Friday, September 23, 2016

The Collaborative Writer

When I pair 'collaboration' and 'writing' in one sentence, I suppose most people would think of those great writing duos, like Ellery Queen, Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter, etcetera.

But truth be told, most writers work in a collaborative process, at least for some books. I'm in the middle of that now. I am working on a proposal for a new series. It's not a cozy series, so it's vital that I get everything right the first time when we (my agent and I) approach editors. I'll get no second chance.

My first stab at it, my agent didn't like at all. We had a long conversation, and I took what she said, and what my cozy editor had said about the idea, (My agent had told her about it briefly in a phone conversation) and went back to the drawing board, rewriting everything except the central idea.

My agent read the synopsis and liked it much better, and after some rewriting I sent her the first fifty pages, the standard proposal amount of a book for an experienced published writer. She liked it a lot better, but had another reader read it, and then she did a line by line critique.

Wow... the ideas that are coming from that are so much better than my original! It will take me a little while, but the manuscript will be so much better for her extensive input. Our collaboration will never make it onto the cover, but I will be thanking her in my acknowledgements, you can bet on that. So, when you see those Acknowledgements in the front of a book, you can be sure that the writer had a collaborator (or two, or three) to significantly help form the book into that prose you love so much.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

So... what's the big deal?

I have yet another confession to make. I have never tasted Pumpkin Spice anything... not latte, not muffins, nothing. Nada. Zip.

I mean, I like it in theory, right? I like pumpkin pie. I like spice drinks like chai.

So tell me... are you on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, or no?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Autumn Wandering

When I was young, we lived in the country. I've never forgotten nor lost my love for wandering in the woods: the smell of leaves, the acorns littered among the red and gold leaves, the nip in the air. With the weather turning cooler, I think back, and even though the only 'wandering' I'm likely to do is in my mind, the imagination is a wonderful place, and I can stroll into this photo...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labour Day... or Labor Day?

When I was a kid, being from a union family on Labour Day meant a parade downtown (once I was in it, on the UAW float!), a picnic and sometimes even a show in the park. And then... school the next day.

Ever since then, the day after Labour Day a kind of 'click' happens in my brain. I suspect many of us feel that way; it's a shift to a back-to-business mentality. Down to work. Fresh starts.

I'm fortunate enough to do what I love for a living, and look forward to many more words to come.

I'm asked often about the state of my cozy mystery series. So, to update...

Unfortunately, the Teapot Collector Mysteries are done. It was work for hire, so I have no option but to let Sophie Taylor and all her friends go, but let me assure you, Sophie and her beau will stay together, Nana and Laverne will let her take over more of Auntie Rose's Victorian Tea Room, and they will even be traveling a bit, maybe to Teapot Island in England.

My beloved Vintage Kitchen Mysteries is not being continued by Berkley either, HOWEVER, I have made the decision to keep writing them as long as sales support the work. They will be published - in ebook format only - by Beyond the Page, who already do a beautiful job of re-publishing my Regency Romances I wrote as Donna Lea Simpson. This will allow me more freedom in some ways. I am writing Book #6, Leave It To Cleaver right now, tho' I don't have a publication date yet. I am contemplating, however, a couple of connective short mysteries in Jaymie's world.

The very good news is, I still have one more book in my Merry Muffin Mystery series. After that, it will depend on whether sales grow for the series if Berkley will continue it or not. Right now I am writing Muffin To Fear; big changes happening for Merry, and more castle chaos, of course!

So... Happy Labour Day, my friends, however you spell it! And I look forward to the work year ahead.