I'm tickled pink that the next Booktown Mystery, A FATAL CHAPTER, is now available for pre-order.
How about this cover? Don't you love it? I think it's the prettiest so far. I love Miss Marple in the picnic basket (although, to tell you the truth, Tricia left her at home).
Here's the official back cover copy.
While out walking Sarge, Tricia is led by the agitated dog to a man lying in a gazebo. She’s startled when she recognizes Pete Renquist, the president of the Stoneham Historical Society, who appears to be suffering from cardiac arrest. When Pete later dies in the hospital, the discovery of a suspicious bruise and a puncture mark on his arm suggests he may have been murdered.
Haunted by Pete’s enigmatic last words to her, Tricia begins to consider who had a motive to kill her friend. Did Pete take his flirting too far, only to have a jealous husband teach him a lesson? Or did he discover something in the town’s historical records that his killer wanted kept secret? Tricia is determined to get to the bottom of things before someone else becomes history…
It's good, but misses my favorite part of the plot. So here's a short version that I wrote.
The Stoneham Historical Society plans to give nighttime tours--ghost walks--of the Stoneham Rural Cemetery, but someone wants to prevent that--taking extreme measures. Can Tricia figure out who is behind the attacks before someone else becomes the cemetery's newest resident?
A Fatal Chapter will be released on June 2nd. It is now ready for preorder from the following places:
OMG -- just a week until BOOK CLUBBED comes out!!! If you haven't already pre-ordered, I'll hope you'll consider doing so. I'm selfish, I would dearly love to hit the NY Times list with this one. Thanks.
How would you like to win an advance review copy of BOOK CLUBBED, the 8th Booktown Mystery? Send me picture of your pet reading any of my books along with your snail mail address to Lorna@ LornaBarrett.com (don't forget to close up the space).
Below is my cat Fred reading Not The Killing Type. Okay, he sort of fell asleep, but it was because he was TIRED, not because he was bored.
The winner will be announced next Monday (June 16th).
UPDATE: It was too hard to choose, so everyone who entered the contest will receive a copy of one of my books. Stay tuned. Pictures of pets reading coming soon!
Miss Marple would like to create some Buzz for the paperback edition of NOT THE KILLING TYPE, which will be released on July 1st. Send in your entry and you could win an Advance Review Copy of the book, or an Advance Review Copy of Book Clubbed, the 8th Booktown mystery (also due out July 1st--we'll have a contest for that one in a couple of weeks.)
So, what do you think Miss Marple would say about the book?
It seems like the author is always the last to know -- that's how I felt over the weekend when I got a Facebook message from one of my readers congratulating me for the continuation of the Booktown Mystery series in audio.
No, way, I thought. I was told unless sales improved that it wasn't likely to happen. And from the looks of my last royalty statement, I was pretty sure that was still true. But no--I checked the website and sure enough, there were Murder On The Half Shelf, Not The Killing Type, and Book Clubbed, all available for preorder and with a new narrator. And good news for those who don't like downloading to an MP3 player -- they'll all be available in CD format.
I know most people order their audio books from Audible or Amazon, but so far only Murder On The Half Shelf is listed (and, for preorders, it's for sale at half price for the MP3 version from the publisher, Tantor Media, and discounted 25% for the CD version). It'll be released on April 2nd. Not the Killing Type will be released on April 14th, so maybe it'll show up two weeks before release day. Book Clubbed will be released the same day as the hardcover and ebook versions (July 1st).
I was lucky enough to get an author copy of of the previous books, but don't know if I will get copies of these. (And I'd sure like them in CD format because my MP3 player got screwed up. Don't ask!) Meanwhile, I'll be very interested to hear what my listeners think of these new books.
Yesterday was the first Teacup Tuesday and it went really well with a lot of discussion. (At least on the Blogger version of this blog.) That got me thinking. I had always wanted to have a dialog with my readers, but never could figure out a way to do it.
BINGO! Let's Talk Booktown!
Since most of my readers know my Lorna Barrett name best, why not start a community who wants to talk about the books and perhaps what happens behind the scenes.
