A New Beginning: Fall 2022 Newsletter

A New Beginning: Fall 2022 Newsletter

  A New Beginning to Die by the Sword aka To Die by the Sword aka Death in Shining Armor

Night . . .

Saturday, September 10, 1988

The Medieval Fair Site . . .

I didn’t want much that night, just to go out to the shop on the Med Fair site to drop off some pots and cups and mugs that had finally cooled off enough to pick up from the Ceramics Department of  the City College of Art and Design back in town.

Now let me tell you why I decided to open Ye Old Oddities Shoppe and sell my pottery at Med Fair that fall. It was because there I was, pushing forty, and still working in the Registrar’s Office at C-CAD where I graduated with highest honors way too many years before. (Not going into the life-happens events that kept me working there for so long right now.) And I didn’t want to still be at C-CAD when I turned forty the next year.

Instead, I wanted to make and save enough money from Med Fair and other ways that I could go to the university the next fall, get a job as a teaching assistant and get experience in the classroom, get my master’s, and become a professor of ceramics at some college or university for the rest of my life. It would be ideal, I thought, to teach the same thing that I loved to do.

But . . .

BUT, thanks to some crazy person wearing armor from head to shiny toes, I about got myself killed that night, the first of several attempts to murder me.

<> <> <>

Something interesting happened recently after I revised my Novel Basics, An Illustrated Guide to Writing a Novel. I noticed that I didn’t follow my own advice in writing Death in Shining Armor, a novel that I’ve worked on for decades in several different forms. That is, I didn’t establish early what the protagonist wants to accomplish in her journey. I mean the very first card in the brainstorming system I describe in Novel Basics is called the heart card for a novel and asks the question “Who wants what?” for goodness’ sake. And I blew the beginning of my own novel. Oops! So I figured out what my protagonist wanted and put it on the first page.

 I also took some of my own advice presented in my concise yet complete guide to writing a novel: If you’re having trouble with a novel, play around with the point of view, that is, the perspective in time and space of the narrator. Most of the earlier versions of the book were in what’s called third person point of view (she/he/they, her/his/their, etc.) limited to three characters. But when I restricted the perspective of Death in Shining Armor to only one character, the novel’s protagonist Vanessa Laura Mathison aka Van the Potter speaking directly to the reader in first person (I/me/mine), she started talking to me, too. And the novel started coming to life in ways it hadn’t done before. Propelled by that new beginning, I’m now about eighty pages into the novel.

FYI: the new eBook version of Novel Basics, An Illustrated Guide to Writing a Novel, that now includes a section on self-publishing, is available at www.amazon.com/dp/B07K2LXFRP for $3.99 Plus, it’s always free through Kindle Unlimited. Also, I’m offering the eBook on Amazon for only $0.99 from Friday September 30 through Thursday October 6, 2022. It’s your perfect resource to prepare for National Novel Writing Month 2022.

Best, Juliet

P. S. Currently, I’m rebooting eBook versions of some of the short stories and books in both my Calendar Mystery series and Cinderella, P. I. Fairy Tale Mystery series through several different retailers in addition to Amazon. To keep up with my publications on Amazon, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Juliet-Kincaid/e/B00DB4HWRG. And to keep up with my publications through other retailers now including Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, click on https://books2read.com/author/x/subscribe/1/305166/?preferred_retailer=0&book=927193 and complete the form.

May 2022 Newsletter: for love or money?

May 2022 Newsletter: For Love or Money?

Do I write for love or money or something else entirely?

A couple of months ago, I had an encounter with a person who made me think about my motives for writing fiction. Here’s what happened.

A few days before the incident, we’d had our house sprayed for ants, but the ants persisted and were swarming up the tiles around my shower. So, I called the owner of the pest control company we’ve used for more than thirty years, and he sent over his dad who started the company and now fills in on jobs when the technicians are out on scheduled calls.

Dad, whom I will call Sam for the purposes of this essay, arrived promptly at 1 o’clock when I’d just begun attending a webinar on writing. And probably because he saw me look in the direction of my home office, he asked, “Still writing?”

