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Showing posts from May, 2013

WRITING THE FICTION SERIES by Karen Wiesner

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Deadly Trail, the Prequel

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Deadly Trail was the first book written in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, but as I reported earlier it was not the first published. It was later picked up by Hard Shell Word Factory, which is no longer in existence, but promoted the book as a prequel to the series.

This was Deputy Tempe Crabtree's introduction and also her introduction to the enigmatic Nick Two John when he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of the owner of the Inn. (at that time I just called it the Inn, it has since become known as the Bear Creek Inn.) Much of the story revolves around the Inn which is based on the Springville Inn, physically it's a bit different though the early history is the same.

Pastor Hutch makes his first appearance in this one too. Tempe and he are not married yet, but the wedding happens between this book and Deadly Omen.

And if you would like to hear a bit of a a confession, there is an earlier book that I wrote as a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, but there was nothing in …

Where Did Tempe Crabtree's name come from?

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Tempe Crabtree was my great-grandmother's name, my dad's grandma. Though he told my sister and me a lot about her, we never got to see her. We learned a lot about her, though, when my sister did our family genealogy.

Her family, (the Osbornes) were pioneers in the gold country in the Sierra. When one of her siblings drowned, the family packed up everything and traveled south, ending up in a place called Globe (no longer in existence, though there is a road called Globe Dr.) in what is now Springville. (Yep, it's where I live.)

Their homestead was close to the Crabtrees'. They had a son named Newt who took a fancy to Tempe and a romance ensued followed by marriage. The two lived on the Crabtrees' homestead for a long while and raised many children. Later, as they grew older, they moved to a smaller house in town.

I was always fascinated by the name. When I began formulating the idea of writing about a female resident deputy in a town similar to the one I live in, I …

Thoughts About Writing a Continuing Series

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The Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series is different in many ways from the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Probably the biggest difference is that most of the Tempe books are in close third person, but mainly from her point of view. The few times I've put something in someone else's point of view it has only been for a prologue or first chapter when there was something I really wanted reader's to know that couldn't come from Tempe's POV.

In the new one, Spirit Shapes, the whole story unfolds through Tempe's eyes.

With every Tempe mystery there is a touch of Indian spiritualism or supernatural of some sort--and in Spirit Shapes there is lots, but in a different form than I've ever written about before. I don't want to say anymore as I sure don't want to spoil what's coming--and it's still a long ways off.

Tempe has been a part of my life for many years now. And of course her life isn't moving as fast as mine--a good hing, or she'd be gettin…

Where I am Spending the Weekend

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Planning Ahead for my Next Deputy Tempe Crabtree promo

Mundania Press has a form to be filled out after you've sent them a copy of your new book. Among other things, you must write a short blurb for the back of the book, a synopsis, and what  you'd like to see on the cover. Fortunately, my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series covers have been assigned to a cover artist who uses Native American designs in the covers. I'm hoping for something wonderful once again.

Spirit Shapes is the title of this book and the story has many spirits, ghosts and even demons in it--and of course several murders--one new and two from the past. I hope, somehow, the artist will be able to convey some of that.

Now it's time for me to think about what kind of things I should do for promotion of this book--and that's where you can chime in. Is there anything in particular you'd like to see me do?

Of course I'm considering a blog tour--and I'd love to have some volunteers--if I don't get any, then I'll chase some folks down. And with …

The Asylum, by John Harwood--my review

I received this book in the mail. I'm not sure why I got it, but no book comes into my house that I don't try to read. Years ago, I would never have stopped reading a book. Nowadays, I don't have time to keep on reading something that hasn't captured my attention in a few pages.

Truly, I did not know what to expect with this book. The cover, which for some reason I've been unable to copy, is that of a black and white photo of a young woman, sad and from an earlier time period. The title and author name are in pale yellow. An arresting cover.

The chapter headings are the names of the POV character for that particular segment. I found that helpful because at times I wasn't sure. One of the reasons is because this is the story of Georgina Ferrars who wakes up in an asylum with no recollection of how she got there. I had no idea where the story was going but immediately was caught up in the horrifying dilemma this young woman found herself in.

