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One Last Colorado Word, Audio Book, and Some Reviews

November 12th, 2007

I’m writing again, trying to finish the new book. Everything else seems to be on hold right now, and I’m quite behind on the daily tasks of living. I do love it, though. This is what I had in mind when I wanted to become an author. Someone asked me if my husband minds my preoccupation while I’m writing, and I told her that he’s all for it, especially if it makes me rich. It certainly hasn’t yet, but he’s a very optimistic person.

A few unrelated miscellaneous items today. First, as promised, I want to finish the report on my visit with my sister in Denver. The day after my Tattered Cover appearance, my sister Marti drove me and Don up to Estes Park and through Rocky Mountain National Park. What spectacular country. When we left Denver, it was grey and cloudy, but as we drove higher and higher up into the Rocky Mountains, we literally broke through the clouds and into the sunshine. I’ve never been to Estes Park before. It reminded me of a high-altitude cross between Sedona, AZ, and Eureka Springs, AR; a long, historic street cupped in the hills, except these were mighty tall and craggy hills. The day was crisp and a lot colder than I’m used to. We ate lunch downtown, then walked all up and down and ate fudge and cookies and root beer floats, and I stopped in to McDonald’s Bookstore and shamelessly shilled my book. The owner was very gracious about it, as most of then are, and who knows, it may even have worked. I guess I’ll have to make a trip back to Estes Park to find out. The next day, Sunday, Marti and her husband Larry took us to services at their church, St. John’s Episcopalian, which was fascinating. What’s fascinating is that someone who was raised in the Bible-thumping protestant tradition should become an Episcopalian. Or maybe not. I won’t be making any comments on the merits of one denomination over another, here.

Marti has always been something of an iconoclast, anyway. She’s the younger of my two sisters, and her life story would make a spectacular novel. We must discuss this sometime – it might make us both rich. Right now, though, she’s living in Denver with her husband and selling cold rolled steel. Very successfully, too. A couple of years ago, she sent me some Christmas presents and packed the box with scrap paper from her company. Since I’m terminally curious, I read some of the scraps. I couldn’t understand most of them; they concerned tensile strength and other steel things. But I found one sheet that listed the amount of money each of the salespeople at her branch had brought into the company for the previous month, and not only was her name right at the top, but she had brought in at least three times more than than the second most successful earner! I shouldn’t have been surprised. She’s always been extremely personable and incredibly competent. Also astoundingly colorful.

But as usual, I digress.

After church, Marti, Don and I toured the Molly Brown House in Denver. The early 20th Century mansion has been lovingly restored to look as much as possible like it did when Molly Brown lived in it. I love to enter into another time period like this, especially one from the time period I’m writing about. And judging from the pictures on the wall, Molly Brown resembled Kathy Bates much more than she did Debbie Reynolds. Post-tour, the three of us drove around downtown Denver neighborhoods for a long time, and I have to say, as much as I generally don’t care for big cities, I LOVED what I saw of Denver, with it’s beautiful, tree-lined streets and charming, well-maintained neighborhoods. We saw a restored Craftsman house in a historic neighborhood that was for sale and holding an open house, so like the shameless lookie-loos we were, we checked it out. Housing in Denver is a bit cheaper than it is here in Phoenix, but this place was going for $900K, and well worth it. We decided that if we went in together for only $450K apiece, one family could live upstairs and one downstairs and never see each other at all if we didn’t want. In any event, I’ll bet that house turns up in a future book.

I’ve written more about my Colorado trip on the Type M 4 Murder blog, if you’re still interested, Dear Reader. (www.typem4murder.blogspot.com). Meanwhile, in other business – I picked up my Arizona Book Award last week. Again, I describe it in some detail on the other blog, so I won’t go into that here. I also picked up my copies of Hornswoggled in audio book version (Blackstone Audio Books). What an experience to hear someone read your book aloud! The reader, Pam Ward, is very skilled. She manages to differentiate between all the characters as she reads. You can tell just from her tone who is talking! Like most authors, I had don’t interpret some of the characters in the same fashion she does. She makes Alice sound too coquettish to me, rather like Miss Scarlett. The Alice I had in mind is about as coquettish as a Mack truck. But then, I learned long ago that once the book is published, it’s right out of your hands, and not yours at all any more, but the reader’s.

And last, a number of reviews for Drop Edge of Yonder have been coming in lately, and I’ve posted many of them on the “Reviews” page for the book. Thus far, they’ve all been good. Really! I invite you have a look. Click on the word “Reviews” under the picture of the book cover to the right.

I’ll be speaking at Tempe Public Library this Wednesday, the 14th, at 3:30 in the afternoon, Dear Reader. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to see you.

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