Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Not "Whodunnit?" but "Whoizit?"


Somewhere, I'm sure, someone has compiled a list of mandatory questions to ask a writer. And all of us, I'm equally sure, have been compelled to answer them at one time or another.

“When did you start writing?”

“How long did it take you to write your book?”

“Where do you get your ideas?”

But this past weekend, I was living every fledgling writer's dream... I was hosting a launch party for my debut mystery novel, “End of the Road”. In between thanking my guests for their support, I was fielding many questions in a similar vein. And then it happened—I was asked a question that I had never been asked before.

“Which character is you?”

That gave me pause. Up until then, I had my stock answers to their stock questions all ready to be trotted out. But this one made me stop and think.

Of course, a writer creates their characters, but not, as some might think, out of thin air. At some time, the writer has met someone who sparks an idea for a character (work in retail long enough, I guarantee you'll have a never-ending treasure trove of potential murder victims.) But the reality, of course, lies in that question.

Which character is the writer?

Many people seem to think that the writer automatically identifies with the hero/heroine of the story, especially if the character is good-looking, brave, resourceful, and manages to thwart the villain with near-superhuman martial arts skills while demonstrating a rapier wit and a flair for appreciating fine wines. Perhaps it's true that the writer creates a larger-than-life hero or heroine, a character everyone would like to be, but very rarely do such characters mirror the actual flesh-and-blood person who created them.
If you want to find the writer in any of his or her characters, look for the flaws.

That's where the fear of the dark, of spiders, of failure, of love and commitment, of success, all those things that make the characters REAL is where you will find the author. It's only in the anonymity of writing fictional characters that a writer has the freedom to admit their own flaws and find a way to overcome them (or avoid them!) while creating characters with whom the majority of readers can identify. It's where you'll find me. But I didn't exactly say that in answer to the question.

What I did say was, “There's a little of me in ALL the characters.”

Sunday, July 28, 2013

How far will I go to research a book?


How far will I go to research a book?

I’ve been to London and the village of Roydon, which dates back to the 16th century. That was fun because I have a daughter living in London and stayed with her for three weeks. I even called Scotland Yard. They were very courteous and gave me all the information I needed. I have found that if you tell an agency or an authority that you are a writer, they will tell you almost anything.

But my most recent trip was much more exciting. My oldest son and his wife live on a 49 foot sailboat. Yes — no land house — only the floating one.

When he told me about it, I thought it might be good research for a book. So I made two trips, one to the American Virgin Islands and later to the Caribbean. I must say it was a magnificent sight, a beautiful blue sailboat with a sixty foot mast reaching into the sky.

I stood on the dock staring at the space between me and the boat. It was only about a foot, but I’m not good at jumping onto a rocking this vessel.

My son said, “Mom, there are four hurdles you have to master.”

I gave him a disarming look. He hadn’t mentioned anything about hurdles.

“First, take my hand and put one foot on the deck.” His wife held the dock line taut. Okay, here goes, I thought. I didn’t look down because I never would’ve made it.

“Ready?” He asked. With a heave, he pulled me onto the vessel. “Now just put your leg over onto the bench.”

With three artificial joints, I just about managed to accomplish this feat and get down into the boat proper. “Do I have to do this every time I get on and off?”

“Yeah,” he said. “But you’ll get used to it. Now for hurdle number three.”

I had no idea what that might be and wasn’t too keen on finding out.

“To get down into the hold, you must climb down the companionway.” This consisted of a vertical ladder built into the ship with six stairs and secure handholds on each side. I manage that without a hitch.

“One more,” he said as he led me into the aft bedroom. “There is a 3 inch riser that separates each compartment of the boat. Don’t trip.” At that point I didn’t care why there was a 3 inch riser I just wanted to be safe.

After five days of island hopping, snorkeling, swimming in the ocean and battling a storm, I had all the research I needed. I had a list of wind speeds and barometer readings and what constitutes a strong wind, a squall, a near gale, a gale, up to a hurricane.

I was happy to leave the Caribbean with its 100% humidity and temperatures hovering around the 90° mark most of the time. It did take me a few days when I got home to get my land legs back. I kept feeling as if I were still on the boat.

At present, my sailor son and his wife are in French Polynesia. I have enough research for two books and prefer to remain on dry land.

