Friday, July 24, 2009

Andrew Pyper telling us a tall tale.
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His latest thriller is called "The Killing Circle"

Louise Penny @ Lakefield College

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Louise of course always looks very elegant. I thought I had stumbled into the office after I noticed the RBC banner. I was not aware that my employer was sponsoring this event. Not sure if I can add a picture here.

Festival of Authors

I am having a Friday evening meltdown. Drove home from work in torrential rain and had to sit in the driveway for ten minutes until it let up. They say you are quite safe with thunder and lightening in a car but I am not so sure. It's after ten and I am tired but can't sleep. I should be revising but will do a better job in the morning after I have made a little order in the house. Well that's enough domestic stuff.

Last w/e when I was visiting my children and g kids in Peterborough , Peter and I went off to the Lakefield Literary Festival. This was a three day event and some wonderful authors were there reading from their books and having panel discussions. The session we went to was at Lakefield College in a beautiful auditorium. It was very well attended-about 200 people were there to listen to Andrew Pyper, Pat Capponi and our favourite lady of the mystery genre Louise Penny. Pat Capponi is a Toronto activist for the homeless and mentally ill. She has recently written two mystery novels. Great question and answer period and learned some more about the publishing business and how to plot a novel. If I can manage it I will put some pictures on here.

Louise and I had a lovely chat but not for long as she was leaving to drive for five hours back to Quebec. I did have a few words with John Moss his lovely wife Bev who live in Peterborough. They were our dinner companions at the "Bloody Words" conference. Check his website for his books. Very interesting man.

The Canadian writer Margaret Lawrence lived in Lakefield at the time of her death in 1987. Her most famous book being "The Stone Angels". Another very interesting character.

The Festival was great fun and I am always learning something new. Realize that I need to spend more time just writing. I now have my computer back as you may have gathered but it is slowly fading away and is ready for the big computer graveyard. My nearest and dearest has said I had better price another as I need it for my work. What a nice man. I was going to tell you about how we got lost on our way back from the College but perhaps I had better not!!Especially as I was the navigator.

Liz continues to be swamped at work while I have been seeking out work and when it is quiet I want to get onto Word and start typing more story. For some reason the bank frowns on that!.
I believe my partner's plans for the weekend are to continue draft two of "Body". I have some revising to do about chapter eight and get some agent letters written.

It has been forcast to rain so it is perfect writing weather.
Talk soon.



Sunday, July 19, 2009

This is Summer????

Well, by all accounts we should be suffering from our usual July humidity, but this year July has been exceptionally cool and wet. Yesterday I was at a family BBQ in Toronto (on-going garbage strike not really a factor) and we sat in the yard with our jackets on!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really complaining as the cooler temperatures are more what I enjoy, but it would be nice to have some sunshine to sit out in and enjoy.

This weather report has been brought to you by the creators of Body Perfect – yes that story has not been forgotten! Pam has been able to re-read what we have written from start to finish, making notes and suggestions. And now I’ve started…FINALLY…on Chapter One. I think the experience we gained in writing and revising Madelaine will be of great benefit now.

I’ve done about 8 pages of the first chapter and am looking forward to make some progress each evening – we’ll see how that goes! A dentist appointment and attending my grandson’s soccer game this week are on the agenda as well.

And of course demands of work have not lessened and continue to leave me feeling pretty depleted by day’s end. But Body is my favourite of the two stories we have so I hope that will be the inspiration I need to devote some time each evening to getting this first revision completed.

On a side note, I finished reading a novel by Denise Mina (whom we met at “Bloody Words”) – Garnethill. Excellent story – didn’t want to put it down. While the murder, and investigation, the story revolved around was grisly, the main protagonist – Maureen O’Donnell – garnered my affection by story’s end. Set in Glasgow, the scenes of the story portrayed some of the gritty side of psychiatry, dysfunctional family issues, and seamier characters of that city – although I’m sure they could be transported to most any major city with some changes.

More of a write up can be found at Denise’s web site.
And I’m glad to know Maureen O’Donnell has survived to be the centre of at least two more novels!

