In The Writer's World

The State of the State

“February is the cruelest month in western Oregon”, or so says amateur sleuth Emma Golden in The Difficult Sister, the second book in my Emma Golden Mystery Series.  I put those words in her head for a reason. By February in these parts, most of us have had it. The days are getting longer, but not longer enough. And this year our February was particularly cold.

Petroglyphs at Sear’s Point, Arizona.

This February, I once again took myself to Tucson to spend time with my Dear Sister. It was cold there too, at least at night, but nice enough during the days for some beautiful hikes and sightseeing. Aside from a lovely walking tour of downtown Tucson, we spent most of our time out in the wilds hiking, exploring, and visiting petroglyph sites. Otherwise, there was great Mexican food and reliably delicious home cooking.

The State of the Novel

Coming off finishing a 90,000-word novel is a huge letdown, so I felt lost last month. For the past three weeks, the book has been in Aaron Yeagle’s hands. He’s the genius behind my website and cover, and has designed and formatted the book. I was able to visit Aaron while in Tucson, and that was a special treat.

Now we are going back and forth with corrections. Despite going through every word of this novel several times and enlisting expert help, I still find stuff that doesn’t belong there. I suspect there are little ghosts in the machine messing about with things.

Pima County Courthouse, Tucson.

Progress is good, and I plan to have Blackthorn books in hand by early April. You can pre-order your paperback or ebook copy here now. If you’ve already pre-ordered your copy, thanks so much!

Pre-orders will be mailed or delivered to your device as soon as they are available. If you live in the greater Portland area or happen to be in town, please come to my launch party with book talk and signing Sunday, April 7, at The Forest Condominiums Clubhouse, 4000 Carman Drive, Lake Oswego 97035 or at  Annie Bloom’s Books,  scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. all are welcome.

What’s next, one asks? Book #4 in the Emma Golden Mystery Series is underway. At this point, the plot and players are being arranged in my head and on slips of paper. Emma is never far from my mind. But right now the big push is to get Blackthorn out to all of you dear readers.

Everything else

January and February marked the deaths of American poet Mary Oliver, and British actor Albert Finney–two artists I held in awe throughout their long careers. Both lived their lives at the top of their respective crafts; both were larger than life. I also wish to honor Norma Paulus, who died February 28. She was strong, feisty, talented, and smart–a woman from humble beginnings who for decades was one of Oregon’s most prominent political figures. She was the sort of woman all of us aspire to be. She led with honor, and Oregon can be proud of her.

Thanks for tuning in. If you do not already subscribe to my newsletter, please take the time to do so. I look forward to seeing many familiar faces and meeting new friends at the upcoming Blackthorn launch parties!

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