Sunday, April 6, 2014

On Air Book Review and a Fear of Success

After the March 22 book signing at BookLore, I was approached by Ann Moyer from Mix 88.1 in Erin, Ontario. Ann had found my book in BookLore, enjoyed it and wanted to do an on-air book review on her radio spot on April 2, 2014. In order to prepare her piece, she and I sat down together in my kitchen for a one hour interview about me, my books, my writing, and a bit about what she would say in her review.
I do have the review recorded, but am someone technically challenged. I will have it online as soon as I can figure out how!

One of her questions that struck me was "Did you write this with turning it into a movie in mind?"
I'm sure there are some writers out there who wouldn't want to see their work on the big screen. Hollywood has a habit of changing things to fit their time frames, but turning books into movies have done great things to get many authors' names out to the general public. While there are many cases of the movies not meeting the high standards of readers, in many cases the viewers of movies can turn to the book later for more details and richness in the world they've had the pleasure to visit.

Another question she asked regarded why I ebbed and flowed in my writing, not doing as much to get my books into print years ago. With three kids, lack of time is always an excuse. One thing I do remember from years ago is having a fear of success. I had babies in the house and was afraid I might be good enough to become successful and I would have to leave them to do book tours and travel without them.

Looking back, my fears stifled my writing creativity. I could have taken classes back then, worked on my editing skills, prepared myself and my work. But, and I truly believe this: It wasn't my time.

Over the past ten years, I've been able to do more writing, have stories and novels coming out of my ears, closet, drawers, whatever...and have developed the confidence to dive right in and not care if I fail or succeed. We all want success, we all want a job well done, but it doesn't rip my heart out any more if I get a rejection or someone gives me a bad review. I've developed a thicker skin thanks to critiques by Beta readers and others.

The one piece of advice I would give other writers, photographers, martial artists, anyone pursuing anything they are passionate about is DON'T GIVE UP!! Even when things look miserable and the world seems against you, keep going and give it all you've got.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Round Robin Blog Tour March 22, 2014

This month's Round Robin Topic is Villains!
Do you need them? When do you use them, and what is the most diabolical type of villain to you?

Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines a villain as "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot." Also known in film and literature as the "antagonist" or "bad guy."

I love a good villain! Who can forget Hannibal Lechter, the brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer with a love for a fine Chianti? Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes' greatest nemesis in The Final Problem. The Joker from Batman, particularly when played by Jack Nicholson. Cruella de Vil from A Hundred and One Dalmations. And--my all time favorite!--The Wicked Witch of the West from Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."



So what makes a good villain? Personally, I love a bad guy with a sense of humor. Someone who is basically as human as the rest of us, but has many flaws and performs actions that cause misery to others--sometimes without intention. To be convincing, a good villain needs a strong motive for his actions. He has to believe he's right in what he does and have some redeeming quality that allows some ability for him to become good. Whether he actually could be bothered to change, however, is another matter.

Every story needs a villain. It's a fact. While the antagonist may not be a psychopathic killer or a blood-sucking vampire, every protagonist (hero) needs a foil, someone who makes his life miserable or we wouldn't have a good story. Who wants to read about the hero's day to day life if there's nothing lurking in the shadows to challenge him? A villain gives novels color and excitement.

The best villains, are the ones who can walk the fine line between right and wrong like Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. A hero for saving Harry and watching over him, Snape was not a good person overall. In fact, the most hated person at Hogwarts! While you don't have to be a good person to be a hero, Snape was a nasty teacher and a downright spiteful man.

The most diabolical type of villain, for me, is one who pushes the boundaries of right and wrong with no regard for others in the least. At the end of the day, the most frightening villains are the ones who are so real they seduce the reader with their overwhelming evil and remain in our psyches to leave us wondering if we could ever resort to such extreme measures. Anyone for liver, fava beans, and a fine Chianti?

Please join the lovely Fiona McGier to find out what kind of villains she adores!

This month's contributors:

Anne Graham (as Anne Stenhouse): http://wp.me/31Isq
Aimee (as A.J. Maguire): http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Ginger Simpson: http://mizging.blogspot.com
Rhobin Courtright: http://rhobinleecourtright.com





Friday, March 14, 2014

A Snowfall of Good News

While the weather outside is still frightful, I'm thrilled to announce a little news that is keeping me warm!

1) March 22, 2014 I will be signing books at BookLore in Orangeville beginning at 1pm! Hope to see a large crowd.

2) Death of a Jaded Samurai is currently being shopped around by my wonderful agent, Dawn! As of yesterday, we've had manuscript requests from 3 publishers. Fingers crossed!!

3) The Mystery Lady, the second book my Wild Blue Mysteries series, is in the hands of my publisher and I received copies of the cover. Release date to be announced soon!

While I am definitely not a bestselling author yet, I'm not giving up! Stay tuned for more great things!!

Available soon!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Round Robin Blog Tour Feb 2014


We're back on another Round Robin Tour! February's topic is about heroes,  what you like in reading, what you write, your favorite, whatever!  What type hero(s), traits, personality, in particular always  draw you into the story? Has it changed with time? And do you write this type of hero? 


