Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Contest--Win Books

Here's a contest that will make you put on your thinking cap and use your imagination:

Submit an idea for a murder victim or villain to be used in my next mystery novel. It will be the one I start this summer.

Prizes: The first five books in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. The first one is trade paperback,the other four are mass market paperback. They are all mysteries.

About the book series: Tempe Crabtree is a Native American female deputy in a small mountaincommunity in the Southern Sierra of California called Bear Creek. In eachbook, she learns more and more about her heritage. She’s married to a Christian minister who isn’t thrilled when she uses Indian spiritualismto help solve crimes. An Indian reservation is nearby–the closest small townabout 20 miles away.

Please submit entries to editor@clarylopez.comThe winner will be selected by the author (me) and announced on the Book Den site http://booksden.wordpress.com/ on August 1, 2007

I'll be looking forward to some innovative ideas.

Marilyn

Sunday, June 24, 2007

AN INTERVIEW WITH NADENE CARTER

Marilyn: I understand that you've recently had a craft of writing workbook published.

Nadene: Yes, The Sense-bile Writer was released for publication the first of June 2007 by ePress-online Inc. http://www.epress-online.com

Marilyn: How long did it take you to write The Sense-ible Writer?

Nadene: I’ve edited other writers’ work since 1999. When I found an error in a manuscript, I made note of it to the author, along with what the author needed to do to correct that error. I also moved that entry to a folder I created especially for problems. As my editing work progressed, whenever I found an error, I checked that "problem folder" first. If I had already created verbiage about that error, I copied, pasted, and personalized it for this particular author.

Soon, it became time-consuming to locate an entry, so I created subfolders and organized the topics within the subfolders. In 2005 I recognized that the information I had saved in those subfolders might be worked into a Craft of Writing book. I worked on it occasionally when I had downtime from my other work. Then during the 2006 Christmas holidays, I had a good chunk of time to work on the book and realized that, with a bit of polishing, I could have the rough draft of the book completed quite soon. I made the work a priority, finished the rough draft, worked through three rewrites, and handed it off to my editor. I’m thrilled with the end result.

Marilyn :What is different about this writing-craft book?

Nadene: Several things. First, I walk with the student, step-by-step, from idea conception through to the revision of his manuscript. The second may be the most important, and was incorporated as a request from my editor-in-chief at ePress. I address the three modes of learning--visual, auditory, and tactile--and provide writing examples and exercises to make this material useful to a broad range of individuals.

Marilyn: Would you explain a bit about the learning modes?

Nadene: Sure. The person whose major mode is visual learns through his eyes: reading from the printed page, studying charts and graphs, looking at pictures, or watching a video.

The person whose major mode is Auditory learns primarily through hearing. He focuses his greatest attention on the spoken word, he hears and pays attention to the sounds around him. Some may want music playing in the background.

The person whose major mode is Tactile perceives his world through the sense of touch. He runs a hand across a surface to experience the roughness or smoothness, explores an object by holding it in his hand, reads by following a line of text or the path of a graph or a chart with his finger.

Many individuals use more than one learning style. One mode is usually dominant, with others in secondary or helping positions. For example, the Visual Learner may also use the tactile as a helper. It could manifest itself like this: A person is reading material that he needs to remember (use of the visual mode). He might take notes, or maybe underline or highlight important information in the text (use of the tactile mode as backup) to reinforce his learning.

The Auditory Learner might also use the tactile in the same way as the visual learner. During a lecture (use of auditory mode), instead of relying completely on learning the information through his ears, he may take notes (use of tactile mode) to reinforce what he has heard.

The Tactile Learner will need his hands to be doing something during a lecture. To reinforce the information, he may take notes or outline the information, but he may never need to look at his notes again, because the very act of doing something with his hands during the learning process makes it easier for this person to assimilate the information. The tactile learner will also likely find it helpful to have something in his hands while reading from the printed page--something as simple as a holding a pencil or playing with a paperclip can help.

Marilyn: This sounds like excellent material for the beginner and intermediate writer. Do you plan to teach classes?

Nadene: Yes. I have a website: http://www.thewritersniche.com/ where I will be teaching classes. I will also contact the community centers in the nearby cities and towns to see if there is enough interest to maybe teach group classes next fall and winter.

Marilyn: Thanks for the information about your new book and your classes. It sounds like information any writer could use. Good luck with your book and your teaching.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Interview with Kim Robinson

Kim Robinson is stopping by my blog on her virtual book tour. I almost participated in a booksigning with her in Los Angeles, but couldn’t find the restaurant where it was being held. On the Internet, I’ve known Kim for a long while.

Here’s the questions I asked Kim.

Marilyn: First, I feel like I already know you though we never actually connected.

Kim: We have connected you were one of the first ebook authors who participated in my virtual cookbooks, Sweet Satisfaction and Food for the Soul. Someday I hope to actually meet you. I know we will one day, and I am looking forward to it.

