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The Wrong Hill to Die On
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Author's Notes

April Already!

April 5th, 2014

What happened to March? I mean, seriously, where did it go?

As you know, Dear Ones, I had me a little abdominal surgery early in January, and spent the rest of that month and much of February in a pleasant haze. Next thing I know, I’m all better, but so far behind on the rest of my life that I’ll probably never catch up. I was in pretty good shape in time for the Tucson Festival of Books early in March, though not driving yet. I probably could have driven myself down there, but I was still using a little pillow between my newly-healed belly and the seat belt, which made steering rather awkward. So Don drove me down for the two day event. He enjoyed wandering around the packed fair while I was busy with panels and signings.  It was a great weekend, but my first working outing  since the Big Slice. I did great, but I was pooped when it was over.

One of my TFoB panels, with Anne Canadeo (l) and Jenn McKinlay (r)

One of my TFoB panels, with Anne Canadeo (l) and Jenn McKinlay (r)

Then on Wednesday of the next week, Don got his pacemaker/defibrillator replaced, which is an outpatient procedure.  The doc told us that it should only take three or four hours from walk in to walk out of the hospital, but of course it took all the livelong day. We weren’t surprised. When it comes to dealing with doctors and hospitals, this was not our first rodeo. Compared with some of the other things that have been done to him in recent years that was no big deal. Even so, he was pretty sore for awhile, and couldn’t drive for a week, which certainly got me back in the saddle. His scar is still healing but he feels fine. He is not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds or raise his left arm over his head for a month.

The next week, my dear beloved Carolyn Hart was through town, along with the incredibly delightful Earlene Fowler, Avery Aames, and Margaret Coel, all wonderful authors who were here at Poisoned Pen Bookstore and Tempe Public Library to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their publisher’s Berkeley Prime Crime imprint. Carolyn, Earlene, our friend Judy Starbuck, and I did our traditional lunch at Frank and Lupe’s Mexican restaurant in Scottsdale. Looks I’m the only one who didn’t get the dress code notice for the day. We do all look nice and sherbet-y.

l. to r. - Earlene Fowler, Judy Starbuck, Yours Truly, Carolyn Hart

l. to r. – Earlene Fowler, Judy Starbuck, Yours Truly, Carolyn Hart

In the meantime, I’ve finished a new book which I keep diddling around with. Don read it for me and I’m making a couple of changes before I finally decide what to do with it.  It isn’t an Alafair book, so there is a possibility that I may submit it to a larger publisher than Poisoned Pen Press.  I love PPP, though. They treat their authors a lot better than the really big guys do. And they’re getting bigger by the moment. What to do? I’ll fish or cut bait one of these days and let you know, Dear Reader.

Then just yesterday I was honored to speak about my work to a cheerful lunch bunch group at a local church. They fed me like a queen and made me feel like a real somebody.  I have no more events scheduled for the next two weeks, but then things get exciting. I’ll be teaching a workshop session on character development for the Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime on the 26th, and then flying to Oklahoma City for the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Conference over the first weekend in May in order to impart what I know about mystery writing as well as reestablish ties with my native soil.  If you’d like the particulars on either of these events, click on Events, above, for the details.

Don’t forget that the new Alafair Tucker Mystery, Hell With the Lid Blown Off, will be out in June. Believe me, when time grows near, I’ll let you know everything you ever wanted to know about that. In the meantime, you can whet your appetite (and preorder) at the Poisoned Pen Press website. I’m very pleased with this book. Alafair is back in Oklahoma with all the kids. The story is pretty dramatic, and it was great fun to write.

Pretty dramatic cover, too!

Pretty dramatic cover, too!

There’s a fun interview with me that has come up recently on Dane McCaslin’s website. She asked me about my earliest memories of reading. It’s interesting to remember what it was that made an avid reader out of you.  You can check it out by clicking here.

By the way, I may have some trouble keeping up with my reporting on current events here, but let me remind you that you can always find me blogging at Type M 4 Murder every other Thursday and at the Poisoned Pen Press Author Blog on the 27th of every month.