                           Author at the helm, but only for the picture. www.helenosterman.com
 

 

Friday, July 26, 2013

WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR JULY 26, 2013

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone! July is coming to a close and August is almost upon us. Summer beach reading will soon be replaced by autumn and beyond that, snuggling in winter with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. I don’t know about you but I believe every time of year is a good time of year for an Oak Tree Press book! Be sure to check out our website, www.ShopOTPbooks.com, for a complete list of all the great books we have available. But now, for your reading pleasure, our authors have news, book signings, launches, blogs and more to share with you as we head into the Round-Up…

 

JAMES CALLAN’s book, “A Ton of Gold,” is currently featured as the Mystery of the Month on Patricia Gligor's blog, at http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com/

Also, Patty Wiseman will feature “A Ton of Gold” on her Facebook Fan page for a week beginning Monday, July 29.

JAMES sure knows how to keep his books and his name in the spotlight.



 



TERRY AMBROSE, author of “License to Lie,” was busy this week with his columns on Examiner.com, where he posted an Interview with Daphne Award Winner Joanna Campbell Slan and information about Two Facebook 'Like' scams revealed. Always interesting reading on TERRY's column.
 




 
LESLEY DIEHL, author of "Grilled, Chilled and Killed" has a very nice review up on Kittling:Books. Cathy did the review and says, "good characters, good humor and good story." It doesn't get much better than that! See the whole review here: http://www.kittlingbooks.com/2013/07/grilled-chilled-and-killed-by-lesley.html

 




SHARON A. MOORE, author of the upcoming “Mission: Impastable,” has a spot in the July-August issue of the Writers Tricks of the Trade Ezine. The ezine is published by OTP author MORGAN ST. JAMES, “Who’s Got the Money?” You can find SHARON’s mention on pages 15-18 of the following link: http://tinyurl.com/wttJulAug13






UPCOMING EVENTS
AMY BENNETT is ready to launch her new book this weekend! On Saturday, July 27, Books, Etc., and independent book store in Ruidoso, NM will be hosting a book signing for my debut mystery novel, “End of the Road” (2012 winner of the Dark Oak Mystery contest) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  The bookstore is located at 2340 Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso, NM 88345.
On Sunday, July 28, the official release party for “End of the Road” will be held at Noisy Water Winery, 2342 Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso, NM.  This event is a wine and cheese reception and is by invitation only (so anyone who might be visiting in the area and would like to attend can visit AMY’s website www.amymbennettbooks.com and request an invitation if space is still available!)  Guests will be offered samples of the winery’s award-winning Jo Mamma’s White sweet white wine which is mentioned in the novel!  Also, anyone who wishes to order signed copies of the book may order them from Noisy Water Winery (which happens to be her part-time employer!)


ROBERT WEIBEZAHL will sign copies of his new crime novel, The Dead Don’t Forget,” at Barnes & Noble in Thousand Oaks, California, on Saturday, August 17 at 2 pm. The book features screenwriter Billy Winnekta, introduced in ROBERT's debut crime novel, The Wicket and the Dead. The new installment in the acclaimed mystery series once more finds the amateur detective reluctantly investigating a peculiar Hollywood crime. Barnes & Noble is located in the Westlake Promenade, 160 S. Westlake Blvd, Thousand Oaks, 805/446-2820.





BLOG CORRAL
P. J. NUNN, author of “Angel Killer,” has a whole week full of reviews, posts and blogs. Wow, she is one busy author! Be sure to check out all of the following links:

Monday, Aug 5-Book Featured at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews,
Tuesday, Aug 6-Book Review at Miki’s Hope, 
Wed., Aug 7-Character Guest Post at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem,
Wed., Aug 7-Book Review at The Self-Taught Cook,
Thurs., Aug 8-Guest Blog at Inside BJ’s Head,
Friday, Aug 9-Guest Blog & Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook,
Friday, Aug 9-Book Feature at Tales of a Book Addict
 

ILENE SCHNEIDER, author of “Unleavened Dead,” wants you to visit her blog for a guest post by new author Kristen Elise, author of “The Vesuvius Isotope.” Just click this link: http://rabbiauthor.com/

While you are there, take a look at ILENE's biographies. I say biographies because she has two! An "official" bio and a "real" bio and I will tell you they are fabulous. And they are very impressive!






