Friday, April 28, 2017
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
AMC network has a series called TURN about the Revolutionary war and does present some of these characters. Doesn’t an historical romantic suspense sound interesting? I’ll write it, if someone will do all the research for me. Any takers?
Monday, April 24, 2017
Friday, April 21, 2017
|Does not play well with others|
For example, one of the most treasured (i.e. dusty) old school crime fiction clichés is that anyone--but particularly law enforcement personnel--due to retire in the foreseeable future is doomed. As in probably deader than a door nail before the end of their next shift. Or--this was enormously popular for a while--the coroner who eats lunch in the morgue. Who cares about forensic evidence; I'm hungry!!
Anyway, here are my current all-right-all-ready!! crime show eye rolls:
1 - The Detective Chats With the Corpse - And I quote: "I'm really sorry this happened to you." Yeah, I realize that steely internal resolve is perhaps not cinematic, but what is with these Q&A sessions between detectives and victims? It's just...embarrassing to all concerned.
|Uncle Sam wants YOU!|
3 - This Time it's Personal - Okay, this is not new, which is probably one reason I'm so tired of it. For the love of God, can someone just work a case that doesn't directly tie back to their own misspent past? I mean, what happened to making a crime interesting and involving without it having to be personal? IT'S NOT PERSONAL. Or shouldn't be.
|Jeez, dude, she was on stakeout all night!|
5 - Terrorists - Yes, they're a real and present danger, yes they're out there, yes terrorism is the new arsenic, but sometimes it's nice just to have a simple murder with no world wide implications. Sometimes murder is not part of a vast global conspiracy--in fact, mostly murder is not part of a vast global conspiracy--and that's OK.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
blogged about it in bygone times at NYUS, but hey - it hasn't gone away! so I thought we could revisit.
All my books are out in ebook formats, and in many cases, that's their only exposure. That means, in essence, they're just a file - you know, like the pdf file of an instruction booklet, or a sheet of notes students share from a lesson, or even a favourite recipe. Eminently easy to prepare, copy and email wherever and to whomever you like. That's the blessed joy of modern technology, right?
Apart from the content, of course. That's far less easy or swift to prepare! If it's yours to do with as you like, that's fine. If it's someone else's... then there are rights to consider. Like any commodity, there should be fair exchange of value. An author puts a hell of a lot of time, effort and imagination into their product, and the fair value for offering that to the world should always be considered. We don't just write "book" 60,000 times and call it a novel *heh*. And, to be honest, most of our books are already sold at way below minimum wage, if you calculate the Book Maths i.e. hours spent plotting and writing + hairs pulled out + coffee drunk vs. actual retail selling $.
So what happened this week, Clare? you ask. I'm not talking about the reasonable matter of sharing an ebook with a book club friend, or receiving a free copy as a prize, gift, or in request for a review.
It was a rather unfortunate incident of a reader/blogger receiving an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of a brand new book, in return for a featured, honest review - and then it turning up on a book piracy site before the book had even been published. In other words, the source copy could only have come from the ARC. *sigh*. The facts are still being investigated, but we've all felt a sense of betrayal, and all the more so for it being close to home. The author feels the rug has pulled out from under her feet, our promotional agencies are distressed because they work closely with trustworthy and supportive review sites, and genuine readers are angry that another reader has made a mockery of the relationship with a favourite author. To say nothing of the loss of income to the author.
I've been pirated since I first published - and still am - and have lost the energy to post takedown notices every time. Luckily, my publisher is more tireless in chasing pirates. And there are all kinds of arguments not to sweat the small stuff on piracy - that the pirating readers wouldn't have bought the book in the first place, that the pirated copy doesn't really represent lost sales.
But when it's perpetrated on a copy that hasn't even been paid for in the first place? Even more upsetting.
Many authors are now suggesting security measures for handing out ARCs, if any authors do this direct. For example (and with a grateful nod to a fellow author Chris McHart whose newsletter covered this topic recently):
- know your reviewer. Ask them what and where they've reviewed, including their link at Amazon. If they're genuine, they'll appreciate a proper relationship with you.
- use a site like Instafreebie to issue copies. These are then individually watermarked so you can maybe trace a source document.
- reward those reviewers and readers who are consistently trustworthy and professional. Better to have 20 reliable reviewers than 50 dodgy ones!
Apologies, this post had ended up much longer than expected. I must feel strongly about it *hohoYeahYouBetIdo*.
Friday, April 7, 2017
I've always said that Florida is the ideal home base for a mystery writers--there are just so many interesting ways to plan a murder.
