Monday, July 26, 2010

Short film from Bloody Words

Spencer Barclay (son on Linwood) filmed this year's Bloody Words conference and has put together a great four minute film of the highlights and an introduction by the founder of the conference, Caro Soles. You'll spot some well-known writers. Have a look, perhaps it will entice you into coming next year to Victoria, B.C.

I incidently, am changing into my Constable Molly Smith persona at 44 seconds; giving the Boney Pete Award for best short story at the 1.33 minute mark, and attempting to spar with a policewoman, and not looking too sure about it, at the 3.23mintue mark.

The photograph above is by Iden Ford, husband of Maureen Jennings.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

When books start piling up on top of each other.

As you probably know the publishing industry works long ahead of time. Today I have finished the Molly Smith book #5, Among the Departed. It is scheduled for publication Fall 2011. I will be sending the manuscript off to Poisoned Pen tomorrow, and I am sure there will be editorial comments and changes, but for now - fini.

Negative Image, the fourth book in the series will be out on Nov. 1, 2010. Meanwhile the latest book on the shelves (in the Molly Smith series) is last year’s Winter of Secrets.

Which means that I have finished two more books and am still out promoting Winter of Secrets. Sometimes I can hardly remember what happened in that book. It’s hard not to give away spoilers, too, because I just assume everyone knows what happens in Negative Image. Although the mystery or the adventure in each book is completely separate from the others, the characters lives do move forward and things change.

Of course to add to the mix, I also write the Klondike Gold Rush series, of which book #3, Gold Mountain, is underway (publication late 2011). And I have written the first in a new series that is now with my agent.

Fortunately I don’t get the different series or the standalones mixed up. The styles are very different, as are the locations.

Here is a first look at the cover for Negative Image. Hope you like it.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Isn't this a neat picture? Poisoned Pen Press is working hard to get all our books onto the latest platforms. This picture is for Playaway, which I think is an audio format. You don't need a CD player or anything, just buy the package and it comes with everything including little headphones. It's expensive, but if you are interested: click here

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wolfe Island Scene of the Crime Festival

For those of you living in or visiting the east next month, I wanted to drop a mention of the Wolfe Island Scene of the Crime Festival.

The Festival is an annual affair, this will be the tenth year, held on Wolfe Island, the largest of the Thousand Islands (just off Kingston Ontario). The Festival is small and I think unique, held in honour of one Grant Allan, Canada’s first crime writer. Allan was born on Wolfe Island and became a friend and contemporary of the writers of his age including Sir Arthur Conon Doyle.

Registration is limited to 100 attendees so everyone gets a chance to talk in a casual setting with the authors. The day is full of readings, interviews, panel discussion, a lecture, book sales and signings, and good-old-fashioned meeting and schmoozing. This year the Grant Allan Award recipient for her contributions to Canadian crime writing is Gail Bowen. The other authors are Michael Blair, Susanna Kearsley, James Nichol and ahem... Vicki Delany.

The setting on Wolfe Island is perfect. It’s a very small island, only accessible by ferry from Kingston Ontario or St. Vincent New York. If you take the Kingston ferry everything is easily walkable (from St Vincent you would need a car). The morning’s events are held in the beautiful United Church and in the afternoon we move to the historic Anglican Church where Grant Allan’s father preached.

Did I mention the meals? Your registration gets you a coffee and muffin breakfast, lunch put on by the congregation of the United Church, and a traditional church supper from the Anglican Church women. Like pie? They make pie like you would expect Church ladies living on an Island to make!

For an additional small fee, a morning workshop is also being offered. This year the topic is Point of View and the workshop is being conducted by Barbara Fradkin.

This year’s date is Saturday August 14. Note that in order to guarantee your meals, registration must be received by July 31st.

Information and registration is at

Friday, July 9, 2010

Need to cool down - read a winter book

It's hot hot hot here in Ontario. Not just the heat, of course, but the humidity. A/Cs are churning all over the east. Fortunately there is one cheap, easy, convenient way to cool down. Read a book set in winter. Winter of Secrets, (Poisoned Pen Press) the third Constable Molly Smith book, begins in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve and ends on New Years day. Here are a couple of scenes to start the cooling process.

Something soft, gentle and cold landed on Molly Smith’s cheek. She looked up. Snowflakes drifted down from the heavens. She put her hand to her head. She’d lost her hat long ago, tossed into the back of the truck, hopefully, although she didn’t remember. Her hair was soaking wet from snow melting against her scalp. Her boots were good, but even so her feet were getting cold. She wiggled her fingers inside her gloves.

A tree groaned and let loose its full weight of heavy snow. A substantial portion of which found its way down the back of Smith’s neck. Involuntarily, she yelped.

Smith stepped into the night. Snow was still falling and the wind was still blowing. The street was deserted, everyone at home with their loved ones.
She pulled her collar up around her neck and dug in her pockets looking for her gloves. Light from the streetlamps was dim in the falling snow. It was only two blocks to her apartment, and she walked through deserted streets, enjoying the sound of snow crunching under her feet.
The wind was a problem, but all this snow promised great skiing.

The full first chapter of Winter of Secrets is available on my web page: as is information about where you can find the book.

Stay cool.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book Clubs and Book Lovers

Don't you love book clubs? Last night I was the guest author at a mystery book club in Toronto which discussed Gold Fever. I had a nice dinner, met new people, enjoyed fun conversation, and got to talk about the book and my writing. My friends Janet and Helen are book lovers extraordinare. Helen has put a third story on her house which she, only half-kidding, says is to store her TBR pile. She had a pile of new books that she'd bought earlier at Sleuth of Baker Street to show the club. A fabulous mix of bestsellers and little-knowns, hardcover and paperbacks. All mysteries of course.

Summer is here with a bang - hot hot hot. This time of year I am particuarly glad I was able to retire. I'm out of the hot city and here in the pleasant countryside, working on the deck, the pool at hand if I get hot. Heaven.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back to the Klondike - On Canada Day

Happy Canada Day to all. I am just back from a Canada Day Pig-Out in Picton. Put on by Buddha Dog it was an attempt to create a world record of people eating hotdogs all at the same time. About 300 people showed up and we were all given one of the lovely little Buddha Dog hotdogs with an absolutely delicious mustard sauce prepared for the event by Jamie Kennedy. We stood around with hot dog in hand waiting until everyone was served and then all bit in at once for the official photograph. Great fun. And in support of local agriculture.

Edward County is done and off to Patty Moosbrugger, my agent. Without missing a day, I am now deep in the Klondike. Before I start the next Gold Rush book, I need to immerse myself in the time period again, so spent this morning reading my reference books. I am fascinated all over again by what an incredible time it was. Part of the story this time will be flashbacks to Fiona and Angus's arrival in Skagway. Where Fiona meets the infamous Soapy Smith and decides she's better off moving on.