JOHN DANIEL, author of “Behind the Redwood Door,” tells us that on his blog this week, he describes the beginning of his journey to the Isle of Wind, a tale with a hero, a princess, and a Giant named Clobber! Check it out: http://johnmdaniel.blogspot.com/

JOHN also posted a piece on the Oak Tree Press blog, bragging (his word, not mine!) about his forthcoming mystery. For a joyous bit of BSP, visit http://otpblog.blogspot.com/




SUNNY FRAZIER, author of “Fools Rush In,” has a blog over at Buried Under Books. The blog is on the Virtue of Being a Quitter.

The following is a quote from the post that I absolutely loved! Be sure to click the link above and read the whole article. ~"The optimist blindly believes that when one door closes another door opens. Maybe. Failing that, I’m not adverse to jimmying the lock to check out what’s on the other side. It’s only a misdemeanor."...Sunny Frazier


DAC CROSSLEY, author of “Guns Across the Rio,” has a sunny blog to share. He says the sunshine today reminded him of an afternoon spent long ago, when his world was much simpler and the future stretched off into the distance. He invites you to read his blog and also gives relaxed summer wishes to all. www.daccrossley.typepad.com
 







J. L. GREGER, author of “Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight,” is doing a guest blog titled “Are your writing problems: wine, waste paper, or manure?” at Marilyn Meredith’s Musings on July 30. http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/
I cannot wait to read this one! Mark your calendars!







That wraps up the Round-Up for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Weekly Round-Up as much as I enjoy posting it for you.
As always, if you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send me an email at otpoffice@aol.com. Big or small, old or new. I would like to keep our corral full of news! Comments, questions or suggestions are welcome too.
Have a great weekend, everyone.~ Suzi

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What a Difference it Makes!


This past week I received the Text Block for my forthcoming book, Hooperman: A Bookstore Mystery. This wonderful gift came as an email attachment from Billie Johnson, the superb publisher of Oak Tree Press, which will be publishing Hooperman this coming November.

I immediately set all my other work aside and devoted two full work days to proofreading the Text Block. For those unfamiliar with the process, a Text Block is what we old-fashioned publishers used to call “galleys,” or “page proofs.” They used to come printed on paper. Since I’m not eagle-eyed when I read a book on a screen, I printed out the text and did my proof-reading on paper. And what a pleasure that was!

For one thing, seeing the book designed and (after a few corrections of errors—my errors) ready for print gave me the thrill of knowing this novel, which took so long in the writing and editing and polishing processes, is really going to be born! This must be like how an expecting mother must feel when she sees a heart-beating ultrasound image of the baby she has on board.

The second thrill I got from reading the proofs of Hooperman was finding out that I really like this book! It’s good! (Please forgive me, but proud is the mood I’m in.) The chapters start with hooks and end with cliff-hangers. The characters are humorous and loveable, except for the few who are detestable. Hooperman is funny, but it’s also packed with important issues and ideas. This pride I feel from seeing its pages beautifully designed reinforces the fondness I had for the novel in manuscript. I cannot wait to see the book when it’s printed and bound.

But of course I must wait. Meanwhile, though, I’m going to crank up the promotion process. Billie assures me I’ll be receiving advance reader copies of Hooperman; I’ve ordered twenty. When I get them, I’ll ship them off to a well-picked list of reviewers in the mystery media.

Billie also tells me that the book’s cover design is in the works, and when I receive it I’ll be sending it out with press releases and blog posts to all the personal and important contacts on my list. So get ready to hear more about Hooperman: A Bookstore Mystery.

Meanwhile, here’s the illustration that will adorn the front cover. This painting, “The Librarian,” by AndrĂ© Martins de Barros, looks a lot like the main character of Hooperman, who also looks a lot like I looked during the summer of 1972, when the story takes place.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Contemplating the advice to "write what you know"

Hi, folks:

Good article here (sez me) analyzing the advisory about how we writers should "write what we know."

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/should-we-write-what-we-know/

Obviously writing is never all that simple as this analysis makes clear.

See what you think....

Following Directions

It seems odd to me that any writer would not take the time to read directions and follow them, but I keep seeing it happening.

One of the biggies is when I'm have a guest blogger. I always ask for a bio, a .jpg of the book cover and one of the person, any links like to a website, Twitter, Facebook, a buy the book link, and of course a post for the blog. Too many times I have to ask for things that are missing.

