Sunday, January 31, 2010

Morro Rock, Surf, and Central Coast Sisters in Crime

These are photos of Morro Rock, some taken through in the evening and others in the morning. There'll be more up on Monday.

This is a quaint little town with a spectacular view--and great restaurants.

We stayed in a kind of cheap hotel--but what the hay, it had beds, a shower and toilet, what else do you need? Someone needed to tell them that a little bleach in the wash water would help their dingy, nearly worn out towels and the heating system left much to be desired.

The Central Coast Sisters in Crime Workshop had nearly as many instructors as attendees--which made it nice for the attendees, because they got some real hands on help with the five pages of their manuscripts.

Always love spending time with the CC SinC gals, especially Victoria and Sue.

Check my personal blog today too for more photos.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow, Blogs, and Other Things

This much snow in Virginia is rare. I don't mind it for a day or two, but it's so cold snow may be on the ground for quite a while. The state didn't have much in the budget for snow removal, so VDOT may have used most of its funding for the late December storm. So far, no snow plows have come along. I envy those of you who live in California!

At least, the weather has helped me catch on on blogs. As always, I enjoyed visiting Marilyn's blog! When I went to read Kit Sloane's, I was surprised to see a picture of Hamilton the Cat. That's when I realized the site belonged to Lelia, the owner of the now-closed Creatures 'N Crooks in Richmond. Small world. Thanks for leading me there, Kit.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

blog PR

I'm lucky enough to be on three really well done blogs at this point. If you're interested in seeing what lures people online to read a stranger's writing, try any of these. Of course, we all know Marilyn's blogspot and know how much energy it takes to keep a blog new and inventive. I loved her interview questions, too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Home Town Newspaper

Well, it took almost five years, but I finally got my home town newspaper to do an article about my writing. A good thing since the town is El Paso and has a population of almost a million, most of whom read English! Now if Billie will do a Spanish-language version, we can reach all El Pasoans and maybe right across the border to Juarez, exact population unknown but somewhere over two million. Little known fact: El Paso del Norte was the original name of the city on both sides of the Rio Grande, but the city on the Mexican side was renamed in honor of the hero of the revolution, Benedito Juarez. The twin cities of El Paso and Juarez comprise the largest bi-lingual bordertown in the world. Here's a link to the article:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Look Who's Cruisin'

Hi everyone!
In case you haven't heard, two of OTP's authors are putting together a mystery cruise! Denny Griffin and I recently went on a veterans cruise and Denny came up with the idea of doing a mystery conference at sea. We have a website up for details:

OTP author Marilyn Meredith will also be sailing with us. We're hoping more of you will consider this opportunity to speak on panels and sell books. The cost of the cruise is under $500 per person, no charge for the conference.

The Carnival Splendor leaves from Los Angeles for 7 days to the Mexican Riviera with three days at sea for the conference. If any of you have ever attended one of the major mystery cons, you know the cost of registration, meals and hotel for three days far exceeds the price of this cruise!

Any questions? Contact either me or Beverly (the cruise organizer) at

Sisters in Crime, PI's, and stalkers

The monthly meeting of the local Sisters in Crime group (I am one of only three male members) had to be moved to a secret location last week. The reason was that our speaker, a female PI, was being stalked by someone who had heard her give a radio interview in connection with her recently published book. The stalker also acquired the phone number of the chapter's president, and was calling her. We discussed ways to make our web site password protected concerning scheduled events, and we wondered if there were ways that people could trace others through email addresses.

The speaker was Cici McNair, and her book is entitled Detective Don't Wear Seatbelts. She is a very interesting person with many tales to tell. She said she did undercover work to expose people who sold knock-offs of accepted company products. We're not just talking clothers and bags here. Sometimes it's scary - like phony medications and airplane parts. She has done PI work in different parts of the country and has nmet some intersting characters. One bit of info I never heard of before - some people use a potato as a gun silencer.

On a different note, I just wanted to mention that my OTP book, A Lesson in Murder, with the help of Billie Johnson, has recently been published as a reprint by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery.

Happy New Year to all our readers.

Gus Cileone

New Audience for Pot Thief?

The Albuquerque Journal ran an article on December 18th about books published in 2009 related to New Mexico that they recommend. One sentence said, "The best-selling adult book in this little shop is the paperback The Pot Thief Who Studied Pythagoras (Oak Tree Press, $15) by J. Michael Orenduff. It's a low-key mystery set in Albuquerque's Old Town." Maybe having it described as an "adult book" will help me reach a new audience? The explanation is that the previous paragraph was talking about books for children, and the writer evidently thought the opposite of children’s books is adult books. The article was picked up by the website AllBusiness, which generated a Google alert for me, so that's how I found about the newspaper piece.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interview Opportunity

uesday, January 19, 2010
Interview Opportunity
Awhile back I gave a sort of tutorial on the Art of Blogging. In other words, I gave some tips on blogging.