I would LOVE it if you'd come and LIKE the page and stick around to ask questions about the series. Is there anything you want to know about a certain character? One of the businesses? Angelica's recipes? What kind of food Miss Marpl and Sarge eat. Or my writing process. Anything!
I'll be posting pictures and asking questions and we'll just talk. Get to know each other. Hopefully, have FUN.
Last month I got an email from my agent asking: "Did we know the Booktown Mysteries had been sold to a Japanese publisher?"
No, we didn't. Why? Because when it comes to these things, the author is ALWAYS the last to know. (And apparently her agent, too.) We only found out about it on the Royalty Statement.
Despite that negativity, the cover for the book is actually very cute. In some ways, it's better than some of the covers my primary publisher has been giving me. (See last week's semi rant.) It's sort of Manga, but very true to the description of Haven't Got a Clue. Miss Marple better resembles the cat in the book. (It was only when I contacted the artist for my US covers and gave her pictures of Miss Marple that she has been portrayed correctly, and she's done a marvelous job considering the very few good pictures I have of my dear girl Cori.) Mind you, I have no problem with the quality of the art on my original covers. I'm lucky to have the supremely talented Teresa Fasolino do them. Unfortunately, she MUST do what the Marketing Department tells her to do. (Including garish colors.)
I'm actually quite thrilled to say a book of mine has been translated into another language. And Japanese books are so cool. They read from right to left and in columns--so different than us westerners.
I'm pretty sure that the Japanese publisher came to us and not the other way around. After all, the series has been around since 2008 and and this is the first foreign sale. (Do you think Janet Evanovich waits that long?) I'd much rather be able to say "Translated into 20 languages" than "Translated into ONE language."
I just hope more foreign publishers find the series and say, "I'd love to bring this series to our readers."
Whew! I was out of town for three weeks and it's taken me nearly two to catch up. But I'm back, writing, thinking about the holidays ... and hoping I will find more things to blog about in the near future.
First up, a while back my editor sent me the cover for Book Clubbed, which is the 8th Booktown Mystery and scheduled to be released on July 1, 2014.
Oh, dear. That was my first reaction.
And then, Oh, NO!!!
My eyes! That wall is blinding me!!!
Needless to say, I was not happy about the cover, After much discussion with my editor and agent, the Marketing Department came up with this revision (which I did not see for another month).
It's better, but ...
At any rate, I promise the book is better than its cover. Should you wish to pre-order you can do so:
Amazon | Kindle and apparently not anywhere else ... yet. But stay tuned!
And speaking of which, tomorrow and Wednesday, I'll unveil some covers that I truly DO love. And on Pet Peeve Thursday, my very good friend E.J. Copperman will visit to delight us with something else that gets under his skin.
Hot off the press: NOT THE KILLING TYPE, Booktown Mystery #7
It’s time for the Stoneham, NH Chamber of Commerce
elections. The race is already heated, as the longtime Chamber president
is being challenged by a former lover—Tricia’s sister Angelica. Then
Stan Berry throws his hat in ring. Unfortunately, it’s not there for
long when he’s found murdered. Tricia soon uncovers a ballot box full of
lies and betrayals, and a Chamber full of people who had grudges
against the victim.
Kirkus said: "Barrett continues her winning ways with another mystery chock full of interesting suspects and a surprising denouement."
The Richmond Time Dispatch said:
"Barrett lays out a key 'clue' that will have readers thinking they know
the villain's identity. But don't become too confident. The
best-selling author has pulled off surprises through this series, and
'Not the Killing Type' is another entertaining entry.
At long last Murder on the Half Shelf is available in paperback.
Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors
in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial
run. What should have been a pleasant overnight stay for Tricia Miles
becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling discoveries: Pippa’s
murdered body in the backyard, and that Pippa’s husband Jon is actually
Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty
P.S.What if you arrive at your favorite bookstore and can't find the books on the shelves? Summer is a busy time andthe books could be hiding in a box they haven't had a chance to open. So ask. They'll get the book for you!Thanks.
Also available today, GRACE TAKES OFF, by my good friend Julie Hyzy.
