I mentioned that our next author for my July book club was Brandt Legg. I have to say I really loved his book ‘The Last Librarian’. His characters were well developed, both good people and bad people, and the plot moved along with excellent pacing. What was scary is that it was about a worldwide pandemic like we just experienced. It was so realistic that I thought he had written it very recently, but the book was published in 2015. He sure had a good idea of what was coming.
My only problem with the book was the ending. I hate when an author makes me have to buy another book to find out the ending. Fortunately for me, I’m a writer so it was no problem for me to write an ending that satisfied my interpretation of how the characters would act and how the story would end. I liked my ending. So, unfortunately for Mr. Legg, he won’t be selling another book to me, for The Last Librarian or any other book he writers. I would be afraid it would not have an ending. As for the members of my book club, he scored a 50/50 rating as to whether they liked his writing and whether they would purchase another one of his books.
My work on my novel Malie is taking a surprising turn. One of the main characters, CMP Constable Brian Stockton is becoming the main character. I’m ultimately going to try to get him and Malie together, but who knows. Good characters often do to this to writers.
One of my book clubs met last Friday. In our book club we read an author, not just one book. Members pick any book by a chosen author and we discuss the pros and cons of the writing style and how an author’s style often changes over years of writing.
This last author we reviewed was James Herriot. I read his novel ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. Way too much medical detail for me and a couple other readers in the books we read. But, the people in the group with a medical background loved the detail. His grammar and technique was good and the pacing of his stories moved his stories along nicely. He did have some well developed, interesting characters that kept this readers interest. At the end of our meetings we vote on whether we would read him again. He got a fifty-fifty rating as half would read another one of his books and half would not.
Next month we are reading books by Brandt Legg, a mystery and crime author. From his background in real life, he sounds exciting.
Still working on my ‘Malie’ novel. This week it has required a lot of research into electricity in the Yukon. I was surprised at how far back in time that distant area did have electricity. The plot is really intriguing and I look forward to moving the characters along each day.
Let me leave you with a quote from mystery writer, Brad Meltzer. “Here’s a secret. As a writer you can only be as good as the readers you share your first drafts with.” One of the book club members, Jean, found this and shared it with the book club. It is so true.
Summer has arrived in Lake Havasu City. Temps were over 100 most of last week. Down to the high 90s this week.
Nothing exciting last week. Still working on my Malie novel. I’m really getting into the characters and a twist in the plot is becoming clear. Again more research. It is about six miles from Dawson City to Midnight Dome, a beautiful cliff above the city. One of the character is out riding and I needed to know how far a horse can trot in about an hour. Seems like maybe a mile if you stop occasionally and let the horse walk.
Spent Saturday with my nephew Zach and his wife Bobbi. Love them to piece. Bobbi is very clever with her cooking and canning skills. She bought me a couple of white cups and using some sort of a decal she was able to add some wording to the cups. One reads ‘I’m a writer. Anything you say or do may be used in my novel’ and the other one has two sayings. One is ‘Can’ talk now, my characters are talking to me.’ The other us ‘Can’t talk now, my characters are talking about you.’ I just love them and I love Bobbi for making them.
That’s about it for this week. Let me leave you with this quote by Bruce Lee. “Cease negative chattering…Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.”
I’ve started on my new novel. So many readers want to know what happens to Malie from ‘Moose Rides and Wedding Rings’ that I’ve decided to tell her story. Right now she is managing a saloon in Dawson City, Yukon. It’s in the late 1940s. The town is growing and bringing family type people into town, which is bringing unwanted attention to the local saloons and the women who work there.
I needed to know how the Yukon handled ladies of the night. Turns out it isn’t illegal. I was surprised to find that out. I find it strange that it is illegal in most of the U.S. states, yet marijuana is becoming legal. Where’s the logic in that. Anyway, as usual, I’m really enjoying working with Malie and creating new characters, like the new Canadian Mounted Police Constable assigned to Dawson. More to come!
I got some feedback today on ‘Moose Rides …’ Turns out the reader really liked the book, but didn’t like Kathleen, one of the main characters. Said she seemed pitiful. Love hearing how my readers feel about my books.
Our last First Friday of the season was on May 6th. McCullough Blvd. was lined with local artists once again. Surprisingly, we had a fairly big crowd. I talked with several folks who have read my books and made several sales to new readers. I can’t thank Karen Wright enough for organizing this for me.
