Dying for Justice Released

Dying for Justice coverThe fifth book in the Detective Jackson series is live on Amazon! Dying for Justice is off to a great launch and the first review is five stars. The e-book will be available for other e-readers soon. The print book is available from Amazon, and you’ll be able to order it from bookstores in a few weeks. When my copies arrive, I’ll do a giveaway here on my blog. Meanwhile, you can win a print copy on Goodreads. Read more

Police Procedural Vs. Thriller

I’m trying to decide what to write next—another Detective Jackson story or a futuristic thriller I’ve outline and started. My creative side really wants to write the thriller, but my inner accountant wants me to write another Jackson story first.

Money considerations aside, police procedurals and thrillers are different, and each has its own challenges. A procedural tends to be more structured Read more

Guest Blogs and Self-Publishing

I’ve been posting a lot of guest blogs lately, so I thought I’d share the links instead of writing a new blog here. Please check them out. 🙂

Joining the Indie E-Book Revolution: The story behind why I decided to focus on e-books and become an independent author.

In this Q&A, I ask the questions and provide the answers. Find out things about me you didn’t know before.

Here, I discuss the painful choice many authors face between respectability and earning a living. Read more

The New Jackson Novel

I finished the first draft of the fifth Detective Jackson story and it’s now in the hands of beta readers. This is the nerve racking part! But the early feedback is great, and my husband loves the first two chapters. This is a very good sign because he’s my toughest critic. For those who have been reading the series from the beginning, I wanted to share some background on this story. Read more

What Readers Hate

Always striving to improve my writing, I make notes when readers complain about what they don’t like in a story. I reviewed my notes recently because I’m working on a rewrite of a new novel. Here’s a long list of  dislikes from readers on a mystery listserv I participate in:

  • portents, particularly the “had-I-but-known”
  • cliffhangers at the end of the chapter or the book
  • an abundance of coincidences Read more

Writers as Salespeople

sales chartA question from my ex-publisher stimulated me think about the pay structure in traditional publishing. The question she asked was: Why couldn’t you sell all those books when you were still under contract? Many factors came into play at the same time to quickly boost my e-book sales. Pricing strategy, volume of books, and massive effort all played a part. But one of the biggest issues Read more

Tops and Bottoms: 2011

At the end of every year, the people on the 4 Mystery Addicts listserv submit their top 10 and bottom 10 reading lists. What’s fascinating to me is the number of books that make both lists. What one reader loved, someone else found disappointing or couldn’t finish. Reading is such a subjective experience! Beat the Reaper, which I loved, was an even split.

Here’s the combined list for 2010. Read more

Books for 2011

One of my resolutions for 2011 was to read more, so here’s a list of the books I hope to read next year.

Books I have and intend to read first

  • The Advocate’s Betrayal …by Theresa Burell (good friend, good writer)
  • The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy …by Michael Orenduff (I won this!)
  • Case Histories …by Kate Atkinson (I started this and want to finish it.) Read more

Cheers to 2011

FireworksI always love the fresh start of the New Year, but this one is special. Next year will be the first time I live my life as a full-time novelist. I’m finally making enough from book sales to turn down freelance work. At this point, the most cost-effective way to spend my time is to write another Detective Jackson novel. I’ve been working toward this goal since August 7, 1989. Read more