It's been eleven years since Liz and I started this journey of writing stories and wishing the publishing fairies would pick up our book. Through dogged determination, we found a publisher.
Black Opal Books published our baby in 2017. The Silk Shroud is the first in a series starring intrepid Private Investigator Dorothy Dennehy. Book number two Lightning Strike is in our publisher's hands and we are waiting on the edits. (No pressure Black Opal).
Our work in progress will be the third in the series, yet to have a title. We're in the planning stage with plots off in left field and doing profiles on our characters. Writing collaboratively means the work gets finished quickly. Right? Wrong. Liz still works in the corporate jungle and commutes daily to her job. (Might I say, her paid job)
I, on the other hand, am retired from the said jungle, but started a home renovation a year ago and all that entails. It is now finished and I should be able to concentrate on writing. I say should be but I'm easily distracted. The garden is finished, paperwork and filing accomplished. The car has been serviced and there is little to do in my reno'd home.
So what's holding me up? Apart from the usual insecurities that writers have! I think the problem is my computer. I know, I know. Never blame the tools.
I have worked on a Microsoft laptop for years and it is always breaking down but it still works. When I fixed up my office just the way I wanted it I bought a lovely Mac desktop with an extra monitor that is perfect when you write collaboratively.
I should have taken lessons when I bought it. It looks beautiful! But there are a few different bells and whistles on it. Grandsons will have to come to the rescue. So until I figure out how to work it I will plod away on this old computer.
Did I tell you I am a rotten typist? Liz on the other hand types as her stream of thoughts pours onto the screen. I give my two pointing fingers a good workout.
One of my jobs in our partnership is marketing. I have been slacking on the job so need to get the lead out. Promotion and getting the word out about your book can be daunting and there is always the fear that you are annoying people with your constant exposure. I enjoy book signing where I can meet the reader and chat with them. So I will concentrate on this form of promotion for now.
While waiting on the edits from Black Opal books I have fun putting a face to a couple of new characters. Finding images on Google for a fifty-year-old male, George Clooney kept appearing. This helps to get a handle on your character but as my guy is a killer perhaps I'd better try another!
There are many conferences we would like to attend this year and next as they are a wonderful source of contacts and networking opportunities. I have bought tickets to a writers festival in Prince Edward County called 'Women Killing It" held on the Labour day weekend in September. Killing two birds with one stone as I will be visiting an old friend who lives in that neighborhood.Looking forward to meeting one of my favourite writers, Gail Bowen of the Joanna Kilbourne series.
My favourite new author is Deborah Crombie. I picked up one of her books at the Bouchercon conference last fall. My to be read pile is huge but I am getting through them.
Now I want to read them all. For a native Texan, she has British police procedural down pat. What a gift. And the tension. Fantastic stuff. The book I read is called 'To Dwell in Darkness'. Only sixteen more to go.
Ok, enough procrastinating. Back to finding another George Clooney.
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Monday, February 5, 2018
How Do You Spell Paradise? CUBA!
Returned home yesterday from a weeklong stay in beautiful Cayo Coco, Cuba. Six family members, including my granddaughter Makenna and grandson Max and their parents, have enjoyed a most memorable week in sun-soaked Cuba. This was my first trip, long a contender for top spot on my personal bucket list and I can say I was not disappointed. No jet lag, just weather lag having to return to that other “s” word – SNOW!
|My first view of the beach when we arrived|
My son and his wife have been before, and my daughter let us know that she had previously stayed at Memories Flamenco and gave it a very high rating compared to other Cuban destinations she’s been.
While some days were not as sunny as others, we certainly managed to spend quality time pool side and on the beautiful beach.
Accommodations were comfortable, if a little spartan, but spotlessly cleaned daily. The buffet provided an astonishing array of tempting dishes. Learning to arrive early each morning for breakfast ensured a short wait for yummy omelettes made to order. “And some hot sauce Señora?” Absolutely!
Cold cuts, pasta, salads and countless vegetable sides meant no one left hungry. As well most nights we were serenaded by singers with amazing talent. Assorted pastries, cakes and ice cream covered any dessert requirements as well.
