List Post, décembre 2016 + HOLIDAY POEM!

  1. Write my next novel
  2. Get ready for Christmas (at home, this year)
  3. Celebrate the holidays with family and friends
  4. And on Tuesday, December 13 – the Killer Nashville Facebook Page will host my guest blog.

I met KN blog coordinator Tom Wood back in September at the Decatur Book Festival, and he asked me to submit a post for later on…which I did, and Voilà!

I’d love for you to read it and Like it.

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Now, for this year’s verse:

My holiday poem, I’ll try to make short.

The year’s highlights, to you, I’ll describe and report.

Two thousand sixteen will be history soon,

and I’ve time to consider that, this afternoon.

I began the year busy with two new endeavors:

got on Facebook, and found it both easy and clever.

I started my newsletter also, and found

it a way to update you all – all the year ’round.

In the spring, my last book, Daddy’s Girl, was released

and my number of novels out, by one, increased.

In the summer, just after it won an award

My nonfiction book, All the Above, struck a chord

With the public, when I penned an article in

the Atlanta newspaper (called the AJC). Then,

in the fall, I attended three festivals where

I met readers and authors and others who share

in the interest of stories, both made-up and true.

I had fun, and ’twas hard, to them all, bid adieu.

I will close with my wishes of love and good cheer.

Joyeuses fêtes de Noel and a Happy New Year!

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Deciding what to read…and a flashback!

Start to finish, it takes (me) about two forevers to write a book. Then, when it’s finished, it gets dropped into the ocean of everything that’s available for people to read: books (in tons of genres, fiction and nonfiction); news articles/newsfeed; essays and opinion pieces; blog posts; social media updates on Facebook, Twitter, etc.; and even short stories, flash fiction and poems.

And that’s not all. There’s also entertainment like films, TV, videos, and plays–yes, plays– that pull us away from the printed written word on a page or device. So when I finish writing a book (make that, birthing my baby, because when you’re writing a book, it feels like you’re having a baby), I know it’s competing with a gazillion other things out there, to catch your eye and your attention.

So – how do I get you (y’all, and more important, all of y’all) to give my book a chance, for your time? How do I get it in front of you, even as one of your options? It’s hard, Mesdames et Messieurs. It’s quite hard.

Flashback to the 90s, when I had little kids at home, and very little time to read. But I did read. I read in the carpool line, and before I went to sleep. I read at the park. I didn’t have a device or even a laptop, and I spent little time at the desktop computer we owned. I watched movies and some TV, but I liked to read. A lot.

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My four enfants (kids) on a family trip to San Francisco in the 1990s

How did I find books to read back then? Good books, that is – books that I was going to enjoy and remember? I had little time to myself, and even less to spend in those big fancy bookstores that were coming into vogue. I remember one time I got a generous gift card to spend at one of them, and I had a little time to browse while one kid was at a piano lesson, another was at dance, and the other two were at soccer. I walked into the fiction section and began to walk down the aisles.

I wanted to make some good choices; I was BUYING some books for me, and I didn’t want to regret my purchases. But I wasn’t in a book club, nor had I heard what the new must-have novels were. I was suspicious of anything positioned at the front of the store; maybe there was something for me there, but maybe not. I didn’t have time to watch Oprah, so I didn’t know what she was pushing. All I had read recently were classics that we already owned, that I either hadn’t read, or had read (but didn’t remember), or that my oldest kids were reading in school. But I didn’t want to buy a classic that day. I wanted something new and something great.

I wanted to discover something.

The clock ticked by and I made my selections. I don’t know if I wandered back to the front and picked up a best seller, or took a chance on a book whose cover I liked. Maybe I bought something written by someone whose other books I had already read and liked, such as Peter Mayle, Maeve Binchy, Ferrol Sams, David Sedaris, or Nicholas Sparks. Back then (and now) I read (and read) lots of different genres. It was great to find something new I liked, and tell people I knew about it. And now that I’m an author, that’s just what I want readers of my books to do (if they like my books, that is): tell others about them.

