Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Excess Baggage

We've all heard the phrase "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." The problem with my trip to Las Vegas last week was that what happens in Los Angeles, didn't stay in Los Angeles.

On the Midnight Ink blog, Under Cover of Midnight, I give a peek into just who, or what, haunted me on my trip to Sin City. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vacation Hangover

Everyone should see Bodies
Today is Monday, November 28th. I've been off work a week - well only 3 work days since Thanksgiving was included my week off. But today, in about 2 hours, I'll be heading out the door to the office to be a paralegal again. I had a great time this past week, but it went by way too quickly.

Last Monday I took off for Las Vegas to do research for a new Granny Apples mystery and to get a little R&R.  It's a 4-1/2 hr drive from my house and I spent the time going and coming listening to A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.  It's hysterical and the hours flew by.


KA - Took my breath away
I stayed at the Luxor because they were offering a screaming deal, complete with a choice of shows. The Luxor was the only disappointment in the entire trip. I had to move rooms because of a plumbing problem and the service throughout the hotel was inconsistent. Not sure I'd stay there again, unless it was another great deal.  For more money, I'd rather go elsewhere. Although, I did have a terrific time in their spa and took advantage of their massage/facial special.

As I said, my trip was also to do research for a new book. One day I got in my car and traveled throughout the area, taking in the communities around Las Vegas that could be taken for any suburb any where. I also visited the Venetian Hotel (my favorite to hang out at), which will be included in the book, and traversed Las Vegas Blvd. from the strip to downtown looking for sites to place certain scenes.  I found them!

Inside the Atomic Museum


I took in the Atomic Museum (will also be in the book), Bodies Exhibition and Titanic Exhibit (both fabulous).  And what's Vegas without shows?!  I saw Cirque du Soleil's KA and Menopause - the Musical (again, both great).

Thanksgiving night I was back home. The rest of the week, I relaxed, did some housework and wrote and wrote and wrote.  All in all, it was a very successful vacation.

Oh, and while I was gone, my new Kindle Touch arrived!  I'm so excited! I got it all set up and am loving it.  It was my birthday present to myself.

Now it's back to business.

Speaking of business, today I'm up at Criminal Minds talking about the risks I took to be a writer. And there were plenty of them.  Check it out.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Coming Out As A Writer

Yesterday GHOST IN THE POLKA DOT BIKINI topped the best seller chart for Kindle books, beating out John Grisham, Stephen King and the Steve Jobs biography. Oh, yes, it did!  And as I write this blog, it's still #1.  It's like a magical dream.

With all the excitement, it seems appropriate that today on Criminal Minds I'm discussing coming out as a writer to my family. Drop on by and leave a comment.

I also want to send a special shout out this morning to one of my devoted blog readers, Gregory Shipman, a gentleman who works in Alaska. Greg tells me he reads my blog while having his morning coffee.

THANKS, GREG!  Keep reading and leaving your wonderful comments!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Celebrating the 4th in February?

A lot of folks have recently asked if I've stopped writing my Holidays From Hell short stories. It's only natural since the last story, Where's Your Daddy, appeared almost 2 months ago. 

So here's the scoop...

No, I haven't stopped writing my Holidays From Hell short stories.  I have at 5-6 more planned and the next one, Rockets Red Glare, is partially written.

Why the delay? I'm glad you asked!

My short stories are not under contract.  My Odelia books are.  Right now I'm hurtling through the calendar trying to finish up Odelia #7 by the end of the year.  This sounds like a simple thing, right?  But it's not. You see, life gets in the way of all good plans and deadlines. In the past few weeks I've been given a major project at the law firm. One that has demanded at least 10-hr days, every day.  That leaves precious time for writing. I'm still moving forward on Odelia #7, and I'm also reading the proofs for Granny Apples #3, Gem of a Ghost, but Zelda Bowen and her clan will have to celebrate their dysfunctional holidays a little late.

This past Sunday I asked several followers of the Holidays From Hell series if they minded reading about the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving several months after the actual holiday. All assured me they did not. They were more concerned about the series continuing. (YAY!)  I'm hoping that's the general consensus.

I'm not sure when Rockets Red Glare will be finished and released, but it will not happen in 2011.

I also want to thank all of you who have purchased and supported Holidays From Hell.  The three stories continue to sell well on both BN.com and Amazon.com.  THANK YOU!!!

Once the Holidays From Hell series is complete, I'm going to be writing and publishing another short story e-book series. This one will be completely different and paranormal.  The plan is for it to debut in early summer of 2012.  Or maybe late summer 2012.  Or maybe fall of 2012.  Hard to say, given life gets in the way.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Have You Hugged Your Favorite Author Today?

Today, November 1st, is National Author's Day. No, really. We have our own special day.  And since you asked, here is a bit of historical background on it:

Nov 1. This observance was adopted by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1929 and in 1949 was given a place on the list of special days, weeks and months prepared by the US Department of Commerce. The resolution states in part: “By celebrating an Authors’ Day as a nation, we would not only show patriotism, loyalty, and appreciation of the men and women who have made American literature possible, but would also encourage and inspire others to give of themselves in making a better America.” It was also resolved “that we commemorate an Authors’ Day to be observed on November First each year.”

While I'd like to think I'd make a few readers' lists of favorite authors, I have my own:  Walter Mosley, Charles Dickens, Naomi Hirahara, Kelli Stanley, Megan Abbott, Terry McMillan, John Irving, Upton Sinclair, Lisa Scottoline. This list is by no means complete. It's just a start. If I listed all my favs, I'd never make it out the door this morning.

Today is also the kickoff of NaNoWriMo, the annual novel writing marathon. For the entire month of November, participants push to complete 50,000 words on a novel. By the way, there is no time off for Thanksgiving. Writing while stirring the turkey gravy or peeling potatoes is all part of the process.

I don't participate personally in NaNoWriMo, but every November finds me on a crushing deadline to finish a book by the end of the year. 2011 is no different.  While NaNoWriMo participants are struggling to complete their 50,000 words, I'll have my sorry ass glued to my chair to finish Odelia #7. It's my own personal NaNoWriMo competition. I figure if I write 50,000 words this month, the book will be beyond done and I'll have a little breathing room for editing.

On my mark. Get Set. GO!

But don't forget to give me my hug. I'll need it.