For those times between meals, a 24-hour snack bar provided pizza and French fries among other staples.
Drinks of all varieties were plentiful, of course rum being the mainstay for the island! In reflection, based on how busy the many bartenders and wait staff were I’m amazed that I don’t recall any unpleasant inebriated behaviour during the whole week.
Another item on my bucket list has been the wish to ride a horse along a beach. That wish came to fruition as well. For 15 pesos each, we were able to ride gentle steeds for an hour along the beach. Unfortunately for me as soon as I settled in the saddle I knew it wasn’t going to be all that pleasant. Arthritis in my hips and back meant an uncomfortable ride and the assistance of two very manly cowboys to retrieve me from my perch at the end of it. However Max and Makenna took to the ride like ducks to water.
The kids were excited with their find of a not-so-empty coconut. It was full of teeny hermit crabs, each sporting the smallest of shells as their first 'home'.
Settling in beach chairs along either the water’s edge or pool side afforded ample opportunity for people-watching behind darkened sun glasses. And the kids had a variety of activities to keep them interested, although the ocean and pool never seems to grow old for them!
And who doesn't go to the beach to get buried?
But really, it was the Cuban people themselves who made the trip the wonderful time it was. So warm, friendly and genuine. And so appreciative of any gratuities, whether in cash, or gifts of toiletries or gently worn clothing. We certainly take a lot for granted in North America and somehow think those in less affluent areas couldn’t possibly be happy. These beautiful people may not have the luxuries or incomes we do, but they have a lot more sense of appreciation and humility that we are often sadly lacking.
I managed to read four whole books during that week – an unheard of feat these days when I can barely manage a page or two at bedtime before dropping into a coma!
But now that reality has reared its ugly head once again, I’ll be back to the 8-4 grind on Wednesday and striving to keep pace with Pam and get the sequel to The Silk Shroud prepped and ready to send to the publisher.
Monday, January 15, 2018
Its been three months since our last post. The Bouchercon conference in downtown Toronto seems like a dream already. Meeting other writers and readers from all around the world and listening to the different panels from authors we admire kept the fires burning with ideas and plans to finish our next book.
But the best-laid plans... I flew off to Scotland for a wedding and Liz was dealing with some restructuring at work. I had started a renovation of my townhouse in June...and its still going on. Not exactly conducive to writing but the contractor says three more weeks!!
To escape the reno from hell this morning ( they started at eight am) banging, drilling, sanding, yelling to one another, I took myself off to do some errands and pick up a few groceries. Now, what does one buy when you have no kitchen? The old fridge is in the basement with the microwave. Meat from the microwave is awful and just getting through the dirt and dust on the main floor puts me off. So, crackers and cheese, fruit and a few prepared things that don't need to be heated up. I made myself a kitchen in my office. Priorities straight of course. Bottle of water, a bottle of gin, a bottle of wine and a case of tonic for the gin. Kettle for my cup of tea in the morning and Nespresso machine for my afternoon pick me up. And all the leftover cookies from Christmas. This way of living is playing havoc with my diet but he says...only three more weeks. Now if I can only find the bread knife to cut the artisanal loaf with walnuts and raisins!
While I sat in the coffee shop this morning enjoying a cappuccino, I do what I always do and people watch. Lovely pastime...usually. I don't want to sound like an old fart, but people, wake up and see what is going on around you. Make eye contact, speak to one another. Stop ignoring your children. You might learn something.
I am of course talking about cell phones/mobiles.
I gave into pressure last year and bought an iPhone. Yes, there are lots of benefits. Like being stuck in the car, taking a photo of whatever takes your fancy. The GPS is my favourite feature as I get lost easily but... and a big BUT, I bought the phone for my convenience, not yours. I am continually berated for not answering texts or the phone. No, I don't walk around with it in my hand like some new fashion statement. I have to rummage around in my bag for ten minutes until I find it or I have left it downstairs when I am up. I have a checklist when I go anywhere now. Fortunately, my glasses are a fixture on my face. hearing aids are put in my ears as I am leaving the house. Extra batteries check.Wallet with money and cards and my lipstick du jour.Check. Tissues.check. Must be something else. Oh yes, my phone. How did I ever navigate life without one?