Marilyn: Your book, Roux in the Gumbo, is so rich with history and color of the time and place--and I know you wrote it with love. Did you have special feelings while writing it? Like were you were in touch with those you were writing about?

Kim: My Grandmother mostly but I do feel that people came to me in my dreams and showed me their lives. I feel like I am helping people know how hard it was back in the day. I don’t what I would have done if I had to find my own food in my back yard everyday, thank god for grocery stores.

Marilyn: What was your inspiration for writing this book? When did the idea first come to you?
Kim: One day we were watching Oprah talk about her life and upcoming book, Grandmother said "Shoot, I had more stuff happen to me than she did, someone should write my book. Shoot you should write one too." She started telling one them old stories, you know the kind you have heard a few times growing up and since the computer was set up right next to the pull-out couch in the den where I spent my days "I said, ‘ Let's do it. I bet everybody in the family would like to read it.’"

When she went back home I bought her a tape recorder so that when she thought of something she could tape it and send it to me. Every few months I sent her tickets and she would come and stay for a while and we worked on the book. I also went to Lafayette, Louisiana where my Great- grandmother’s name still rings like a church house bell.

My grandmother suffered a stroke during spinal cancer surgery and went into a coma. I printed out what I had and went to California, I would sit by her bed reading and the family asked me what I was reading. And when I told them, they said they wanted to read it, my mother made some copies and gave them out. One day while I was reading to my grandmother she said my name, though still in a coma.

She died the next day. Everyone said that I had to finish the book and share it with the world. When I went back home my family members would call and give me their memories and send tapes that I added to the book. My grandmother's sister, Genevieve, and I would talk over the phone. I sent her a ticket to come but, sadly, she got sick and died before she could come, but I did get everything she wanted in.

My mother came and started reading and giving me her memories and there you have it. The title is because everyone who has someone who influenced their lives just as the Roux (Roo) base or gravy in Gumbo influences every spoonful. The book details my families life from the 1800's to 1997.

Marilyn: What is the most exciting thing that's happened since the book was published?

Kim: Every booksigning, every review, every person that writes to tell me that they enjoyed the book

Marilyn: What are your future writing plans?

Kim: Next is my life story, raped by a preacher at the age of five, I had no relationship with God. I became a drug dealer and addict. Now I speak in churches helping others know they too can change. After that, is my G-mama series – this sixty eight year old believes it takes a village to raise a child, she sits on her porch with her gin and juice and as crimes cross her porch she makes the perpetrators an offer they can’t refuse. You see she also believes that the penitentiary ain’t nothing but college for criminals. You need to make up for your sins in God’s eyes. G-mama is a vehicle for me to shed light on a lot of wrongs in this world. Not only in the ghetto but everywhere.

I have several other books that will be coming out, you can read about them on

www.kim-robinson.com

Thank you for having me, Marilyn. Can’t wait for you to blog with me.

Marilyn: Thank you so much, Kim. I’ll be looking forward to the day we can meet face-to-face. Good luck with Roux in the Gumbo and all your other writing.

Be sure and visit Kim's website.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Vicki Taylor, author of "Trust in the Wind"

Author Vicki Taylor is visiting my blog today as one of the stops on her virtual book tour. She kindly agreed to let me interview her so I could get to know more about her and her latest book.

Marilyn : When did you start writing?

Vicki: I've always written in some format or other. As a career, I wrote technical computer user manuals for fifteen years. Through a set of unforeseen circumstances, I was able to fulfill my dream of writing fiction full time. That started around 1999.

Marilyn: Do you have a particular schedule for writing?

Vicki: I sort of do have a schedule. I like to write in the afternoons. I feel more alert and inspired at that time. I try to write for a couple of hours straight, then work on other things like editing, critiques - things like that. I also have to squeeze in some promotion every day as well. So that gets added to the schedule.

Marilyn:What do you think is special about this particular book? Or you might tell us what you enjoyed most about writing this book.

Vicki: "Trust in the Wind" came to me in a dream. The entire book from beginning to end. I filled in some of the plot developments in between, but the story arc was all there. When I woke, I furiously wrote everything down as fast as I could so I didn't forget anything. I liked writing the character, Joey. He pretty much steals the show in a few places. I'd never written a four year old boy before, but his character came shining through.

Marilyn: What is the best compliment a reader ever told you about your books?

Vicki: One of the best compliments I got for my writing was for a speculative fiction piece I wrote titled "Catch of the Season." It was inspired by a Red Lobster commercial I saw on television. The creative juices started flowing and I asked "what if". What if our TV signals are sent out into space? What if alien nations intercept the commercials? What if these particular aliens look like lobsters? What if they take offense to the commercial? What if they go to Earth to exact revenge with a side of drawn butter? A long time scuba diver read the story and told me that he would never be able to go back in the water without making sure to check behind him.

A compliment I received for "Trust in the Wind" was from a long term care facility and came in the form of a letter saying that they were reading my book to the residents and they were enjoying it very much and they asked for an autographed picture. I sent them a picture, bookmarks, and an autographed copy of one of my first books so they had another book to read.

