Thursday, August 28, 2008

Public Safety Writers Association Conference


Because the time is drawing close for the early-bird registration fee (September 30), I want to keep reminding people about the PSWA Conference. For all the information go to: http://www.policewriter.com

This is one of the best all around writing conferences for anyone writing about crime, fiction or fact, fires, mysteries, thrillers or writing for law enforcement or other public safety magazines in print or online.

Anyone who wants to be, will be on a panel. We have no restrictions as to who published your book. Bring your books for sale.

The photo is from this year's conference. Michelle, the contest chairperson giving Keith, one of our members, his award for his win in the short story contest.

I go to lots of conferences including Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime. I always have a good time, but I must say, this one is at the top of my list for fun and comradeship.

This is the place to get all your questions answered. This year we have two forensic experts, an expert on fires, award winning mystery author, Betty Webb, and much, much more.

Plan on coming and getting inspired, learning a lot, meeting some great people, and having a super time.

Just go to the website: http://www.policewriter.com and sign up before the early bird rate disappears.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Monday, August 25, 2008

How I Know I'm Old though I don't Feel Like it

I'm blessed. Yes, I know I am--I'm 75 and don't feel like I could possibly be that old. I am, though, celebrated yesterday.

These are some of the things that I've done in the past 75 years:

Lived through WW II, Korean and Vietnam War.

Started working when I was 10 as a babysitter.
Other jobs I've had: office girl for a hot-rod shop, telephone operator, teacher in a school for child-development, day care, and pre-school.
Owned own business for 20 plus years: licensed residential care facility
Newsletter for residential care association.
Chairperson for Continuing Education for CRSA
Wrote and published over 20 books--mostly mysteries.

Volunteer jobs:
PTA Newsletter Editor, PTA President, Camp Fire Leader, Sunday School Teacher, President CRSA, Sunday School Teacher, (Other jobs I can't remember right now, remember how old I am.)

Most important:

Married to the same wonderful guy for 57 years
Gave birth to and raised 5 children
Grandmother to 19, great grandmother to 11.
Sister to Margie and auntie to all of her kids, great-auntie to her grandkids, and so-on.
Mother-in-law to a wonderful daughter-in-law and three great son-in-laws.

And now I'm ready for even more adventures.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kindred Spirits is Available to Order

Because I have so much planned for the debut of Kindred Spirits, I've been a nervous wreck wondering if I would really have a book on time for the events.

I've ordered 200 and certainly hope they arrive before I have to leave for my trip to Crescent City.

This is the back of the book blurb:

Kindred Spirits is about a troubled marriage, a "perfect" murder, a murder victim whose spirit won’t rest until the murderer’s identity is revealed, the genocide of the Tolowa nation, and two dangerous trips for Deputy Tempe Crabtree as she searches for answers.

My publisher has assured me that the books will be here. He's also told me that books can be ordered from him right now, either the trade paperback or the ebook.

http://www.mundaniapress.com

I'd love to really make a big showing with this book. I loved learning about the Tolowa people and writing about them. Of course Tempe feels like a real person to me so I'm always glad to put her adventures down so that people can read about them.

Now on to the promotion part of being an author.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

P.S. If anyone would like an autographed copy of the book just email me for details.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kindred Spirits Galley and Life

Yipee! I got the galleys for Kindred Spirits last night and
read through them carefully to make corrections--and now they've gone back to the publisher. Once the corrections are made on the proof the book can be sent to the printer.

This is the way it always is--with every publisher I've been with. Things get down to the wire and make it very nervewracking when you've got lots of promotion planned and it's imperative that you can get books on time. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I don't think it'll eve get easier.

I was supposed to go grocery shopping and do errands today--instead my husband did all that. I'm sure he would have rather done his own chores, but he didn't complain.

It's sort of like we've exchanged a few roles at this stage in our life. Back during his twenty years in the Navy, I had to take care of a lot of his business whenever he was overseas--and he was gone a lot to Bermuda, Spain, Greenland, Cuba, and three times to Vietnam. Meanwhile I maintained our home and raised our five kids and worked off and on (when I wasn't giving birth).