In the supermarket today there was a guy taking pictures of the fruit and veg. He would hold one up to his camera on the phone and ask his wife's permission to buy it. Come on!! I'm really on a rant here. I wonder where my phone is right now. Oh yes, I remember. It's being charged. You will be able to get me shortly. If I hear that irritating PING.
Back to the writing. Liz was on a roll yesterday and managed 2000 words. We will be back online Tuesday evening so I'd better get busy with the chapter I'd an idea about. The manuscript is finished except for some additions we feel are necessary. Then editing and more editing until she is all shiny and ready for publishing.
Jamie Tremain will be back blogging and moving along with another book we have finished but need to clean up. If you enjoyed the author interviews we did in the past, drop us a line to let us know and we'll start up 2018 with some authors we met at Bouchercon.
My next blog post will be about books I read recently.
Snow is falling as I write this and it's so distracting and lovely. Be careful if you are out there driving.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Two years of anticipation and it’s over in a flash!
Pam and I registered back in 2015 and were confident we’d be published authors by the time the conference rolled around. We were excited to be attending a book conference of this calibre and weren’t disappointed. We also determined that we'd have the first draft of the sequel to "The Silk Shroud" done before Bouchercon and that's also been accomplished.
About 700 authors and nearly twice as many readers, aspiring, and nearly-published writers were in attendance. The Sheraton Hotel on Queen St in Toronto provided comfortable accommodations and all the space required to showcase so many participants. We won’t mention the day we had two fire alarms, shhhh!
The view from our 34th floor room provided a vista of downtown Toronto, and beyond, that I haven’t seen in a while.
Authors and books and panels, oh my!
The bookseller’s room held thousands of books for sale. What a great opportunity to pick up books and then have them signed by the author!
As debut authors Pam and I were invited to participate in the Debut Author’s Breakfast held Friday morning, along with about three dozen new authors. It was a fun event as we each had a turn to sell our work within just a minute or two. This is when having a writing partner is invaluable for moral support!
|Pam, Liz, Lynn McPherson, Jennifer Soosar|
We connected with two other Black Opal Books authors – Lynn McPherson and Jennifer Soosar – who have their debut works published this year as well.
We also took turns promoting Crime Writers of Canada on Saturday, when CWC hosted the hospitality suite. A terrific opportunity to meet fans and other writers.
As well the conference provided the opportunity to reconnect with friends we haven’t seen for a while.
Panels were interesting, informative and fun, but my favourite was the intimate chat between Louise Penny, Rhys Bowen and Deborah Crombie. The ballroom may have been standing room only, but yet the three authors obviously share a friendship and ease with each other which made the attendees feel as if we had joined them for a personal visit.
|Rhys Bowen, Louise Penny, Deborah Crombie|
Standing room only to listen to the three ladies, but Gloria Ferris and Kay Kendall managed to find two of the best seats in the house!
I was so pleased to be able to hear from the likes of Peter Robinson, Ann Cleeves, and Kathy Reichs to name a few. And so many wonderful, and successful, Canadian authors. If I start naming, I’m afraid I will leave some out! Among them Linwood Barclay, Vicki Delaney, Melodie Campbell and so many more!
|Pam with Linwood Barclay|
Our Genre5 group have come away with memories, tips and advice. For a while, Genre5 turned into the Magnificent7, when we hooked up with good friends Kay Kendall and Lorie Lee Steiner. I never managed to get a photo with all of us. Lorie is missing from this one.
|Donna Houghton, Gloria Ferris, Kay Kendall, Pam, Liz, Donna Warner|
I came home tired, but energized, with a new focus on writing. But my writing partner, Pam, left the conference and then headed to Edinburgh, Scotland! I hope she was able to catch some sleep on the flight. She’ll be out of the country until early November, and I have to return to the corporate work world tomorrow.
