So, it’s been a while since I complained about my blogging technical challenges. Over the last several months, I’ve made a few tweaks and improvements here and there, and I must have been getting pretty smug with myself because now I’ve managed to remove my blog as a list of posts. At the moment, I can only post one item at a time. I’m not even sure what I did, but as soon as I figure it out, I’ll undo it. Drat. Update, it’s showing posts, but only with the “category” listed on top. ?!?
I’ve been selected as a mystery author panelist for the PCA/ACA National Conference. I’ll be joining a couple of (far more established) authors of historical mysteries. I’m not wholly sure what to expect, but I’m really looking forward to meeting other fans of the genre and the opportunity to discuss my work!
After years of work, it’s finally happened. I submitted my first manuscript in 2005. (It was mediocre) I wrote a couple more books. My work improved a lot. I signed the contract with my publisher 18 months ago. Of course, the work didn’t end there, it just shifted gears. Now, my 2nd book is under contract and I’m writing my 4th. But for me, today is a real milestone.
Skies are overcast in my corner of the world, but this photo captures a past spring when I visited Mt. Rainier with my family. Delicate and awesome; it embodies the spirit of the season.
I’m super excited that my publisher has agreed to release The Tugboat Murder. To celebrate, and just because I tend to nerd out a bit about these books, I’ve made a Pinterest board devoted to Tugboats and themes around the book.
The images don’t attempt to tell the story, rather, I’m trying to capture the mood around the story. Check it out if you’re interested 🙂 http://pin.it/zIBC2sm
Seattle in the mid 1950s, a warm summer night, and a charming red old tugboat…
Editing one’s own stuff can be fun. It can also be tedious. But if you’ve been at it for months on end, it can also begin to feel like you’re falling into an endless vortex of words.
When researching my 1950s era books, I’m always referring to my old Seattle map. A few weeks ago, I posted a map-mystery about some Seattle streets that have disappeared, but my old map also shows several streets that never even existed.
Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood is a peninsula northwest of downtown. Per my 1950s era Kroll Map, Magnolia’s footprint was expected to balloon out several blocks into Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. My map shows that future fantasy expansion complete with streets names.
I’m not sure if they planned to wash away the Magnolia hillside (that’s what happened to Seattle’s Denny Regrade neighborhood) but whatever they were planning, all that remains is an old map showing the streets and avenues of a future that never happened.
I’m new to publishing. Even though I’m currently writing my 5th book, the Hatbox Murders will be the first one published.
Over a hear ago, Barking Rain Press assigned me to a wonderful editor, and we spent 6 months going over the manuscript. We did 3 complete in-depth passes. After that, two more editors came on board and we all went through it again.
I thought the editing was finished. Silly me. I just received the final “Final for Print,” proof. Now, there are 5 of us on the project, all reviewing the Hatbox Murders cover-to-cover.
It really helps me appreciate (and maybe even dread 😉 all the work that goes into a traditionally published book.
And it keeps me really, really busy.
I confess that I’m a picky reader, but I don’t think I’m alone.
To help folks decide whether or not they like the Elliott Bay Mysteries series, I’m including a freebie. The Tugboat Murder is only 15K words, so it’s somewhere between a short story and a novella. But it’s a single crime that’s solved over a single weekend (in 1950s Seattle, or course) so I’m calling it a “Mini-Mystery.”
My wonderful publisher, Barking Rain Press, is prepping it now and The Tugboat Murder should be available, totally free, on their website by the end of March.
Read what you love, especially if you love mysteries!
Seattle once had a neighborhood called Ross. As the city evolved, the name was lost, but my old map still shows streets overlapping the water. The Wedgewood Historical Society was nice enough to explain what happened:
When the Army Corps of Engineers built the Ballard Locks a 100 years ago (and the waterway which connects Lake Washington to Puget Sound) they dug out a few streets. The fun part is that my old 1950s Seattle map still shows those “ghost streets” in the water. Kinda spooky.