Laura Lippman to be at Eureka’s Books in Bloom

I’m so excited to hear Laura Lippman speak this Sunday at Books in Bloom in Eureka Springs. I intend to be there and pick up a copy of her new book, Wilde Lake while I’m at it.

I reviewed After I’m Gone a couple of years ago on this blog, and I’m confident I’ll enjoy her new book just as much. That confidence comes from the fact that I’ve yet to be disappointed with a Lippman story. She is one hell of a storyteller. Her characters are always rich, and her plots very well woven together with surprises along the way.

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My library includes plenty of Laura Lippman books, and I’ve read a few of them more than once.

After I wrote that review and noted that I had the pleasure of meeting Laura Lippman years ago, I was thrilled when she sent me a note stating she remembered meeting me. I attended “Of Dark and Stormy Nights,” a conference held in Chicago by Mystery Writers of America where she spoke. I was absolutely delighted when we happened to share a shuttle to O’Hare Airport at the end of the conference. I talked to her about my book idea, and she told me to go for it, to write the book about a corrupt prison system, a serial killer and a reporter from the Ozark Mountains who puts it all together. That book, A Lovely County, came out last year. The second one in the series is due out in November. Pen-L Publishing is set to release A Lovely Murder in November, and I’m now writing the third one, A Lovely Grave.

I plan to take a copy of A Lovely County to Lippman this weekend and hope to be able to pass it to her! Wish me luck, because I’d love to personally thank Laura Lippman for encouraging me and teaching me by example about good plotting.

 

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Why I Write

At times I’ve wondered why I bother to write. The process is daunting and the finished product a distant uncertainty. I’ve written a novel expected to be published in January, but it took me years. If I include the idea and the thinking about turning it into an actual book,

Me signing my first publication contract with Oghma Creative Media. Photo by Casey Cowen, Oghma president

Me signing my first publication contract with Oghma Creative Media. Photo by Casey Cowen, Oghma president.

I’d have to admit it took at least two decades. My daughter, now 29 with a child of her own, talks of waking up one morning as a teenager to find me half awake and upset. I told her I’d thrown out the novel I’d started. Yes, I did. I pitched it and started over. That wasn’t the last time either. Now it’s done. It’s hard to believe sometimes that it is.

The process was long, but through the stops and starts and restarts I turned into a writer.
I had planned to start a second in a series of mysteries with the same protagonist, but while finishing the last edit an idea for a thriller came into my head. I had to start writing it before I burst.
That’s just it. I write. I write not because I dream of publication (but nice reward and validation).
I write because it’s in me now and to stop would be denying a part of who I am.

Writing Progress and New Business Cards

May has been a good month for me as an aspiring novelist! I have new business cards to help promote myself. And (drum roll here) I can finally say I am done editing my mystery novel, and I am so very pleased with the outcome. I’ve even come up with a new title that fits it really well… “Indecent Liberty.” Even if it changes prior to publication, I’m happy with the progress.

image001Thanks to Russell Gayer and Robin C. Stuttle at Tyson Digital Print Services for the great job, quick service and good price on the cards!

Also, thanks to my husband Lloyd Ericson for all the encouragement, and for putting up with me and my writer life.

Now time to finish another short story and move on to the next novel. I already have a plot churning in my head.

Working Through the Novel

As I read over my novel and get it as polished and perfect as possible, my characters are getting stronger and my resolve to finally be done with this thing is ringing in my ears. To push myself a little more and give you a taste of what I’m up to, I thought I’d share just a very small snippet here.

Girl With Pencil WavingSo, from Chapter 1:

“I got a good enough look to know he was dead for sure. It looked like a little boy from what I seen.” She spoke next in a muffled rush, staring at the lake below. “I saw legs and tennis shoes. Those sneakers was the saddest thing, sticking up there in the brush. They were red with no shoestrings.”

“Could you see anything else?” Danni blew at a strand of hair tickling her cheek as she took notes.

“He was wearing jeans, but I didn’t see much more’n that. The smell. That’s something I probably ain’t gonna ever forget. It was horrible, just horrible.” Elizabeth fanned herself a little faster. “And the quiet. Like the animals, birds, bugs and all, had gone off and left him alone there in the woods. That was the quietest I ever heard it out here this time of year.”