But on Thursday Oct 19, I’ll be joining Donna Warner, Gloria Ferris, Alison Bruce and Cheryl Cowtan for our workshop “Conjuring Up a Work of Fiction” at the Elora Public Library. Sure to be another good time!
Kudos and much appreciation to Bouchercon Co-Chairs Helen Nelson and Janet Costello. You and your team provided a memorable event.
And now I think I have a book or two to read.
Monday, May 22, 2017
The official launch for The Silk Shroud on April 23 was a huge success. Held on a beautiful sunny spring day in Oakville, we had standing room only at the Joshua Creek Heritage Art Center.
All books on hand were sold and due to popular demand, Pam and I are hard at work on a sequel. We’d already had the beginnings of a follow-up book in the works thank goodness!
To see a little of our long anticipated launch check us out on YouTube
Didn't matter how cold the day, Jamie Tremain couldn't wait to show off "The Silk Shroud" in February. We'd had a great day with our Genre5 Authors Group just north of Guelph.
We’ve been receiving lots of photos where The Silk Shroud has been travelling. I should be so lucky to reach some of these destinations! From Texas in the United States to Sorrento, Italy, our book is getting around!
Award Winning Author Kay Kendall in Texas
Long time Jamie Tremain fan, Jane P, took The Silk Shroud along on her trip to Cuba
Pam's brother Raymond
Raymond's wife Lynda - beautiful gardens at their home in Edinburgh, Scotland
Liz's cousin Mary G, relaxing with a good book in Felixstowe in Suffolk, U.K.
Good friend Linda H has her copy at home in Easly, SC, United States
Fantastico! Shirley J brought The Silk Shroud along to Sorrento, Italy
Liz's sister Michele, enjoys reading during an R & R break at the Idlewyld Inn, London, Ontario, Canada
Terry M shows off a good read in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada
While Pam's sister Caroline has made The Silk Shroud feel at home in the Netherlands!
Daughters are the best - both have shown such great support to their mothers.
Liz's Daughter Christine in Kitchener and Pam's Daughter
Courtney in Barrie, Ontario
One of Jamie Tremain's first confirmed Kindle purchase was
from Pam's sister Rosemary, in Peterborough, England
On vacation with Pauline G in Mexico
And all the way to Victoria, Australia with Pam's cousin, Jan S.
Jamie Tremain is truly grateful and appreciative of the support so many have shown us over the years as we worked towards this goal of being published. We love to see where our book has traveled and would welcome your photo as well for a future post.
Next up for Pam and me, as Jamie Tremain, is to attend the upcoming Limestone Genre Expo in Kingston, Ontario the weekend of June 3-4. If you're in the area come by and see us!
And then it will be Bouchercon 2017 in October. We are really excited to be able to attend!
And remember as you plan your summer get aways and cottage retreats, take along a good book!
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
A date Jamie Tremain has been working toward for quite some time. Yes, it’s the official launch and book signing for “The Silk Shroud”.
We’ve garnered some fantastic reviews on Amazon and are now gearing up to make the debut of our first novel official. A great opportunity to personally thank so many of our faithful supporters as well.
The event promises to be a little different from other launches and this will be all due to Pam’s proven talent for event planning. A great venue located in Oakville will be the setting and already we’ve received a steady response from those wishing to attend and almost reached capacity seating. WOW!
We’re pretty excited and anticipate a day to remember for our first novel.
“The Silk Shroud” is available through Amazon.ca and Amazon.com, as well as Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo. The book can also be ordered directly from our publisher, Black Opal Books. We also have available signed bookplates for those who live farther away and wish to have their copy of the book signed. An email to email@example.com will ensure we send you a bookplate right away.
Jamie Tremain will also be attending the Limestone GenreExpo in Kingston in June – details to follow. And Bouchercon 2017 (in Toronto this year) is fast approaching. Some book clubs and other events are being lined up – it promises to be a busy year for Jamie Tremain.
Best Wishes and Blessings for a Happy Easter and Passover!