Ironically enough, I had this very discussion with my 18 year old son the other day. Not only is he a voracious reader and a fellow writer, he's also a fan and loves my heroes! He loves their humor, their tenacity, and how they always try to do the right thing. 
The types of heroes that draw me in (and fill my books!) are strong men with a moral compass that sometimes keeps them on the fringes, yet they don't hesitate to be the good guy and save the day. Most of my heroes are dedicated to their friends and families, although a couple come from backgrounds where their sense of family was challenged by abuse or neglect.
Handsome, ruggedly or otherwise, also springs to mind.
They also have a great sense of humor that keeps them grounded and gets them through some unsavory events in their lives. Leo Blue, one of my favorite characters in the Wild Blue Mysteries series, will reveal more--much more!--of him and his background in The Bakery Lady coming out later this year.  
Passion is required. Passion for their work, their loved ones, their beliefs, whatever. There has to be something that riles them up and makes them do the things they do. Leo, for example, is passionate about righting wrongs, which is why he becomes a private detective. Of course, he also becomes passionate about sugar cookies thanks to a certain young woman, but I'll cover more about that in The Bakery Lady!
Brilliant or blinded by passion, I love a hero who is entertaining, dedicated, and easy on the eyes.


And now off to visit the lovely Marci Baun to find out her favorite type of hero! 

Be sure to check out the many other blogs on the tour and find out what kind of heroes make their knees weak!! 
Fiona McGier at http://www.fionamcgier.com
Diane Bator at http://dbator.blogspot.ca
Ginger Simpson  at http://mizging.blogspot.com
Rhobin Courtright at http://rhobinleecourtright.com/

THE BOOKSTORE LADY IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM!! WATCH FOR THE MYSTERY LADY, COMING THIS SPRING FROM BOOKS WE LOVE!!



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Bookstore Lady is in PRINT!

I am so excited to report that The Bookstore Lady is now in print and copies arrived last night!
They are available at BookLore and Aardvark Music in Orangeville and on Amazon.com.

It's such a thrill to see my dream become a reality after all these years.
I am thankful for all the people who have helped me along the way and, believe me, they all know who they are!

In upcoming news:
My next book, The Mystery Lady is under construction and will come out later this spring.
AND...
My wonderful agent, Dawn, is gearing up to query Death of a Jaded Samurai to publishers.
So far, it looks like 2014 could be a very busy year!
Stay tuned!!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Round Robin Jan 2014 #rndrob1213


Hello, Everyone!
Time again for another version of the Round Robin Blog tour!!
This month's topic is: What type heroine(s), traits, personality, in particular always  draw you into the story? Has it changed with time? And do you write this type of heroine? (Next month we will cover heroes)

I hate wimpy heroines!!  If a book starts off with a woman who can't stand on her own two feet then manages to turn her entire life around and take control of things, I'm happy. If she gets smacked down by circumstance and other characters time and time again and never figures out how to duck, I stop reading.

My heroines always start off in a sticky situation of some sort, their lives dictated to them by the men they have chosen to have around them. I love to have them evolve and discover they can take care of themselves. They can be strong, happy, and loved. Best of all, they can follow their passions and succeed. I hope my heroines can inspire my reader to change something in their own lives that don't work - or at very least provide a good read.

In The Bookstore Lady, Katie is the kept woman of a mobster. She dresses, colors her hair and acts exactly the way he wants her to. Once he threatens to kill her and is interrupted, she escapes his clutches, she's a little lost at first then comes into her own and has to stand up against her past.

In The Mystery Lady (coming out this spring from Books We Love), Lucy has been dumped by her husband for other women (yes, that is plural!) and learns he is not the good provider or wonderful man she thought. Having been a mousy little housewife for so long, she has to learn how to release her strong, independent side and face her deepest fear - losing her kids and maybe her life.

My heroines, much like myself, are all on a journey to dig deep and be proud of who we are and what we accomplish in our lives. Much like the ladies joining me on this month's Round Robin Tour!! Let's take a peek at what Fiona McGier at http://www.fionamcgier.com has to say...

And be sure to stop by to visit our fine cast of Bloggers this month:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Keeping those New Year's Resolutions

Something magical happens when you tell people about your New Year's Resolutions. Some scoff and roll their eyes, some remind you of how you tried to accomplish the same goals last year and failed miserably, the there are the friends who pitch in an join you. This year I've set three goals to accomplish:
1) earn my blue belt in karate
2) publish 2 books
3) run a 5km race
Nearly a month into my resolutions, I can say I'm making progress!
a) I'm working hard at karate doing 3 classes per week.
b) I'm editing the second book in my Wild Blue Mysteries series and awaiting edits from my agent on the first book of my newest series. (two possible books!!)  I am also doing a read through of the proof of The Bookstore Lady and having copies printed this year. Finally, a book launch will be possible!!
c) I'm getting on the treadmill and power walk or run every second day. A friend and I are seeking a fun 5km to run and I have friends organizing a group 100km run in September!


Wow! What a kick start to 2014!
Stay tuned to see what else is in store!!