No doubt about it, authors experience plenty of ups and downs on the crazy roller coaster of Publishing. Sometimes it’s a thrilling ride, and sometimes it’s…less thrilling. But one thing writers can count on: We are ALWAYS busy. Here’s what some of the Chicks are working on at this very minute…
I just finished a short story, which was a new format and style for me (I admit, I scared myself a few times), and now I’m back at work on a new series proposal that has so far taken on many incarnations. This time, though, I think I’m on the right track. I’m spending a lot of time down the rabbit hole of “research,” which is so much fun I have to remind myself to Actually Write Something. Said research includes revisiting some of my favorite Gothic novels–but then I get into the juicy stories of the authors’ even more fascinating lives and…Did you know Victoria Holt died (and was also buried) at sea between Greece and Egypt?
I’ve got a few balls in the air. On Wednesday I turned in the revisions for Here Comes the Body, my First Catering Hall Mystery, written under the name Maria DiRico. After that, I launched into shaping a decent draft of my as-yet-untitled-but-revolves-around-Halloween 6th Cajun Country Mystery that I can send to a couple of beta readers for notes. And once the draft is done, my plan is to noodle around with a proposal for a new series idea I’m excited about. It would be very easy for me to skate around that particular task, so send some motivation my way! (Also, it’s TV staffing season here in Lalaland, which has taken on a whole new dimension with the WGA v. agents standoff, and that’s been super distracting.)
I’m in book jail right now with 10 days to go until the manuscript is due for My Fair Latté, first book in my Café Cinema Mysteries. I’m drinking copious amounts of coffee and trying to remember to breathe.
Sneak peek: Broke, unemployed barista Halley Greer inherits a timeworn movie theater and moves to the charming tourist town of Utopia Springs, Arkansas to claim her legacy. In addition to the theater, she discovers she’s also inherited a trash-heaped apartment, family secrets, her late uncle’s friends, a stealthy calico kitty—and an adversary.
The feisty barista fixes up and re-opens the theater as a coffee/wine bar, showing classic films. The opening night screening of My Fair Lady is a hit, and her new life feels like a bit of movie magic, until a customer turns up dead during intermission. With the cops eyeing her as a suspect, Halley digs into the victim’s life and runs into a tangle of blackmail and secrets to unravel, much like a mystery in her friend’s escape rooms business. The theater and her budding romance could both be DOA unless Halley can find a killer—before the curtain comes down for keeps.
This isn’t mystery-related but I just turned in final grades for spring semester! (Pause for celebration.) It’s the first time in two decades that I have not taught a summer class, and I don’t even know what to do with myself! Actually, I do know because The Subject of Malice (Lila #4) is launching July 23rd and there’s much to be done in the meantime. In addition, I’ve agreed to beta read manuscripts for several friends and I’m hoping to finish Lila #5 soon. And by finish, I mean start. Just kidding: I have a title.
No rest for this Chick. Although my latest mystery, Murder from Scratch, was released just weeks ago, I’m burning up my laptop keyboard working on the as-yet untitled Sally Solari number five:
Family rivalry is all good fun when it’s Sally Solari competing against her dad, Mario, at the annual Artichoke Cook-Off out on the Santa Cruz Wharf. But when Sally wakes up the morning of the competition to discover the sinus infection she’s been fighting has caused her to lose her sense of smell, she’s in no mood for laughter. And then, after one of the cook-off competitors is found dead behind a restaurant dumpster—bashed on the head with his own cleaver and with one of the tasty thistles stuffed into his mouth—the festivities turn downright sinister.
Right now I’m basking in the post-release glow of AS DIRECTED, the third book in my Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series. Actually, that’s a lie. I’m not so much basking as sharing—as in blog-touring, podcasting, Facebook-living, event-ing, and other verbs that allow me to talk about the book but take me away from my keyboard. When I’m not doing those things, I’m plotting the next book, which for me means writing an extensive outline that helps me see what happens, to whom, and why. The exciting part? I’m creating two outlines: one for a Maggie book and one for a standalone. Right now it’s a race to see which book wants to be written first. We’ll see what the muse has to say.
We know we aren’t the only busy ones. What are YOU reading, writing, or working on? Let us know in the comments below!
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