We worked together when we had our residential care home and he was great. Made up for all the times I was alone with our kids--he did wonderfully well with the six developmentally disabled women we cared for.

After over twenty years we retired from that too. Now I'm concentrating on my writing and promotion and he's been great. He drives me to my out of town events, helps set up, flies with me when we're going afar and helps with the bags. Together we've been lots of places in the states we'd never have seen if it weren't for the conferences and conventions we've atended.

We intend to keep doing it until we can't.

And I've got plenty planned for the promotion of Kindred Spirits.

Marilyn

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How Do You Plan Your Promotion?

A questions was asked of me if there were any templates or guides for marketing on the web. There may be, but I don't know of any, but there are sorts of hints from authors about what they are doing and you can adapt that for your own promotion.

Kindred Spiritsis the latest book in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. It is due out in September and that's the book I'm pushing right now.

Joe Konrath (check him out on Google) probably has done the most aggressive and successful promotion possible for his first book--and he continues to do some great promotion. He even went so far as to put the cover of his book on his car--all over his car. My husband wasn't enthusiastic about such an idea.

However, on both my cars I've got my website on the back--magnetic signs I purchased from the Internet. Have they helped sell books? I have no idea.

Every author needs a website and a blog that they change often. There are many, many places to do that, just like right here on blogger.com.

One of my most helpful promo items has been my business card. I have them done at VistaPrint with the cover of my latest book on the front and the info about the book on the back. I give them to everyone wherever I am.

I always plan a book launch of some sort, usually in my home territory. This year is different, I'm headed to Crescent City for the launch because a great deal of my book is about Crescent City and a wonderful lady who lives there (she's a good friend) is putting me and my husband up and arranged everything. Eventually I'll get something figured out for Springville--where I live and the book begins and ends.

I'm scheduled for three writers conferences, a talk for my Sisters in Crime chapter, two bookstore appearances, a book festival and an Apple Festival (this is mainly a craft fair but 30,000 people attend over the weekend and I sell lots of books.

I started planning most of this at the beginning of the year knowing my book would be out in September.

Of course I'm having a virtual book tour and I've already done lots of promotion on the web and will continue to do so.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Next Appearances

The launch for my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Kindred Spirits, will be in Crescent City CA at the Ann Wulf House on Wenesday, September 10.

Since space is limited at the Anna Wulf House there will be two luncheons. The first one is from 11a.m. to l p.m. the second from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Reservations must be made with the Anna Wulf house and prepaid. They take credit cards so call 707.464.5340. The tickets will soon be gone, so it would be wise to get your place now. The tickets are $25 and includes your own copy of KINDRED SPIRITS, which you can have personally autographed by the author.

As well as enjoying the old Victorian home, we will be entertained by live music on the old fashioned piano. Marilyn and Junie (the inspiration for two characters in the book) will receive guests in one of the rooms to sign your book and speak personally with you. Everyone will have a free ticket to the door prize. You may win some Spirit Glass Jewlry or a night at the Anna Wulf B/B House.

For those who are unable to attend this event, I will also be appearing at the Crescent City Library on Thursday, September 11 at 6 p.m.

I’m truly looking forward to visiting Crescent City once again.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Turn for the Better

Since my last post was so bleak, decided I'd better put up a cheerier one since I'm getting ready to leave town in the a.m. We're going camping for two days then to San Luis Obispo to the Creative Women's Festival where I'll have a table with my books.

My eldest daughter and husband have been here since Sunday late afternoon and we've been having lots of fun with them. Mostly talking a lot! But yesterday we went to see Swing Vote which is a great flick with many of the same political sentiments that I have. My son barbecued ribs for dinner and the food was wonderful. We always turn barbeuing duty over to him.

