This month SECRETS OF A MARIACHI VIOLINIST is a featured book on Goodreads because I'm doing a big giveaway. Get on the website and try to win a free book! And if you already have a book, invite your friends.....
Just got a great review from O.D. Book Reviews. O.D. calls DIZZY IN DURANGO a wild ride. Yes! She also pointed out that the book is more of a thriller than the previous mysteries yet it logically follows both Andy and Rachel's relationship and Andy's trajectory as a professional musician.
O..D. Book Reviews
This week I'm the featured blogger on James Callan's site. My topic: the difficulties of writing facts rather than fiction. I'm actually more comfortable at MSU University--where your only job is to Make Stuff Up!
Click here to read the full account.
Starting on the 16th of January, SECRETS OF A MARIACHI VIOLINIST will be on sale on the Kindle version. Then every day that week, the price goes up one dollar until it reaches the original price. So wait for the 16th and save a couple of bucks!
Read more about the book and link to videos on the book page.
Saturday's launch party for SECRETS OF A MARIACHI VIOLINIST was a big success! First, I had the help of Catavinos' owner Yvonne Foucher, who let me use her sweet patio. Alan Kohler took pix and videos. The guests of honor, Cookie Johannessen and Gilbert Velez, both came and helped entertain. A solid crew of friends and readers came by to cheer me on. Thanks to all of you!
SECRETS of a MARIACHI VIOLINIST
Saturday, October 22nd, 2016
Cata Vinos Wine Shoppe
3063 N. Alvernon
D.R. explains how nostalgia for Mexico led her to join a band—and how she survived to laugh about it!
2:00-2:15 Relax with a glass of wine
2:15-2:45 Author’s Remarks and short reading
2:45-3:00 Q & A about choice events
Stay for a wine tasting with D.R. and friends
directly following the event. ($10)
www.dr-ransdell.com firstname.lastname@example.org catavinoswines.com
Today I'm the guest blogger on my publisher's website. My topic—creativity! Where does it come from? And why can’t I concentrate on just one aspect of it? Bonus, some goofy watercolor pictures......
What fun! Right now I'm in between events. Last spring I hit both Left Coast Crime and the Bristol Crimefest, and Bouchercon, is coming up in September in New Orleans. In the meantime, I have a lot of reading to do! Those conferences are great ways to meet fellow authors and talk to readers--but it's also my favorite place to get ideas about what to read.
At Left Coast, I heard Donna Andrews speak. She was quite fun to listen to--so much fun that I bought her first book, Murder with Peacocks. Very good! Now I'll have to pick up the second in the series. (Review on Goodreads.)
Then at the Bristol Crimefest I heard Peter James. He'd recently won the Diamond Dagger Award. He was quite nice and funny. He was also quite engaged with the audience. I can easily understand why readers love him. And so I had to get the first book in his Roy Grace series, Blood Simple, which was chilling! Have the second book in my Amazon cart. (More on Peter James on my guest post at Oak Tree Press.)
In both cases the authors have developed quite a readership in part thanks to writing a series. Growing up, the only series I paid much attention to was The Lord of the Rings. While I read lots of mysteries, especially by Dashiell Hammett and Ross Macdonald, the books didn't follow a sequence.
As a writer, however, I'm coming to appreciate just how much readers want to get to know characters and spend time with them. It's a little like watching a TV crime series. I like Major Crimes because of the characters, not because of the plots. Those come and go in my mind--I can't remember them afterwards. But I remember the characters.
I have a lot of fun working with my own series characters. I like having a mariachi violinist who always gets into trouble. In the back of my mind I'm always thinking: what obstacles can I create for him this time! He has amiable friends who help him out, so even though I'm writing about a murder here or there, the books aren't 100% black. Instead they have thunderstorms.
What are your own thoughts about reading/writing a series? What advice do you have for writers? Right now I'm working hard to edit the next Andy book. And yes, he's found lots of trouble.... (He would claim that the trouble found him, but I'm not so sure.....)
ISAND CASUALTY is the featured book at O.D. Book Reviews for the month of July! Of course, it's the perfect summer mystery novel since it's set in Greece. The hot island air combines with Andy's perplexities. Not only does he get embroiled in a family mystery, but he also can't escape the Greek island--or its inhabitants.
I have the guest post on my publisher's blog today. My topic? Walking around beautiful Orvieto, historical Pompeii... thinking of MURDER!
D.R's fourth Andy Veracruz Mystery, SUBSTITUTE SOLOIST, came out in April 2019.