“Why yes,” I said. “In fact, I’m very excited about the book I’ve been working on. It’s coming out soon.” This book is Die by the Sword, a novel of suspense, a project that has lured me back to it in different forms for thirty years.

“Make any money?” Sam said. And before I could respond, he said, with a sneer, “I know you don’t. You wouldn’t live in this house if you did.”

Pretty obviously, in Sam’s mind, the only reason for doing anything is making money. But for me, probably money goes at the bottom of my list of reasons why I write. Mostly that’s because if I think a lot about the money I might not make from my writing, I get depressed and don’t write at all. (We’ll come back to making money later on.) We’ll keep love at the top. I simply and absolutely love to write fiction. But I have other reasons why I write.

Let me flashback to the ‘70’s. When I went to the Ohio State University, I wrote papers required by my courses and stories like “Graduate Student Blues” to entertain myself and my friends. I also wrote a novel (my first) in diary form as a way of exploring the subject of my dissertation, fiction in diary form.

But there’s another motivation as well. In my novels and stories, I like to show people my readers and I like solving problems like rescuing a loved one from peril and not letting killers get away with their crimes. Our troubled world certainly needs a whole bunch of problem solvers.

I write because my characters need me. Without me, they can’t exist of course. And even as I write this, I have one character in my mind who says, “Get back here. You said you were going to change my name. You promised. And you haven’t done it. And I won’t shut up until you’ve given me that nifty new name that connects me with the place shown in Die by the Sword with the old Kansas City my grandfather and grandmother know in your calendar mysteries like January Jinx.”

And I need my characters. They make me laugh. They make me cry. They surprise me. And they help me escape this troubled world.

On the practical side, I write fiction because it helps keep my brain alive and well. You better believe that I need to keep my mind alive to juggle the major plot line of a novel, especially a mystery novel like Die by the Sword with all its clues and suspects, and two to four subplots as well.

But I do want to explain how unfortunate the timing of Sam’s visit was for me when I was rushing to complete Die by the Sword in time to meet the pre-order deadline of Memorial Day weekend (this weekend!) that I’d set up. The conversation with Sam caused me to lose my confidence in myself and in Die by the Sword, so I came to wonder if that novel had too many plot holes that, in my dotage, I couldn’t even see to fix. So, I abandoned that novel and went over to another project I’d started but abandoned early this year: publishing my calendar mysteries on other platforms through a service called Draft2Digital.

And something fascinating happened. As I edited the text of digital version of January Jinx, Book 1 in the series, I found myself laughing and tearing up for my wonderful characters and rooting for them, too, even though I’ve read and rewritten the book at least a dozen times in at least three quite different forms. The joy I find in writing fiction is my primary motivation to do it.

And so, I’ve decided to resume work on Die by the Sword with a tentative publication date of September 2, 2022, though I’m not setting up another pre-order in case I don’t make that deadline. I’ll keep you posted.

Stay safe and well in this troubled world . . .

Best, Juliet

P. S.

the new cover of January Jinx

 

 

I’m really pleased with my new cover design for the digital versions of my calendar mysteries with facets of the birthstone framing the image. And I want you to know that you can now buy the eBook version of January Jinx not just from Amazon but from Barnes & Noble, as shown in the screen shot above, Apple, Kobo, and a number of other platforms as well. I hope to publish the other books in the calendar historical mystery series through Draft2Digital at a regular pace this year.

 

April 2022 Newsletter: The Perils of Self-Publishing

Hi, Everyone!

Some of you may have noticed that I withdrew the pre-order of Die by the Sword, a standalone novel of suspense. Here’s why. As I worked on that book, I discovered that I was doing lots more revising than copy editing. And I realized that I wouldn’t make my publishing date of May 27, 2022, after all. So, I decided not to publish this novel at this time. Thanks to those of you who gave me feedback on it. I appreciate your observations.