When Grace and her boss, Bennett Marshfield, turn up at the Italian villa of one of his oldest friends, they’re troubled to discover that most of his friend’s impressive art collection—including a prized bronze skull crafted by Picasso—is fake. Someone has been selling the real deals and replacing them with skilled forgeries.
Unfortunately, Grace and Bennett have to fly home the next day, so there’s no time to investigate. But their troubles are hardly over. On the plane, Grace catches a woman trying to poison Bennett. The woman, of course, isn’t talking, but by the end of the flight, there are two dead bodies. Now Grace has to wing it to find a mile-high murderer—especially since she suspects Bennett is still in danger…
I seem to update my website a lot (or maybe it just seems that way), but yesterday I got off my duff and added an excerpt for NOT THE KILLING TYPE (which will be out in a mere three weeks). I also added a picture of one of the new characters in the series.
Meet Sarah Jane.
I won't say more -- don't want to spoil anything for you. Let's just say that Tricia isn't as thrilled to meet this little girl as the person who gives her to Tricia. (Can you guess who that might be? And can you guess who she's named after?)
It’s November in Stoneham, NH, and time for the Chamber of Commerce elections. The race is already heated, as the longtime Chamber president is being challenged by a former lover—Tricia’s sister Angelica. Then Stan Berry throws his hat in ring. Unfortunately, it’s not there for long when he’s found murdered. Tricia soon uncovers a ballot box full of lies and betrayals, and a Chamber full of people who had grudges against the victim.
I've been an "indie" author since 2009 when I got the rights back to my first novel MURDER ON THE MIND and published it on Amazon for Kindle. Later, other distributors arrived (Smashwords, Nook, iTunes, Sony, etc.) and as e readers became more prevalent, indie authors had a new way to market their books. They tried different pricing levels and found a sweet spot that worked for them.
In Sentenced to Death, we're introduced to a new character: Michele Fowler, owner of the Foxleigh Gallery, where David Black exhibits his masterpiece of metal, a beautiful welded gate titled TRIUMPH. It was based on an Albert Paley sculpture I'd seen in the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester some years ago. While I've looked at Mr. Paley's website, I've never been able to find a picture of the magnificent sculpture described in the book (and if you saw it, you'd be just as impressed as me).
Here's another breathtaking pair of gates he did.
Meanwhile, Angelica is interested in some bronze horse sculptures done by an artist who also just happens to live in my hometown, Dan Malczewski, and I happen to own two of his sculptures. (He specializes in these fantastic horses and sells them in galleries in Philadelphia and Chicago, as well as here in Rochester.) At the end of the story, Angelica buys one of the horses to give as a gift.
The little guy below is only 6 inches high, but isn't he magnificent? He was a Christmas gift from Mr. L.
I also have his larger brother, who stands 9 inches high and is 17 inches long. He was a birthday gift from Mr. L. (I think you'll agree that Mr. L has wonderful taste.)
I'll be talking about other aspects of the Booktown Books (hopefully) every Wednesday for the foreseable future. I'll hope you'll drop in. (And let me know if you have any questions about the Booktown books--I'd be happy to answer them.)
I recently got a letter from a reader asking about the Dolly Dolittle figurines mentioned in Sentenced to Death. (Booktown Mystery #5.) She wanted to know if they were real, and if so, where she could buy them.
Well, they're real. They're not called Dolly Dolittle, and I have no idea where someone would buy them.
In the book I described them this way: Dolly Dolittle was an angel in Victorian garb.
The cover shot showed a little girl in pastel blue, with a white fur collar.
Her hands were thrust in a furry muff to match the collar, and the entire
figurine was covered in iridescent sparkles.
As you can see, I was (sort of) describing the figurine/ornament (they have pink ribbons should one want to hang them on a Christmas tree). Here she is in a bigger size.
And here's her darling sister.
I remember that I saw four of them, but for some reason felt I'd already blown enough money on Christmas that year, so I didn't purchase the other two. Now I could kick myself. They're marked MADE IN CHINA, but with no manufacturer's name.
I must confess, when I became a published author, I thought I'd get a lot of questions about my books such as this one. Hasn't happened--but it still could.
