Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Sale

Here goes, my first sale! Don't crowd, there's enough for everyone.

My ebook of CHOKE, the first Imogene Duckworthy mystery, is being reduced to 99 cents for a limited time (TBD). The ebook of A PATCHWORK OF STORIES will be the same price. As everything I have for sale, individual short stories, are already 99 cents, I guess that makes my whole e-inventory eligible for the Dollar Store.

The sale will start today at Smashwords and should take effect at Kindle and Nook soon after that. Here are the links:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Featuring Urban Fantasy and Mary Ann Loesch!

I'm very proud to feature my writing group friend, Mary Ann, today!

The Mystery in Urban Fantasy

Today Kaye has graciously allowed me to steal some time on her fabulous blog. I know that many of you who follow Kaye are mystery writers, a genre that I love but don’t actually write. Or do I? Technically, I’m a speculative fiction writer. That means most of the things I jot down have some sort of supernatural element to them. My book, Nephilim, is coming out July 18 and is classified as an urban fantasy. Hmmm…so what is that exactly?

Urban fantasy means a story that takes place in contemporary times, and typically in some sort of city environment. It may have fantastical elements to it such as aliens, wizards, witches, vampires, werewolves or other paranormal events, but the key element is the time and location. It must take place on Earth or else it falls into an entirely different genre. Sometimes people will confuse urban fantasy with paranormal romance, an easy thing to do since the trend in urban fantasy is to include a romantic plot twist. When trying to figure out whether or not it’s an urban fantasy or a paranormal romance, focus on the plot. Is the story centered on the relationship, or is it about some other event? If it’s mostly about an event, then it’s considered more urban fantasy while a story with more focus on the romance would be paranormal romance. Believe it or not, there’s a huge debate about the difference between those two things, and I can guarantee that I’ve probably already offended someone with my definition.

Alas, you can’t please them all, and that’s actually not what I’m here to talk about anyway.

This brings me to the mystery of urban fantasy. Believe it or not these two genres (mystery and urban fantasy) do have something in common. Urban fantasy may have fantastical creatures in it, but typically there is some sort of mystery to be solved as well. Who is capturing the werewolves and doing diabolical testing on them? Why did someone murder the head witch of the coven? Who has the most to gain by turning the heroine into a blood sucking vampire? These are the questions urban fantasy readers are willing to get to the bottom of. And if there is a good looking hero involved who may or may not howl at the moon, all the better!

Even serial killers—a staple in many of the mystery novels I’ve read—are not left out in urban fantasy. In fact, my novel Nephilim has a serial killer in it, too. Of course, he only stalks angels and has a special knife that allows him to suck out their angel essences, but he’s still a naughty guy! Part of the fun of the novel is figuring out his identity and why he does the things he does.

A great example of the mystery side of urban fantasy is the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. In this fun series, we met Harry Dresden, a wizard who occasionally works with the Chicago P.D. on some of their more bizarre and unexplainable cases. As a wizard, Harry is able to see things from a different perspective than a regular detective and he has his own unusual methods for bringing the bad guys to justice.

So while I’m not specifically a mystery writer, I have to give a big nod to the genre. It definitely has influenced my work and will continue to do so.  I think most stories have a bit of mystery to them which is why the reader keeps reading.

Mystery genre, I salute you!

Mary Ann Loesch is an Austin writer and active blogger for All Things Writing ( Her urban fantasy, Nephilim, will be released on July 18 through Lyrical Press Inc. To learn more about Mary Ann, visit her website at
Also check out to learn more about Nephilim.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gathering Momentum

I had planned to do a lot of promotion for CHOKE in May, then get back to writing BROKE (and polishing SMOKE for a full swap) in June. So far, that's not happening. I think maybe my promotional activities are just taking hold and gathering momentum. I actually have people coming to me to interview me. And I arranged another signing today, at a Barnes & Noble--yay! I even had someone request me to write something today. That's only happened once before, at Dark Valentine, RIP.

I hope that's what's happening anyway.

If only my WIP would gather some momentum! How do people who are promoting novels find time to write?