Another is sending bios in for a conference. Most of the big cons (Left Coast Crime, Bouchercon, etc.) just put what they want on their website and it's up to get it in. If you don't, you're out of luck. They all have a strict word count for you to follow. If you go over, the extra will be lopped off.

Word count is important for some blogs. For mine, I don't state a word count--but I do know shorter is better than long. If someone asks for a certain number of words, they mean it.

And of course it's the same for short stories and articles. If you don't stay under the word count, what you've written won't be printed.

Granted some directions are not all that easy to follow, but if you have a question about them, ask. It's better to do that than forge ahead and be wrong.

And that's the end of my rant. I've been extremely busy lately trying to plan the promo for my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery and writing the next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel--while getting everything together for the PSWA program. This is my last year of planning the program and I want it to be a good one. Of course it will be over by the time this post is published.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Popsicle Syndrome - a common malady

Popsicle-stick bridge courtesy of
 http://diyfamily.wordpress.com

It’s not easy being a smart ass. There are days when it’s as simple as falling off a paddleboard. Plop. Yup, straight into the drink. Right side up, upside down. It makes no difference. You’re in the same place and just as wet no matter which end took the plunge first.
Then there are those days when the retorts and barbs don’t come easily. We’ve all done it, two hours after being under the gun, I’ll start talking to the walls. The perfect comeback, something that would have turned the tables or had everyone complimenting me on my brilliant wit, pops into my head. But, in my moment on need? Just when I needed my inner wise guy the most, I probably stood around like a melting popsicle.
And there it is, maybe I suffer from Popsicle Syndrome. Don’t scoff, you might have it, too. Let’s take a look at what popsicles and people have in common. Do both have a skeleton? Check. Granted, the popsicle’s skeleton is just a stick, but what a stick! Popsicle sticks have been used to make replicas of everything from trucks to hotels to roller coasters. Martha Stewart showed us how to make a popsicle-stick house and the American Society of Civil Engineers conducts an annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition. And just to put this in perspective, when’s the last time you saw someone other than a maniacal serial killer in a B-movie build a bridge out of bones? 
There’s also the sweetness factor. Check. He’s sweet. She’s a sweetheart. I’m sweet on you. But, people can also be a sourpuss, demonstrate a sour-grapes attitude, or sour a relationship. Did a popsicle ever do that? Of course not, a popsicle is always sweet.
I’ll grant you that people do have the advantage when it comes to the whole melting thing. When we have a meltdown, we hold our shape because the “melting” is metaphorical. But, when a popsicle goes, it’s just plain messy. And once the messy puddle starts to dry, it gets sticky. That does, however, bring up another issue. When one person melts over another, there usually is a sticky part in the relationship. The good news is that the popsicle mess can be cleaned up with a sponge and some soap and water—the people mess usually involves lawyers and lots of money. But, that’s a whole different post.
Do you suffer from Popsicle Syndrome? Or do you have another name for it? Can you summon those super-smart comebacks on command or does it take a little time to think them up? 

Friday, July 19, 2013

WEEKLY ROUND-UP FOR JULY 19, 2013

Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up everyone. Oak Tree Press had quite a presence at the Public Safety Writers Association Conference held recently in Las Vegas, NV.  Several OTP authors attended and I believe a great time was had by all! Below is a re-cap of the winners along with some pictures. A big congratulations goes out to everyone!
ILENE SCHNEIDER, and her book “Unleavened Dead,” won First Place in the Fiction Book Published category. Pictured are ILENE, BILLIE JOHNSON and SUNNY FRAZIER.
Also winning First Place in the Fiction Book Published category was HONORA FINKELSTEIN and SUSAN SMILY with “The Reporter Who Died Probing.” This writing duo also won Second Place in the Non-Fiction Creative Non-Technical Non-Published category with “Angel Flights and Female Firefighters.”

RONALD CORBIN, and his book “Beyond Recognition” had a First Place win in the Non-Fiction Book Published category. RON was a two time winner with another First Place prize with “Shadows of the Heart,” in the Non-Fiction Creative Non-Technical Non-Published category.

KEITH BETTINGER won an Honorable Mention in the Non-Fiction Book Published category with “Murders in McHenry.”     