Is there something about any of my other books you'd like to know about. PLEASE feel free to ask. I love to talk about my characters. (It's a lot more interesting than talking about myself. They lead much more exciting lives than me. After all, I sit in front of a computer all day giving them these adventures.)
It might not look like it from this picture, but that three-volume book (Murder Is Binding, Bookmarked for Death and Bookplate Special) could A) choke a moose, and would B) make a great doorstop. But the best use would be as a gift (Christmas is coming!). Have a relative or a friend who doesn't yet know about cozy mysteries? This might be a way to introduce them to the genre. (Not that I'm being pushy or anything. No--no! Perish the thought.)
Even better, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are currently discounting it by 43% (it lists for $16 and is being sold for $9.09--free shipping at Amazon if you spend $25).
Room at the Inn will be available at most online retail outlets on September 10th.
Murder in Three Volumes will be available everywhere on October 2nd.
Lately Mr. L and I have been enjoying the antics of Doc Martin. What an odd duck. I said, "this guy has to have Aspergers Syndrome." Sure enough, by the second season he'd been accused of having Aspergers by someone sent to investigate him from (one assumes) The National Health.
Of course flawed characters are endlessly fascinating to me. In fact, I'm getting known for writing believably flawed characters. My Jeff Resnick character seems to carry the most baggage, with Tricia Miles coming in a close second, and Katie Bonner the sanest of the lot. (Good old Katie.)
(By the way, the first Jeff Resnick book, Murder On The Mind is STILL FREE for Kindle, iTunes and Smashwords (and if you've got a Sony E Reader, Kobo, or Nook, get it from Smashwords--and of course if you don't have an e reader, you can still download it to your computer or tablet via Smashwords. Hey, free is free, after all--and this offer won't last forever).
While watching an episode of Doc Martin, it suddenly occurred to me that I needed to wrap up a subplot that's been building in the Booktown Books. I gave it a lot of thought over the next couple of days and yesterday I wrote the scene where Tricia learns a devastating truth about her past. (Boy, that was fun!)
More than one person as told me that Tricia is a doormat and they are annoyed by the way she puts up with Angelica. I posed these questions to the latest person who said that: Have you got an older sibling? Have they changed that much since childhood? If they annoyed you then, do they annoy you now? Have you ever had the upper hand? Do you just abandon your sibling and walk away?
Do you hear the sound of crickets in the background?
Is the situation between Doc Martin and Tricia the same? Not in the least, but his situation got me thinking about her situation (and the fact that it needs resolution). Will this big revelation change the relationship between Tricia and Angelica? Probably not. As their grandmother was famous for saying, "a leopard doesn't change its spots." You are what you are. Angelica is always going to be the bossy older sister, and Tricia will put up with her for one reason and one reason only: she loves her. And when you love someone, you love them--warts and all.
We're only halfway through the episodes. I can't wait to see what other adventures await crabby old Doc Martin and the people in Port Ween. And, as I write the 8th Booktown Mystery, I can't wait to see what else befalls Tricia and Angelica. It's gonna be a bumpy, but fun ride.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new-to-me desk off of Craigslist. For the past few years, I'd been working off a farm table and it was ovbious to me that it wasn't working well. I had nowhere to store my stuff. So everything was piling up on the table, giving me nowhere to put my work. So, the desk hunt began.
I was very impressed with my pal Ellery Adams' workspace, which I saw back in March. She works in a huge living room that's tastefully decorated with antiques and a lovely old desk with lots of drawers. Aha! The secret to a tidy desk had to be drawers where you could stuff everything. (And, no I did NOT peek in her drawers -- that would be rude!)
So I went on the hunt. I scoured antique stores, yard sales, and finally hit gold on Craigslist. Is my desk as nice as Ellery's? No. Is it what I really wanted? No. It was less money than I anticipated spending (always good) and it had been recently refinished, so it still has an odor of polyurethane, but for the time being, it's working out quite well. I've kept the top of it cleared off,and I still have two drawers that aren't yet filled. SUCCESS!
So, what do you think?