Marilyn: And finally, what's the best advice you can give to a new writer?

Vicki: The same advice that was given to me. Put the butt in the chair and write the book. No one else is going to do it for you. Finish the book. And when you can, read. Read everything in the genre you're writing and read other genres as well.

Marilyn: That's the exact same advice I give to wannabe writers. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Vicki: Thank you for letting me visit and asking me questions. I enjoyed answering them. If anyone has more questions, I'd be happy to answer.

Vicki M. Taylor

Real Women. Real Life.
http://www.vickimtaylor.comhttp://www.vickimtaylor.com/blogs/http://www.vickimtaylor.com/forums/index.php?http://www.myspace.com/vickimtaylor

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Authors' Virtual Book Tours and In Person Book Signing

Starting next Wednesday, I'll be hosting a couple of authors on their virtual book tours. The next one will be for Vicki Taylor. I do hope you'll stop by and learn about her and her books.

I'll be having a virtual book tour myself in August to promote Judgment Fire, the next book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. I'll post the schedule as soon as I have it.

On Saturday, June 23 from 1 to 2:30, I'll be Ventura CA at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore with a few other authors to sign books--I'll be signing Calling the Dead. Anyone who is in the area, please come and see me.

I've been really busy. Spent last weekend in Reno with the Public Safety Writers Association Board--and yes, we did work. I didn't put one nickle in a slot machine--it isn't my thing. Besides getting a lot done, we did laugh a lot. There's nothing like hanging out with a trio of retired cops and listening to their wild tales. To learn more about PSWA, visit http://www.policewriter.com

Whenever I come home from a trip I have lots of catch-up to do. I'm going to be part of an ad for mystery writers in the November issue of Romantic Times and had to get the proper information to the one organizing it. I did a big writing job that brings in some cash--always a good thing.

That's it for now,

Marilyn

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Home Again

What a vacation! We are usually only gone for a weekend with a day or two on either side. This time we were gone for about ten days. We had a great time. The down side was coming home to a stack of phone messages to return and a foot high stack of mail.
Mayhem as usual was great fun! We had Thursday a.m. to visit the Heritage Museum. Chose that over the zoo because it was pouring rain. For lunch, we went to our favorite Ahmad’s Persian Restaurant and we weren’t disappointed. Ahmad remembered us and called us California as soon as spotted us. Speaking of restaurants we found another good in the Old Marketplace, M’s Pub.

When we returned to our hotel, Pat Lang, our Omaha friend, came to visit us in our room. The opening buffet was that night. Mayhem is a bit like a family reunion because so many of the same people, writers and readers, attend year after year. So much fun to see and visit with everyone. I won’t name all the authors and fans that I’m particularly fond of–suffice it to say that I was happy to see them all.

Friday and Saturday were filled with intriguing panels and 20 minute conversations with authors.

Friday night was the Sisters in Crime buffet–good food and lots of great conversation. Saturday night was the mystery dinner where my hubby played Rick Bogart in a silly take-off of Casablanca. Everyone laughed a lot.

Sunday morning was the brunch with an interview of Margaret Maron by Nancy Pickard. Again, good food, conversations and goodbyes. Hubby and I were met at the front of the hotel by son-in-law, Mike, in his little Scion. He drove us and our luggage to Council Bluffs IA where daughter Dana, the golden retriever named Archie and the motor home awaited us. From IA we drove back into Nebraska and took some time out to visit an arch that goes over the highway and tells all about the western migration with pictures and tour.

We arrived in Breckenridge CO that night and parked the RV in the wonderful park with snow capped mountains all around. We swam in an indoor pool. Played a silly game. The next morning we visited the town of Frisco, window shopped and toured their museum of old homes and cabins. Had lunch in Breckenridge at Bubba Gump’s, then headed back to the RV park in a rain storm. We were treated to a magnificent thunder storm, then it snowed with huge flakes. The sky cleared and we went to bed. In the a.m. we were surprised by snow covering the ground.
From CO we headed to Utah and another campground. Early up the next morning so we could reach Las Vegas in time for me to take care of some business with my sister. Of course we spent time with sis and b-i-l before going to Circus Circus to the KOA there. You haven’t lived until you’ve stayed in a casino parking lot laughingly called a campground. From there we hightailed it home.

At home we made discoveries like there is a problem with our water system. Had to shut down half the house. Fortunately, the other half is working so we just changed bedrooms for awhile. The cats knocked the screen out in my office window, so that had to be fixed. Poor hubby. Today he was elected hamburger and hotdog cook after church.

Now, this coming week I play catch-up. I’m promoting the fact that Fringe Benefits, my bad copy novel is now available as an e-book from Fictionwise. In August, the next in my Tempe Crabtree series, Judgment Fire, will make it’s debut so I’m preparing for that promotion too.

It’s fun to go away, but so good to be back home.

Marilyn