Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter weather and action scenes

It is a lovely -18 C here in Southern Ontario today. As you know, if you read Tony Bidulka’s interview with me that I linked to below, I really love winter. I actually just love weather. I like summers to be hot and winters to be cold. I like long warm summer nights and dark cold winter nights. I like to sit out in the deck in the hot sun in the summer and cuddle up beside the fire in the winter.

Today is brilliantly sunny, as it only gets on a very cold day, and I am planning a walk later. I will bundle up so that only my eyes are showing and head out to the snowmobile paths in the woods. There is no wind today, so the walk should be pleasant.

I am struggling a lot with the climax of my new book. It is very action-oriented, much more than I have done before. I am having a hard time getting the characters in place; getting the gun away from the bad guy so the heroine can grab it (I guess he can’t just drop it, eh? Oopsie). Then once the sub-bad guy has been disposed of the super-bad guy appears and we have to do it all again. Plus the house is set on fire and there are people trapped inside, so after disposing of the super-bad guy, we rush off to save the trapped innocents.

I am having a lot of trouble visualising all of this. Perhaps I need to go to more action movies.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Speechless (Cross-Posted from Type M for Murder)

I have nothing more to say today. I have been struck speechless. My dear friend and wonderful mystery novelist Anthony Bidulka is running a series of interviews with Canadian crime writers he is calling "Ten Silly Things You Didn't Know about..." Today, it's my turn. An unusual intervew? That's putting it mildly. The picture above illustrates the lengths Tony has gone to to get my silly things on the record. Have a peek, and while you are there, have a look at Tony's web page. I think it's one of the best author pages going. Anthony Bidulka

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cornbread and Lost Symbol

As part of the Great Cornbread Challenge, I have put my cornbread recipe up at Fatal Fatal Foodies.

I have been reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Oh. My. God. I thought it was awful. I know a lot of people have liked it, but really. It's badly written - the constant use of italicizing everything you NEED TO KNOW BECAUSE THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT - the plot is ridiculous - when we finally found out what the great plot is to destory civilization as we know it, I said "So? - the bad guy is so over-the-top he's a comic figure, and the last 50 pages which supposedly reveals the secrets of the ancients are just pure nonsense.

If the ancients are so wise and all-knowing how come they died at 35 and lost 3/4 of their kids?

For a better look at the mysteries of the ancients, read the Instance at the Fingerpost by Iain Pears. Using the wisdom of the ancients one of the characters attempts of rid himself of an eye infection by covering it in dog poo (likes attract, see, and the poo will draw out the infection). No amount of failure of his method will convince him it isn't working. After all, the ancients were wise.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Where do you get your ideas?

Writers are always being asked where we get our ideas.

Sometimes it’s an unanswerable question: the idea just comes.

Sometimes it’s easy – the subplot of In the Shadow of the Glacier is about a spate of bike thefts. That subplot was added after I had my brand new bike stolen and I needed to get some revenge on the thief.

What brings this to mind is that I had minor day surgery on Thursday. I woke up in the recovery room and looked around and immediately had an idea for my new book. I am about to write the scene where someone attempts to set the protagonist’s house on fire. They will be unsuccessful. But then I thought that it would add to the drama if she is injured, maybe just slips on a patch of ice while running to the fire and ends up concussed and in the hospital. It will be a good place for the police to question her, because she has been avoiding them, and will put her in a very vulnerable position. Great idea, and I probably never would have thought of it had I not been flat on my back in the recovery room.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!