Thursday, February 21, 2019

Early Readers

Many of my author friends have been writing since an early age. Likewise, many of them were avid readers from an early age. Unfortunately, there are many children, often boys, who aren’t that enthusiastic about reading. I was one of them. Here’s my story.

In elementary school we went to the school library at least once a week. I wasn’t very interested in reading, so I’d goof around during that time. One day the librarian approached me and asked what I was interested in. That was an easy question. “Baseball,” I answered. She motioned me over to a section of books that had baseball stories. That’s how I got hooked on reading.

I am thankful for librarians with the insight to guide children to areas of interest for reading.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Panels at the Left Coast Crime Conference in March

The Left Coast Crime Conference will be held in Vancouver March 28 – 31. I will be on two panels. The first is The Thriller Panel at 10:15 on Friday, moderated by Kris Calvin and including panelists Puja Guha, Glen Erik Hamilton and S. J. Rozan, a terrific group. The second is a panel on Writing in More than One Genre at 1:30 on Friday, moderated by Heather Ash with panelists Shelly Adina, Laura Benedict and C. J. Carmichael, another outstanding group of authors.

I will be busy that Friday, because I also moderate The Meet the New Author Breakfast as 7:30. Currently, we have seventeen new authors who will be introduced at the breakfast. They will each give a one minute presentation on the most important thing readers should know about their debut novel.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Medical Insurance

As a Medicare recipient for the last nine years, I’m appreciative of what it provides. With the current debate about Medicare-for-all I think this topic is worth discussion. If we ignore the rants from the far right that it would be a disaster, cost too much and put private insurance companies out of business and rants from the far left that we don’t need to worry about how to pay for it, let’s as a country explore ways to improve medical coverage. First of all, I pay for Medicare in five ways: 1. I made payroll deductions for the thirty-nine years I worked. This provided me with Part A (hospital insurance) when I turned sixty-five. Without paying into the system, I could have still purchased Part A through monthly payments. 2. I pay a monthly fee for Part B (medical insurance). 3. I pay a monthly fee for supplemental insurance through a private insurance company. 4. I pay a monthly fee for Part D (drug coverage) to a private insurance company, 5. For things not covered, I pay directly when billed by medical providers. No one is giving me anything for free. I think this model is worth exploring for covering younger people. The discussion needs to include how to pay for it.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Social Media

At the time my first book was published in 2007, I had a web site and began exploring other ways of engaging with readers. Now I have this blog where I post weekly. I participate in Facebook and occasionally Twitter.

I really don’t enjoy Twitter very much, but I do like Facebook. I catch up on friends' family activities with kids and grandkids, an occasional dog or cat picture, photos of travel and interesting events, author book activities and a political rant or two. My posts include a lot of activities with my 3-year-old grandson as well as other grandkids, pictures from walks, book activities and my own political rants.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Dealing with Unpredictable Publishers

Over my twelve year publishing career, I have worked with six different publishers. Of these, I am only working with two and a partial right now. One (Five Star) decided to exit the mystery publishing business and reverted print rights on seven of my nine books they had published. One publisher went out of business completely, one became unresponsive, and one decided to change his business model.

Change can be expected in publishing, so authors have to adapt to this. As of this moment, all of my fifteen books are back in print. Fortunately, Encircle Publications has re-released eight of my books as well as published two new novels. I have self-published two of my abandoned books.

Never a dull moment in the publishing world.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Left Coast Crime Conference

I will be attending the Left Coast Crime Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in March. This gathering of mystery fans and mystery authors is always an enjoyable event. This year I will again be hosting the Meet the New Authors Breakfast. So far we have seventeen new authors who will be giving a one minute presentation on the most important thing to know about their debut mystery novel.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Writing During Different Times of the Year

Many people make New Year’s resolution including writers. November has also been a time for some writers who participate in NaNoWroMo, national novel writing month, a time to attempt to write 50,000 words during one month. For some writers, summer may be a time of reduced writing with vacations and kids home from school. Others may cocoon during the winter and write less or more.

For me, it depends on where I am in my writing cycle and what I’m writing. For example, right now I’m not writing anything new, but I’m editing manuscripts in preparation for getting them published. Two of my books will be coming out in 2019, and I’m editing manuscripts to be submitted for 2020.