Happy eighth month of the year. Happy continuation toward the last part of the year… because, yes, this year is going fast, as always.
Last week I attended the Romance Writers of America’s Annual Conference. It was in New York City, as it is every third year or so. They vary the location across the country otherwise. Next year, it will be handier for me to attend, since it will be in San Francisco. In 2121, it’s scheduled to be in Nashville. New York was fun, though, despite the crowds everywhere and a totally inefficient elevator system in the busy hotel. But lots of Harlequin editors and writers were present, and that’s what I’m mostly up to right now.
Plus, I managed to skip out of the conference for part of a day to go to the AKC Dog Museum—and if you know me at all, you know I love dogs!
That was the last conference I’m attending this year, even though there’s at least one major mystery conference still pending. But I went to four conferences already in 2019. Conferences are enjoyable for connecting with people, seeing long-time friends and associates, and more. But four is enough for one year.
So now what? Deadlines! I still have some to go, and because of my traveling this year, including to the conference, I’m a bit behind. But I’m working on them.
And you? Do you have writing deadlines, other work deadlines, any other deadlines you’re struggling with this year? If so, you’d better get busy.
What’s the fun of being a writer? Everything!
And part of that includes the fact that writing is always there. It becomes part of you. At least it has with me. Everything I do, everywhere I go, my writerness is part of it. And yes, that’s an unusual word although when I Googled it, other people have apparently used it, too.
I was on a cruise to Alaska last week with family and friends. It was lots of fun. We sailed near land going north, then south through the Inside Passage, visited several cities, took a few tours, and enjoyed the onboard food and entertainment. That entertainment sometimes included dogs, and you can imagine how much I liked that.
I particularly enjoyed the wildlife we saw, including young and adult bald eagles, other birds including those that flew over and sometimes dived into water like marbled murrelets, a few bears on the shoreline in the distance, some spouting whales, including humpbacks, and small breaching dolphins.
We got to wade in the water in the middle of a river—because, as you might surmise, that river wasn’t full of water.
We visited Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and took a tour that included visiting a formerly private castle.
And, oh yes, I did some writing and editing . . . and came up with an idea for another mystery series.
Will I ever write it? Who knows? But plotting and researching it will definitely be enjoyable. Plotting is who I am, and my subconscious is always at work.
And yes, that’s part of the fun of being a writer.
That’s me. Especially right now.
In addition to mysteries. But as I mentioned in an earlier post here, my current mystery series is over. The fifth and last in the Barkery & Biscuits series, For A Good Paws, was a May release. Will I write more mysteries? I hope so… but not for a while.
Why? I’ve got a bonanza of deadlines for romances! I’m under contract for four Harlequin Romantic Suspense books.
The first two are part of their long-lived Colton continuity series, filled with lots of Colton relatives in real and fictional towns all over the place. Mine are in two different mini-series in two fictional towns. I’ve finished going over the line edits for the first, although I got the changed manuscript back to read one more time. I’m also about to submit the manuscript for the second, so I’m making progress.
The last two are in a mini-series of my own, a spin-off from my K-9 Ranch Rescue mini-series for HRS, the Shelter of Secrets mini-series. I’m just starting to work on the first of those. The Coltons don’t necessarily have dogs. But these will!
So as much as I’d love to take on more mysteries, or even something different, they’ll have to wait till I feel I can deal with additional deadlines. Right now, I’m particularly enjoying romances.
By the way, I do a lot of crossword puzzles. One clue recently was “Harlequin product” or something like that. The answer? I’ll bet you can guess.
Yes, it was “romance.”
I’m writing this post early since I’ll be in Bethesda, Maryland, for Malice Domestic from May 2 through 5—and this post will be up on May 6. And now For A Good Paws, my fifth Barkery & Biscuits Mystery, is officially available. As I’ve mentioned, For A Good Paws is the last mystery in the series—and my last published novel from Midnight Ink, which is going out of the publication business. Sad—but still enjoyable to have a new mystery published!
Since I’m writing this before I leave for Malice, I can’t tell you how much fun I had, but you can be certain I did have a lot of fun. For one thing, I’m scheduled to be on a panel called Paws on the Case: Pet Related Mysteries. For another, I’ll be joining some fun writers at the dinner table for the Agatha Banquet, including others who write about dogs and other pets! And I also hope to be getting together with some former Midnight Ink authors and the former editor, too.
This month I will also be out there promoting romance fiction. First, I’ll be one of the authors attending Romance Authors Day at the Anaheim Public Library on May 18. Later, I will be on a panel of three at The Ripped Bodice, the only store dedicated strictly to romance, on May 23, along with Sheila Roberts and Meg Tilly.
Oh, and by the way, since you obviously read the Slice of Orange blog, you most likely saw my interview by Jann Ryan a couple of days ago. Jann has been a wonderful friend for many years–and she’s the one who introduced me to Romance Writers of America and its Orange County Chapter quite a few years ago!
So, Happy May everyone. Hope you read a lot—and enjoy it.
May will be a good month for me. It’ll see the publication of For A Good Paws, my fifth Barkery & Biscuits Mystery. It will also be a difficult month, since For A Good Paws is the last mystery in the series. The series has been published by Midnight Ink, which is going out of the publication business.
I’ve enjoyed writing the Barkery & Biscuits series and have also enjoyed promoting the books. As I mentioned last month, I’ll soon be attending a couple of mystery-oriented conferences, Malice Domestic and California Crime Writers. I’ll also be signing at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. And I’ll be doing whatever online promotion seems appropriate.
But all the time, knowledge that there won’t be any further Barkery books remains in my mind. At least I’m not planning any, since I can self-publish, or perhaps find another publisher to pick them up, but don’t have any plans for either at the moment.
And—hey! Here I am at A Slice of Orange. Maybe you’d be interested in picking up a copy my last book in the series. It’s a fun series, after all—about Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician who buys a bakery and turns half of it into a barkery to sell the very healthy dog treats she’s created. Oh, and did I mention that it’s a cozy mystery series? Carrie and her friends keep tripping over dead bodies, and she has to figure out whodunit to save herself and them.
Okay, I know A Slice of Orange also features romance novels. Which is fine with me. I’m currently writing four new novels for Harlequin Romantic Suspense.
More mysteries in my future, too? I hope so. But meanwhile, help me say goodbye to my Barkery series, will you? Any suggestions?
In any case, it’s been fun.
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