Sunday, December 27, 2009

Writing During the Holidays

This time of year isn’t the easiest to find time to write with everything going on. Still, I’ve been able to carve out some time in the mornings to work on the thriller I’m writing. Our daughter is visiting and she and my wife like to stay up late and sleep in. Being a morning person, I’m up and ready to go in the morning so that’s my writing time before everyone else wakes up. I’ve also been researching Nikola Tesla. He’s a fascinating character—an incredible inventor of alternating current engines, the first remote control device, wireless before Marconi as well as weapon systems. He also had a wealth of personal quirks including not wanting to be touched, doing things such as swimming laps in multiples of three and being afraid of germs even though he fed pigeons in his hotel room in New York before his death in 1943. Tesla provides a great background for a story I’m wiorking on.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Speaking at Retirement Communitis

When speaking at retirement communities I always meet such interesting people. I gave a talk this afternoon and the audience stayed engaged, laughed at my jokes and asked great questions. People also share their stories. On the sad side, one woman described being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in her fifties, took medication for seven years and then another doctor determined she did not have Alzheimer’s. In the meantime the medication took a toll on her and she had to quit her job. She had been through a lot of suffering and had a very unhappy expression on her face. She told me she hoped to be able to smile again. On the positive side, a man spoke up about how much he enjoyed living in the retirement home. He was a widower and was delighted at all the attentions he was receiving from the ladies.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

State of the Book Business

A lot of changes lately in the book business. In addition to the consolidation of companies and cut backs due to economic conditions, Kirkus Review is going out of business. This was one of the premier sources of reviews for new books, and I hate to see them disappear (especially since they are known as tough reviewers and gave my second Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery, Living With Your Kids Is Murder, a good review). Also, the recent announcement of Harlequin starting a vanity press subsidiary has Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America up in arms. Harlequin has been disinvited from RWA’s annual conference and Harlequin has been placed on the list of non-recognized publisher by MWA. For me as a writer, I’m plugging away, half way through the first draft of a thriller. I had one signing snowed out last Sunday and participated in another signing yesterday at a Barnes and Noble in Denver. The best part of that was spending time with fellow authors Carol Berg and Deb Stover. I have several presentations scheduled at retirement communities later this month and then I’ll be ready for the new year.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Back to Writing

After a wonderful Thanksgiving week visiting two of our kids and our granddaughter, I’m back to writing again. I didn’t write much during the trip with attending Men of Mystery, taking our granddaughter to school, picking her up, driving her through the Los Angeles freeway congestion to after school rehearsals, Thanksgiving dinner, a visit to Disney’s California Adventure, several trips to Knott’s Berry Farm, attending a Disney preview of Prep and Landing, tree decorating and such. Several mornings I had a few minutes to check email and work on the thriller I’m currently writing but now I’m back to my regular schedule of writing in the morning, exercising at lunch time and then tackling administrivia and email in the afternoon. Upcoming events include the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Holiday party and a signing at Who Else Books in Denver at 3 PM on Sunday, December 6.