Even though what I like may not be what you like (or even, what I write may not be what you like), talking about books seems fun to me. I may give what you recommend a chance, and love it. But even if I don’t love it, I’ve tried it. I’ve sampled something new. I’ve given something a chance for my attention (and my brain) that somebody, somewhere sat down to write. And it may have taken them a couple of forevers to finish it.

I’ve tried my best to get the books I’ve written in front of potential readers. I’ve set up and appeared at book signings. I’ve participated in book festivals and served on panels. I’ve sent out emails, newsletters, and updates to my friends on Facebook, and followers on Twitter and Instagram. I’ve offered my books as free downloads and giveaways, produced book trailers, and thrown parties. The publisher of my suspense novel UNDERWATER has done a great job promoting it and has included it in various promotions and Kindle deals. And I’ve asked readers to write and post reviews of my books on Amazon and Goodreads.

I hope that if you discover my books, you enjoy reading them. In different genres, two are written in first person, and one in third, with multiple points of view. Two are novels (fiction) and one is a true story (memoir). My fourth book, another suspense novel, will be published very soon. Lately, I’ve begun writing my fifth book, a novel. My characters are clear in my head (and on paper), and so are some of their conflicts. But I’m still struggling with some pieces of the plot.

If you’ve read this far, you like reading; you might even love it. If you don’t love my books, or my writing, then I hope you find something in them to like–no matter how different they might be from what you expect, or usually read, like, love, or see at the front of the bookstore, in Costco, in People magazine, or on Oprah (is she still doing that?). With each book, there was a day that I got up in the morning, sat down in front of a blank computer screen, and tapped the first letter. And, IF you read one of my stories and like it, I hope you will take the time to write a review of it on Amazon. Don’t worry about exactly what to say. I promise it won’t take much time to do. I recently wrote a review of a book I had read, and it took me about five minutes.

Because what gets a book to buoy up to the surface of the reading (and entertainment) ocean–and stay there, for a while–is the number of reviews it has (and not what they say, exactly). The more reviews, the more people who find the book somehow start to think, “Hmm. That might be interesting, because so many other people thought it was.” They also know that many more people (than the number of reviewers) bought the book as well, but didn’t review it.

S’il vous plaît…Just do it. Because I did.

Merci!

List Post, mars 2016 (March)

  • If you haven’t already, please SIGN UP for my bimonthly Newsletter! (See “Newsletter” under “For Readers”). This month’s edition out very soon!
  • Announcing a TITLE CHANGE for Book 4, a women’s fiction/psychological suspense novel! It’s no longer called A ZERO-SUM GAME. New title is better and shorter. As you might guess from the below, two characters’ names are Valerie and June. I don’t know how I came up with those names – but they worked.
  • No travels this month – so I hope to get lots of writing done. Then, I’ve got long weekends away in April, May, and June. Destinations: Texas – bro-in-law’s wedding; North Carolina – a “Sisters in Crime” (writers organization) presentation I’m doing with another Georgia author; Las Vegas – a sis-in-law’s (big) birthday celebration!
  • Book 5 (work in progress) update: I’m not even ten thousand words in (yet), but it’s taking shape…
  • Glad to serve as Publicity Chair for the Atlanta Chapter of Sisters in Crime. If you live in the area and receive a “Neighbor Newspaper,” check it for details on our monthly meetings!
  • Looking forward to connecting with a local reporter about a piece on my book ALL THE ABOVE: MY SON’S BATTLE WITH BRAIN CANCER and its nomination for the Georgia Author of the Year Award in the Memoir/Autobiography category!

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Page and Word count (and other things) about my next novel, out soon. It’s finished!

