Friday, February 26, 2016

Audible Deal and More

Zestful Blog Post #149

Dearest Zestful A-lister,

As promised yesterday, here’s my newschat that went out this morning. Forgive and delete if you’re already on that list.

Newschat for Brighter Skies

Dearest Correspondent,

We know there are only four seasons, but scientists have recently determined that winter actually has five subseasons: 1) holiday buildup, 2) holidays, 3) holiday downslope, 4) gray skies, and 5) despair. Even in Florida people complain about winter. The locals get out their coats and fur boots when temperatures plummet into the low seventies, while seasonal people get upset if it’s too windy to golf. Be that as it may. Here now the news, with bright-sky wishes for you and yours.

1) The audio book company Audible made an offer on all five of my Lillian Byrd crime novels, and we signed the contract last week. This was in the works for quite a while. Am thrilled that Lillian will have a voice! Was able to approve the narrator; more about her next time. Mega thanks to the team at the Donald Maass Literary Agency for making it happen: Rights Director Katie Shea Boutillier and Agent Cameron McClure.

Not sure when the audio books will be available, though the rumor is several months out from contract signing. Funny thing: I realized I need to reread those books closely and make pronunciation notes for the narrator, so I’m doing that in betwixt and between other stuff. Detroiters have developed idiosyncratic pronunciations for countless streets and places. Ask a Detroiter how to get to Gratiot or Livernois or Ecorse.

2) In honor of this weekend’s Oscars (which I don’t usually watch, but hey, it’s a good excuse to do a promo), The Actress – Rita Farmer mystery #1 is free on Amazon Kindle.

If you haven’t snagged it yet, please do. I hope you enjoy it! Maybe it will whet your appetite for the next two in the series, The Extra and On Location. (I might note that you don’t need a Kindle device to download the book; you can get the free app for just about any device you can use to get connectivity.) And yes, I know I’ve been promising the fourth in the series forever, but bear with me. I swear I’ll get it out there.

3) Meanwhile, I’m nearly finished with final edits on a mainstream standalone that I’ll be self-pubbing through my imprint Spruce Park Press. Crimes in a Second Language was inspired by my Aunt Tracy, who befriended her cleaning woman after discovering that she was not only illiterate, but had barely attended school at all in her native Mexico. My story takes two similar women on a twisty road through education, insight, deception, and (naturally enough) dangerous malfeasance. More soon.

4) It’s a little late to report this, but Lillian Byrd #5, Left Field, did in fact win a Goldie award at last year’s GCLS conference. Very happy about that. And no, I can’t make it to the GCLS con this year—too much other travel going on. Hope to have news of other appearances soon.

5) With enormous help from Marcia, my website got a makeover last fall, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

6) My blog keeps going, as well as articles for Writer’s Digest magazine. Most recent is “Power Tools” in the January issue. Currently I’m writing one for them on “The Little Things” that are easy for writers to overlook but can make a huge difference in the quality of your work.

7) My work will also appear in the forthcoming Crafting Dynamic Dialogue: The Complete Guide to Speaking, Conversing, Arguing, and Thinking in Fiction (Writer’s Digest Books, June 2016). I was honored to be asked to write an original chapter on internal dialogue for it. Also, they’ll be using some material from my book You’ve Got a Book in You.

Thanks for your company! Wishing you happy (ice-free) trails and blue skies. Love,


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