This week it’s officially spring! Or as we call it at our house, “Mud Season.”
I know there’s alot of anxiety about COVID-19. Flights banned, major events canceled, businesses closed…it’s scary, frustrating and stressful. I was going to tell you what I learned about germs, viruses and pandemics during my research for RESTLESS CREED and EXPOSED, but I think we’ve had information overload. So I want to offer something different.
After 9-11 I struggled to figure out what I had to offer as a fiction author. I was a newbie in the publishing business. My debut novel, A PERFECT EVIL, had just been published the year before and was an international bestseller. PEOPLE magazine had requested a casual photo of me and my dogs to print alongside thier review of my second novel. SPLIT SECOND was already an international bestseller, too, by the time PEOPLE called it “Silence of the Lame.”
Yes, you read that correctly. I was crushed! How could they publish such a negative review alongside that cute photo with my dog? I had even bought extra copies for my friends. But the next day, terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center Towers, and none of that mattered.
That was a scary and stressful time, too. For me it seemed silly to write about make-believe villains when our world was turned upside down. And then a writer friend told me about an old MASH episode. The 4077 was out of almost everything and waiting for a delayed delivery. Someone had a paperback mystery, and they ripped it from its binding, seperating out the chapters so that everyone could read it at the same time, chapter by chapter. They waited impatiently for the next chapter, and suddenly, it had taken their minds off all the things they were missing.
That paperback novel got them through the chaos.
I still remind myself, especially in times like this, that my number one purpose is to entertain readers. I don’t want to make profound statements about life. I just need to offer you a world to escape to with characters you want to spend time with for several hours or days or weeks. (I’m a slow reader, so yes, “weeks” is a real timeline.)
I hope that’s what my books offer you — a retreat from the chaos of everyday life and maybe even a pandemic.
Hang in there!
SPEAKING OF ESCAPES
WHAT’S ON YOUR TO-BE-READ PILE?
My friends and I took our annual ski trip to Breckenridge before the shutdowns. They ski while I stay back with the dogs and write. But I also take time out to read.
Candace Fox is an Australian author. I really enjoy her atmospheric backdrop as well as her cast of characters. HADES is the first in a series.
Here’s from the jacket:
Twenty years ago, two children were kidnapped and left for dead…
Homicide detective Frank Bennett has a new partner—dark, beautiful, coldly efficient Eden Archer. Frank doesn’t know what to make of her, or her brother Eric, who’s also on the police force. Their methods are…unusual. But when a graveyard full of large steel toolboxes filled with body parts is found at the bottom of Sydney harbor, unusual is the least of their worries. For Eden and Eric, the case holds chilling links to a scarred childhood—and the murderer who raised them. For Frank, each clue brings him closer to something he’s not sure he wants to face. But true evil goes beyond the bloody handiwork of a serial killer—and no one is truly innocent…
ALSO ON MY PILE TO READ
VALLEY OF DRY BONES by J.F. Penn
SKYJACK by K.J. Howe
LONG RANGE By C.J. Box
THE RUSSIAN by Ben Coes
UNSUB by Meg Gardiner
READING, SKIING AND MAGGOTS
Many of you might recognize the name, Leigh Ann Retelsdorf from my acknowledgements. Those of you who attended last year’s VIR lunch got to meet her. She’s a regular on ski trips, and we have some of the best conversations over and after dinner. This time we talked about maggots.
Okay, not exactly a subject for dinner conversation, but I wanted to know if maggots could deliver a specific kind of evidence besided time of death. Before the evening was finished, Leigh Ann had several experts texting back and forth with information I never dreamed I could get my hands on. So it was a very productive conversation. (You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you read HIDDEN CREED later this summer.)
SPEAKING OF CONVERSATIONS OVER DINNER…OR LUNCH
THE 3rd ANNUAL VIR LUNCH TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE!
Normal life will happen again, and when it does, we will need a celebration! I hope you’ll consider joining us. Last year 163 readers from 14 states came to Omaha, and it’s become a fun reunion.
You can get more information here: 2020 VIR LUNCH
Also, tickets are 100% refundable until September 30th, 2020.
ALL ABOUT DOGS
Spring also brings allergies. My fourteen-year-old Duncan has always been challenged with “the itchies.” Our veterinarian, Dr. Enita Larson recommends local honey. Duncan gets about 1/2 teaspoon every day, but it helps if you start before allergy season. And getting “local” honey is the key to having success. You want the bees processing the stuff that is in the air as close to your neighborhood as possible.
Duncan also battles a dry nose. I’ve tried a lot of different things and what I’ve found works bests is a dab of olive oil. As with any of my dog advice, I suggest you check with your own vet.
I’ve finally started posting on Instagram amd most of those are different than the ones I post on Facebook. If you’re on Instagram, please follow me. And if you’re not already following me on BookBub, please consider starting. When any of my ebooks are discounted, BookBub lets you know. They also alert you when I have a new release coming out.
That’s it for now. Take care of yourself. Be strong, keep calm and be kind to each other. And as always, thank you for reading my books!
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