Friday, February 24, 2017

Dazed and Confused, but Too Tough to Die

If your writing process/life could be summarized as the title of a song – what song would it be? i.e. Born to be Wild, The Long and Winding Road… And why? 

by Paul D. Marks

Well, I’m not sure if this song would cover the entire process or life of a writer – this writer – summarized in a single song, but at least part of it would be the Beatles’ Paperback Writer*. The song opens with these lyrics, “Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look?” and I always wanted to open a query letter with just those words. Never have, but you never know.

The song goes on to tell the story of someone who wants to be a ‘paperback’ writer. He’s written a story of a dirty man, who has a wife who doesn’t understand. He has a steady job, but he wants to be a paperback writer. He’s even amenable to the editing process, willing to change the length. And he tempts the editor he’s writing to with the thought that his book could make a million for them overnight. Who doesn’t want that, right? Though we’re told not to do things like that in a query letter. And on top of everything else, the song has a great guitar riff.

But it’s not the only song that comes to mind. At various stages of my life all of these song titles (below) could have described my writing career and writing angst. And, as Cathy said earlier in the week, it’s really just the titles or a line or two that applies. That said, here goes, my writing life in a succession of song titles (in no particular order, that would take too much concentration):

Hooray for Hollywood
Celluloid Heroes
I’ve Seen That Movie Too
Too Tough To Die
Long and Winding Road
Trouble is a Friend
Not Fair
Comfortably Numb
No Expectations
Gimme Shelter
Let it Bleed
Rip This Joint
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Yer Blues
Low Budget
Living on a Thin Line
Stop Your Sobbing
No More Looking Back
Iron Man
Dazed and Confused
Good Times, Bad Times
Don’t Let It Bring You Down
The Loneliest Place on the Map
My Enemies Have Sweet Voices
For No One (when a story gets rejected)
Break on Through
Art Fails
Only the Lonely
The Long and Winding Road
The End

Well, you get the idea. There’s been ups and downs, good times, bad times and I’ve often been dazed and confused. Times I wanted to throw in the towel and times when I felt on top of the world. So, despite all the turbulence, you just have to stick with it, believe in yourself and do it because you must, not because it will “make a million for you overnight”.

And when you’re done with your story, and to bring it full circle with Paperback Writer:

“If you must return it, you can send it here, But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer.”

Paul McCartney performing Paperback Writer

*“Paperback Writer” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney


And now for the usual BSP:

Episode 2 of Writer Types from Eric Beetner and Steve W. Lauden is here, with a bunch of great stuff. Interviews and reviews with Reed Farrell Coleman, Joe Lansdale Jess Lourey, agent Amy Moore-Benson, Kris E Calvin, Danny Gardner, Kate Hackbarth Malmon, Dan Malmon, Erik Arneson, Dana Kaye and……….me. Be there or be y'know. 

Also, I’m over at the ITW Big Thrill—Thriller Roundtable this week talking about “How long does it take you to write a book? Why do some stories flow so much faster than others?” along with Karen Harper, Jean Harrington, David Alexander, Heidi Renee Mason, Winter Austin, Adrian Magson, Susan Fleet, A.J. Kerns and Ronnie Allen. – Please come and join in the discussion.

Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea is available at and Down & Out Books.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll

"What song title best describes your writing life? And why." by Catriona

Well, it's not that Ian Dury hit now, is it? "Post-it Notes and Cups of Tea" would never have been released as an A-side.

Mind you, "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick" is a contender for the editing part of the job. "Stet for rhythm" is my most frequent margin note when a copy-editor tries to bend towards the formal, conservative English style some copy editors seem to prefer.

"Once I Had a Secret Leeerrrrrve" describes the decades of wanting to be a writer but thinking it was a pipe-dream.

"Imagination (ooh ooh ooh oo-oo ooh!)" isn't as apposite as I thought it might be. "Keep On Keepin On" is more to the point on any given day.

"Baby's Got Back" is a horribly accurate account of what happens to one's physique from keeping on keeping the bum in the chair as long as you need, though.

If I had to pick just one, it wouldn't be "Why does it always rain on me?" despite the frequent pity-parties about the state of publishing and the incivility of anonymous reviewers. It would be my favourite (uncool) song.  (And I'm so uncool I made a clanger about who sang it!) Because we've all got bigger things to worry about these days and, for me, writing it's still the best job in the world.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sinatra, Bowie, Curry, Joel & Cathy Ace

If your writing process/life could be summarized as the title of a song – what song would it be? And why?

Okay, I admit it – there’ve been some challenging questions to respond to on this blog since I joined, but this particular one has had me scratching my head in an entirely different way. The reason? Most of the “songs” I know only really apply insofar as one tiny part of the lyrics apply to one part of my writing life, so here goes….

