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Hell with the Lid Blown Off
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Author's Notes

Still on the Merry Go Round

August 2nd, 2014

Me (r.) and Normalene, the Adult Serviced Librarian at Prescott Public Library

Me (r.) and Normalene, the Adult Services Librarian at Prescott Public Library

Several years ago a couple of other authors and I spent a weekend at the home of J.A. Jance. There was a literary event going on at Arizona University in Tucson and Jance was kind enough to offer her home as a B&B for the weekend. As any mystery reader knows, Jance is one of the best and at the top of the list of A-list authors, so when she offers an observation about the writing life, one does well to pay attention. As my writing career progresses, I often thing of one particular bit of wisdom she offered that weekend. “It’s a merry-go-round,” she said. And it is.

Write the book. Submit the book. Do rewrites and corrections per your editor. Resubmit. Previous submission comes out. Spend two or three months on full time PR. Start writing next book. Submit the book. Rewrites etc. Resubmit. Previous submission comes out…

One could get off the merry-go-round. Just don’t write another book.  As any ink-stained wretch of an author will tell you, that ain’t going to happen.

So anyway, I’m still in the PR mode for Hell With the Lid Blown Off. One of my favorite recent guest appearances was an interview that appeared a few days ago in OmniMystery News. I was asked everything there is to ask about how my series came about, my writing routine, who I’d cast as Alafair in a movie, how much of me is in my character…you name it! Here’s link to the exchange, Dear Reader, if you’d like to find out everything there is to know about Donis the Author.

Brother Chris and his wife Donna (yes, Donna Casey)

Brother Chris and his wife Donna (yes, Donna Casey)

I was up to my elbows in guest blogs last month, as well as personal appearances. Just last week my brother and sister-in-las flew in from San Diego on their way home to Oklahoma. We picked them up at the airport and drove immediately up to Prescott, where I had a book talk at the public library. We spent the night in Prescott and then drove up to Sedona since they’d never been there, so we had a very nice couple of days of vacation, as it were.  I just have a couple of personal appearances and  guest blogs in August, but in September I’ll be involved with One Book Arizona and will be traveling all over the state to give creative writing workshops–I have dates set up in Holbrook, Show Low, Heber, Cottonwood, Florence, and Lake Havasu. I love doing writing workshops, but  I had hoped to be finishing up the next Alafair book by now.  Maybe by the end of August? One can dream.

Sedona Arizona

Sedona Arizona

Hell is still getting fabulous reviews. Check out the Review page (click the link under the cover icon, at left) for brief review excerpts. Here are  links to a couple of recent online reviews if you’d like to see the complete text. If you’re a book lover and are not familiar with Lesa’s Book Critiques, you should be. Her review of Hell is here. Mystery Scene Magazine had a good one, here. Claudia VanLydegraf at Myshelf gave me such a nice review that I blush. Check that out here. And last but not least, I was notified yesterday of a review at Long and Short Reviews that is incredibly interesting. The reviewer was a bit disturbed by the prejudices displayed so overtly by some of the characters. She said she would like to ask me about my purpose for writing about such uncomfortable attitudes. The truth is I am very circumspect with cultural prejudices in 1910s Oklahoma. If I went into depth about what it was really like for non-whites/gay people/women/non-citizens, I fear the books would be banned in all fifty states. And after I wrote it, I’d have to undergo decontamination.