Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Read the article on The Four Firsts and Chapter Hooks.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Of course, there are the writing goals as well. I will support the new book coming out by following the marketing plan I painstakingly created. And I have a specific writing goal - finish the current novel project by July 1st. I love this time of year because it gets me focused on what I want to accomplish.
The approach of a new year also brings a rather random collection of thoughts and memories to mind. I remember the first time as a child that I was allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. When you reach middle age you’re kind of forced to. Being an optimist I do want to stay up until midnight to see the New Year in, although I know some who stay up just to make sure the old year leaves. We all make New Year's resolutions, knowing that they just go in one year and out the other. But my favorite New Year’s quote comes from the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin:
“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.”
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
We enjoy the winter, as we should. After all it's a respite from summer's stifling heat and humidity. It feels clean and new and fresh.... it invigorates and sets noses to tingling while also numbing our reddening ears...
And yet, the time comes when we yearn for Spring. We look upon the crocuses and tulips that bravely push themselves through the winter snow and slush in winter's waning days...and nights with a mixture of hope and admiration. But there are other things under the snow aren't there? Awful, ugly, secret things that would smell of rot and frighten the bejeezus out of us if it weren't for their wonderfully concealing blanket of white... What secrets have Mother Nature jealously hidden under her white mantle? Secrets that surface only when she deigns to turn her wintry face away and, perhaps shyly, let us see? Does the snow hide that nice old lady that used to walk her dog near the poplars every morning? What happened to her? Why didn't anyone miss her? What about that little boy that was reported as missing in the next county over? Is that his red cap we see peeking out through the otherwise pristine whiteness? Whatever happened to that poor, sad woman everyone knew was being abused by her husband but everyone kept quiet about? Is that her blue, broken hand poking up from the dirty slush by the side of the road?
For crime writers, our Winter Wonderland is often really a veil of secrets that do not come to light until the thaws of Spring. We know that crime doesn't recognize seasons or pretty landscapes. How often have you heard someone say to a reporter on t.v., "Things like that just don't happen around here..." Maybe the next time you find yourself hiking through those pretty woods, your boots crunching through nature's snowy path, maybe you'll quicken your steps because really, what is the snow hiding? Maybe next time you gaze securely through your kitchen window at the lovely landscape that the winter so graciously provided you, you'll feel a slight shudder and the picture will blur for just a moment as you wonder...what's hiding under the snow in YOUR yard?
Thursday, December 18, 2008
At the same time, Simon & Schuster cut 35 positions from their staff. And Random House, the world's biggest publisher, announced a sweeping reorganization of its publishing divisions. Bantam Dell (the imprint publishes Danielle Steel and Dean Koontz) and Doubleday Publishing Group (Dan Brown and John Grisham) both lost their publishers. Not fired, but resigned. And imprints are being combined or dropped.
Some insiders are saying they’ve never seen anything like it. I guess that means they weren’t around ten years ago when HarperCollins cancelled more than 100 contracts and laid off more than 400 people. The industry survives these challenges, just as other businesses do during a tough economic time. But what does it mean to you and me?
Well, if you’re published by one of the majors you might well be nervous about your next book seeing print. I, on the other hand, have a book placed with a small press. The management has not changed, and I don’t’ think acquisition policies have either. And despite the harsh economic climate, people around me seem to still be buying books. In fact, bookstores I was in this last weekend were doing brisk business, even without the 55 books I signed.
The situation today might be bad news for most of the books published by the big companies, but most of them never turn a profit anyway. Maybe this economic climate will force them to trim some of the fat, to lose some books that just don’t sell anyway. For those of us in the small press or self-published world, the big news may be no news. We already know how to work lean, we already work at marketing smart, we already look for every opportunity, and we know how to cut our losses if stuck with a loser.
So for me, and folks like me, the publishing recession might represent more opportunity than disaster. If Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Simon & Schuster stop flooding the market for a while, maybe more people will notice my work.
Am I overly optimistic? Probably. It may be impossible for me to thrive while the giants stumble. But at this time of year, I remember the words of Rogers and Hammerstein in Cinderella:
The world is full of zanies and fools,
who don’t believe in sensible rules,
and won’t believe what sensible people say.
And because these daft and dewy-eyed dopes
keep building up impossible hopes,
impossible things are happening everyday!
Happy holidays and all the best to all my writing friends!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Enter to win 1106 Grand Boulevard:
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Confirmed guests of honour include Denise Mina, Louise Penny and Barbara Fradkin with Mary Jane Maffini as Mistress of Ceremonies.
For more information and registration forms, please visit:
Friday, December 05, 2008
Why: I shot this picture after viewing a Video slideshow of Writers' Rooms as photographed by Eammon McCabe. All the spaces he photographed were of major writers so I thought you ought to see the room of an emerging writer, too. All the rooms have pretty much the same ingredients, if not reflective of different personalities and degrees of neatness.
Who: From the article: "In a new exhibition, award winning photographer Eamonn McCabe, draws together a selection of works from his project illustrating the working environments of novelists,biographers and poets."
Where: Eamonn McCabe: Writers' Rooms runs 3 December - 17 January at Madison Contemporary Art, London.Writers' Rooms feature each Saturday in The Guardian.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
"Para-psychic, Para-psychotic, Para-captivating! Ditto on the previous reviewers who loved the scenery, intricate plot lines with twists and turns...Divine Intervention captivated me and I think it will turn out to be better than the movie!"
--Yale R. Jaffe, author of Advantage Disadvantage
(Note: No movie deal at this time. Film rights are available; email Cheryl.