And in case you forgot, Ellery and I have new books out. Get them while they're hot!
It's no secret that some of my readers are very unhappy that Murder on The Half Shelf was not published as a mass market paperback. I say it's no secret because I posted it up on Facebook. (You can't get much more public than that.) And, my very good friend Julie Hyzy wrote a blog called "What Readers May Not Know About Book Publishing," which is very thoughtful. (Bet you didn't now how little control authors actually have over their work when they sign that coveted publisher contract.)
I'm not badmouthing my publisher. Far from it. They delivered a beautiful hardcover, they hired a fantastic cover artist (who has done all my Booktown mysteries--and right now is in the process of creating another wonderful painting for Booktown #7 "The Chamber Plot"), and they have treated me very well indeed. I have a marvelous editor, and the staff at Berkley Prime Crime has worked very hard on my behalf.
So what's the point of this blog post? As if the whole hardcover vs. paperback debate wasn't enough, and as two of my readers have already asked and discovered ... there will be no audio edition of Murder On The Half Shelf. Why? Not enough people downloaded the audio versions of the previous five books.
Am I heartbroken by this turn of events? No, but I am quite disappointed. Can I blame my publisher? No way. I'm extremely grateful that they took a chance and made the first five books available as audiobooks. I do wish they'd made the books available on CD, too, because I know a LOT of people don't have an MP3 player. Hey, until Christmas, neither did I. I still prefer to listen to audiobooks via CD ... but then, that might be because I haven't tried it on my MP3 player. (I think I'd have to get a second one. Mine's all clogged up with music.)
I was soooo looking forward to hearing what the narrator (Cassandra Campbell) would have done with one of my newest characters, Pixie. In fact, when I was writing her part of the story, I had Ms. Campbell's voice in my head as Pixie delivered her lines.
The first tuesday of the month means: NEW BOOK RELEASES, and this month I'm starting out with (drum roll) MY OWN! Murder On The Half Shelf.
Stoneham, NH, is a haven to bookstores, including Haven’t Got a Clue, but is sadly lacking in bed and breakfasts. Pippa and Jon Comfort’s Sheer Comfort Inn opens its doors in a week and the couple has offered some locals a free night as a trial run. What should have been a pleasant overnight stay for Tricia Miles becomes a nightmare when she makes two startling discoveries: Pippa’s murdered body in the backyard, and that Pippa’s husband Jon is actually Harry Tyler, a man Tricia loved—and believed dead—for nearly twenty years. Now Harry is the prime suspect, but Tricia doesn’t believe him capable of murder. Even though Harry’s led a life of lies, Tricia’s learning that Pippa had her share of secrets that some people may have not wanted revealed…
PIES AND PREJUDICE by Ellery Adams: When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren't just delicious. They're having magical effects on the people who eat them--and the public is hungry for more.
Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn's fiancé is found dead--killed with Ella Mae's rolling pin--it'll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.
PLOTTING AT THE PTA by Laura Alden: Bookstore owner, PTA secretary, and single mom Beth Kennedy has to fit a murder investigation or two into her schedule in Alden’s enjoyable if padded third PTA mystery (after 2011’s Foul Play at the PTA). When Beth discovers that a favored customer at her Rynwood, Wis., bookstore, Amy Jacobson, has died from shock after multiple bee stings, she believes Amy’s death was not the freak accident the police claim. Meanwhile, Beth promises an elderly friend to look into the death of her great-niece, Kelly, more than 20 years earlier, an apparent suicide by drowning. When Beth realizes that Kelly and Amy were close friends, she risks her own life to prove that neither the drowning nor the anaphylactic shock was anything short of cold-blooded murder. Digressions involving supporting characters mean the school year is almost over before amateur sleuth Beth is able to connect all the dots.
RED VELVET REVENGE by Jenn McKinlay: It may be summertime, but sales at Fairy Tale Cupcakes are below zero--and owners Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are willing to try anything to heat things up. So when local legend Slim Hazard offers them the chance to sell cupcakes at the annual Juniper Pass rodeo, they're determined to rope in a pretty payday! But not everyone at the Juniper Pass is as sweet for Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Slim--including star bull-rider Ty Stokes. Mel and Angie try to steer clear of the cowboy's short fuse, but when his dead body is found face down in the hay, it's a whole different rodeo. With a vengeful murderer on the loose, the ladies are quickly realizing that while they came to save their business, they may have to save themselves--and that's no bull.