Pam’s weekend plans were to take in a writer’s event in nearby Lakefield and hopefully she will be able to provide a recap of that within a day or two.

As for me, now its getting on towards the end of a Sunday evening and I must turn my thoughts to getting ready for work tomorrow. Regardless of the weather, work continues!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Five good books

What a strange world it is without my computer. The laptop was at the shop for a week with not much chance of being fixed. The frame of the screen has broken and although I can still use it....Oh well I will have to get Madelaine into a book very soon as I will need a new one. In the meantime I will just prop the lid open and leave it like that.

I was on vacation that week and had plans to do all sorts of writing but it was probably a blessing in disguise as I read five of the books I brought home from the conference in Ottawa.
I gave up ironing after the the second basket was finished and as it rained almost every day it was perfect weather for curling up with some of the best mystery writers around. Having met them at the conference and listened to them in panel discussions I had preconceived ideas about how they would write and what they would write .

Each book was entirely different. All mystery/thriller/crime/suspense and each with a dead body or two that the protagonist would eventually find out "whodunnit". This was a good exercise as Liz and I are still trying to put our finger on genre. Madelaine-Shadows and Light is of course a romance/suspense or a kiss-kiss/bang bang as it was suggested to me. I would agree with that but we are more inclined to our characters in Body Perfect. Private Investigators. I will list the books that I read at the end of this blog.

We have a list of readers that we gave the manuscript to and we want to thank them for their valuable feedback. Jane,June,Rose,Joanne,Heide,Kim, Peter,Bob,Christine, Wendy and Claudia. Your suggestions and advice were invaluable to help us polish the book before we start the round of agents again. Your feedback was similar to our critique from Ottawa so everyone was all on the same page. We did get the feel that you all enjoyed the story. Thanks again. You will definitely be amongst those that will receive a signed copy. I told you I was optimistic.

Liz and I are super busy at work, Liz even more so than I. She also has tennis elbow that is keeping her from the computer at night after a long day tapping away. Lets hope it heals soon. She has a few days off next week so she will be up and running again.

I had an email from an old friend tonight. In fact she was my manager when I worked in other industry. We lost touch and I look forward to being reaccquainted.It has given me an idea for an other story......

Here is the list I promised.

TO CLOSE TO HOME BY LiNWOOD BARCLAY---This is what they call a thriller and he is at the top of my list of favourites.

SIX SECONDS BY RICK MOFINA----Also a thriller- His blurb says .. filled with thrills and chills. It was hard to put down.

TO HOT TO HANDLE BY MARY JANE MAFFINI---- HER BLURB SAYS... Will Canada's most reluctant sleuth stop a killer before her own goose is cooked?
Absolutely hilarious. Loved it.

SCARE THE LIGHT AWAY BY VICKY DELANY--- HER BLURB READS..."An evocative account of the tenacious grip the past holds over us, and the pain and the joy of reclaiming it."
This was Vickie's first book and she has gone on to write another three. Well I loved this one so I will have to pick up the others now.

The fifth book I have not finished yet.
If you look back in the blog my picture was taken with the author Anthony Bidulka
at the conference,and what a personality he is! Goodlooking , charming and great taste in clothes.
Oh dear I am supposed to be talking about his book. OOPs.
I started with his latest book. Aloha, Candy Hearts...a Russell Quant Mystery. What a wonderful way of writing and so full of life. I can see why he was a winner of the Lambda Literary Award. So after I have finished this one I will look for his others in the series.

It is important now to read as a writer. When I find something I particularly like I will read it a few times and examine the structure of the words and try and figure out why they choose to use certain phrases etc. Learning the craft of writing and informing ourselves of the publishing business is now an ongoing proposition and we are having a great time learning.

Must go as it's past my bedtime. Promises to be a hot one tomorrow. Glad I am not in Toronto with the garbage men out on strike.

Hope to post more often now that I have my PC back. Must read Russell Quant for 15 minutes before lights out.



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