Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bad Reviews

Bad reviews are not the end of the world. But just in case you think it's pretty close...

It's all better with friends.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them

"Being an author is being in charge of your own personal insane asylum." — Terri Guillemets

It's a very strange village, and...

It's all better with friends.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Action Scenes

Action scenes often require the writer to physically duplicate what she writes on the page. In this case, rethinking that last move might be a good idea.

It's all better with friends.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Arson Dogs

I love doing research for my books.

For Red Tide, I learned about Human Remains Detection Dogs, sometimes referred to as Cadaver Dogs. I purchased a couple of reference books about training and techniques. 

I also learned about Karenia brevis, the name for saxitoxin, sometimes called harmful algal bloom (or HAB), but more commonly called red tide. Fascinating stuff.

With The Missings, I needed to know about organ donation: how it worked and why so many lives were at stake. It was a sad eye-opener.  I also needed to learn a little about undocumented people living in our country. Another sad eye-opener.

Learning more about police procedure was critical, and I will be forever grateful to the crime scene investigators and detectives who helped me make the details shine. And for the police chief of Aspen, Colorado, for helping me with a critical plot point.

In The Missings there's another possibility early in the book explaining deaths in the area, and I had to research cults. The little bit of information I obtained made me want to shut down. The normal presentation of some very dark material bothered me, and I was glad the story I was writing wouldn't be in that place very long. 

But because cults both fascinated and repelled me, I knew that The Sacrifice would have one front and center. I learned about Santeria. 

And I wanted to help bring depression out of the closet. To make depression both real and unashamed, my wonderful, strong, primary male character shows how he's living with it day in and day out without dwelling in it. To me, Mex Anderson and everyone who battles those demons, are heroes. I learned a lot.

And now, I'm writing Flame Game, with a wonderful new dog named Kaji, Japanese for fire.

Here's something I ran across this week. Check it out:

It's all better with friends.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday Wisdom for Writers and Those Who Love Them

I especially like this one:

"A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one." — Baltasar Gracián

(Or when you're not sure if it's lay or lie or laid or lain.)

It's all better with friends.

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Street Team is a Dead End

Okay, that's not really fair.

I never tried to form a Street Team, and I doubt if I ever will.

Wait! What's a Street Team, you ask? Basically, a Street Team is a group of people who help promote a product or a service... or a writer. For more information, here's what Wikipedia has to say: Click Here.

I was thinking about this today as I was posting something on Facebook about my friend Tim Hallinan's new book, Herbie's Game. I help promote Tim's books (and other writers I enjoy) because that's what I want to do, not because they've asked me to do so.

And not because I'm part of some kind of a team.

I'm so not a joiner.

I have some readers whose support I treasure (you know who you are), but I would never presume to make them part of a team. I see them as individuals, each of whom are capable of making my day. With most teams, there's one or two who assume the role of Captain.

I'm so not into Captains.

Am I losing some sales? Maybe a couple. I don't really know.

What I do know is that I'm much more comfortable with a bit more of one-on-one. Yeah, I'm hopeful in time that will be more difficult to handle, but I don't see it ever going away. At least I hope not.

If you're familiar with Street Teams, what's been your experience?

(And, by the way, if you're looking for a series with a truly unique crook, Tim's Junior Bender series is perfect.)

It's all better with friends.