I Love Writing Mysteries Except… by Paty Jager

I’ve been working on the next Shandra Higheagle book. It will be book #9 and it is set around Halloween.  On top of it being book #9 and a bit of a Halloween setting, it will have an orange cat on the cover.  I love when I have fun ideas come to me. I decided since Sheba the dog found the body in Yuletide Slaying and was on the cover, the October release, Haunting Corpse, should have the cat, Lewis, find the body and be on the cover. I wonder if I can come up with Shandra’s horse Apple finding a body for a future book?   LOL

Besides having fun coming up with murders, figuring out why the person was killed and how, and who the killer is, I enjoy coming up with the premise and the titles just as much.  I would have to say the only thing I don’t like about writing murder mystery books is the fact most of the big mystery contests and conferences don’t feel a self-pub or Indie book/author has anything of value to give on a panel or their books aren’t good enough to be in contests. Otherwise, I love it all! And I wish I had stayed with mysteries when I first started writing all those years ago.

I’m looking forward to attending Left Coast Crime Reader/ Author event March 22-25, 2018 in Reno, Nevada. It’s fun talking with other authors and meeting new readers. If I’m lucky I’ll get on a panel but because I’m an Indie Author and can only be a moderator or if there is a panel with not enough “traditionally” published authors to fill it and I meet the criteria, I might get on a panel.

Romance Writers of America have embraced the self-published author but the mystery genre is still a bit behind the times.

That is the one thing I don’t like about writing mystery.

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Catching Up

 

by Janis Patterson

This is going to be short, because – quite frankly – I’m tired. I was away from home more than half of September. A wedding in Boston; a wedding in Alabama; a family reunion in East Texas; the Novelists, Inc. conference in Florida. Whew! My luggage has never been fully unpacked this entire month and our beloved furbabies – two neurotic cats, one prissy little dog – probably thought we had abandoned them to the boarding kennel. They’re home now, and hopefully they’ll forgive us before long.

We got in late last night and this morning I went to pick up the furbabies. Had to do two trips – three carry cages in the car is just too much; besides, I don’t really like the odds of being outnumbered three to one. Got them all home, plugged in the cat pheromone tranquilizer (wonderful stuff!) and let them run. Big cat Chloe has taken over my lap, which makes typing difficult, prissy little dog Mindy Moo is lying right where my feet need to go, and oldest cat Squeaky Boots – a tiny thing of 6 lbs who rules the house with an iron paw and a single deadly little fang – has taken over our king-sized bed by sprawling in the exact center. Yes, life is back to what we laughingly call normal.

My work isn’t, though. Sigh. Wonderful month, saw lots of people and places and learned lots of things, but my writing this month has totally gone south. Barely ten pages all month. Lots of ideas, lots of plotting, even a nifty idea for a mystery series – which has garnered some interest, believe it or not – but two books that desperately need finishing and two more ready to be self-published, all  ignored.

Well, that will change tomorrow, just as soon as I hit the grocery store and lay in enough supplies to make sure that The Husband and I don’t starve to death. Though with all the wonderful meals out we’ve had in this month that eventuality is far from being a worry. I still say that whoever invented elastic waistbands deserves instant canonization.

If there is anything that I have learned in the last couple of decades of being a writer, it’s that you can’t plan. You can make all the business models you want, set up all the spreadsheets and project charts you like, but life can and will get in the way. I guess that’s true in any other field as well, but it seems to affect writers and artists more.

Like the NINC conference – without doubt the best conference for professional working writers on the planet. In three and a half very full and very long days I learned so much that my head is about to explode. Unfortunately, there was so much that I learned – stuff that really should be done NOW for the advancement of my business – that somehow the writing of new stuff gets shoved even further back. I did take my tablet and computer to Florida just so I could work in my down time, except there wasn’t any down time. When I wasn’t in workshops or exchanging information with other writers, I was trying to enjoy a little time with my adored Husband in a tropical paradise. Work? What’s that? Sleep? Who needs it?

Anyway, I have already made and paid for our reservations to next year’s conference, and will contact the hotel about rooms tomorrow or the next day. I’m already excited.

And tired. So – please forgive if this is a less than coherent post. My mind is going off in twenty different directions, and my body is going to bed. Night!