No sooner have I turned in one book (yesterday), when it's time to start the next.
Right now, I only know what several of the subplots will be. (That's because I'm writing an arc for the characters that won't be finalized until at least book #9.)
Still, I need to turn in a synopsis this week. YIKES!
As of now I don't know who is killed, with what, or why. Some day that will all be clear, but in the meantime . . .
Over the summer I purchased an old telephone similar to the one I describe in the Booktown Mysteries. You may remember that I blogged about it back in August. (And you can read about it here.)
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a big community sale and found the following solid brass letter openers. I knew I had to have them, and I knew one of them would eventually find its way into one of my books (and one of my characters).
Now the problem is ... which one do I use for this next book?
Anybody got any strong feelings one way or another?
Okay, when I said I was shooting for October 1st, I had no idea things would come together so fast for my Victoria Square cookbook, Recipes to Die For.
Well, not exactly. Amazon uploaded the book in less than six hours, which has to be a record. Smashwords is always fast, but then you wait for a long time to see if you make it to the Premium Catalog (which means they distribute it to places like Sony, Kobo, Diesel and Apple. Still waiting on that.) As I write this, I'm still waiting for Barnes & Noble to upload it for Nook. The last time I uploaded to them, it took three weeks. I nagged and nagged, but they weren't going to put that story up until they were good and ready, I guess.
The print version could be ready as soon as next week.
I decided to do a print version because so many of my readers have said they don't have e readers and don't plan on getting them, either. The only problem is, the price tag is higher than I would have liked. And I decided NOT to make the book available to libraries and other bookstores simply because I would lose 23 cents for every book sold. I just can't afford to do that. So, the price tag is $5.99, which still seems high to me, but it was the cheapest I could make it and not lose money.
So, if you'd like to purchase the book right now, it's available on Kindle and (for all e formats) Smashwords.
I hope you'll like getting to know not only Katie Bonner better, but her vendors and friends on Victoria Square. And ... maybe try a recipe or two while you're at it.
Last week at the garage sales, I found what's been on my treasure-hunt list for years: an old black phone.
Years ago, my Dad bought one secondhand. We always said it could be used as a murder weapon. So, when I started writing the Booktown Mysteries back in 2006, I decided that Tricia should have a classic phone on the cash desk of her mystery bookstore, Haven't Got a Clue. (Hmmm ... maybe it'll be a murder weapon some day. )
When I staggered to the car under the weight of a big box AND this phone, Mr. L's lip curled. "What is THAT?"
"It's Tricia's phone. I have to have it."
"It's DIRTY and DISGUSTING."
"It's Tricia's phone. I'll clean it up."
Only it sat in my minivan for a week before I plucked up the courage to touch it again. It really was disgusting. It must have been stored in a barn or a garage for a L-O-N-G time. (Note the ex-spider home on the receiver.
Here's a front view:
The first thing I did was wet a paper towel to get the majority of the crud off of it. Again. DISGUSTING! Then I tinkered with the dial. I took off the part with the finger holes and figured I'd just move it. Oh no. There's a whole brass thingy with lots of cogs and stuff that was jammed. So I messed with it with a screwdriver (and I'm sure my Dad, the tinkerer, was standing over my shoulder the whole time), got it unstuck, and then squirted it liberally with WD-40. Voila! It started moving again. I put the thing back together and started on the receiver.
Ugh! Even more disgusting! I removed a outer ring and the mouthpiece cover and found it filled with yucky yellow stuff. I don't know what it was, but it went into the trash PDQ. Did the same to the earpiece, but that wasn't as bad. Then I dug out the Murphy's Oilsoap and gave it a thorough going-over. And . . . don't you think Tricia would be proud to have this phone on her cash desk?
Mr. L said, "You're not really going to use that, are you?"
