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book club at tableAs I settle into my third year of snow-birding in Florida, I continue to work with my writing group back in Massachusetts by emailing chapters back and forth, soliciting comments and suggestions. Our system seems to work very well, and in fact, I think we’re more productive!

The comedic light bulb above my head blinked on that I shouldn’t sacrifice face to face critiquing sessions simply because I’m 1500 miles from home, and so I googled writing groups in Pinellas County. I was pleasantly surprised to learn several exist within a few miles of me:

Pinellas Writers, Largo … Saturday mornings

Gulf Beaches Library Writers Group, Madeira Beach … Monday mornings

Clearwater Writers Meet-up Group, Clearwater … Monday evenings

Now that I’m penning the 4th story in my mystery series, other pairs of eyes reading my words would ensure that this story can stand alone if a reader delves into the adventures of my amateur sleuth out of sequence.

And so, I need to choose one of these groups and make the commitment to close down my tablet, walk out my door, get into the SUV, and drive to a meeting!

 

 

 

A_Woman_Reading_Papers_At_Her_DeskWhenever the members of our writers group are unavailable for a face-to-face meeting at alternating houses or libraries located between us, we have found that emailing our chapters for critique works very well.

Over the years, we’ve developed a system that provides suggestions to add, delete, or adjust wording.

Yellow Highlighted … suggests words or phrases that could be eliminated without losing the gist of the story.

Black Bolded … provides either alternate wording or phrasing for the yellow highlighted section or suggests additional words or phrases that will clarify the story.

Green Bolded … this indicates words or phrases that have been moved to another paragraph, scene, or chapter to re-sequence the timing for cause and effect.

RED BOLDED CAPS … questions to the author about the story.

If your writers group has developed a system of critiquing clues, I’d love to hear about it!

Writers groups are precious… treat them with care!

 

 

 

Readers in the southeastern MA area, please join me plus authors Paula Norton and Ray Anderson at the Ames Free Library in Easton on Oct 7, 6pm for a lively panel discussion about writing mysteries and thrillers.

Hope to see you there!

 

Mystery Author Panel Flyer AMES

imagesThis Wednesday afternoon, I’m returning to Upton, MA, to participate in a follow-up interview with Jan Lewis, hostess of the Upton local cable show ‘Be My Guest’. We’ll be talking about the 3rd story in my Gwen Andrews mystery series ‘Bed, Breakfast, & Blackmail’.

All you writers who follow my blog should actively pursue the local cable shows in your town and surrounding towns. You never know if you’ll find an outlet to spread the news about your latest story!

As soon as the station advises that editing is completed, I’ll provide the link to the interview on their website.

So exciting!

I recently participated in an interview with a local radio host in Attleboro, MA. That interview has now been uploaded to the stations’ website. If you’d like to have a listen, here is the link: http://www.wararadio.com/?powerpress_pinw=4388-podcast

The path to this interview was a winding road!  You may not be aware that in addition to writing mysteries, I sing in a female barbershop quartet called ‘Serendipity’. On occasion, we perform with a larger chorus Notable Blend. Last year, the chorus came on the local radio show to publicize their upcoming Christmas show, and I tagged along with them.

After the show ended, I approached the host Dominic and asked if he ever interviews authors. He said he did, so I jumped right in and explained my efforts as a mystery writer. He was very interested, but we experienced delays scheduling me for an interview. After many calendar conflicts, he was able to squeeze me into his morning show at the end of July.

Here’s my challenge to other writers who follow my blog… call your local radio station and ask if you can be scheduled for an interview. Dominic advised that many of his loyal listeners are avid readers, and very interested in authors.

To use an old cliche ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained.’

Enjoy the interview!

Debi

 

BB&B front cover croppedI’m thrilled to announce that the 3rd story in the Gwen Andrews series is finally published!

In ‘Bed, Breakfast, & Blackmail’, Gwen arrives at the Harbor Falls B&B expecting an evening of food and fun at the garden club’s Christmas party. What she learns is that their resident ghost is wreaking havoc. Next she overhears a blackmail threat. And then one of the prickly club members falls down the back servant steps. Gwen is enlisted to determine whether mortal or spectral hands were responsible, all the while juggling her personal life as one man exits and another enters.

A parallel cold case, a detective besotted with Gwen, and the spirit of her deceased husband intensify the hunt. As Gwen moves ever closer toward the culprit, her biggest challenge may be her own survival.

‘Bed, Breakfast, & Blackmail’ is available on Amazon as both softcover and eBook.

Happy reading!

BB&B front cover croppedSo excited to open my inbox yesterday and find an email from my editor/publisher Stephanie Blackman, owner of Riverhaven Books in Whitman, MA! As scheduled in our contract, yesterday was the due date for her to provide me with suggestions to fine-tune ‘Bed, Breakfast,  & Blackmail’.

So far, her suggestions have been small adjustments, with no major changes to plot, characters, or basic writing technique. My plan is to continue the review process through the weekend, and zip this file back to her bright and early on Monday morning.

After she finalizes the adjustments, she’ll request the galley copy which I will need to review with the proverbial fine-toothed comb before advising any final changes. Steph will then upload to Amazon and order printed copies from the local print shop on my behalf.

Looking forward to the day when I hold the actual book in my hands… nothing more satisfying for an author!

And then the marketing efforts begin!