Saturday, May 26, 2007

Summer of 2007

It's been a while since I've sent out one of my E-Newsletters, and proving that even old dogs (or cats) can learn new tricks, I've decided to add a Blog to my site. This will take the place of a newsletter, and will force me to update it more frequently. You won't have to wait (as though you've been holding your breath) until you receive one of my periodic emails but can now check my website and see the latest update.

I resisted joining the blog trend since it seemed pretentious to think people were interested in reading another writer's deep, deep thoughts. Particularly since I've never been accused of having deep, deep thoughts. I still feel that way, plus the thought of adding another task to my time-challenged day bordered on the masochistic.

Change comes to all of us, though. I've been writing a monthly blog for the Florida Writers Association, and found it a handy way to communicate with writers in the NE Florida area where I'm a regional director for FWA. If you're interested in reading it, go to So using I've decided to start another for my WINDRUSHER readers and those of you who may be looking forward to my new mystery.

MATANZAS BAY is my unpublished mystery. Yes, it's still unpublished, but an exciting thing happened recently when my book was honored with the Josiah W. Bancroft, Sr. Award for best novel at the First Coast Writers Festival.

The final judge in the competition was David Poyer, a writer with 28 published novels including THE MED, THE GULF, THE THREAT, BLACK STORM and many more. So, when David Poyer plucked my book out of the stack of 85 entries and said it's the best of the bunch, I tend to think it's a big deal. David also gave me a valuable critque which sent me back to my computer for another rewrite. Then he wanted me to send it to Robert Bailey, a past winner of the compettion, author of three published mysteries, and a former private investigator. Since my protagonist is a PI, I had to agree this would be valuable.

After I receive Bob's critique, it will proably need another rewrite. Then, possibly, it will find a home with a publisher. If you're wondering what MATANZAS BAY is all about, here's the nifty one-sentence synopsis Poyer wrote after judging the manuscript: "Guilt-ridden private detective Quint Mitchell stumbles into a Chinatown-like hall of mirrors of murder, conspiracy, and land development politics in St. Augustine."

Those of you who read my second novel, WINDRUSHER AND THE CAVE OF THO-HOTH, will recognize Quint Mitchell as the PI the Trembles hire to locate Windrusher after he's catnapped from his back yard in Crystal River, Florida. Yep, Quint's got his own book now, and hopefully it's the start of a new series.

I've been promising readers another installment in the WINDRUSHER series, and now that I've completed MATANZAS BAY, at least for now, I've begun book three. My publisher, Ocean Publishing, has set a publication date of Spring 2008. That's less than a year until my wandering feline finds his way into your home.

I can't give away too much of the plot, but I'll tell you this one will be totally different from the other two, and hopefully just as entertaining. Our peripatetic cat doesn't travel too far from home, but he's faced with another unique challenge. More to come later.

On the home front, I have a few book signings scheduled for June and July, including a couple of library talks. Be sure to check the Appearances page on my website for the most current list —

Until next time, enjoy your summer, be nice to your cats, and keep reading. If you're a would-be writer, you'll enjoy these final words from novelist Lawrence Block:

“If you want to write fiction, the best thing you can do is take two aspirins, lie down in a dark room, and wait for the feeling to pass. If it persists, you probably ought to write a novel."