Monday, March 31, 2008

Visiting With a Book Club and Ghost Writing

The Fresno Newcomer's Book Club ordered a book for each of its members with an invitation for me to come to the meeting where they would discuss the book.

The book in question was my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Judgment Fire. The meeting was held in a beautiful home in a newer section of Fresno. The women, for the most part, weren't quite as old as I am, but came close.

Several told me they loved the book. They had plenty of questions about the book and about me. I visited with them for nearly two hours and enjoyed every minute of it.

Though I have another Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery about half done, right now I've been busy on a ghost writing project. Though I can't tell you much about it, what I can say is that the book is something I've never attempted before and has required quite a bit of research.

I've ghost written other projects, a couple of autobiographys and a fantasy.

What's interesting about ghost writing is it belongs to the person you are writing it for. What they want is what you have to put in it. Hopefully, I'll be able to understand the person's vision and be able to put it into words. Believe me, it isn't easy.

I love writing, so I do enjoy working with someone who has a book "in them" but isn't able to write it.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hanford Branch, Kings County Library

Thursday night I gave a talk at the Kings County Library in Hanford.

But let me begin with what happened the day before. I received a call from the librarian telling me that a TV station would like to interview me. I was to go to Fresno (an hour and 45 minute drive from where I live) to the TV station and be there by 6 a.m. It would be locked so I was to knock on the side door. The interview would be 6 minutes long. Did I go? No. If I'd gotten up in time to do that--around 3 a.m., by the time the library talk rolled around I'd have been incoherent. Sometimes I'm smart enough to realize my limitations, and this was one of those times.

My daughter-in-law agreed to go with me and drive (I hate driving after dark in places I'm not familiar with). We used the Magellan to tell us where the library was, it did--one of the world's modern miracles--then we found a restaurant to eat dinner before my gig. It was a lovely Italian restaurant--but the prices were a bit high so we opted for appetizers. We ordered an antipasto plate (full of deli meats, olives, cheese,and peppers) and friend sweet potatoes. Yummee! We only drank our water and the bill was as large as any full dinner for two with beverages.

The Hanford Library is lovely. They set up for my talk in the children's section. Right away I spotted a familiar face, Winnie Furrur from the Visalia Writers Group. Another woman from that group arrived too, making two people that I knew.

The group was small, about fourteen. The librarian blamed it on families being gone because of spring break. They may have been small, but oh so attentive. I talked about my inspirations for writing mysteries.

I've always loved reading them since I was a kid. It seemed natural to start writing them--and especially after living in a neighborhood filled with cops. We partied with them and I had coffee with the wives. Later on my youngest daughter married a police officer. I loved him dearly. He'd come for coffee after his shift and tell me stories about what he'd been up to all night. I also went on a ride-along with Mike.

Sadly, Mike died in the line of duty. It's been a lot of years since then, his three sons are all grown now. Daughter remarried and now has a daughter who is a freshman in highschool.

One of the reasons I write mysteries, is because the bad guy always gets it in the end--something that doesn't always happen in real life. The way the world is today, there's plenty of ideas for mysteries.

My talk at the library went well. Seven books were purchased--not bad for a crowd that size.

Daughter-in-law and I had a good time visiting. That's what I call a successful evening.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Writers of Kern

Probably by now you've guessed I belong to a lot of writers groups. Three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Epic, Public Safety Writers Association...and I also belong to Writers of Kern which is part of California Writers Club.

I was fortunate to be one of the guest speakers at their conference this last Saturday. Hubby and I got up at 5 a.m. so we could leave by 6:30 to arrive at the starting time of 8 a.m. This was a small group with lots of familiar faces.

The first speaker was Mike Russo of Russo's Books in Bakersfield. He described the dismal state of the book business. The next to speak was a poet who talked about creating poetry. My turn came and my topic was "Plot or Character, which is most important in Mystery?" Of course they are both important. I had a great time telling them why I thought each one was important. Last to speak was Steve Mettee, the publisher of Quill Driver Books. We've shared program time more than once.

Afterwards, hubby and I had lunch in the cafe next to the hotel. It was an old-fashioned style cafe, the kind my mom and dad used to take us to when we were kids.

I truly enjoy giving talks about writing and of course I always sneak a few plugs in about my books.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Patricia Guthrie Author Interview

Patricia Guthrie, In the Arms of The Enemy, Interview:

Tell me something about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do besides write?

I'm grew up in the town of Lynbrook on Long Island in New York. We moved out to Smithtown when I was in high school. I spent my college years in New York City and now I live in the south suburbs of Chicago.

What do you do besides write?

I spend much of my time promoting my book, going to book signings, setting up book signings and networking. I was a music teacher in the Chicago Public School System. Now I'm retired with three collies who keep me busy and a horse who puts me on guilt trips when I can't go out to the barn where he's stabled. I've been dedicated to showing my dogs in obedience, have been an obedience instructor and have done
therapy work with schizophrenic patients. I've shown and trained horses to a limited extent. Now, my writing career takes up so much of my time. When I have the time, I love to read. . Yeah, right.

Tell me the premise of your book.

A man goes undercover to catch a killer and falls in love with his prime suspect.

What prompted you to write it?

Horses. I love them. I care about them. The seed of this story comes from a scandal in the horse show and racing industries where greedy horse owners would kill off horses that were not performing well for the insurance money. Most of these horses were insured for a lot of money. Think six figures in some case. In the racing industry someone might pay a million dollars or more for a promising yearling. And if the horse can't perform?

From the time you first got the idea, how long did it take you to get to the point where you knew the book was finished?