JOHN WILLS, with his upcoming book “The Year Without Christmas,” won Second Place in Fiction Book Non-Published. JOHN also won in the Fiction Flash Non-Published Category with “The Van” in First Place and “Black Mask” in Second Place. JOHN scored another First Place win in the Non-Fiction Creative Non-Technical Published Category with “Why I Became a Cop.”  JOHN is also a poet, winning First and Second Places in the Poetry Non-Published category with his poems, “Blue Pride” and “Why.”

J. L GREGER, pictured here with her dog, Bug, placed Second in the Fiction Short Story Non-Published with “Shoes.”

JACKIE TAYLOR ZORTMAN won Third Place in Non-Fiction Creative Non-Technical Non-Published with “Amache.” JACKIE also placed Third in Non-Fiction Creative Non-Technical Published with “Siege at Cortez.” JACKIE was really excited to have won two writing awards this year as this is the first writing contest she has ever entered.

We are so proud of all of the authors who placed in the contest! Kudos to all of you! Now on to other news from our wonderful authors at Oak Tree Press...

D. R. RANSDELL, author of “Mariachi Murder,” has a wonderful review at Night Owl Reviews. Cassandra writes the book was a smooth read and she didn't want to put it down. She hopes this is the beginning of a new series. She was guessing who did it until the end!
Link: http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Reviews/Cassandra-reviews-Mariachi-Murder-by-D-R-Ransdell
When I check the link, I go to the main website, I had a bit of trouble finding the exact review...I have a message in to Cassandra and hope to get a direct link for next week's Round-Up.




SHARON A. MOORE, author of the upcoming “Mission: Impastable,” has a spot in the July-August issue of the Writers Tricks of the Trade Ezine. The ezine is published by OTP author MORGAN ST. JAMES, author of "Who’s Got the Money?” You can find SHARON’s mention on pages 15-18 of the following link: http://tinyurl.com/wttJulAug13

SHARON has two blog posts to share this week. MJ and Me is on her foodie blog and talks about Pot Luck,” book three in SHARON’s culinary mystery series. http://sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com/2013/07/mj-and-me.html On SHARON’s general writing blog she shares some of her experiences at the recent Public Safety Writers Association Conference http://samwriteaway.blogspot.com/2013/07/pswa.html).


TERRY AMBROSE, author of “License to Lie,” recently interviewed Edgar-award nominee Kim Fay to discuss the nomination and how being nominated for this prestigious award has affected her writing. The interview can be found at terryambrose.com. And, if you've ever wondered if health care fraud will ever be brought under control, his Examiner.com article, Health care fraud—working toward a solution, may give you hope.

TERRY also informs us that My July newsletter has a tip on how to keep our elders safe from scams along with a Ground Chicken Ranch Burger recipe that's perfect for those hot summer evening barbecues.


UPCOMING EVENTS
AMY BENNETT is ready to launch her new book! On Saturday, July 27, Books, Etc., and independent book store in Ruidoso, NM will be hosting a book signing for my debut mystery novel, “End of the Road” (2012 winner of the Dark Oak Mystery contest) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  The bookstore is located at 2340 Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso, NM 88345.
On Sunday, July 28, the official release party for “End of the Road” will be held at Noisy Water Winery, 2342 Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso, NM.  This event is a wine and cheese reception and is by invitation only (so anyone who might be visiting in the area and would like to attend can visit AMY’s website www.amymbennettbooks.com and request an invitation if space is still available!)  Guests will be offered samples of the winery’s award-winning Jo Mamma’s White sweet white wine which is mentioned in the novel!  Also, anyone who wishes to order signed copies of the book may order them from Noisy Water Winery (which happens to be her part-time employer!)



HELEN OSTERMAN will be at the American Library Association Convention on Sat. July 29 at the Sisters in Crime booth. Mark your calendars! She will be handing out postcards and book marks for her new title, “Locked Within” which is the 5th in the Emma Winberry Series. Helen has a nice webpage: www.helenosterman.com





BLOG CORRAL


JAMES CALLAN, author of “A Ton of Gold,” has a guest blog on Venture Galleries about Tasmania - an island south of the mainland Australia. If you search for JAMES on the link, you will find several good blogs he has done at: www.venturegalleries.com








LORNA COLLINS, author of “Ghost Writer,” writes on her blog about returning from the PSWA conference in Las Vegas and how she really feels about the city. Catch it here http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/ 









P. J. NUNN, author of “Angel Killer,” has some blogs to share with you. On July 17th and 18th you can find her on Marilyn’s Musings.

