Friday, March 25, 2016

Two Olivia Grant Cozy Mysteries

 As you may remember, my plan was to get back to blogging once a
week. However, as you now know, I failed again last week. But it
wasn't my fault. It was my publisher's. 
     The publisher of DEAD IN THE WATER, my cozy, humorous mystery,
which came out last October, wanted to release the second book in the
series, titled DEAD MEN'S TALES, on March 21st, but they never gave it
to me to proofread. Since DEAD IN THE WATER had been so easy to
proofread, they apparently assumed DEAD MEN'S TALES would be too.
     Had they allowed me to proofread it, I could have fixed the
problems they found much easier than waiting until only two days
before launch to ask me to fix them. So, in spite of having to attend
the three day Arts & Crafts Show held twice a year here, I had a mere
day and a half to do it. I've ordered an E-version of the book, but
haven't read it yet, so I don't even know if my changes helped or not.
     You see I knew - which the publisher didn't know - that the books
are set in different places. DEAD IN THE WATER is set mostly in
England, where my heroine solves the murder of a distant relative.
     DEAD MEN'S TALES is set in San Francisco, after Olivia goes back
home to continue working in the P.I. office of her brother. And the
plot of the second book involves which of the possible suspects goes
into the room where the victim had gone to read his speech before
giving it.
     It also involves searching for an old VHS tape which has valuable
information on it. Making the reader aware of that VHS tape's use was
my most important change, and I made it, and I hope readers will
follow the trail.
     So, DEAD MEN'S TALES was released yesterday by Smashwords and -
for a short time - is selling for $.99 as an E-book. All I know right
now is that - within the first two days, Monday and Tuesday - it
received 25 five-star reviews. For which I am most grateful. ______________________________________________________

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


I’m still recovering from the strokes I had in January, although, frankly, I feel quite normal and do everything I did before. However, I’m waiting to find out when and where I go for a few Physical Therapy sessions which they promised me.

Oh well, here’s my Blog post for this week. I’ll try to do one every week, as I did before. And this is one I’ve been asked about often, namely, “Should a writer read while she’s writing a book?”

Many beginning writers ask if it’s okay to read while writing, or will you, unknowingly, transfer some of what you’ve read into your own book. Most writers manage to keep those separate, but, if it’s a problem for you, make a plan for how to keep them that from happening.

First of all, don’t read a book, or anything, which is too similar to what you’re currently writing. For example, don’t read a romance novel, if you’re writing one. Or a mystery, or a science fiction book, if that’s what you’re working on.

Mystery writers are especially worried about putting some other author’s solution into their book. If you made a synopsis of your book, or even an outline, before you started, you should already know how you expect to end it, so you won’t be tempted to borrow another author’s ending.

I don’t read any fiction when I’m writing my own fiction. Years ago, I wrote two books at the same time, but one was non-fiction, and that worked out fine. In fact, I tend not be reading any other author’s work while I’m writing my own. When I’m concentrating on my own story, I think of it first thing in the morning, and basically all day. Maybe I’m the strange one here, because I just have no desire to read anything but what I’m doing.

However, if you’re in the middle of reading a book when you decide to start writing one of your own, my suggestion would be to stop reading and put that book away until you can do nothing but concentrate on it. Or else, finish reading that book until your mind is completely occupied with your own book. That should be all that fills your thoughts. In fact, you might get ideas for how to handle difficult scenes, without actually copying the method you’ve just read. In other words, if you can get some worthwhile ideas from your reading, it can be useful. However, my advice is to stick with your own work until it’s finished. I’m pretty sure you didn’t want to hear that, so I’m sorry, but I’m a one-book at a time person.