Love It or Hate It Books

I love the Top & Bottoms lists created at the end of every year by the  4 Mystery Addicts book discussion group. The sheer diversity of favorite books is heartening. (I always make somebody’s list 🙂 But I’m more intrigued by the books that make both lists: favorites and least favorites. It reminds me again that every reading experience is subjective and that readers bring their own perceptions and experiences to what they read. A whooping 31 books were listed this year both as someone’s Read more

Making Connections

Just have to say that lately I’m having a blast. Much of it has to do with my newspaper job. In the last few months, I’ve interviewed cartoonist Jan Eliot, a professor of film studies who discussed great women movie characters (blog coming soon!), a 77-year-old woman doing standup with a very naughty routine, and a female weightlifting champion, to name a few. As a novelist, I’ve been privileged to interview a SWAT team Read more

2010 Resolutions

  1. Call one bookstore every single day. The idea is to introduce myself and my series and to encourage the store to stock some copies. It should only take five minutes. The rule is: I can’t eat lunch until I’ve done it.
  2. Write another novel before the year is over. I’ve written three in the last two years (Jan. 08 to Dec. 09), so I should be able to do this. I think I’ll write something completely different, maybe a futuristic thriller.
  3. Start teaching. Read more

My Someday List

No matter how efficient I work, I still have this growing list of things I want to read/learn/get better at that I never seem find time for. Maybe in 2010…
A few things I have not yet learned to do:

  • Read a manual called Perfect Eyes that I paid $39 for in the hopes that I could keep my eyes from getting worse. (It’s near the top of the pile, but I’m damn near too blind to read it now.) Read more

Writer Promo Swaps

Writers have always exchanged high-praise blurbs with each other (with the most famous example being the writer who blurbed himself using one of his pseudonyms). But lately I’ve been exploring other types of promotional swaps that are less direct, but also effective. For example, a group of us who have been networking through a Yahoo group recently paired off to post articles about each other on Wikipedia. Read more

Digital ARCs Make Progress

Simon & Schuster is the newest publisher to offer digital ARCs (advanced review copies) directly to reviewers, media, bloggers, journalists, librarians, and booksellers. So far, the galleys are available by e-mail invitation only, but early-readers can register with Galley Grab for consideration.  I expect more publishers will follow. Others, such as Clarkson Potter, a Random House imprint, have already been experimenting with e-galleys. Read more

Book Giveaway Winner

And the winner is…Carol M who “loves mysteries.” Congratulations! E-mail me with your address. Thank you, everyone, for participating and for the supportive comments. If you’re curious how authors randomly pick a name from a bunch of blog comments and e-mails, here’s how I do it: I copy and past all the comments into a Word document, then print it, then cut the comments into equal-size strips and fold them into squares. I put all the entrants into a bowl and let my husband draw one. Read more

Feeling Grateful

I try to practice being grateful every day, but it’s important to put it into words sometimes. Today, these are some of the things I’m grateful for.

  • An extended family, most of whom live close by. They’re my best friends, (and I don’t have to travel on holidays).
  • A part-time job and 2 steady freelance clients. No immediate money worries.
  • The life circumstances that allow me write novels. Because telling stories makes me happier than anything else I do. Read more

More Books for the Blind

It is serendipitous that I became aware of the National Federation of the Blind’s complaints against Kindle just days after deciding to make my novels more accessible to visually impaired readers. NFB is filing a lawsuit claiming that Kindle’s lack of a voice menu makes the device impossible for blind people to use. Several universities are supporting  NFB by boycotting the product as a replacement for text books until Kindle makes the e-reader more accessible to the visually impaired. Read more