On July 21st, P. J. will have a spot on Dalene’s Book Review. http://dalenesbookreviews.blogspot.com/







WALTER LUCE, author of “Vermont Bound,” is featured on Romancing the Heart Interviews. He is there all week, folks! Follow this link: http://romancingtheheartinterviews.blogspot.com/










JOHN DANIEL, author of "Behind the Redwood Door," invites everyone to visit his blog this week. He hosts Amy Franklin-Willis, a remarkable, talented novelist. http://johnmdaniel.blogspot.com/ 









This was "MARVA DALE Week" on Cathy's blog at Kittling Books. www.kittlingbooks.com
Monday, 15th was an author interview, Tuesday, 16th was a review of "Death of a Flapper," and Wednesday, 17th was about Life in the Roaring Twenties. You are also invited to check out MARVA’s website at: www.marvadale.webnode.com





That wraps up the Round-Up for this week. I hope everyone enjoys the Weekly Round-Up as much as I enjoy posting it for you.
As always, if you have something you would like to submit to the Round-Up, send me an email at otpoffice@aol.com. Big or small, old or new. I would like to keep our corral full of news! Comments, questions or suggestions are welcome too.
Have a great weekend, everyone.~ Suzi

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Authors From Hell

I am not a publisher but I've been published by several different ones over the years and I've been friends with most of them. They've shared various complaints about what one called "authors from hell."

Believe me, I've tried very hard not to be one of them.

Usually, the biggest problem stems from the fact the author doesn't understand the publishing process. After a publisher accepts a book it doesn't automatically become the publisher's only project. Usually it will be at the end of a line of already accepted books in what is a rather complicated process of preparation for publication. Not all publishers do the same things, but it entails having an illustrator producing the cover, the manuscript edited and sent back to the author to go through it carefully once again, having the manuscript put into the correct format for the content for the print book as well as any e-book editions.

Bugging the publisher about when the book will come out doesn't help. It just takes the publisher away from the process of publishing. Don't expect the impossible. That doesn't mean you can't ask for a possible pub date especially if you want to plan in-person visits and Internet blog tours. But when you get that date, add about a month or even more on before you start setting dates. Why? Because stuff happens--just like it happens to you, it happens to the publisher too. You want to have books in hand before an event; always better to be safe than sorry.

Every author, before submission or soon after acceptance, should have a book blurb--one for the back of the book and one to use in promotion. The author should also have a professional bio for the back of the book--and others too to use in publicity. An author photo is also needed--a professional one is best, but sometimes a good candid photo will work as well. The only person in it should be the author. Why did I put this here? Because some authors aren't prepared with any of this and have to be begged--which puts the author into the "hell" category.

Even though you think your book is certainly better than someone else's, and it might be, it isn't going to get preferential treatment. And in fact, the more you bug, the less likely it will be rushed through. And in fact, some authors have had their contracts terminated because of too much bugging.

Know that the biggest part of promotion is up to you. No matter who publishes you, whether it's a New York publisher or a small press like Oak Tree, you need to get busy planning your promotion and continue it long after it comes outs. One bit of advice we heard at the PSWA conference is, "Your book lives as long as you continue to promote it."

You must realize that people have to know that you have a book out there. Sure, we'd all like to just send out the manuscript and then start with the next book, and you should--but you also need to be promoting at the same time. Try all different kinds of promotion--one kind doesn't suit all. You'll find what works best for you and exploit that--but dabble with other kinds too.

Do Internet promotion--especially if your books is also an e-book and on Kindle and other formats. And don't neglect the in-person events.

Be thankful that you did get published. Yes, many people do it themselves these days--and if they didn't promote, their books would be dead. (And in my opinion, some of those books weren't ready to be published.) I've chosen to be published by two small presses because I do want to have time to write--don't think I could squeeze in the publishing process and creating a cover and doing everything else that needs to be done.

The Golden Rule works for authors too-- treat your publisher like you'd like to be treated.

And yes, I'm working on another Rocky Bluff P.D. novel--reading it to my critique group, will hire an editor once that's done and before I send it in. I'm also planning the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Spirit Shapes, blog tour. And yes, I did sent a short email to the publisher asking for a tentative publishing date to spring from and I did it with two sentences. (That's another no-no, don't write huge long emails to your publisher. Chances are he/she won't read all the way to the end.)

And that's my opinion about keeping out of the fire.

Marilyn