Excuse Me While I Change My Hat

This has been one exciting week. Nothing like a new book release to have all my friends come out, send congratulations, and tell their friends about my new book. I am so very grateful for that. For authors, release week leaves us to the point of almost walking in our sleep–it’s exciting, but completely exhaustng. There are so many things for authors to do All At The Same Time, and trying to keep up makes us long for the kind of promo teams James Patterson and Stephen King employ. But most of us do not make the kind of revenues those bigname authors get, so we happily jump in and change hats to whatever other job(s) we have to do besides writing. Even more exciting, to celebrate the release of ABSTRACT ALIASES, my publisher has discounted COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACIES to just 99¢ until Sunday night. This is the first time Henery Press has discounted one Read more…

My Litographs Reward

Confession time: I try to stay away from Kickstarter because I like just about everything that hits the site. While I love encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, I also like to eat and pay my electric bills (my laptop appreciates when I pay that bill too). So I tend to ignore a lot of the enticing emails Kickstarter sends my way–they’ve already pegged me as a soft touch. But when one of the guys at Litographs sent me an email saying they were starting another Kickstarter project earlier this spring, I opened it. And yes, I contributed (in about 0.5 seconds–told you I was a soft touch). I already adore Litographs. The company takes the words from a published book and creates a picture on a t-shirt using just the words. I’ve loved this company for many reasons: The shirts not only have great designs, but they’re high quality Read more…

This is So Cool–and it’s Free!

Doing a little U.K. research this morning, and I ran across a terrific freebie that is practically unrelated to my research (well, it is England-related) but it is fun. It is also Free– a lovely coloring book filled with art images from the Middle Ages to bring out the artist in everyone. Click This Link–2016-Bodleian-Library-Colouring-Book to get your own PDF copy of the coloring book to download from the Bodleian Library. Don’t bother clicking the lovely GIF at the right–it’s just showing off to get your attention. Love this–especially because it’s free. So, grab your colored (or should that be coloured?) pencils, fun inks, or crayons. Download and print your own copy to spend the weekend coloring up the Middle Ages. Have fun, everyone!  

Stuff Builds Characters

I revamped out my office this weekend, exchanging one desk for another. My dog loves it because she can take over every inch of the middle of my office floor (and is doing so right now. And snoring). But this changeover got me thinking about a kind of quiz I do each time I start brainstorming characters for my series. Since I’m a week away from the Henery Press release of Counterfeit Conspiracies and Marked Masters, I thought I’d spend a few minutes today talking about how “stuff” builds Laurel Beacham’s character. Laurel Beacham is likely to keep…things that fit in her huge purse and help her get into and out of trouble on a daily basis as she attempts to keep art masterpieces from disappearing into the “ether.” In her public persona, she’s more likely to use her cell phone to connect with someone who can provide the “open sesame” she needs Read more…

Video Traveling

I love setting my Bodies of Art books in European places I’ve visited. I love going back and looking at the pictures I took, restudying the maps to remind myself of the route we chose. Reading notes I made when I ran across something interesting or heard a lovely accent or terrific turn of phrase. All that “reviewing time” not only helps me write the books, but helps me relive the whole experience. Still, no matter how well written my notes, or how sharply focused the photos, there are things I’m always going to forget until something comes along to jog my memory. One way I do this is to watch YouTube videos of the area I’m writing about. Often the videos show things I saw from a different perspective, too, which broadens my own understanding of the area and culture. But other times I watch YouTube videos that come Read more…

The Soundtrack of My Working Life

One thing that keeps me energized as an author is playing music as I write. My daughter used to always say she could tell which writing project I was currently working on based on what music came out of my home office. Her favorite was when I worked on a suspense/thriller with a particularly no-nonsense reporter as the protagonist, because I played Sheryl Crow all day. I’m not sure why, but the music perfectly fit that particular character. Right now, I’m on deadline for the next book in my Bodies of Art Mysteries series, and beyond watching YouTube videos of Barcelona and Switzerland (that’s all the clues I’m giving, no spoilers) I added new music to my “escape in Europe” repetoire. Have been writing to the soundtracks of the Oceans movies, thanks to a tip from terrific author Ellie Ashe. But a couple of weeks ago I saw the new The Man Read more…

We’re Going Into the Home Stretch…

Do you know how writer’s whine? Well, let me tell you I’ve been happily whining up a storm lately because I’m having such a difficult time staying focused. But all the promos are starting on Marked Masters, the second book in my Bodies of Art Mysteries, and that makes me think of Florida and Florence, Italy–the two places Laurel & Jack focus their own attention in the book. The picture at the right shows the Duomo complex in Florence (you can see a hint of the exquisite dome on the far right edge) and the Giotto Bell Tower in the background plays a key role in the book. So… I’m having some difficulty staying in one point of view each day, and my cozy deadline is looming, and I have to keep reminding myself to get out of Laurel’s smart mouth POV and back into Kate’s much nicer and more dedicated one. Read more…