 

 

List Post: Nouvelle Année – janvier 2016

  • Read my author interview by fellow Sister in Crime author Linda Sands on Wednesday, January 13 on her blog. I’ll be answering Linda’s funky questions about my book ALL THE ABOVE.
  • Then on Thursday and Friday, January 14 and 15, fellow Atlanta Writers Club member and author Rona Simmons will host me on the Virtual Village Book Festival on Facebook. From 10 am on 1/14 to 5 pm on 1/15, you can ask me questions on this interactive event!
  • Book 4 is ready! (See word count details below.) I’ll be revealing the TITLE soon. Estimated release date: late February or early March 2016.

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AND — 

Since this is my second “Nouvelle Année” Post, I thought I would look back to a year ago and add comments and updates. Here is what I wrote in January 2015. Comments are in blue.

  • Almost finished UN-decorating the house for the holiday season (This year, I got it done on the last day of 2015. Because I spent Christmas in France, there was less to take down.)
  • Writing back on schedule, after more than two weeks when I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was (Hmm..getting back on track TODAY!)
  • Several signed copies of UNDERWATER are available for purchase at Dunwoody Bakery, open Wednesdays through Saturdays (Alas, the bakery closed last year. If you would like a signed copy of UNDERWATER or ALL THE ABOVE, contact me, or order via PayPal on my Home page). 
  • Looking forward to my “Member Minute” talk at the Atlanta Writers Club meeting on January 17, 2015 at 1:30 pm, at Georgia Perimeter College (This year, I’ll be doing two virtual events in January – see above.)
  • On the horizon: My appearance at the Augusta Literary Festival on March 6-7. Looking forward to attending, meeting readers and signing books (No festivals coming up as of yet in 2016, but I’ll keep you posted.)
  • Planning the release of my work of creative nonfiction, titled ALL THE ABOVE this spring (It came out on March 24, 2015!)
  • Resolving to step up my exercise routine this year (Ditto.)
  • Cheering for the Cowboys and the Seahawks during the NFL playoffs (Not sure about this yet – Still celebrating Falcons victory over the Panthers!)
  • Happy that I’m traveling to Chapel Hill, NC in April and in May (I’ll be in the area this year in May again, and may be before.)
  • Glad to share family news with close friends and family. (Last year began with that good news.)

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Finally – a postscript for all you “Pizza and a Movie” post followers:

My Top 5 Movies of 2015:

  1. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  2. Bridge of Spies
  3. The Gift
  4. Brooklyn
  5. Inside Out

And – here are 5 Movies I missed seeing, and want to see:

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Martian
  3. Creed
  4. Steve Jobs
  5. The Big Short *

*Actually, I saw this just after Christmas in France, but it was dubbed in French. I understood it 😀  – but still want to see the English language version soon.

 

List Post: octobre 2015

It’s only October 2nd, but I’m going to be so busy this month that if I don’t get this done now, it won’t happen.

  • It’s Promotion month for UNDERWATER: Yesterday through October 31st, you can download my Suspense novel set in my home town of Atlanta for only $1.99! UNDERWATER is an Amazon HALLOWEEN KINDLE BOOK DEAL. Look for it under Mysteries/Suspense — Suspense — Psychological!

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  • My trip to Raleigh is fast approaching! I’ll be a “Dark Romance and Dark Smiles” Panelist at Bouchercon next Friday at 10:00 a.m, and the next day I’ll be at the New Author Breakfast bright and early at 7:00 a.m.!
  • Note: even though I’m a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, I once worked in Durham, have visited Duke, and have flown in and out of RDU several times, this will be my very first trip to the state capital of Raleigh. I hear it’s nice. And I feel pretty comfortable in that neck of the woods, anyway.
  • My other appearances this month include the Book and Art Fair in Griffin GA Oct 16-18; book signing with fellow Sister in Crime Hank Phillippi Ryan at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock GA Oct 21; and book signing at the Marietta Queen of Hearts Antiques & Interiors Oct 24 with authors Valerie Connors & Mike Buchanan. (See News and Events for times and details.)
  • At the end of the month, I’ll be at the Killer Nashville International Writers Conference with some Atlanta Sisters in Crime! My first time at this conference, and my third time ever (I think) in Nashville!
  • November Preview: in between 2 quick trips to Florida (I hope) I’ll appear yet again with some Sisters at the Ansley Book Club Meeting in Atlanta! Details to come.
  • Quoi d’autre? What else? Watching football, of course!