If you have a blog it must be updated frequently. I try to do mine once a day. Once in awhile I miss, but you do know you can write blogs ahead and just have them post when you want them to post? Just click Post Option and pick and date and time.

If you like what someone said in there blog, leave a comment. Don't write a new blog with only one or two lines. If you have exciting news you want everyone to know, expand on the information so that it will be a blog post and not a comment.

If you put in a URL, use that funny thing in the top that looks like a frog face to me so that you'll get a hot link. It's best to write the link out in the post, highlight and then click on the "frog face". You'll have to write the link again, but that should assure it being a link that will click through. (Billie is the one who told me how to do this.)

Okay, now for the interview opportunity. On my own blog
I'm interviewing members of PSWA on Fridays.

For those of you who are not PSWA members, I'm offering to do interviews on other days during the week. All you have to do is let me know you'd like to be interviewed and I'll send you some questions to answer. You can answer them or not, or add some of your own. I'd love a photo and book cover(s) sent to me as attachments.

I'll let you know when the interview will be posted and you can let all your friends, lists know and put it on Facebook and Twitter. Another way to get some publicity.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Angels over the Haitian Palace

This has nothing to do with writing except that it relates to research in some small way. Soon after I heard about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, I remembered I had created a painting of the Haitian palace a few years ago. During a trip there a week before the February 5, 1986 overturn of the government, I took photographs of the palace, all the while wondering how such a magnificent structure existed amidst the dire poverty of the Haitian people.

When I pulled the pastel painting from the flat file drawer in my art closet, I was amazed to see the angels. I had forgotten the emotion I had felt at the contrast and the evil I believed existed in that palace--so much evil that I painted six angels to change the feel of that place. That the palace crumbled in the earthquake did not surprise me. I can only hope that with the current world focus on Haiti that all the evil will vanish and Haiti will join its Caribbean neighbors in prosperity.

And I wonder, from where did the angels come?

Monday, January 11, 2010

No Axe To Grind

I just want to say thanks to Marilyn Meredith for her energetic promotion of the PSWA Conference. Her postings are showing up everywhere, so I'm sure no one will have an axe to grind when it comes to attendance. I just ordered Marilyn's latest book in her Rocky Bluff PD series, the one whose title is so cleverly embedded in the previous sentence. Where does she find the time to write? Expect a review here in a week or two. It would be sooner, but I used the cheapest shipping method. I like to support good authors, but I don't see any reason to contribute to FedEx or UPS.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Channeling Sunny

I'm channeling Sunny Frazier today using astrology to make my point. I've created a blog that I hope to keep going with postings a couple of times each week. This blog uses my horoscope as a lead into the blog. Maybe Christy Bristol could have given me a better read, but this one was perfect. You can check it out at


Thursday, January 7, 2010

blog PR

I met this really nice young woman on DorothyL (a list not for the faint of heart...3000 sometimes cranky people, most librarians, and not always on the "side" of the writer, still....) Jenny has a blog page and a nice series called something about when an author felt they'd "made it." I'm on there now and the comments from her readers are delightful.

You might contact her if you're interested in being on.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Speakers at the PSWA Conference

Any of you serious about writing mysteries, we have such a terrific line-up of speakers at the PSWA Conference, I do hope you will be taking advantage of this opportunity to come.

The keynote speaker is the very prolific and popular, mystery, horror, thriller, short story and article writer, Simon Wood who is going to be talking about putting suspense into our mysteries.

Michael A. Black, police officer for 30 years, and published mystery author will be explaining how to plot your novel in an hour.

Joyce Spizer Foy is going to tell us how to put sizzle in your screen play.

OTP's own Michael Orenduff and his wife Lai are going to show and tell us what makes a good cover.

Kregg Jorgenson, who has a long time history in all sorts of long enforcement fields is going to tell how to target articles for specific magazines.

Steve Scarborough is going to tell us about detectives then and now--but if you have some forensic questions, he's the guy to ask.

Morgan St. James will explain about POV--something that is difficult for many of us.

And of course, OTP and our own promo expert, Sunny Frazier is going to talk about how much sex is too much.

And that's not all! So don't miss out. March 31 is when the last lowest registration fee will be good--and it's the last chance to be put on a panel.

Plus--our own Billie Johnson will be there, plus two other small press publishers.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

PR opportunity

My husband Steve (he is an academic and writes management books) and I have been invited to be part of Florida Central University's first book festival in April. The BEST part is that it's all expenses paid! Yes, airfare and hotel (and from where we live in Northern CA that's no small expense.) Here is the URL to apply:

They are very organized (except for losing my and others PR kits, but Billie took care of that and they used my webpage to determine my "eligibility.") and must have beaucoup dollars to do this. I'm sure there will be all sorts of glitches since they haven't done this before, but it should be interesting! At any rate, it's a great opportunity to expand PR horizons with, aside from the free aspect, panels and books ordered there through B&N and meeting the other side of the country.

Anyone interested might give the above a try. Word has it that they're almost filled up.

Happy New Year, too!