List Post, mai 2017 (May)

May is a busy month. It’s when the school year ends (in the south, anyway), and when graduations happen. Mother’s Day falls in May, Memorial Day weekend occurs, and summer vacation is just around the corner. In my family, there are several May birthdays, at least one wedding anniversary, and this year, there was an engagement announcement. It’s also Brain Tumor Awareness month.

I don’t have any author events scheduled this month, but on Saturday, June 10, I’ll join other local “Sisters in Crime” authors in a panel discussion about publishing at the Decatur Library (see my News & Events page for details).

Earlier this month, I scheduled a photo shoot with the fabulous and talented photographer, Lynn Crow. I needed a professional, updated headshot (not taken by an iPhone) to submit to mystery writers’ conference Bouchercon for its program. I’ll appear at the conference later this year in Toronto.

Lynn had me meet her at the Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta to shoot the photos. When she sent me the proofs, I thought I knew which one I should choose for the headshot. However, I liked several, and after I narrowed them down, I asked my Facebook friends to vote for their favorite.

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The one above is the winner, 18-6, by my count, and it’s the one I thought I should select. Second place was the one below. I sent the winner to the Bouchercon folks, but I can always crop the “brick wall” one for a closeup headshot alternative for other occasions. I used the other photos (slideshow below) on my website, social media sites, and Amazon author page. And there are a few other (so far, unpublished) proofs I’ve saved in case I need them later.

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All in all, I’m glad I had this done. I’d had a previous headshot (only) taken by a different photogragher a few years ago, but since then, I’ve lost a lot of weight. The only other time I’ve had professional photos taken was in my wedding dress when I was engaged to be married, over 35 years ago. I’ve always wished that I’d had more taken (or chosen to keep the proofs). But I had a very limited budget then, and didn’t realize how much I’d want to see those photos later on.

It’s different now that photos are much less expensive and easier to share. I’m more often the one behind the (iPhone) camera, rather than in front of it, and I’m more comfortable with words than images. But I’m happy to share these, and I hope they reflect something about me.

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List Post, octobre 2016

October is my favorite month of the year! 🎃

  • I’m hard at work on my next novel. It’s got a working title I really like, and I hope I can live up to it. Characters are shaping up nicely…
  • On Saturday, October 15 from 2 – 4 pm, I’ll join my pal, SC author David Burnsworth, for a book signing together at Eagle Eye Book Shop called “Southern Authors.” This wonderful bookstore is located at 2076 North Decatur Road in Decatur, Georgia. David and I previously teamed up this year to do a presentation for the NC Triad “Murder We Write” chapter of writers organization Sisters in Crime (of which we are both members).

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  • Publicity! In case you missed my last blog post, click HERE for an article in the “Good Books” section of Northside Woman magazine about me and my book ALL THE ABOVE by Kathy Des Jardins Cioffi (an interview, mostly). The magazine caters to North Fulton and Forsyth counties, north of Atlanta!

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List Post, septembre 2016

Better late than never!

  • Activities this month (so far):
    • AJC Decatur Book Festival:
      • Atlanta Writers Club Thriller Panel
      • Signed books at Eagle Eye Book Shop tent, the Atlanta Writers Club booth and Sisters in Crime booth

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  • Sisters in Crime, Atlanta Chapter meeting:
    • “Marketing and Publicity Secrets and Tips” Panel with 4 other Sisters

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  • Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in NOLA (New Orleans):
    • “Watch that Man – Thriller” Panel, signed books afterward
    • Happy Hour at the House of Blues Voodoo Garden, hosted by my publisher Thomas & Mercer
    • Drinking, dining and fun connecting with other authors and wandering around the French Quarter

With my pal author Emily Drake Carpenter at the Happy Hour party

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  • CURE Childhood Cancer’s Quiet Heroes Luncheon:
    • Wonderful silent auction and program given by CURE for moms and dads of cancer patients, survivors, and children who lost their battle with cancer
    • Met some incredible women who help raise money for cancer research and find a cure (two of whom I am with, below)

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  • Activities coming up: 
    • 2016 Cooper O’Brien Memorial Golf Tournament, Dinner and Silent Auction: I was invited and will attend this event on Sept. 27
    • Preview for October: Author Appreciation Reception hosted by the Georgia Libraries Association in Athens, Ga; Book signing at Eagle Eye Book Shop; and LOOK FOR AN INTERVIEW ARTICLE on me by Kathy Cioffi in the GOOD BOOKS section of the OCTOBER issue of NORTHSIDE WOMAN MAGAZINE!

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P.S. Latest “Wine with Wendy on Wednesdays” Post coming up soon, too!

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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!

 

 

My new motto, grâce à Steve Martin

One of my “Sisters in Crime,”* a talented editor, posted this quote on Facebook today:

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

– Steve Martin

Good advice for any field, she said. However, I’m going further. I’m making it my (new) motto.