List Post, mai 2015 (May)

It’s May! What? How did that happen?!?

  • Must Quote my latest 5 star review of  ALL THE ABOVE: My son’s battle with brain cancer“This book shows what Amazon should be all about – really well-written, personal story with depth and insight. This family is so likable. Very engaging prose, and thankfully, as it is a true account, a happy outcome. Thanks to the author for sharing her work. An absolute privilege to read it. Best of luck.” 
  • Writing WIP now has a TITLE*! and is almost DONE!
  • Counting the responses to join my STREET TEAM! THANKS, Y’ALL! ….Surprises coming….!
  • Hopeful that I will hear back from a local bookstore about a signing coming up on a Saturday afternoon. Will keep you posted.
  • Making plans to join some of my Atlanta Sisters in Crime fellow authors sisters at Fayette County Public Library on July 25!
  • Great to see ratings/reviews on Goodreads of ALL THE ABOVE, and the quote listed below…
  • Very, very happy to receive a handwritten note from AmazonCrossing in Munich, Germany about UNTER WASSER! Warm wishes! Scroll down…
  • Getting book ideas from a new member of my French conversation class, happy to know she had heard of me and my books at her Atlanta country club, and just as happy she wants signed copies of UNDERWATER & ALL THE ABOVE at next week’s class!

* Title to be revealed at a later date…

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Join my Street Team!

I’d like to invite you to be a member of my Street Team! 

Once you join, you’ll receive my undying gratitude PLUS some cool surprises!

Click HERE to go directly to my new STREET TEAM TAB, learn the details, and fill out the Contact Form to request to be a member!

Merci mille fois!

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List Post, avril 2015 (April)

It’s a short list, but it’s a list!

  • Going to BUFORD, GA today from 4 to 8 pm with other local authors to participate in “Drop Everything and Read Month” at Queen of Hearts Antiques & Interiors! Come pick up signed copies of UNDERWATER & ALL THE ABOVE!
  • Thrilled with the responses so far about ALL THE ABOVE: My son’s battle with brain cancer. A reader: “Reads like a mystery…I was riveted by it…” FIVE STARS
  • Writing WIP (work in progress) daily, the end is in sight!
  • Reaching readers with a message about ALL THE ABOVE with more info about it…
  • Can’t wait to attend UNC Relay for Life in Chapel Hill on April 17! Help win the fight against cancer! More Birthdays!

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List Post, mars 2015 (March)

  • Writing steadily…more on that later.
  • Enjoyed meeting authors and signing books at the 2015 Augusta Literary Festival! Thanks, y’all! Google the Augusta Chronicle for photos in its Sunday edition of March 8, 2015.
  • Looking forward to a research trip to Dallas this month.
  • Can’t wait to see the proof I ordered of ALL THE ABOVE, approve it, and release it on Amazon in paperback and Kindle!
  • Happy that UNDERWATER now has 60 customer reviews! If you enjoyed it, please add yours! Germany, you too!
  • In touch with the American Cancer Society to promote what they do and to publicize ALL THE ABOVE, the story of my son’s journey with brain cancer.
  • AND – grateful to UGA Relay for Life and UNC Relay for Life for posting info and photos about ALL THE ABOVE ahead of its release on March 31! Both events take place on April 17, 2015 – I will be at one, but wish I could be at both. More birthdays!!!
  • Waiting to hear from the German Cultural Center in Atlanta about a possible book signing – I have several copies of UNTER WASSER (UNDERWATER in German) that I’d love to sign. They have a book club, too!
  • Noticed it? My website TABS have changed. Check out ALL THE ABOVE – FAQ and BOOK CLUBS, with a “Contact me” form!

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