All of her pleading …

Why I Chose a Small Independent Publisher(s) and More

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The "and more" refers to why I've chosen to remain with my small publishers and not jump off and go the self-publishing route as so many others have.

First, I was thrilled when Mundania Press agreed to pick up my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series after I lost the first two publishers. I'd met the publisher at several writing conferences and he had the know how and business sense I was looking for.



I met the publisher for Oak Tree Press also at a writing conference. In fact I met her several times before I approached her about publishing the next one up in my Rocky Bluff P.D. series. I parted ways with the first publisher, the second one published two books and then decided to retire. Approaching Oak Tree Press seemed the next logical stop.

Why did I make that choice and stick with it?

Number one, I don't want to learn how to do something new. Frankly, I don't have the time for it. I want to have time to write my books. I don't want to design my covers and form…

How I Got from There to Here, Michael Bigham

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Remembering Mom

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there.

Of course I'm a mom too, but I want to talk about my own mom. She left this world to begin her new life in Heaven at the age of 97.

Things were different back when I was a kid. Mom had to work really hard every day. She did have an automatic washing machine for as far back as I can remember (Dad loved to get her anything new like that.) But she had to hang clothes on the line, bring them in when dry, fold and put them away.

Grocery shopping wasn't all that easy either. The first big store was in Glendale and started out in a big tent. As I remember it was Ralph's. It wasn't all that far, but we did have to drive to get there. Mom did all the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning and the paying of bills. With the exception of mowing the lawn, mom took care of all the gardening too.

It was a different time--and my sister and I had free run of the neighborhood. The only rule was we needed to get back home before our da…

Finally, Getting it Together for Next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery

Yes, I'm busy working on next year's Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery.

I have a title--actually had the title before I had any idea what the book would be about. A friend--one I've actually met--suggested it. I though, why not? As I began putting together what I wanted in the book, I knew the title would work.

So far I'm building around the mysterious death of an old man, his family, his three friends, their time in the Seabees together, and a mysterious woman who will have the same name as someone who won a contest.

A new female Chief shakes up the whole Rocky Bluff P.D.

Officer Stacey Milligan is called upon to investigate a serial rapist.

Officer Gordon Butler is put on graveyards, slowing his romance with Lizette Gibbs.

Ryan Stickland becomes a father and loses his position as public affairs officer.

Felix Zachary is now a Detective and Doug Milligan's new partner.

Yes, it is coming together. My biggest problem is having enough time to work on it.  And work on it I mu…

Some Interesting Facts About Solving Crimes

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While I was visiting the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime, the speaker, a criminologist, shared many interesting tidbits.

Among them were a few facts about fingerprints.

Latent fingerprints are collected from all over. The computer helps match fingerprints. Using both the state and federal system, sometimes will come up with a match in about two minutes. The latest FBI system will check against all fingerprints in the system. Of course, the fingerprints must be in the system.

State law prohibits including the fingerprints of teachers and others who have had to be fingerprinted for their job.

And murders.

There are very few true stranger murders. The killer is usually someone the  victim knows.

But--there are around 200 active serial killers in the United States now. Serial killers usually stalk their victims.

Profiling isn't always a good thing. Knee jerk reactions are almost always bad.

Surveillance cameras are everywhere.The average American is video taped 18 times a …

Do Your Write When You Are Away from Home?

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When you are off on a trip for whatever reason do you do any writing?

I know some busy authors who when they are even at a big mystery convention, will make their scheduled appearances but disappear into their room for hours to work on their latest book. I don't do that at a convention or conference that I've spent my money to attend.

While I'm there, I'm going to go to the panels and presentations that most interest me, hang out in the lobby or wherever people are congregating and visit. I love seeing old friends and making new ones. A writer's life isn't filled with many exciting events--at least mine isn't--and I'm going to make the most of the opportunity to mingle with people who love to read and/or write.

However when I'm on a trip where we are driving somewhere, I often brainstorm with my husband about things that are going to happen in my book and find out if he has any suggestions as to problems the characters might face.

If it's a vis…