Some things to know about writing books are:

  1. A gazillion other people are doing it;
  2. Not all of those other people are publishing independently (self-publishing) – about half of all books now are self-published, with the other half published by a small, medium, or large press;
  3. No matter who you are, how your work is published, or what you do, it’s very difficult to stand out (not be ignored) – and, if you’ve self-published anything, no matter how good it is, you’re likely to be viewed as not good enough;
  4. People are reading less and less (well, not everybody, but lots) and spending more time watching movies, TV, and on other media;
  5. Even if your work is really, really good, there’s no guarantee it will get noticed.

I’ve self-published fiction and nonfiction, and my (originally self-published) novel UNDERWATER was acquired and rereleased by a traditional publisher.** Somehow, they found it (I didn’t approach them). Was it so good that they – “they” – couldn’t ignore it? I don’t know, but I did the best job I could, writing it.

My next book (ALL THE ABOVE) was already written, edited, and ready for publication when that novel was rereleased. But I waited a few months before publishing it, myself. I wanted it to be so good that it wouldn’t get ignored.

Over the previous two years, I had poured my heart into writing ALL THE ABOVE. I got feedback from my writers’ group, beta readers, and my freelance editor. I made all the recommended changes. I combed through it for mistakes and typos. I paid attention to the details. I wrote the back cover copy, and approved the design created by my cover artist. Last March, I released it in paperback and on Kindle. Since then, it’s been selling steadily and has received 24 Reviews on Amazon.

It’s hard to get noticed, to stand out, and not to be ignored. But I’m inspired now, to be so good that they can’t ignore me.

One word at a time.

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*A national mystery/thriller writers organization

**Thomas & Mercer

 

It’s about time: an (author) challenge, and two invitations

For my 200th blog post (?!?!!!) – 

  1. I’m sharing author Linda Sands’ 10 for 10 Author Challenge  who is hosting me on her blog today! Linda is my friend and fellow Atlanta “Sister in Crime.” Click to read her take on me, and my answers to her 10 funky questions that you won’t find anywhere else! Here’s an example: “Your book is going to be a movie. Hooray. You get to cast the lead characters.” (What author hasn’t dreamed of that one?)
  2. And – in honor of another friend and “Sister in Crime,” author Anne Marie Stoddard‘s presentation at our last “SinC” meeting – I’ve just (finally) created my personal profile Facebook page! Please visit it and “friend” me (and when you do, I’ll invite you to “Like” my Facebook author (fan) page). And – connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!  
  3. AND…you’re invited to a Virtual Village Book Festival Facebook Event tomorrow and Friday, Jan. 14 and 15, where I’ll be hosted by author Rona Simmons, an Atlanta Writers Club pal and historical fiction author! As a BONUS, a 5 minute audio excerpt of my book ALL THE ABOVE: My son’s battle with brain cancer recorded by audiobook narrator, actor and singer Janet Metzger will be available, too. Visit her website to hear the excerpt today! Janet and I would love to chat with you during this two-day online book festival! 

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Well – if not exactly “flakes,” they’re writers, artists, and social media mavens!

 

 

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, août 2015 (August)

Zut! August is almost over, and I haven’t done a list post for it yet!

Things have been cooking this month, so…

Voilà: 

  • Signing copies of UNDERWATER and ALL THE ABOVE at this year’s Decatur Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 4:00 to 5:00 at the Atlanta Writers Club booth!
  • Looking forward to serving on the Atlanta Writers Club Thriller Panel the next day, Sunday, Sept. 6 from 12:00 to 12:45 at the CITY HALL STAGE, then signing books again.
  • Enfin, moderating the AWC Urban Fantasy Panel the same day from 2:30 to 3:15 at the MARRIOTT CONFERENCE CENTER AUDITORIUM.

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  • Speaking about my books on a panel at the Atlanta Sisters in Crime meeting on Saturday Sept. 12 from 10:30 to 12:30 with sister authors Sharon Marchisello, Lane Stone, Mary Anne Edwards, and Fran Stewart.
  • Going to Bouchercon 2015 world mystery convention in Raleigh, North Carolina from Oct. 8 – 11 (more on this later)!

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  • Looking forward to meeting readers and signing books at the Book & Art Fair in Griffin, Georgia from Oct. 16 – 18.
  • Appearing at FoxTale Book Shoppe on Oct. 21 in Woodstock, Georgia with bestselling author Hank Phillippi Ryan and some other Sisters in Crime authors!

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List Post, juillet 2015 (July)

More than halfway through 2015!?!?!

  • So happy to read my latest REVIEW on UNDERWATER (5 STARS!): “Very well written and suspenseful. Puts you on the edge of your seat. Looking for more by this author! Amazing.” Thanks!
  • Looking forward to Sunday Sept. 6, when I’ll be a Mystery/Thriller Panelist at the Decatur Book Festival! Check the website often for updates on the festival schedule. 
  • Preparing for 2 July Book Signing Events: Saturday July 18 from 12;00 to 3:00 at Crema Espresso Gourmet in Dunwoody, GA (Mt. Vernon & Jett Ferry), and Saturday July 25 from 1:00 to 4:00 at the Fayette County Public Library,where I’ll join some of my Sisters in Crime for a panel.

ATL SinC Salon 25-Jul-2015 FCPL

 

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