Photo, Mercedes in Motion, is in the  public domain.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Reporting on a New Destination, Hill Country Bookstore signing

Sign outside the store with MY name on it!

I signed my novel, as well as the Guppy anthology, at the Malice Domestic mystery convention, and I signed my short story collection at Left Coast Crime, but this was different. Hill Country Bookstore hosted my for my debut solo signing! I got to sell all three at once. It was greatly enhanced by the fact that it took place during the  First Friday celebration, which means all the stores on the historic Georgetown (TX) square stay open late, a band plays by the courthouse in the middle of the square, and many places (including the bookstore) provide food and drink to strollers and customers. Very fun!
Me with my chocolate handouts
What made it special was that many friends showed up. Friends who are writers, librarians, and readers. Many of them didn't know each other, they just knew me. But they all had one thing in common--books. At one point during the evening, when some of these newly introduced and, evidently, compatible people were hanging around my table chatting, I remarked that it was like I was having a soiree. I've always wanted to have a soiree! Since I don't know exactly what that is, I'm calling last Friday mine. Ignorance can be used.

Preston and Sarah Stone, the owners of Hill Country, are warm and gracious people and I want to thank them so much for making my first signing such a good experience.

I also have to thank Kathy Waller for taking pictures.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Interview with Marilyn Levinson

I'm welcoming Marilyn Levinson to my blog today. We've known each other online for a long time, and we even roomed together at Malice Domestic the last couple of years. She's experiencing a great deal of success lately!

Marilyn is the author of the enduring children's books, AND DON'T BRING JEREMY, NO BOYS ALLOWED! and RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK. She used to teach high school Spanish, and is married with two sons. Just recently, success has bombarded Marilyn in the form of two new mysteries, soon to launch.

You can visit her at

KAYE: Can you tell us about the two new books?

MARILYN: Both mysteries take place in Suffolk County on Long Island, New York, though you’d have trouble finding the communities and villages mentioned because they don’t actually exist.  In A MURDERER AMONG US, which debuted June first, Lydia Krause moves to an upscale retirement community, where she reveals a resident’s criminal past and sets off a series of homicides.  In GIVING UP THE GHOST, Gabbie Meyerson takes on a midyear teaching position in a village above Long Island Sound.  She discovers she’s sharing her cottage with the the village’s bad boy’s ghost, who insists that she find out who murdered him.
K: A bad boy ghost--love it! What are some of the ways that writing for children and writing adult mysteries are different? Ways they're the same?

M:  When I’m writing a novel, I get into the head of the main character, whether it’s first or third person, child or adult.  In every novel, the protagonist’s emotions, reactions, and decisions are what drive the story.  The characters in my mysteries are adults and lead more complex lives.  They have pasts, secrets, and romances.  These all interplay to make for a more complex read.  My juvenile protagonists have their own issues, strengths and faults which drive the plot.  They must appeal to young readers and be savvy enough to come up with solutions without the intervention of parents and other adults.

K: I've noticed you have two different publishers for your new books. How did that happen?

M:  I had no idea epublishers responded so quickly when they wanted to publish a novel.  I was used to my agents not hearing from publishers for months after their submitting a manuscript.  I decided to send out two different manuscripts to two different publishers within a week or so of one another.  Uncial Press took GIVING UP THE GHOST a few weeks after I’d sent it to them.  I heard from Wings ePress regarding A MURDERER AMONG US ten days after that.

K: Your mysteries are being published both as paperback and digitally. Do you read both?

M:  My house is like a library; it’s overflowing with paper books, and I’m lagging behind playing catch up.  But I do intend to buy an ereader and read books on them.  Reading ebooks is here to stay.

K: Having an ereader hasn't helped me cut down on paper books, so good luck.What have you done to promote these books?

M:  I’ve been guest blogging, getting reviews, and tweeting a bit about A MURDERER AMONG US.  My other mystery won’t be out until next spring, so I haven’t done anything regarding it yet. I’ve updated my website, and have begun to write my own blogs again. AND I’ve printed up business cards with all the info about A MURDERER AMONG US on it -- where people can buy it, etc. I’ve joined Murder Must Advertise, I’ve taken courses on marketing, and I learn daily from my fellow writers like you.

