Q: Summer’s almost done! How did you spend your summer vacation? Or did you even take one?
A: No vacation this year. I have been spending my otherwise vacation funds on professional events: MIXED UP WITH MURDER book tours in February; Malice Domestic (Bethesda, MD) in April; and the upcoming Bouchercon (New Orleans). I will visit a quiet little corner of Burgundy in the dead cold of pre-Christmas to do seasonal research for my second French village mystery, and then Left Coast Crime happens in Hawaii (Oahu) in March and Malice again in Bethesda right before the first French village mystery, LOVE AND DEATH IN BURGUNDY, is released. Please don’t tell me that I can write off all this on my taxes. As my tax guy tells me gently every year, deductions aren’t my problem, revenue to take them against is the issue.
I’ve been working all summer: With my St. Martin’s editors on polishing the first in the new series; with my second publisher on preparing all of the Dani novels for release in sparkling new print and e-book editions; on the first draft of the second St. Martin’s book; and on my Sisters in Crime and other volunteer involvements.
The Dani series - the first, originally published by Avalon, then Amazon's Thomas & Mercer, is coming very soon.
But I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, a place so vacation-themed that it’s packed with visitors from around the world pretty much all year. You can’t stop for a cappuccino in North Beach without hearing at least six languages being spoken, and parking to look at seductive San Francisco from the viewing area at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge is virtually impossible between the huge tour buses and the hundreds of hopeful cars lined up waiting for parking, never mind a thousand happy bike riders navigating from SF to Sausalito. So I – with friends and family - visit the museums, eat at the latest trendy restaurants, walk Crissy Field to look at boats and sailboarders, and otherwise give thanks I happen to live in a place where ‘staycations’ are as good as the getaways I’m missing. Could be worse.