Realizations

Y’know, it truly sucks to discover that 60,000 of 64,000 words are going to have to dumped because I’ve tried to cob together several ideas for the third Witches of Aba Nam book, so far named: The Librarian. That, of course, means I have to create instead of patch it together. The end result will no doubt be better. At least I hope so.

Sisters in Crime September Blog Hop

Sisters in Crime has asked the question about why write mysteries. I’ve decided to give it a shot.

First off, I have to admit that I haven’t finished my ‘Ed O’Malley’ novel, tentatively titled, “The Bombing of the LaMarque Boutique,” although there are two ‘Ed O’Malley’ short story mysteries on this site; “WebCam” and “The Black Leather Jacket.” There are several other stories here as well, most have twists, if you will. I grew up with O’Henry and Saki, both masters of the twist, and no, not the dance. 😉

So…let’s answer a few questions.

1. Which authors have inspired me? Arthur Conan Doyle, Poe, John Sandford, Lee Child, JD Robb, David Baldacci, Kerry Greenwood and Agatha Christie among others. I’ve read all of their books and short stories and hopefully gleaned a bit from them.

2. What’s the best part about writing, and the most challenging? The best part of the process is asking a ‘what if’ question, then creating characters and seeing where they take me. The most challenging? Keeping up with the characters and what to do about the inevitable wall. The easiest answer is to just walk away. Work on something else. It works because I know whatever I stuck on will vanish given enough time. I can NOT force the words to come.

3. Do I listen to music while I write? Absolutely. Any and everything from Alison Krauss to Mozart, to Los Lonely Boys to Nora Jones, Ottmar Leibert to Marshall Tucker. Lots of jazz, of course. Pandora is an absolute must as far as I’m concerned and worth the annual fee. No commercials and NO JUSTIN BIEBER.

4. What books are my nightstand right now? None. I use my iPhone almost exclusively. Right now I’ve just downloaded the newest JD Robb, Festive in Death and I’m working my way through Kerry Greenwood’s Phrynee Fischer Mysteries. And, of course, awaiting the newest “Mina” book from Maria Grazia Swan.

I appreciate the heads up about this Sisters in Crime September Blog Hop from Lala Corriere at:

http://www.lalacorriere.com

Please take a look at these very good blogs for more interesting comments and ideas about mysteries:

http://www.sistersincrime.org

http://mariagraziaswan.com/marias-blog

http://suspensenovelist.blogspot.com

Also check out my books on Amazon.com. The links are on this blog.

 

Two New Books are in the Kindle Store

The Witches of Aba Nam, Book 2: Arena and the Scepter of the Nile are now available on Kindle.com! Here’s the link to Arena: http://amzn.to/1n612Ez  and here’s the link to the Scepter of the Nile: http://amzn.to/1ng0Dk6

At present I’m working on the third book in the Witches of Aba Nam series, and have completed the second and third books in the Scepter of the Nile series. Those two are in first draft and I’ll be cleaning them up soon. Look for all three by the end of summer.

Great Reviews!

Not that I like to brag, but I now have five star reviews on both sides of the Atlantic for the Witches of Aba Nam, Book 1: The Orb! This is a fantastic way to start the day, as I found out this morning. Many thanks to my reviewers for their kind and wonderful comments. Book 2: Arena, is in final stages of editing. When I get it back, I’ll make whatever changes are necessary and get it out. Book 3: The Return is in the works.

My Scepter of the Nile series is coming along nicely. The first book, The Scepter, is being edited and the cover’s close to completion. At the moment I’m about halfway through the second book, The Ankh, with the third, The Flail, still in planning.

The Witches of Aba Nam, Book 1: The Orb Update

Book 1 of my Witches of Aba Nam series has gone international! Book 2 in the series is about done being edited and I’m still working on Book 3. Update on the Scepter of the Nile. Book 1 is being edited I’m working on Book 2 in that series as well. 2014 is going to be a hell of a year I think for getting my writing out there. Thanks for the support I’ve gotten so far. It is GREATLY appreciated!

Interview with Mayor Alana Reardon

I found this ‘side character’ intriguing, as it were, when I read the first two books in the “Flowering” series  by Sarah Daltry. (http://amzn.to/HDz1oZ) With Sarah’s permission, I wrote the “Interview With Mayor Alana Reardon,” which is my take on where she ends up later in life. I’ve taken some pretty broad liberties with this character and tried not to go too far afield from where Sarah sees her. Alana has her own upcoming novel from Sara Daltry. Look for it.

Interview With Mayor Alana Reardon

For My Fellow Bicyclists

This is not a sales pitch or some self-aggrandizement comment.

I saw something this morning that finally made me decide to pass on some of my many miles of bicycling wisdom. 🙂  I’ve been a cyclist for over 50 years. I raced road bikes in the 80′ and 90’s and have been known to ride year ’round on my mountain bike. I still have studded snow tires as I still, occasionally, ride in the winter.

My philosophy is that EVERYONE behind the wheel is out to get you. Years ago I had a woman look straight into my eyes as she was turning into a gas station. I realized at the last second that despite that, she did not see me. She looked straight through me as if I wasn’t there. That was the defining moment for me to stop being an idiot and after work I bought one of those early Bell helmets that weighed about 5 pounds. And never, ever assume that a driver sees me.

You plus your bike are not more than 200 or so pounds. (Sorry, I know many of you are smaller but I had to pick a number.) That car you’re about to meet weighs 3,500 pounds plus driver, etc. The person driving the car is NOT looking for such a small target as a person on a bike. They’re looking for something else far larger than you. Hell, a 1700 pound moose doesn’t normally win against a car.

What I see as I drive around is the arrogance of a lot of bicyclists that says, “I am a bicyclist and I have the right-of-way.” Well, that’s all fine and dandy but as I said earlier, that person you’re about to challenge is driving a 3500 pound hunk of steel.

There used to be a PSA that said, “Having the right-of-way doesn’t prevent you from being dead right.” Bicyclists generally don’t win against a car.

All that said, here’s a bit of advice from one who has luckily never been hit. I have been terribly close more than once, though. Thank the Higher Powers I’m still here to write about it.

First rule: ALWAYS go behind the lead car turning at an intersection. That includes cars coming out of driveways. This is what I saw this morning. Two bicyclists, on a bike path, AND lit up like Christmas trees, crossed in front of a person turning into the side street who apparently didn’t see either. The lead cyclist hollered. Now we have at least two if not three people who were unnecessarily frightened first thing in the morning. I’m not a wuss but I would have simply slowed down on the bike and let the driver turn in. It would have taken maybe two seconds longer to reach the light up the street. It beats hell out of being a Kia hood ornament.

Second rule: Play by the rules. I’ve seen cyclists blast through lights and stop signs. Stupid. Especially in the long dark winters of Alaska.

Third rule: This is a play on a general aviation flying proverb: There are old pilots and bold pilots but there are no old, bold pilots. Same rule applies to bicyclists. Old and bold cyclists is an oxymoron.

Your life, your choice. Please think about you versus the car. Rightly or wrongly, you lose and I need you here to read my books.