Inspired, I created a little video about not only the wicked plants, but all the reptiles and critters that make up the darker side of the Sunshine State, the place I call Wicked Florida.
Some of the creatures/poison plants are Florida natives, but many--like the rosary pea--are invasive, hitchhikers from all over the globe who've made their home in Florida and now thrive. So far I've used three of the wicked species from the video in my novels, though I've not yet been able to work a snake into one of my murderous plots, which is regrettable because snakes are such a vital part of the wild Florida that I love.
|Last December, this pretty garter snake came in|
through the doggie door and make itself comfortable in the guest bedroom.
The guest was not amused.
So imagine my surprise when last month one of my discarded plot points became reality when a deadly cobra escaped its cage in a quiet Ocala neighborhood!
So the next time a seemingly impossible plot occurs to me, I'm going with it.
After all, I live in Wicked Florida. Do come and visit.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
As a writer, is it a challenge to create your monsters–be they real, or some rogue beast on an alien planet?
As a reader, does the monster in the book make the plot that much more beguiling?
And yes, if we're going to talk about monsters, you know I have to throw in a picture of the creature that stalks my home. She is a beast. If you don't believe me, look at her puppy training certificate. This was Level 1. The trainer suggested Level 43 for her!!
Monday, April 3, 2017
Left Coast Crime is an annual Author-Reader convention held at a different location on the West Coast each year. I live in Ohio, so I'd never given it much thought until I saw that location. HONOLULU! Well, I'm so glad I went!
It was the experience of a lifetime. From driving to Toronto at night in an East Coast blizzard, to missing our first plane, being stranded at the Toronto airport, then again overnight at the Chicago airport, then finally arriving on our should-have-been 18-hour trip a whopping 42-hours later. It was an adventure. I called it other things along the way as well, but adventure also works.
We left in a dangerous winter blizzard, white knuckling the desolate highway through New York and Canada, but we arrived in paradise.
Totally worth it.
The view from my room was amazing. The hotel, Hilton Hawaiian Village, was amazing. Everything was jaw-dropping gorgeous.
Then, I got to the conference. Surrounded by books and readers and authors, oh my! And for the first time ever....I was Julie Chase in the flesh. I write under two pen names now, plus my actual name-name, but I'm very open about the fact that I am those other names. The names were a publisher request that I rolled along with. Regardless, I'd never gone around introducing myself as someone else before. It was....odd. But I met lots of other authors who do it too. They do it for all sorts of reasons and do it well. So, I'll figure it out eventually. Heck, I barely answer to my own name most days.... I'm a mess. Let's get back to the trip.
Cat Got Your Diamonds, BUT I was there to moderate my Saturday panel and meet my new author friends in person.
I also walked to a local hotel and had breakfast with another author, Maia Chance, and four readers who'd signed up for an Author-Reader Connection. Honestly, we all just felt like old friends. Books do that to people. You know? Then, I co-hosted a table with Marla Cooper during the Lefty Awards Banquet, which was lovely.
From there, we walked the streets. Took a dinner cruise. I ate a lobster for the first time. That was an adventure all by itself. We went whale watching, visited Pearl Harbor and toured the North Shore. I also ate a ton of shave ice.
I have to say, whether you're a reader or a writer, I hope you will one day get the chance to leave your cares behind and travel to a destination conference like this. Thanks to these kinds of events, I've been all over my home state, to Nashville, New Orleans, Chicago, Kentucky and many places I would never have made it otherwise. I've also made friends to last a lifetime. I've learned more about the books and authors I love, and explored new towns. I'm shoring up an admirable pile of life experiences to share with my children one day and my readers as soon as possible.
Oh! An added bonus with these conferences it that the hotels are always heavily discounted, saving you lots of money, and for the writers out there,,,,you can write it all off on your taxes. Huzzah! Business Trip! Ain't writing grand?
I have two more big trips this year. I will be in Orlando for the RWA conference in July, and in Toronto for Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, this October. Will I see any of you there? Where will your bookish life take you?
Friday, March 31, 2017
Monday, March 27, 2017
Here’s a shot of some of my favorite authors in my local chapter, and next is the table (at the reader event) I co-hosted with RITA nominated author, HelenKay Dimon.
Has anyone here participated in a Barbara Vey Reader event? They are something else. I've never seen so many voracious readers in one place. Although it's not hard to see why the event attracts so many people. The authors are very generous in their swag and appreciation of the readers.
Have a happy Monday!
(And P.S. Work has me out of cell phone range until tonight when I get home, but I will be responding to all comments as usual. Thank you!)