As many of you know, I do almost every aspect of writing and publishing myself, from drafting through final editing and including designing most of the covers for my books. Plus, I promote and market them all. For the eleven years that I’ve been an indie author starting with Walls, my Cinderella, P. I. fairy tale mystery novel for grown up people, I’ve usually set deadlines that I’ve rushed to meet. And so, some of my works have gone out with glitches like the dreaded missing word. At the same time, I’ve neglected important indie author chores like increasing my knowledge of self-publishing and building my author brand effectively.

 

Besides my writing work, I have household tasks like bookkeeping and grocery shopping. I do the major ones, but I put off doing many of the minor ones. And frankly, I’m tired of seeing some of my paintings leaning against the fireplace instead of hanging on the wall. I’d also like to clean up the seeds under the bird feeder on the patio before they grow into towering sunflower plants.

Since there are literally not enough hours in every day or days in the week to do all of these tasks properly and write and publish a new book, I’ve decided to step back from the latter to catch my breath and possibly catch up with some of my other tasks. For example, I’d like to re-edit and reboot my historical fiction Calendar Mystery and Cinderella, P. I. fairy tale mystery series, increase the readerships for both, and explore options for my future work. But as I often say, better busy than bored.

Happy Spring! Juliet

 

P. S. Apart in April, Book 5 of my calendar mystery series, is available Wednesday April 27 through Tuesday May 3, 2022 for $0.99 at www.amazon.com/dp/B095J4BB94 and for £0.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B095J4BB94. (And it’s forever FREE on Kindle Unlimited.) If you already own Apart in April, please review it. And in any case, please share this information with your friends.

FREE BOOK

Free book! No foolin’! Old Time Stories, a short fiction and nonfiction collection, is FREE April 1 through April 5 at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F4JL8D5. And better yet , the book includes the short story “The Shackleton Ghost” that takes place on April 1, 1900, and only is available in this free book.

Here’s a snippet from the story featuring detectives Daniel and Minty Wilcox Price; Blanche Whitmore, the daughter of the Wilcox family’s former neighbor, the deceased Agnes Shackleton; Minty’s mother Laura Girard Wilcox; Peach Wilcox, Minty’s younger sister; and Eddie Wilcox, Minty’s youngest brother .

“Speaking of burglars,” Minty said. “Maybe someone has already broken into the house and that’s how that curtain got pulled down. Daniel, I think you and I should go over there right now to investigate. So, Miss Whitmore, if you would be so good as to give us the key, we shall.”

“But, but,” Miss Whitmore said.

“Why don’t you come with us?” Daniel said. “That way you can make sure we don’t disturb anything in there. Don’t you want to make sure the house is all right, Miss Whitmore?”

“But what about the ghost?” Eddie said. “Aren’t you afraid of the ghost, Minty?”

“Oh yeah, the ghost,” Peach said, her voice shrill.

“Oh, yes, the ghost,” Daniel moaned.

Blanche Whitmore drew in a breath with an audible shudder and let it out again. “The ghost,” she whispered.

Daniel squeezed Minty’s hand. “I’m sure the ghost wouldn’t dare come out of hiding if several of us go.”

“I don’t believe in ghosts,” Minty said. “But I must admit that I too am intrigued about what could be going on over there.”

“Well,” Miss Whitmore said. “I’m not giving you the key and I’m not going over there either.” She stood up. “I have a headache and I’m going upstairs to lie down.”

“You’re afraid of the ghost,” Peach said. “You’re a chicken.”

“Now, Peach,” Mama said. “You must respect your elders. Apologize to Miss Whitmore.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Peach said, rolling her eyes. “I’m sorry, Miss Whitmore. But you are scared of that ghost.”

“I certainly am not,” Miss Whitmore said. “Let me just fetch the key from my room upstairs.”

“I’ll get my suit coat,” Daniel said.

“And I’ll get mine,” Minty said. “It’s likely to be cool over there.”

