And you thought mysteries weren’t scary.

Standard

As I near the end of my first novel, panic starts to set in. Is it good enough, will it be liked?  Scarier still, finding and paying an editor. Holy book bind Batman! From what I’ve heard so far on FB groups, this is the one area you have to shell out for.

I’ve seen $2 – $3 a page, is it 81/2 x 11 size page, double spaced?! This could get really scary. I’ve heard this is one thing you don’t want to skimp on. How embarrassing would it be for the public to find spelling or grammar errors after the book is published?

I’ve also heard they look for story errors and plot holes. I can’t even imagine doing this myself. I will get some folk to read the final first draft when I get it finished. Hopefully this will catch plot line oops, or holes, along with grammar and spelling problems.

Then after the expense and nail biting of sending my book to an editor, comes the time to find an agent, or self publish. I have to admit, I want my book on the shelf at the local bookstore. It’s a toss up which would generate more money, but eh, who cares?

I have been an artist for years and I’ll admit I have a HUGE ego. I want to see my book on the self. I want to do a book signing, and have people standing in line to have me sign my latest novel for them. I want to advertise my latest novel on FB and have a website. I want to go to writers retreats and conventions to rub elbows with other writers.

So back to earth, editing, then finding an agent, which will find a publisher to put my novel to the presses. Then… a small percentage of the book sales come to me. Let’s face it I would rather have the thrill, than the money. Sounds easy enough right?

Advertisements

Scooby Doo, I found you!

Standard

In 1969 I was 6 years old. Having seen the preview of coming cartoons in the TV Guide, I was in the floor in front of the TV awaiting the first “Scooby Doo where are you”. This was the beginning of my love of mystery and horror.

The Scooby gang stumbled upon the mystery, they were always in the right place at the right time. They searched for clues, though scared out of the wits, they always found the bad guy. The bad guy posed as monster, ghost or ghoul, but was found to be an ordinary human in the end. And so it went, every episode, but as children we sat and watched mesmerized by the story.

 

Later in life TV shows changed to more adult mysteries. The Rockford Files, Colombo, Murder She Wrote, Cagney and Lacy and all the other wonderful cop and sleuth shows of the 70’s and 80’s. In the 70’s I was also introduced to PBS and the mysteries from England. Agatha Christie’s, Miss Marple was my absolute favorite.

Life became more taxing and TV shows became less prominent in my life in the 90’s. But I found my solace in reading. I had become quite the goth chick and Anne Rice and Stephen King were my favorite authors. My life was filled with vampires, ghosts and monsters once again, but fantasy played a big part in those days as well.

The novels of Charles De Lint, stories of fairies, shape changers and shamans lured me into that realm with a pull that has lasted to this day. Kenneth Flint and his tales of Celts, brought in to our own modern urban era, kept time with my renewed love of Irish witchcraft. Fantasy and horror held my attention, until my move back to my birthplace and the discovery of downloadable audio.

Pulled around full circle to my love of mystery, I found Janet Evanvovich and uproarious antics of Stephine Plum. Mary Anna Evans and the formidable Faye Longchamp, Archaeologist and crime solver. Victoria Hamilton and her lovable vintage cookware and cookbook collector turned sleuth, Jaymie Leighton. Lorraine/Lorna Bartlett‘s Katie Bonner the manager of Artisans Alley and mystery solver. Also her wonderful Book Town series with  Tricia Miles, mystery book seller that trips over murdered bodies like it’s her second job.

Then I found Bailey Cates’ Katie Lightfoot, the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery and witch. Heather Blake’s Enchanted Village’s resident Wishcrafter, Darcy Merriweather has the power to make other people’s wishes come true. And Juliet Blackwell‘s Lily Ivory, owner of Aunt Cora’s Closet, has magical knack for vintage fashion.

All of these books and TV shows have shaped my life, and given me hours of calming respite. Some of them supercharged my imagination to try the craft of writing myself. So here’s to all the ladies that write mysteries, I’m hot on your heels and will soon be joining your ranks!

 

Rediscovering Myself

Standard

At some point during high school, I came to the realization that I wanted to be an artist. After graduation, I was extremely naive in the whole searching for a college thing, and got talked out of being an artist. “Artists don’t make money” the person that was signing me up for courses in marketing and advertising instead of fine art, said. So my dream of being an artist was thwarted for the first time.

Next, I joined the Air Guard to try to get my GI bill, so I could go back to school to become an artist. I wanted to be a person that designed and illustrated the medical training books in the Air Force. Okay, course set. When I got the papers that would tell me what I was going to be in the Air Force, it read Medical Service Specialist. The short term for this is Medic. Thwarted a second time, I fell back and regrouped, and moved to Dayton, Ohio.

I was called to war in 91, and was injured. I could no longer do my job in the Guard, so they gave me Vocational Rehab. Yay! I was finally going to school to become an artist. During my studies in an English course, we had to write short stories. My English Professor loved my stories and told me I should switch majors and become a writer instead. I brushed the idea off, because I was finally on my way to becoming what I had always wanted to be.  In 1997 I graduated from Sinclair Community College, with a degree in Visual Communication (Commercial Art). And off I went to become an artist.

Twenty some odd years later, my time in that war in 91 was catching up with me. My hands shook, my eyes blurred, I had pain all over my body and short term memory loss. All these conditions got me “laid off” from my last job as an artist.

I fell into a black hole of depression, my ability to make art was for the most part gone. I stumbled around for years, being nothing, playing video games and watching Netflix. I had lost my joy. My muses had left for greener pastures. Insult added to injury I had to return to the place of my birth. I had vowed never to return to this forsaken city.

My depression became overwhelming, and all of my medical problems worsened. I so wanted to return to my beloved Dayton, but it was impossible at this time. I had thoughts of novels appear in my head, but I pushed them away. I was an artist, not a writer. I believe one of my muses had stuck around, and was giving me ideas. I tried and started a novel about a corporation poisoning our water, to keep the masses dumb and complaisant. That novel didn’t get into three chapters before I quit. I had placed the novel in the state I was living in. So even in fiction I couldn’t escape.

I believe my stubborn muse realized this, and gave me the story I’m working on now. It’s about a witch living in Dayton, two things that I love and had lost to some degree. Yes I’m a witch, but living in my father’s home I could no longer openly practice. So within the pages of my novel, and through my heroine, I could be a witch living in Dayton once more. It has been wonderfully therapeutic, and healing.

I’m still an artist, but now I draw with words.