We were joined this time by fellow author Buck Dopp and his wife Stephanie. We started the evening at Jersey’s Grill for supper. Buck was featuring his latest novel ‘Second Wind’. A great novel with a surprise ending.
Another event Buck, Stephanie and I attended was the local high school’s ‘Night of Excellence’ where scholarships are awarded to seniors. This past year we lost a fellow writer, Paul Bailey. He was a prolific writer, publisher and editor. He is sorely missed by so many folks, especially me. His wife April suggested that instead of sending flowers and such, we collect money and offer a scholarship to a high school senior with a focus on writing. Another fellow writer Regina Olsen coordinated the money collected from several local clubs and it produced a $605 Scholarship. On Monday, May 9th, Buck, Stephanie, April, Regina and I attended the event. Buck gave a lovely presentation speech and April, through tears, shared some thoughts of Paul. It was a beautiful evening and the young lady receiving the award was most thankful.
After the awards, the five of us went out to supper at Barley Brothers. Great meal, great company, great friends. Writers are the best!
With ‘Moose Rides and Wedding Rings’ published and my latest novel about an Irish girl adjusting to being left alone to take care of herself in the town of Lancaster, Calif. in the editing stage, I decided it was time to start a new novel.
Readers liked the character Malie in ‘MR&WR’ and wanted to know how she fares by moving to Canada. I’m still working on a plot, but there will be Canadian Mounted Police, the Finley Clan and of course lots of family dynamics. It’s taking a lot of research regarding the CMP and the Dawson/Whitehorse area of the Yukon, but, as usual, the story will be about people, both good and bad.
The weather here in Lake Havasu City, Az is relatively mild for this time of year. No 100 degree temps so far. But, after living here for 30 years, the hot weather doesn’t bother me. Bring it on!
The book signing went quite well. Lots of support from friends, but several strangers heard about the signing and came to buy the book.
I want to put out a ‘Thank You’ to Denise who runs the bingo games at our Lake Havasu Knights of Columbus. She let me offer three of my books for door prizes to announce the book signing. Since then, I have sold several books to players and a couple of the workers. She is also displaying three of my books for sale. I can’t thank her enough.
I’ve finished my next book about the Irish girl, no official book title yet, and am working on updates noted by my editors. Hope to have it out within the next couple of months.
Also, started on a new novel. Readers wanted to know how things work out for Malie, a character from the ‘Moose Rides and Wedding Rings’ book. It is starting in Whitehorse in the Yukon and involves a Canadian Mounted Police Constable. Only about 1800 words so far.
Weather here in Lake Havasu has been beautiful, no 100-degree temps yet.
I will be signing copies of my latest novel, Moose Rides and Wedding Rings, on April 8th from 1 to 4 p.m. at Scoops Homemade Ice Cream Parlor, 2014 McCulloch Blvd, in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Here’s a lead-in to the story line: Patrick Finley’s nature is to act first, then deal with the result of what his family calls his moose rides. Although born in U.S., he was raised in Dawson City, Yukon. As the novel begins, this foot-loose and fancy-free bachelor is back in San Francisco and is now the co-owner of a small airline The bombing of Pearl Harbor motivates him to enlist in the U.S. Army and is he assigned to the Army Air-corp. Based in Hawaii, he finds himself faced with a series of moose ride challenges that include attraction, physical harm, love, divorce, missing-in-action status, arrest and dealing with false arrest.
I’m a graduate of Mohave Community College and have won awards for my writing from The National League of American Pen Women and the Arizona Authors Assoc.
The novel is available as a print and ebook at Amazon.com
What a fun night, despite the heat and the humidity. The turn out was better than expected. So many Havasuvians out for an evening stroll along McCullouch Blvd.
I met so many interesting people who still love to read a book. Had quite a few folks stop by to comment on one or two of the characters in my books. As usual, they loved Lita. And, dear old Deborah got her share of comments. As a writer who focuses on her characters as much, or more, than the plot, hearing how Lita and Deborah affected those readers was very rewarding. If those who made those comments are reading this, THANK YOU!
For those of you who missed it, mark your calendars for Friday, Oct. 4th for the next event. It runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and you will find an amazing display of art, jewelry, pottery and books to view and to buy. Many of the artists allow you to pick up a paint brush and create your own piece of beauty or fun. There are food vendors and music. Almost every person who passed by my table wore a big smile, so the event is evidently bringing lots of enjoyment into the community.
I’ll close with this, “True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” Humboldt