In Old Time Stories, Book 4 of Juliet Kincaid’s calendar historical mystery series, you’ll join business girl Minty Wilcox and detective Daniel Price in old Kansas City as they sleuth, get to know each other, and fall in love in six stories that occur before, between or after January Jinx, Fatal February, and Mischief in March, the first three novels in the  series. Included are “Detectives’ Honeymoon” which starts exactly where Mischief in March ends and “The Shackleton Ghost,” published here for the very first time. Old Time Stories also includes eleven nonfiction pieces about the real people and places that inspired Juliet Kincaid to tell the story of Minty Wilcox and Daniel Price from newly met to newly wed and beyond in Kansas City, a place that could downright deadly a hundred years or so ago.

Five-Star Review of “The Barn Door”

“This short prequel story to the first book, January Jinx, is fun and introduces us to the two main characters, Daniel and Minty, before they actually meet. I especially like the descriptions of Kansas City in the 1900’s as well as the vivid descriptions of the characters. Read ‘The Barn Door’ and you will not be disappointed.” Amazon Reviewer.

Five-Star Review of “Lost Dog”

“What a delight to find myself in ‘old’ Kansas City again with such wonderfully drawn characters. I feel I know them and would love to follow them along the street while looking for the lost dog’s owner and I could just push that old neighbor back into the bushes after rescuing the poor dog from her vicious beating. Oh, this author brings them so alive and that is what keeps me reading her stories.” Amazon Reviewer

To order your own free copy of Old Time Stories, click here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F4JL8D5

 

 

 

January 2022 Newsletter

Starting a New Year . . .

Somehow, I’ve managed to start the new year by catching a cold. Apparently, this happened when I went to my doctor for a well woman check-up about a week ago. Of course, I went fully masked and observed the distancing protocol for the most part except when my doctor listened to my heart beat. Bummer!

But my temperature was the usual 96.9 this morning. I can still breathe deep and slowly exhale without coughing. And the COVID test I took yesterday turned out negative. So overall I’m good to go in 2022 with several projects. I’ll just talk about two of them.

Recently, to enhance my career as an indie author and increase sales of my books, I started publishing on a platform called Draft2Digital, a service that allows me to format my eBooks for lots of other platforms in addition to Amazon like Barnes & Noble Nook and Kobo. You can check out January Jinx at https://books2read.com/u/mqX1d. You can expect Fatal February to come along soon. And in the coming months, I anticipate getting all the historical Calendar Mysteries and the Cinderella, P. I. fairy tale mysteries on it.

Print lovers, please note that Amazon will continue to be my publisher for the paperback copies of my books. To discover what’s available, check my Amazon Author Central page: www.amazon.com/Juliet-Kincaid/e/B00DB4HWRG.

And here’s a progress report on Die by the Sword, a standalone thriller set in 1988 partly at a Renaissance Festival. The book features a young ceramic artist stalked violently by the mysterious and murderous Sir Scourge, the Lord of Lamentation.

The protagonist’s name currently is Vanessa Mathison. You might recognize the last name from my Calendar Mystery series. And I might change Van’s first name to Meneatha after her great grandmother Arminta Meneatha Wilcox known mostly as Minty. (I need to do a family tree before I start the last draft.) I hoped to finish the current draft by the end of 2021, but didn’t make it. But now the book is in pretty good shape to leave simmering on the back burner while I do some other things like the Draft2Digital project.

I’m aiming for a Memorial Day weekend publication date for Die by the Sword or possibly Labor Day. Regardless, sooner or later, I’ll need some help with it. So, if you’d like to read an Advance Review Copy and give me feedback on it, please let me know.

Please stay safe and well, my friends, Juliet

 

 

 

December 2021 Newsletter

The Old and the New

Out with the old and in with the new isn’t working so well for me this year. For example, at a time when some of my friends send virtual Christmas cards, this year I decided to send out real stamped cards. For me, the process involves looking back at the cards I received last year and circling the years when I received responses in the address book that I’ve kept for twenty years. I used to send as many as fifty, this year about half that for one reason or another.