I got the idea about In the Arms of the Enemy many years before I started to write it. I miscalculated how finished it was when I sent it in to Harlequin for its Intrigue series. I received a very nice rejection letter. Then I let it sit for six months and when I pulled it out again, I knew why it had been rejected. It wasn't ready. Unfortunately, no matter how much editing I do, I never think they're ready. That presents its own problems. Over editing sometimes is worse than not editing enough..

Are you anything like the heroine in your story?

I tried to make her different, but I supposed there must be some of me in
the heroine. Unfortunately, I've seen some of my traits in my villain too.
How do your family and friends feel about you being an author?

My sister is an Episcopal priest and she's had several books published. My brother is proud of me, I think. I guess they're proud of me. I haven't thought of it much. My mom was a poet and she didn't even want to hear any of my stuff. That was sad. I have no clear explanation. My sister said the same thing. We don't know. She's deceased now so we'll never know.

Besides your blog tour, what are you doing to promote it?

I'm doing a lot of internet networking. I'm calling book stores and setting
up book signings. I've managed to get on two radio programs. I've had book signings in unusual places like the barn during "Vet Day." and an obedience seminar in Danville, Illinois. I love horse and dog people.

What else would like to tell me and the visitors to my blog about your novel or yourself?

This book is dedicated to those horses lost to man's greed and inhumanity and to those humanitarians who'd save and protect them.

Out side of that, if In the Arms of the Enemy was a cake its ingredients
would consist of:: deception, deceit and murder sprinkled with romance and horses.

For much more information about Patricia Guthrie and In the Arms of the Enemy, visit her virtual book tour site - 1.

Book Summary

Light Sword Publishing announces the release of Patricia A. Guthrie’s first published novel “In the Arms of the Enemy.”
When the death of a racing stable’s prize horse and his trainer is blamed on the stable’s owner; his son, Adam Blakely, goes undercover convinced that the trainer’s partner, Maggie McGregor, is the killer.
Determined to leave the tumultuous world of horse racing, Maggie returns home to try and find peace. When a handsome horse owner moves his horse into her father’s boarding stable and asks Maggie to train his horse, family finances dictate that Maggie accept--and that’s when the accidents begin.
Drowning in deception and lies, Maggie and Adam search for a killer and uncover an insurance scam so insidious, it threatens to rock a horse racing empire and bring the killer to their doorstep. They need to learn to:
Keep your friends close; but your enemies closer.
Review magazine "Affaire de Coeur" says, "With a strong mystery and a sizzling romance, Ms. Guthrie captivates readers from the start. This is an enjoyable thriller with a plot that will keep you guessing until the climactic end.”
* * * * * Rated five stars
Patricia A. Guthrie is a resident of Park Forest, Illinois. A recently retired music teacher from the Chicago Public Schools (May Community Academy and Chicago Vocational Community Academy) and former opera singer, Author Patricia A. Guthrie is now an avid horse owner, dog obedience trainer and writer. Ms. Guthrie lives with three feisty collies who act as “ghost writers” and help her write at every given opportunity.
This story is dedicated to those horses lost to man’s greed and inhumanity and to those humanitarians whose mission is to save and protect them.
In the Arms of the Enemy By Patricia A. Guthrie

Book Promo 101 - NOW AVAILABLE
"Coastal Suspense with a Touch of Romance"
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Monday, March 10, 2008


As usual Epicon was great–even though I didn’t win an Eppie, at least Judgment Fire was nominated. I seem to always be a bridesmaid, never a bride–or maybe I've caught the Susan Lucci syndrome.

One of the best things about any of these events is connecting with friends and making new ones. Lorna and Larry who wrote 31 Months in Japan; Lee Emory, publisher Treble Heart Books; John Schembra, a friend from PSWA; Murdock Hughes, who often looks like a werewolf and writes about one too; and way too many more to name.

The highlight of the conference for me was hearing Mike Powell of Powell’s Books (Portland OR) speak. While many independent bookstores are disappearing, Powell’s keeps on growing. No doubt the largest bookstore anywhere, there are also four other speciality Powell’s in Portland and two that I saw in the airport!

First, he spoke quite positively about e-books, including the fact that 18% of his business was in e-book sales and he expects that to percentage to continually increase. He buys from Ingram and Baker and Taylor, but he also buys directly from Lightning Source one of the largest print-on-demand printers of books. And he buys directly from publishers. He also told of the horror of big book warehouses that when they get too full, transport books to the dump. He predicts most books will be print-on-demand in the near future because it isn’t environmentally sane to continue printing books that may become landfill.

Of course this all goes full in the face of Mystery Writers of America’s and Sisters in Crime’s argument about e-publishing and print-on-demand being a “thing of the future.”

Portland is a wonderful town with a great system of public transportation, beautiful vistas–when it was clear we could see Mount Hood and Mount Saint Helens.

Besides authors, hubby made friends with the Chinese waiter in the hotel’s restaurant, and on the way home, we learned all about our cab driver’s life in Iran and here.

I took lots of notes at all the seminars I attended and had great audiences for the ones I taught.

It was a great weekend.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Public Safety Writers Association Newsletter

For those of you who are interested in writing fiction or non-fiction about law enforcement or any other public safety entity, you ought to check out the Public Safety Writers Association. A brand new newsletter is up on the website and has lots of information about the upcoming conference.

Do check it out.

I can guarantee that you'll learn something at the conference and have an absolutely fantastic time. Because it's a small conference, there's plenty of time to one-on-one with presenters.