No chocolate—but I was part of an advent calendar this year—lots of new book ideas!
This month I was the first Monday Muse for Brenda Whiteside's blog. Greece is such a lovely country, but there's often trouble in paradise! (Heh, heh, at least in my world.....)
Today I was the guest on Talk 92.1 for the Tuesday Book Talk Show. What fun! Mike Orenduff asked questions about Andy and his antics. Since Mike is my publisher at Aakenbaaken & Kent, he knows all about it! The best question? He asked, "What's hard about writing a series?" Actually, it's easier than writing a standalone. But I admitted, the hard thing is that as soon as readers devour one book, they want the next one! And since I'm anxiously waiting for Dizzy in Durango to be reprinted.... Mike said, "Whoops! That's back on me!" Very funny. An interesting fact:--the program airs from Valdaosta, Georgia. My Italian cousins live just a few kilometres from the original Valle d'Aosta in Northwestern Italy!
YAY--I get to speak at a local bookstore!
D. R. Ransdell & the Andy Veracruz
Barnes and Noble Westside
April 21st 1-3 p.m.
7325 N. La Cholla Blvd. Ste 100
Tucson, AZ 85741
Come meet local author D.R. Ransdell, who will chat about her soft-boiled murder mystery series. Andy Veracruz is a mariachi violinist, but he’s such a meddler that he becomes an amateur sleuth by default. He’d rather write songs, but instead he protects fellow musicians, breaks into houses, and trades places with his lookalike brother! Occasionally he even has time for romance…..
Just back from Left Coast Crime in Reno, Nevada--what fun to spend the weekend with a bunch of mystery writers and readers! I had a chance to meet new friends such as Libby Klein and speak Italian with James Ziskin! I went to panels all weekend long. It was cold in Reno--but at the Nugget, the room with the nice, big pool was just the right temperature. To top things off, for the Saturday night banquet Catherine Paul and I hosted our own table. Our guests played along by wearing sombreros. And they really liked the little rubber mariachi duckies!
My panel had to do with how to keep a series going strong. I said that the idea was to create a character arc so that your character keeps growing. (That's what I learned from Don Maass, and he's just about always right.) Philip Donlay nodded..... so did Wendall Thomas, and then Aaron Elkins said we were all wrong! That wasn't true at all! He'd written some 37 mysteries about his forensic scientist and that was just fine!
I caught my breath and thanked Elizabeth Little for going on to the next question. I guess if you write 37 books about the same character.... maybe it's hard to make that character show a complete arc. But Aaron himself later said that you do, of course, show different sides of your character.
When it was time for audience questions, a nice man in the audience, Lorenzo C., came to my aid and pointed out that Aaron had contradicted himself to an extent. I believe that was the moment when Aaron said: "At 82 I can do what I want!"
(I talked to Lorenzo's wife afterwards and thanked her. She said, "¡Mi esposo dijo que el viejo le atacó y que le tenía que defender!" My husband said the old guy attacked you and he had to defend you! Thank goodness for loyal readers--who can appreciate poor defenseless mariachi players......)
My new and improved covers for my first two mysteries, MARIACHI MEDDLER and ISLAND CASUALTY, have been published by Aakenbaaken & Kent. Both covers were done by Peter O'Connor at Bespoke Cook Covers. I love the yellow of MARIACHI MEDDLER (formerly Mariachi Murder)--right off the bat the color suggests the seductive Yiolanda who torments Andy. The purple in ISLAND CASUALTY suggests the murky atmosphere waiting for Andy when he reaches Greece hoping to find a paradise only to find a dark family history he never expected....
A new cover for DIZZY IN DURANGO is coming up soon.
Good news! My mystery series about Andy Veracruz is getting a facelift! I’m coming out with new editions that have new covers and minor corrections. Mariachi Murder even got a new name—MARIACHI MEDDLER (to avoid confusion with a book by another author). I’ll have new versions of Island Casualty and Dizzy in Durango later this fall in anticipation of the fourth Andy Veracruz book, SUBSTITUTE SOLOIST. My new publisher is Aakenbaaken & Kent.
I'm especially excited about my new cover done by Peter O'Connor at Bespoke Book Covers. I explained a little about the book, and he imagined it perfectly!
What a fun time in Honolulu! Today started with my doing Author Speed Dating, and some readers knew who I was and had bought some of my books! Then I went for a swim in the ocean, which is about 81 degrees right now. Then off to some panels, a reception with the sunset in the background, dinner with my roommate to celebrate her birthday--what fun. My favorite panelists today: Catriona McPherson and Cathy Ace. From Cathy I even won a book--by sitting in the first row, fourth chair......
Tomorrow, March 11th, starts the very cool Tucson Festival of Books. It's Saturday and Sunday. If you haven't been, you should check it out! It's all about a LOVE of reading, and hence, it's a beautiful thing.
I'll be there hanging out with my mystery writer friends! Come visit me tomorrow morning 9-11 at the Sisters in Crime booth, which is 451, sort of catty-corner from the library.
And yes, I'll have a few books on hand to sell if you need one! But at any rate, don't miss this super cool event. There are about 20 author events PER 90 MINUTES!
D.R's third Andy Veracruz Mystery, DIZZY IN DURANGO, should be out soon in its second edition.