As it happens, this year the day I did my Christmas cards, I woke up at 4 AM as my interminable Ya Gotta List rattled through my head. So, I ended up getting only two and a half hours of sleep, an insomnia record for me, and awoke in a terrible mood. But later, the process of looking at last year’s cards and newsletters, locating current addresses for a couple of my nieces and a nephew on Facebook, writing Hi along with a specific name and Love, Juliet and Jess inside the cards, addressing them, and putting on stamps and return address labels made me feel better. Plus, most of the cards I sent this year featured two dozen cats gathered around a piano. The joy of that card became my joy as well and healed my head.

From the topic of the old tradition of sending holiday cards, let’s move on to the new . . .

Not long ago I crashed my old computer by opening too many apps at once. And my daughter Jess decreed that its days were numbered because the hard drive was dying. (Ten years is old for computers.) So, I bought a new one. That meant that I needed to get used to a new computer, a new version of Microsoft Word, and a new version of Photoshop. (For instance, the new version of Word somehow put Calibri in my font box instead of the Times New Roman I’ve used in the past and I haven’t figured out how it did that.) Also, these things required new user names and new passwords. I don’t especially care for the passwords some alien AI app assigns because I just can’t remember those jumbles of letters and numbers. Instead, I like to devise my own with phrases I can recall and put together with a variety of upper and lower cases, numbers, and possibly a special character now and then.

All this stuff takes time and leads me to my last WiP Report of 2021. It looks like I won’t complete the current draft of Die by the Sword this year after all and move on to revising and editing. But when things settle down, I will.

Have a happy, healthy, and safe New Year, my friends, and I’ll get back to you in 2022. All the best, Juliet

Continue reading

November 2021 Newletter

Cat Chores and More

Like my daughter and I, our black Bombay cat named Safa has his chores around the house. (We first named him Satyavan and his sister Savitri from the Hindu story about a couple similar to the Greek Orpheus and Eurydice, only in the Hindu version the wife rescues her hubby from the Underworld. According to a young friend of my daughter’s, Safa means clown in Hindi.)

1) Safa’s first chore of the day is to act as a four-legged, furry alarm clock ramming about the house and yowling around seven in the morning. (He adjusted fairly fast to the recent time change.) Later on, he helps us make our beds. (Sometimes he hinders us, though.)

2) Sitting on the microwave, he monitors meal preparation, starting with breakfast. He also sits on the cable box in the family room and observes us while my daughter and I exercise with our online service.

3) He helps us get even more exercise by playing hide and seek with us. Sites he hides in include under the covers of my bed, under chairs, and inside the big cardboard box his multi level cat condo came in. (He mostly ignores the latter.)

4) He spends considerable time during the day warming the seat of his favorite chair in the living room. In the evening, during t. v. time in the family room, he warms my daughter’s lap or mine when she’s not available.

5) Recently, he even volunteered to help me promote my books by posing next to them for a photo.

All the while Safa keeps busy with his chores, he maintains his status as the world’s most adorable cat. This isn’t just idle bragging. A few years ago an employee of the Emergency Vet Clinic said that thirty people had to say goodbye to Safa when he left. And recently our regular vet took pictures of him to share with her daughter. The vet says she would adopt Safa in a heartbeat if for some reason we no longer wanted him. As if . . .

Ya Gottas (continued)

In my October newsletter, I lamented about the lengthiness of my to-do lists and how much I suffered from a case of Ya Gottas, at least partly cured by letting myself write in order to give me joy and feeds my soul.

Well, I am happy to report that since then I have come upon another cure–creative scheduling–that is, spacing way out the tasks gotta do. I’m telling myself I don’t have to do thems all at once or even all of them this year. It really, really helps to remove stress from my life by planning far ahead.

