA in the Philip Marlowe books. Colin Cotteril and Tim Hallinan both do it with Thailand and Laos.

Dani Amore has a new Mary Cooper book out. Buy it.

November was great for other new books as well. I polished off the new Harry Dresden book in two sittings and whipped through the available October Daye books by Seanan McGuire. On tap is Kevin Hearne’s latest in the Iron Druid series. If you like sarcasm, there’s plenty of it in the form of an Irish Wolfhound. Trust me.

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I fail at social networking

I could blame it on being an only child. I could blame it on working at home. I could simply blame it on the love of the printed word.

I did some traveling last week and this week and ended up getting a little sidetracked. I went to the home office in Nashvegas and spent some time with my department, which was a cool thing. There are a few new faces and it was nice to be able to introduce myself and meet them. We did some team activities, I managed to get out to lunch with two of my favorite people on earth and Friday was supposed to land in LaGuardia around 9:00 p.m.

Mother Nature, as you’re well aware, is a capricious bitch. There was no flying into NYC on Friday night. Of course, this is not what I was told by the friendly recording I got from American Airlines after lunch. No, they just told me I was on a flight in the morning. At 6:00 in the morning. I prefer not to acknowledge there’s one of those, thank you very much.

So, bear in mind I did not know about the weather issues, and I called AA and got myself put on a Delta flight. When I got to the airport, Delta canceled THAT flight and put me on one leaving Saturday afternoon, but at least now I knew why.

After an hour in line (or on line as they say in NY), I was across the counter with a very surly young man who didn’t want to be there. He offered to send me to Hartford, via Atlanta. How I got from Hartford to Stamford (a 2.5 hour drive) was my own problem. I took the flight, threw away my mouthwash and ran my roller suitcase through security–and a BIG thank you to all those people who let me cut in line when my flight was leaving in fifteen minutes.

I got on the plane, and once I got settled in, there was still some time before takeoff. Did I tweet? No. Did I update Facebook? G+? Not there either. No, I turned on my Kindle and downloaded $25 worth of books because I hadn’t had to spend money on the checked baggage fee.

I really need to reach out to people more. Readers, writers, reviewers. Look for me on Twitter a little more, at least during the evening hours. Since the dayjob is still supporting me, it gets my full attention during the day.

I got into Hartford around midnight and checked into the airport hotel. My boyfriend (aka nexx) drove up that night, and we drove home the next day just long enough to pick up gaming supplies. And eat pancakes. If you’re ever in CT, touch base with me, I will get you fantabulous pancakes at Chip’s.

 

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Indie Find: Dani Amore

I spent many of the intervening years between 1987 and 2007 working part-time in bookstores belonging to various chains. Besides the hefty discounts, we also had borrowing privileges, which I made liberal use of. I developed a bad habit of buying books the day they hit the market (called a “street date”). As intended, the more reading I did, the better I was at selling books. “Oh, you like this? Then you’ll love. . .XYZ.”

If you like sarcasm, you are going to love Mary Cooper in Death by Sarcasm. Her mind works quickly and she’ll keep you on your toes. She is decidedly hard-boiled, which I admire. Some of my favorite detectives are hard-boiled. Philip Marlowe, the Continental Op, Sam Spade. The private detective in a hard-boiled novel is tough. He or she has seen it all and almost nothing comes as a surprise. Well, except maybe creative use of a Richard Nixon mask, but I will not spoil any further. There’s a world-weariness, a cynicism because life can royally, truly suck. Yet, there’s sensitivity too, and hope. You’ll like Mary. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Amore’s books. You can visit her website here. Tell her you like her book. Tell her the author of Bloody Murder sent you.

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I couldn’t have said it better

In some ways I’ve been lucky. My reviews on Amazon have been great, my reviews on B&N and Goodreads have also been good.This means Amazon is much more likely to put  Bloody Murder on someone’s recommended list.

In this blog entry, which I urge you all to read, Ann R. Allen talks about book bloggers and reviews. This goes hand in hand with one of my previous posts talking about the changes in the ways people buy, review, market and sell books. It’s an exciting thing to be part of. Readers and writers are being hear more.

Now, I know some people who will compare this trend of reviewer blogs and “everyman” reviews to Yelp. For those unfamiliar, Yelp is a site where “real people” give you “real reviews.” It’s mostly for restaurants, but I’ve also seen reviews for shows, doctors, pet shops and other merchants. Yelp has pretty much become its own microcosm on the internet, in that you really have to know how to search and what to search for to get what you need out of it. An example is someone who visits an Ethiopian restaurant for the first time. Reviews for a first-time visit to an Ethhopian restaurant are filled with dismay that you are not given utensils, but rather you use the injera (the soft spongy steamed bread) to pick up your food. As for myself, I’m familiar enough with the cuisine that this kind of review does nothing for me. I want to know who makes the best kitfo or awaze tibs (if you’re curious and in the NYC area, I recommend Queen of Sheba).

While I often compare books to food–heck, Bloody Murder  takes place in New Orleans, I’m also doing a bit of writing about food–there’s a bit of a difference. For one thing, most reviewers tend to specialize in only a genre or two. This gives them familiarity with the best and the brightest, the new and the classic.

Another difference I see between indie book bloggers and “everyman” food reviews is the sense of community out there. Yelp has its forums and its special events–I’ve been to a few and some of the food has been knock-down fantastic. The culture, however, is generally a little younger than my forty-something, and tends to be more gourmand than gourmet. In looking for reviewers and ways to publicize my work, I have seen a feeling of community, of mutual support, a way to help out one’s fellow author.

I’m starting to think of it as a gourmet pot luck. But I’m also rather hungry.

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