Does my Female PI Have to Wear a Pink Fedora and Carry a Cupcake?

A couple of weeks ago, I used an aggregator (a company like Smashwords or Draft to Digital that acts as a sort of middleman) to add my books to some of the lesser-known ebook retailer and subscription services. Of course, then I had to check my books on each of the sites and see what had gone wrong, because something invariably goes wrong. Some sites don’t support any description formatting, or they support html but not that kind of html. Then there are the I-know-I-proofread-seventeen-times moments, when you discover that you can’t even spell your own name. (Hasn’t actually happened Read more…

Happy International PI Day! And Random Thoughts on Writing Different Genres…

My thoughts are a little muddled today. I know, I know—pipe down there in the Peanut Gallery. On the one hand, it’s International Private Investigators Day. Yay! July 24th was chosen because Eugene Francois Vidocq, arguably the father of the modern private investigator, was born on this day in 1775. (Read more about him, and about how John D. MacDonald broke me for other genres, in last year’s PI Day blog post.) Good reason, but late July doesn’t exactly encourage you to celebrate by dressing as a classic noir PI. Here in Hawaii, the humidity would bead on a decent Read more…

Summer Days Make Me Feel Stupid

I used too much shampoo in the shower this morning. And then I had that moment in front of the mirror when I wondered, comb? Brush? Fingers? What is the appropriate hair-wrangling tool for this sudden lack of hair? Ahh, the summer haircut… one of the best parts of summer. (Very short is my preferred year-round haircut in Hawaii, but the last few times I’ve succumbed to, “But what if we tried a little longer?”) It felt so good being shorn! The cold water shampoo/head massage in the middle of the day didn’t hurt. Of course, I’ll let it go uncut Read more…

Magpie Moments: Animals with no Restraint

The post title doesn’t refer to twelve-year-olds at a pizza party or college students on Spring Break, but rather to beloved pets, and a scene from my most recent novel, The Perils of Panacea. In it, Sydney asks a couple about the origin of their pet pig’s name. “Why Banana Whiskers?” I asked. Danny smiled. “BW was the runt of his litter, and so sickly when he came to us that Sam wouldn’t let me name him. She didn’t want me to get too attached. Since he was so tiny, we let him have full run of the house—” “He always had Read more…

Magpie Moments: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Many interviewed authors say there’s no shortage of story ideas, those little “what if” nuggets that can be rooted in character or place or plot. Some keep files with newspaper articles or bits of research that they consult from time to time, while for others the act of gathering the shiny bits (aha, here comes a Magpie Moment) is enough for them to burble in the subconscious until something else emerges. In that vein, yesterday I came across an article about a book of unsolved crimes that mentions an Australian fisherman discovering a body tied to a steel crucifix. This morning Read more…