So my tentative publication date for my next novel is Memorial Day weekend in 2022, partly because during the first part of next year, I want to reboot my Calendar Mystery series month by month, for example, January Jinx in January 2022, and make them available on other platforms like Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

A Mini WiP Report

I hoped to tell you all that I’d completed the current draft of Die by the Sword by now. But due to distractions, I have 66,610 words and 266 pages of what probably will end up as about 90,000 words and 325 pages or so. It’s a bit hard to estimate how many words and pages I have to go because my characters are popping up with new ideas from time to time. For instance, the police detective in it has decided—all on his own and without finding out what this author wants—to go undercover at a Renaissance Festival sort of thing dressed like a wench. Sigh . . .

Meanwhile, I’m making my boxed set of the Calendar Mysteries, Books 1 – 3 along with the short story “Detectives’ Honeymoon” available at www.amazon.com/dp/B07QDKF413 for only $2.99 from December 5 through December 9 and www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QDKF413 for only £2.99. Treat yourself or gift a friend with this big book that follows my business girl Minty Wilcox and dashing detective Daniel Price from newly met to newly wed and beyond in Kansas City, a place that could get downright deadly a hundred years or so ago.

Best, Juliet

October 2021 Newsletter

A Bad Case of the Ya-Gottas

“Ya gotta,” says the voice in my head.

“Ya gotta get a COVID booster shot.”

“Ya gotta work on your website; it’s a mess.”

“Ya gotta trim the hedges before the weather gets bad.”

“Ya gotta redo your Amazon Author Central page and add pages in other countries.”

“Ya gotta get the dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer serviced before the warranties run out.”

“Ya gotta read the newspaper today because you vowed to do that everyday until COVID is gone.”

“Ya gotta get to the DMV to send for the title of the car you paid off with some of the COVID money.”

“Ya gotta spiff up all the sales pages for all your books and stories currently available on Amazon.”

“Ya gotta back up everything on your desktop computer somewhere else, because Jess says your hard drive is dying, so you don’t lose anything important like the novel you’re writing.”

“Ya gotta get somebody over here to fix the broken door to the garden shed before the raccoons set up housekeeping in there when winter sets in. Also you need to get somebody to fix the rotten window frames, fix the ceiling in the front bathroom, and fix the . . .”

“Ya gotta reformat all your books and publish them all the platforms, not just Amazon, so you can maybe make some money off of them. But oh no,” the voice in my head says. “You can’t do that right now because first you need to redo the covers of some of your fairy tale mysteries. And anyway, why bother with doing that because you haven’t made any money off your books right now. What makes you think you ever will?”

And so the maddening mix of personal, household, and authorial “ya gottas” has continued in my head until one recent afternoon during a walk around the neighborhood with my daughter, I started crying about it. That got a stare from the guy who stopped his car at the intersection so we could cross the street. And then Jess said something that I’ve repeatedly told my students over the years. I’ve also said it to myself and to Jess about her own creative work. “Mom,” she said. “Ya gotta put your creative work first because it’s the thing that nurtures you and gives you joy. All the other stuff ya gotta do gotta wait till later.”

And finally, the voice in my head shut the hell u

So I’m pleased to say that Die by the Sword is going well, and I’ve now increased my word count from the 23,000 words I mentioned in my previous newsletter to 51,475 words, so I think the book is more than halfway done. Also I’ve done a couple of versions of the cover, but I didn’t like the advice my art teacher gave me on the one featuring the full length, slantwise sword, and there are copyright issues with both, so it’s back to the drawing board. But it will get there.

FYI: Novel Basics, a concise yet complete guide to writing a novel, is on sale for only $0.99 from October 24 through October 30 at www.amazon.com/dp/B07K2LXFRP and for £0.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K2LXFRP.

Stay safe and well, Juliet.

P. S. Our sweet Safa boy, shown at the top of the page with some of my books, says “Hey!”

Busier than a button on the . . .

Hi, Everyone!

As my dear old darling dad used to say, it’s been busier than a button on a back house door at the Kincaid house this past month. Whew!

For instance, the ceiling in the front bathroom of our house had been leaking since the summer of 2019. No need to deal with it during the drought and no way to deal with it during the lock down. But this month, the time came for me to deal with roofers and assorted personnel of my insurance company before the ceiling fell on our heads. The process got a little messy especially when the salesman from the company I hired found a raccoon’s nest on the roof beneath the trumpet vine that birds and critters enjoyed all summer. It was so beautiful. But it should come back next year.