K: What have you done to celebrate?

M:  Who has time to celebrate?

K: Can you tell us yet how to pre-order either or both of the books?

M: Only A MURDERER AMONG US is available now.  You can purchase it as; ; and Fictionwise:  All this is on my website:

K: You've been active in some writers' organizations. Can you tell us which ones you belong to? And be sure and say something about your new  Sisters in Crime Chapter!

M:  I belong to Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Guppies, and Romance Writers of America.  I’ve been active in the Long Island Romance Writers, though I don’t write romance.  Which is why, after attending my first Malice Domestic Convention in 2010 (the year my mystery MURDER A LA CHRISTIE finaled in the Malice contest) I decided it was time to start a Sisters in Crime chapter on Long Island.  I asked my friend, Bernardine Fagan, to help me co-found the chapter.  With help from Guppies such as Teresa Inge, Sandy Parshall, Meredith Cole, and, of course, Beth Wasson, we made up a list of mystery writers on Long Island and invited them to attend our first meeting, which was in August of 2010.  Hank Phillippi Ryan kindly offered to be our first speaker, and did she wow the large group at Sachem Library in December.  Since then we’ve had a variety of meetings.  This month Reed Farrel Coleman spoke to us, and Liz Zelvin’s coming in October.  We’re a fun, informal group, and each month we acquire more members. Starting this group was one of the best, most enjoyable thing I’ve done in my writing career.

K: What's next for you? Are you working on getting more books with these same publishers? Are you working on a mystery now or a children's book? Or both?

M:  I’ve written a sequel to A MURDERER AMONG US, which I hope to have published soon.  I’m finishing up a mystery, MURDER THE TEY WAY, which is a sequel to MURDER A LA CHRISTIE.  I’m not sure who will be publishing this series.  My children’s book agent has a few manuscripts out with publishers.  What I’d like to do next is put up some of my out-of-print children’s novels up as ebooks.  And I plan to write more books, both adult mysteries and books for kids.

K: Your plate's full! Thanks for being here today, Marilyn, and best of luck with all your books.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where's Kaye?

I didn't set out to do a blog tour in May, but I think I did one anyway. I just asked some friends about blogging at their sites, and inquired about offers I saw on some lists I belong to. And, viola!--a blog tour.

When a writer sets out to do a blog tour, I've heard the recommendation that the posts all be written ahead of time so all you have to do it turn them in. Excellent advice! That's not what I did. I've been coming up with blog subjects several times a week this month. Whew!

So, to avoid coming up with yet another blog subject, I'll refer the readers here to the posts I've made this month, plus some that were made about me.

Starting with a couple in April, and continuing through today, here they are--ta da!

Killer Characters let Mike Mallett, Immy's boss, say a piece onApril 10th

Donnell Bell did an awesome interview of me at Five ScribesApril 20th. 

Look at the ingenious AD E. B. Davis created and posted May 2nd. 

I got the privilege of appearing at Jenny Milchman's Made It Moment May 9th. 

I told Karen Syed what I didn't know before selling a book onLife As a Publisher May 10th. 

Dru Ann Love gave CHOKE a nice reivew at Dru's Cozy CornerMay 15th! 

On May 16th, Jacki Vick interviewed me for her blog, A Writers' Jumble

I was added to the Village of Mystery, a new site to display books and authors. 

Immy was interviewed by Stacy Juba on the game show siteSink or Swim May 20th

Planet Paragraph gave CHOKE some exposure with a 75-word excerpt on May 22th

I wondered about why those of us who writer mysteries do what we do on May 24th at Buried Under Books.

At Nigel Bird's Sea Minor, Kaye George interviewed Kaye George on May 25th.

Immy was persuaded to talk about motherhood at Susie Kline'sMotherhoot May 27th.

May 31st, I pondered Mysteries and Morals at Working Stiffs.

Today, I'm interviewed at Writers Who Kill.

Tomorrow, June 2nd, I'm scheduled at Meanderings and Musings where you can see my very, very messy desk.

And now I think I won't blog for at least a few days!

The game box photo is by Joe Tordiff and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Sleeping cat taken by Lewis Collard