Today our plan is to head for the Indian casino. I don't like to gamble, but since I write about the casino all the time I really ought to at least take a look at what this one is like. I've been to special occasions held in the Bingo parlor but that's the only place.

What else we'll do I don't know. Before we go though, I have to make a run to the post office.

Just wanted you to know that things are happier around here now.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com
http://www.authorscoalitionandredenginepress.com/marilyn_meredith1.htm

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Alcoholism

Do not read if you expect to be entertained.

This past week a young woman who was only in her late thirties and I counted as a friend passed away from complications due to alcoholism. She was addicted to Vodka.

She had five children, the last born a little over a year ago. Her eldest daughter, who is grown and living on her own, has been caring for the youngest one ever since she was born because of the mother’s illness. And alcoholism is an illness as well as an addiction.

I know this young woman’s mom, her husband (who is an alcoholic too and spends a lot of time in jail for drunk driving), and the children. The eldest son has managed to find other places to live throughout his high school days, places with kindhearted souls who were willing to pay for all his needs including what it took to be on the football team. He’s turned out to be a wonderful young man, has a job with a place to stay–again thanks to kindhearted souls.

Another daughter is married now and living in another state with her military husband. She also found other places to stay during her high school years and folks who were willing to pay for her needs.

One boy, who is in high school now, has been living with his mother and father. What is going to happen with him now, I have no idea.

The young woman started going drastically down hill about two months ago when her kidneys and liver began to fail. She was hospitalized and put on dialysis. At times, things seem to be going fairly well. She was released from the hospital, though she was unable to care for herself and had to have dialysis three times a week. Hospitalized again, at least one time that I know of, for blood transfusions, she was sent home.

When her eldest daughter was unable to wake her, an ambulance was called–and she was pronounced dead.

Her mom called me to tell me what happened. She said, “It’s not right for a child to die before her mother.” I certainly can relate to that having lost a son to cancer. But this young woman's death was preventable.

What is my point for telling this sad story? This young woman was attractive, friendly, had wonderful children and yet all she lived for was another drink. She put vodka in water bottles to make sure she had it with her at all times. What a terrible waste!

Though I’ve heard of others who had plenty to live for losing their life to alcoholism, this was my first time I really knew the details and was this close to the devastating outcome.

As a Christian, I’m positive this young woman, who I know was a believer despite her inability to escape from alcoholism, is in Heaven, which means she is finally healed.

What is so sad is that her children have been deprived of their mother whom they all loved, a mother has lost her daughter, a sister has been left behind along with many nieces and nephews. Maybe some good will come out of it–perhaps what happened will convince others of the evil of becoming addicted to alcohol.

Tears come to my eyes just thinking about this.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

Friday, August 1, 2008

What's Up Next

One thing I've learned from small presses is that some authors don't realize that most of the promotion of their books is up to them. Yes, the publisher will do some, but even if you're published by a big house and are not a big name author, you aren't going to be sent on an all expense-paid book tour.

Every author should have a marketing/promotion plan worked out before their book is even published. My publisher, Mundania Press, expects a marketing plan along with the book proposal. I've been doing marketing plans for ages.

For me, except for some wonderful independent bookstores, I don't do many book signings. And I prefer to give a talk when I am visiting a bookstore. I have three set up for my coming Deputy Tempe Crabtree book, Kindred Spirits. Instead, my book launch will be in a Crescent City CA where the first part of the book is set at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast. (I'll give details in a later post.)

I'm heading to Taylorville, Illinois to be an instructor for the Oak Tree Press Writer's Conference. Yes, that's a long ways to go, but I've found doing writer's conferences is a way to connect with readers and gain more fans for my series. I'll also be on the program for the WOW writers conference in Scottsdale AZ.

I'll have a table or booth at three craft or bookfairs. This is another great way to meet new readers and interest them in my books.

And of course there's the Internet. Doing blog tours, guest blogging, and participating with all the social blogs are all a part of promotion.

The more you get your name out there and the more people see you and your book, the more apt you are to interest new readers.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com