Travel Tuesday, Anyone? Bring Your Own Armchair

One of the best things about being a mystery author is brainstorming new stories and settings. I love that I can “virtually” hang around London most days as I write, and have my characters hop a fictional plane at any moment to go to France, Italy, Spain–or wherever. My friend Eleanor was “literally” hanging out in England last week and sharing pictures of her trip on her FB page, and giving me some fun new things to think about as I work up future Bodies of Art books. That’s the beauty of writing about characters who use their passports on an almost daily basis, all the time I spend reading my friends’ FB pages that show their travel shots counts as research, too. But that’s not all. If you like your mysteries with an international flair, consider joining me and four other fun mystery authors (including the afore mentioned Eleanor) Read more…

Armchair Traveling on a Chilly November Afternoon

Had the need today to page through some pictures that tie back with books in my Bodies of Art series, and thought I’d share them with anyone needing a little Armchair Traveling for the day. I’ve thrown in pictures I used for all four books written–but only 3 are available for sale right now. The fourth, Fatal Forgeries, will be released in 2017. Sit back. Enjoy. For a bit of a picture legend to these shots– The first two pictures are London, where all the Bodies of Art Books are at some point each time. Third is the hilly street of Le-Puy-en-Velay from Counterfeit Conspiracies, fourth-through sixth is Florence for Marked Masters, seventh is a picture of Cassie’s flat entrance mentioned in book #1 & visited by Laurel & Jack in book #4, with the eighth the artists restoration pit where Cassie worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum that Laurel used to get Read more…

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…

Been Blogging and Previewing this Week

It was release week for my Bodies of Art Mysteries, so me and my books have been blogging all over the place. My publisher, Henery Press posted a terrific Sneak Peak on their Club Hen House blog last Friday. On the February 2nd release day, there was a release blitz for the series, and on Feb 3rd, I Heart Reading posted the lovely blog tour coming up for the series (yeah, I’m still writing blogs and finishing interviews for the dates near the end of the tour–LOL!). Even more fun on the February 2nd release day, my fun post on how I research the Bodies of Art Books was also on Club Hen House, and I not only get to talk about my methods (and madness–LOL!) but I also get to use my pictures taken as we travel. Hint: the pics at the top of the post, showing the cloudy London panorama, were taken from 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!  

So Much Chocolate, So Little Time

I’m in the middle of writing and researching the next Bodies of Art novel, so my mind and clicking finger naturally gravitates toward anything relating to London. Recently, I read an article that has me wanting to grab my passport and book a flight. The Brits have a huge M&M store in London! Yes, four stories high, and looking like something between Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and my most heartfelt desire. Couldn’t resist grabbing a few of the shots and posting them here to share for now and enjoy later when I’m planning my next hop across the pond 🙂 So many choices. Wonder which ones I would pick– –This is the M&M take on the iconic Abbey Road pic. And I wonder if anyone tries to make the queen’s M&M guard laugh or smile at his posting. It really would be tempting– Imagine having your personal order completed while Read more…

When You Need a Little Christmas–in August

I’m in the middle of writing the third book in the Bodies of Art series. So much fun! I love writing from Laurel Beacham’s point-of-view, and globetrotting across the page with her and her snarky sense of humor. While the book won’t be out until 2016, the manuscript is due to my editor at Henery Press on November 1st. However, since the book is set in early November, and starts in London, I’ve been happily finding U.K. holiday connections. And wow! Am I having a blast!!! London Christmas lights start going on display the first week in November. Could I have picked a better time frame, or what? Oxford Street and Regent Street are both located in some very exclusive map coordinates. While Oxford Street is only a mile and a half long, it runs right through Mayfair (yeah, the really ritzy part of London) and on into SoHo. The Read more…

Decisions…Decisions

To keep up with all my ideas, I have my “working notebooks” and keep one on each new book, and file all series notebooks together in my office. I scribble lines I want my characters to use, ideas on where they should go and what they should wear, I take notes on news programs that cover topics related to the places and events my character(s) will see. It’s all grist for the mill, you understand. Yes, I could do all of this in a digital file and have it wherever I go, but there’s just something about brainstorming with a pen and paper that a notebook computer simply can’t provide. But one things I do always take advantage of online is to collect pictures on my Pinterest boards at https://www.pinterest.com/ritterames/ For some reason WordPress doesn’t want to imbed this address correctly today as a link, so I figured the whole thing Read more…

Picture Me Organized

I never imagined when I penned my first story that I would eventually have to balance my writing work with such daily tasks as comb research sites and flag them for later use, file tax records, discover marketing options, network with advertisers, find fabulous clothes for my characters to wear, locate spy and tech stuff for my characters to use, figure out group activities for my characters’ children…and still find a way to write and have some fun in the middle of this publishing circus. One social media invention that helps me keep on top of all my treasured data is Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest. I know, a lot of people say it’s a time waster, but for me the site is an organizing sensation. Here’s why– Since I write two mystery series, I can have multiple boards about the endless number of things that relate to each series. I have fabulous Read more…

Because a Writer Can’t Wear All the Hats, We Find Experts

Fiction writers may be great at creating characters and brainstorming plots, but sometimes real facts get in the way, and that’s when we turn to outside sources. For example, I’m playing around with a darker than usual suspense story right now that is only alive and thriving because I was able to interview an iron worker about his job. You see, I would never be able to walk confidently across the beams that make up the skeleton of a high rise building. Lucky for me, however, I found someone who not only could, but was willing to tell me about it so I could add color and authenticity to my story and main character. My source was male, and my fictional protagonist is female, and when I told him this he gave a great gaffawing laugh and said, “Let me know when the book is published. I can’t wait to Read more…