Monday, September 22, 2008

As the Notepad Turns

Weird feeling today ... I'm an interviewee instead of an interviewer. After 20-plus years as a journalist, I now know how it feels to be the one who has to come up with the answers instead of the questions.

The questions are easier!

Julia Buckley, a fellow mystery novelist and interviewer extraordinaire, helped me kick off Mama Does Time by kindly posting an absolutely FAB profile of me on Mysterious Musings .
She has about a hundred other author interviews on the site. I'm thrilled to be in such impressive company.

See book cover above for the kind of SCARY stuff Julia writes. Still, she was very sweet and not at all condescending toward my little ol' story about three country gals and their Mama getting into mischief in down-home Florida.

I've said it once, I'll say it again: Mystery writers are the most generous people on the planet!

Monday, September 15, 2008

How cool is this? I'm an "Author Talk!''

Writing and publishing dynamo Shelley Lieber is making me her first interview subject in a new teleconference series, "Author Talks.''

Pretty cool, huh?

Click here to reserve a spot for this interactive teleseminar. Do it now, because space is limited. Chat with us Tues, Oct. 7, from 7 to 8:30 pm (and yes, you can bag out before the end. I'll never know).

Phone in, ask questions about writing, publishing, how I created my series debut, Mama Does Time. Heck, you can even harangue me. There should be some payback for all my years as a reporter, firing the hardballs at quaking interviewees. (Full disclosure: No one ever quaked.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Let me Propose a Toast ...

Public speaking: Terror. Nausea. Failure.

Can I get a show of hands?

How many writers are ridden with anxiety at the idea of getting up to speak before a crowd? Fearful they'll open their mouths and nothing will come out ... terrified their voice will issue forth as a squeak, they'll forget what they wanted to say, they'll have to run to the bathroom and hurl?

I know. If we were meant to be speakers, God wouldn't have given us the ability to write.

I have one word for my fellow scaredey-cats: Toastmasters.

I've been attending for about three months. Last night, I walked into a new club where I didn't know a soul, and gave a speech about how I'm learning to sell myself. Didn't throw up. Did get some laughs.

Find yourself a local club (there are almost 12,000 in the USA and 90 other countries). Pay a visit, with no obligation. You'll learn something about public speaking, I guarantee it. You'll get the chance to practice -- before you have to stand up at a convention or a signing and speak in order to sell your books. Believe it or not, you may even enjoy it.

But just in case, they keep the barf bags beneath the podium.

Nah, just kidding. They stash them under the seats.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mama Gets Hitched

I'm deep into Book No. 3 in the Mace Bauer Mystery series, Mama Gets Hitched.
In this one, Mama's about to get married . . . again. She's planning the Wedding of the Century in little Himmarshee, Fla. Of course, things wouldn't be Mama without some mischief and some murder.
The mischief involves the God-awful bridesmaid dresses Mama inflicts on her three grown girls. Seeing no reason to forego the pomp, even if it is the fifth time she's tied the sacred knot, Mama wants a Gone with the Wind themed wedding. Parasols. Ruffles in the extreme. And her pet Pomeranian, Teensy, in a satin ring-bearer's vest and top hat to match the gals' sherbet-colored gowns.
The tomboyish Mace, of course, is horrified.
But the over-the-top nuptials aren't the worst of it: Mace finds Mama's caterer stabbed to death in the kitchen of the VFW. And there are almost as many suspects as Mama's had husbands.
Here's the question: Can Mace keep the villain from killing again? Or will both Mama and her wedding be Gone with the Wind?