Here’s a picture of the finished roof. That’s 40-year shingle up there now, I’ll have you know.

I’ve been enjoying my multi-media art class very much though watercolor remains challenging. I got in a hurry with this painting, tentatively called “Ghost Tree: Tulip Poplar,” the first in a series about trees that no longer live in my neighborhood. And so I botched the roof on a house in the neighborhood (unlike our new roof) . Maybe I can fix it the painting. Maybe not. We’ll see.

In spite of all of these distractions, I am making progress on the WiP, Die by the Sword, so now the novel is almost 23,000 words long and close to Plot Point 1 when the protagonist Vanessa Price Mathison makes an important decision that moves the story into the second story arc. I’m especially enjoying the way Van’s sort-of-boyfriend Guy Truelove is developing in this version of the book that I’ve tried to write several times before.

Some of you who have read my calendar mysteries will recognize Van’s middle and last names. At this point I haven’t quite figured out the connection to business girl Minty Wilcox and dashing detective Daniel Price, let alone developed a family tree, but in time I will.

Speaking of that series, in case you missed it, Apart in April, Book 5 and the fourth novel in the series, is now available as an eBook for $4.99 at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B095J4BB94 and also as a paperback for $14.99 from Amazon (ISBN 9780996160490).

 

 

Also currently available is Novel Basics, my complete yet concise guide to writing a novel, at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K2LXFRP. It’s perfect for those of you planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year. The book will be only $0.99 from October 24 through October 30, but if you need it sooner, the eBook is now $3.99. The paperback in “easy on the eye” 14-point font is $8.99.

I’ll be back next month. Meanwhile, stay safe and well, Juliet

August 2021 Newsletter

My Once and Future Novel (Part 2, I think)

Hi, All!

A few nights ago, I thought about retiring on my birthday coming up really soon on 9/11/2021. I’ll be eighty, and maybe it’s time to stop. I told myself that maybe I’d be happy and fulfilled reading and reviewing other people’s books and taking weekly art classes.

But who am I kidding? Nothing gives me more joy than being lost in the fiction I’m writing. Besides, it’s back. . . In this case instead of a monster, I’m talking about my once and future novel, the one that I’ve worked on for about three decades, the one set in part at a Renaissance Festival sort of event and in part at activities of a group similar to the Society for Creative Anachronism. This is a book concept that just won’t let me go.

Over the past thirty years, this book has gone from a fairly conventional detective mystery with one protagonist to suspense with quite a different protagonist. Overall, I think I’ve produced three different detective mysteries and two versions of the basic story as a novel of suspense. In fact, one of the challenges for me, now that I’m having at it again, is to locate scenes I vividly recall writing though when and in which notebook and which digital file, I’m unsure. I know that some of you have read an earlier version. In fact, I still have your comment sheets along with print-outs. But right now I can’t remember where I put them.

The characters have undergone several variations as well. For instance, I have two characters whose role is providing the protagonist (whoever the heck that turns out to be) with information about the Ancient Ways Society. The twosome started out as a lesbian couple, one white and the other Black. Eventually, they became an elderly man and not so elderly woman with a very large Great Dane. As I embark on the final version, I’m not sure I really need the dog. But I really can’t predict at this point.

The book also has a couple of working titles: Death in Shining Armor and Die by the Sword. I took a poll on Facebook recently and most of the people responding favored the first one, as did I. But once I really got into the first chapter, I decided that Die by the Sword was the better choice. But you know what? The book is alive and well and I’m looking forward to completing it.

Meanwhile, I’ve had lots of distractions. For one thing we’ve been dealing with a leaky roof and predatory roofers, but we’ve found a decent one now. But once the dust settles on that and other issues, I hope to plunge back to the book . . . I’ll keep you posted on the project next month.

Best, Juliet