Truthfully, I don't know. I would need to go to Radio Shack to see if I can get some kind of adapter, but if I can get the old girl working, I'd like to install her in my office.
It's not the same phone as we had when I was a kid--that had a more Art Deco handle--but for now, I'm pretty happy with old Black Beauty. And by the way, I paid $5 for it.
Well, there was certainly a lot to celebrate yesterday.
First I got an email from my editor saying that according to Bookscan, Sentenced to Death was the #1 bestselling mystery mass market paperback for the week (that would be last week). Weeee!
I must admit, it was hard to focus on my work (I'm writing the third Victoria Square mystery) after that. But I made my minimum word count, which was worth celebrating in itself.
Of course, what I was REALLY waiting for was the phone to ring. And it did. And it WAS my editor. And (drum roll) Sentenced To Death was #17 on the New York Times bestsellers list for mass market paperbacks.
That's two steps up from Chapter & Hearse.
Ahhh, seventeen. My new favorite number.
Of course, while I'm celebrating for Tricia, I'm also hoping that with this book getting so much attention, my other characters/books (under other names) just might get some attention, too. We're talking Katie in A Crafty Killing (Victoria Square #1) and all the Jeff Resnick books and short stories. (Hey, they're like my kids. I love them and want them all to do well.)
As it happens, the next Booktown Mystery (Murder on The Half Shelf) is already written. (As is the 2nd Victoria Square Mystery.) When I finish this current book (in September), I'll jump right back into Tricia's world. And boy have I got a lot planned for the denizens of the little village of Stoneham, New Hampshire. (Mwa-ha-ha!)
In the meantime . . . if you've never read the Booktown Mysteries, I hope you'll give them a try. They start with Murder is Binding.
I've been working on the new Booktown book for about 8 weeks now, and feeling like I was making pretty good (but not great) progress. I'd written all the main scenes of the main plot. Unfortunately, I hadn't written them in order. I had a vague idea of where the story was going (although I think I have six suspects and no clue whodunit).
Last week I had a hard time getting to work on it--part of that had to due with contract negotiations for the next three books. I was so bamboozled by the net outcome that I was too frazzled to write. That's not good because the whole idea is that I'm going to be writing MORE not less.
Monday I figured out why I was stalled: Duh--I had run out of main story! Time to work on all the connections for those main plot scenes. But first, I had to put them in order. That sounds easy, but when your document is one long string of unconnected scenes . . . talk about messy.
I sat down with my time line and my list of scenes and starting figuring out which scene went on what day. Of course, I thought the story started on Monday but then realized that too much was happening too fast and had to move the start back to Sunday, which means I have to get Angelica to change clothes in the first scene. (Oy! As it is the woman doesn't travel light. Uh, just like ... her creator.)
Next up, putting the scenes in order on the manuscript. That meant printing them all out and trying to put them into chapters. I usually have between 24-26 chapters in a book. Separating these scenes gave me 13 chapters. Then, as I was putting the chapters in my notebook, I realized I had one of my big scenes in the wrong spot. Okay, move it back and renumber the next 20 pages.
Now that I can see the flow of the main story, I can (and did) start writing the connecting scenes. Whoo-hoo! For the 2nd day this month, I actually got my daily word quota. (I was doing pretty good and making at least half or three-quarters up until last week.)
Of course, the big, black hole of Thanksgiving and having a house guest looms before me. (Did I mention I have galley proofs that are due this month, too?) I write in the dining room. My guest will be stationed in the adjacent living room for most of my working day. Not that she'll make a peep, it's just knowing somebody is there will mean I ain't gonna get any writing done. (Good time to work on the galley proofs, huh?)
I've got three craft shows coming up. I've got decorating the house for Christmas coming up. Christmas shopping. Christmas baking. I've GOT to work in all my annual Christmas movie watching, too. (Hey, I've seen White Christmas at least 43 times--I've GOT to see it for the 44th time or it won't be Christmas.)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I need at least another four hours in my day. EVERY day.
I don't want to cut out any of the "fun" stuff for Christmas, and yet I need to get my work done, too.
How about you?
(How did I get so much accomplished when I had a day job, too?)