Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Canadian Bookshelf

Here's a great new web site I've just discovered. It's called Canadian Bookshelf and has been put together by the Canadian Publishers Association. A wonderful resource on what's what in Canadian published books. It's still a beta site and there are a few glitches (I've tried to tag my books with but it keeps giving me an error).

My main publisher is Poisoned Pen Press which is not a Canadian publisher, so although the books are distributed in Canada they are not published in Canada thus don't show up on the Canadian bookshelf.

But I'm okay with that.

Hopefully people can find out about my Klondike books and a bit more about me and then look futher.

And I'm pleased that someone is doing something to help out Canadian books. Check it out

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Writing the Climax

I'm in the midst of writing the climax of my new standalone for Poisoned Pen Press. Tetative title: Walls of Glass.

It's not easy. In this book I want an action-packed ending. But the heroine isn't a cop or a soldier or a judo master. She's an ordinary woman, with serious brain trauma, up against two big men, one with a knife and one with a Glock. How to get her out of this predicament believabily is the question.

Believability counts. For some reason writers seem to be able to get away with total fabrication in movies in a way that we can't in crime fiction. In a movie, she'd step forward, grap his wrist, and flip him onto his back. Or she'd leap into the air and use both feet to strike him in the chest so he falls, unconscious, to the ground. Perhaps she'd have a knife concealed on her body (don't we all walk around the house like that?) and throw it from the far side of the room to fasten his hand to the wall?

None of that is going to work in this book. One thing she has on her side is that she has a child to protect. I do believe that people can find hidden strength when someone they love is in danger.

There has to be a certain amount of luck involved. One of the men turns away at the wrong (for him) time, or steps in the wrong (for him) place? Perhaps a falling out among thieves? Or an intervention by another person. Nope, don't want the big strong man coming to her rescue. The gun jams? Why not?

This requires a lot of thought. In my head I have to position the characters, move them around the space. Know where they're looking when they speak, know where they're standing at just the right time. I am not particuarly quick-witted, nor am I fast and agile, but my character has to be to save herself, so I have to think like I'm smart and fit.

Let me pour another glass of wine and think smart and fit.

Okay, she got lucky and the knife guy is out of action. Now there's the guy with the gun to deal with. Hum...

Is that a siren I hear in the distance?

No, cop outs now, Vicki. Stay focused. You can do this. She can do this.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Joy to be Home

I'm home. Hurrah! The trip was great but it is so nice to be home. I wouldn't normally go on a long trip in Spring but my cross-Canada book tour for Among the Departed was planned around Bloody Words in Victoria so I had little choice. When I left, the garden was a bunch of stubby hosta tips poking out of the cold ground. Now it's a riot of peonies and iris and the hosta are HUGE. I won't get my vegetable garden in this year - it's getting too late and my priority will be the annuals and cleaning up the perennial gardean and the weeds that have had their way with the edges of the lawn. Fortunately a neighbouring boy came regularly to cut the grass.

I have lost six weeks of writing time. I don't write when travelling, but i did do a lot of thinking about the new standalone and am really eager to dive right in. I find that I am able to do edits when in cheap motel rooms, so was able to get the editor's suggestions incorporated into Gold Mountain (coming March 2012).

Good thing I like to drive - I put in over 10,000 Kms on the car in five weeks.