Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Book Titles

The editor working with What Did You Do Before Dying? suggested I change the title. Titles these days are short and sweet, and definitely not questions. I said no, that was the only title that would work for this book but she was free to make suggestions for the second one, whose working title was April's Fool. Nothing satisfied me, however, until I had a brainstorm -- an absolutely unique idea. ALL my titles in this series would be questions and they would follow the journalistic who, what, why, where, and when. The title for book two became Why Did You Die In the Park? Clever, huh?

I thought so, until a slow book signing day at Clues Unlimited in Tucson. I wandered over to the new arrivals section and found a book whose title was a question: What Are You Wearing to Die? Not only a question, but a clever one that tickled me. And it was also written by a woman whose first name was Patricia. So, what if someone read that book and didn't like it? Would they ever pick up one of mine? They might not remember last names and think it was the same person. I'd better buy it and read it and find out how much trouble I was in. (Does anyone else have the problem of spending more than they make at book signings?)

Horrors! This book was good. In fact, it was the kind of book that made me start writing traditional mysteries -- I couldn't find enough of them to read. I liked it so much that when I found one in my local Horizon's Bookstore in Traverse City, MI, I bought it, too. How can you resist titles like Guess Who's Coming to Die?, Did You Declare the Corpse? and MORE. AND I discovered with a little reasearch that Patricia Sprinkle had been a successful author for some time and I just hadn't yet discovered her and devoured her every word. Who was I to think I could compete with her?

And now that's the problem. What if someone picks up one of my books because they remember reading a good book with a question for a title and an author whose first name is Patricia. Will they be disappointed?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just An Observation

I do a lot of driving in Michigan for book signings and family visits. I always kept my speed within five to eight miles of the speed limit (depending on what that speed limit was -- it is 70 on expressways in Michigan).

Then the price of gas skyrocketed.
Then I read that every additional five miles per hour increases gas use by 15%.
Then my pastor reminded us that environmental responsibility is one of our Christian duties.

Now my cruise control sits on the speed limit. I don't notice that I've been late for anything, or even that it took me appreciably longer to get anywhere.

I drove across the Mackinac Bridge for the first time last Spring. Due to construction, only one lane of traffic moved in each direction. The speed limit for loaded trucks on the Bridge is twenty miles an hour -- otherwise it is forty five. I found myself about four cars behind a loaded truck, going 20 miles an hour, on a glorious sunny day, with a view that wouldn't quit. Without that loaded truck I would have felt pressured to drive forty five -- and what I would have missed!

Sometimes slower is better.

Like my writing, maybe? More about that later.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Me? A Blogger?

They told me I had to do it, so here I am। As soon as my fingers hit the keys on my computer, I thought I probably belong here -- a place where I can let them fly, roam where they will, not to be reined in by plot or character or that dreaded word, "saleability".
I'll be telling a little about me as I get my act together (if?), and a little about my writing world and how it has meandered through the years, and hopefully a little about some of my readers (if?) as they come aboard।
If you read this before I finish getting my act together (which could be a long time in the future) let me know what you think about my current meanderings.