Sunday, November 21, 2010


I am not much of on for doing major revisions. Once I have finished a book I can make changes, for sure, add bits tighten up plot lines, drop a couple of red herrings, maybe strengthen a characters motivation or even add a minor sub plot.
But doing a major revision is something that strikes terror into my feeble heart.

My agent and I have decided that a standalone novel titled Child of Mine needs a substantial shift. I did not write this book to be a mystery, but a suspense. There is no mystery about who done what and why. The bad guy has a point-of-view throughout the book as he plots his evil ways. Hiss boo. The suspense is intended to be whether or not our heroine figures him out in time.

The response we got from the publishers she submitted it to was that they felt this didn’t work. They want a more traditional mystery with a whodunit element and a surprising reveal at the end.

Now, I’m not one to stand on my art and insist that my vision can not be tampered with. Tamper away!

I’m a bit nervous about doing it, as I said major rewrites are not something I’ve attempted before. But I’ll give it a go. It might work, it might not.

But if I don’t try, guaranteed it won’t work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Store booksignings and me

A lot of authors hate nothing more than the dreaded booksigning.

Being a writer is an introverted profession, perfectly suited for those who like to sit in their study, surrounded by papers, typing away. They might come up for air once or twice a day, and blink nervously to notice that the sun is out or that the rain is pouring off the trees, and get up to fix something to eat. Then it’s back to the keyboard, dripping bagel crumbs into the keys.

And then, once the book is finished and published, it’s time to promote it.

A seemingly endless round of visits to boookstores and libraries and book clubs. Where you meet with people and smile and chat happily about your book.
It seems unfair somehow: I know writers for whom the whole meet-the-public thing is a nightmare. Some writers just can’t do it. Their sales suffer accordingly.

For some reason, unknown to me, I love it. And I am pretty good at it. Sure, sometimes you feel like a total smuck standing there with a stupid smile on your face while everyone rushes past, eyes averted. And you meet some pretty rude people.

But all-in-all you meet a lot of interesting people who love books and would just LOVE to give yours a try or think it would be PERFECT for Great-Aunt-Alice’s Christmas present.

I am very very good at in-store signings. Don’t take my word for it – I’ve been told several times that I am the best author they’ve ever had in. No kidding. One bookseller told me I could give classes in how to do it.

It’s not rocket science – all you have to do is engage the potential readers. Smile, say Hi, ask an opening question and if the response to that is good, then ask if you can tell them about your books. You definitely need something to hand them – bookmark, postcard, flyer - not only does it begin a relationship, but if they really are too busy right now you want them to have something to remind them to come back, don’t you?

My number one rule for bookstore signings: NEVER NEVER sit down. It creates a distance between you and the potential buyer and restricts your ability to move around the store or the immediate area.

We all have different ways of approaching this. Just a couple of tips about what works for me.

Want to see me in action?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Technology - the good and the bad

I spilled coffee into my laptop a couple of days ago. Modern electronics don't much care for water, and that was the end of that computer. Thank heavens I bought a Netbook last month to use when travelling and thank heavens I loaded all my current projects onto it to take to Las Vegas. So I was cursing and swearing about modern technology that has us so dependent. I pretty much live my life on the computer - not only my writing, but all my guest blog postings, I organize my book tour, I communicate with friends and family, look at pictures of my vacation. I even went onto Facebook to ask advice about getting a new computer.

Yup, we're tied to the darn things and those ties are getting tighter and tighter.

And this from someone who doesn't even have an iPhone or any other iDevice. I just have a common-or-garden cell phone. In Vegas in my group of 14 (11 Delanys) I was the only one with an ordinary phone.

And then last night the other side of the technology revolution hit me. I looked at the fridge, saw my notice to get my car licence sticker renewed, and hit myself on the head. When was I going to get the time to have that done? Then I saw the instructions to do it online.

And so I did - took two minutes tops.

It's a crazy world to be sure.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blog tour and real tour

I'm in the midst of a blog tour for Negative Image. It's been a lot of work, but also fun. I'm posting the links on the left side of this page. I'm starting off on my big bookstore tour tomorrow. I'll be all over Eastern Ontario and the GTA. The schedule is here: So please come out if you can.