My writing process/life is a mixture of extremely organized (outlining, research etc.) and chaotic (I rebel against any sort of routine). So there’s always a tension there. Also, the longer I write, and the more books I write, so my overall feelings about my writing life shift.

I honestly believe that the first book an author writes is probably the closest to their heart; when I wrote “The Corpse with the Silver Tongue” (my first Cait Morgan Mystery) it had been rattling around inside my head for years, so it was the close to “the book you are desperate to write”. As I was writing that book, and throughout the time when it was my only book in the marketplace, I suppose the song that best described my emotions about my writing life would be “My Way”. 

Then I learned more about editing with a publisher, the business of publishing, the way in which the marketplace demanded “labels” for an author’s work and my perspective shifted. By book #3, The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb, I felt that Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel” was more appropriate, as I felt I had to fight to write a book that was traditional, rather than “Cozy” with a capital “C”, and thus I included a mysterious serial killer in the background story, as well as introducing the specter of Mexican drug smuggling. By book #4, the Corpse with the Platinum Hair, I was back to Sinatra again, having gained acceptance for a setting in Las Vegas, with which I won Canada's national prize for best light mystery, the Bony Blithe Award - it seemed as though "Luck Be a Lady" was working out for me.

Finally, I set a book in Wales, The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes, insert sound track of “Going Home” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show here. I liked that feeling, so sought out a way to write a series set there. 

Next, I had to build a relationship with a new publisher at my Canadian publishing house, as well as with a new agent and a totally new publisher in the UK for that proposed second series of books – the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries.  It was a busy, challenging year where I felt I was “Running on Ice” a la Billy Joel. 

By 2016, I hoped I’d found my feet again, but it was now far from “My Way” and much more like Joplin's wailing “Piece of My Heart” as I finally came to terms with the schedule required to write three books a year, launch three books a year, and be an active (hopefully effective) Chair of Crime Writers of Canada.

Now, in 2017? It’s early days yet: I just sent a manuscript to my agent and it will be with my publisher by the end of February – this will be the fourth in the Wise Enquiries Agency series, and I have eight Cait Morgan books in the market. I’m looking forward to re-editing my originally self-published first two volumes of short stories and novella later this year…so am I about to channel Ol’ Blue Eyes again? I don’t know…but even if I do, I've learned enough over the past five years to know it won’t be “My Way” but much more likely to be “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” than anything else! Wish me luck, folks, and here’s hoping I’ll be waving not drowning. 

Cathy's next book, THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS COOK (book #3 in the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries) will be published in Canada and the USA on March 1st: the ladies of the WISE Enquiries Agency are called in to investigate some strange shenanigans at a bookshop in Hay-on-Wye. As the WISE women try to unravel this puzzle from their base at stately Chellingworth Hall, they then get embroiled in another when they come across a valuable book of miniatures which seems to be the work of a local famous artist, murdered by her own brother. Are the cases linked and why do both mysteries lead to a nearby old folks’ home? The WISE women are on the case – and nothing will get in their way . . . Or will it?

“Like” Cathy Ace – Author on Facebook and sign up for Cathy’s newsletter before March 1st to stand a chance of entering for a special offer on this book.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Singing to Myself

If your writing process/life could be summarized as the title of a song – what song would it be? And why?

-from Susan

Not only is this the hardest question I’ve ever been asked on 7CriminalMinds, but it begs the question of how I can begin to summarize my writing processes. Catch me on Wednesday and my process, my writing life, is apt to be 180 degrees different than it will be on Sunday.  Meet me for coffee on Tuesday and I’m floating. See me at an event on Friday and it’s doom, doom, doom.

And to make the assignment even harder, I don’t have a wide range of popular music to draw on or the memory bank for song names. I was in agony trying to wrest something – anything – to answer the question. I knew “Mahler’s Fifth Symphony” wasn’t going to cut it, or the prayer to Isis and Osiris from The Magic Flute…so here’s the best I could do:

The dorky song “High Hopes,” sung by Doris Day in that strangely chipper voice. Something about ants, I recall, but the idea was that you keep on and you can conquer most everything, which in my case includes sloth, the desire to rewrite endlessly, and plot holes I keep falling into.

“Pick Yourself Up” written in the 1930s and sung in one of those charming if effete musicals Fred Astaire did so well. The only lyrics I recall are “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and…” Sorry, it fades after that, but it is a good idea for a writer, right?

Here’s my best song candidate: “Hotel California,” by the mighty Eagles. Why? This line, which I do remember “…this could be Heaven or this could be Hell” and if that doesn’t describe the overall writing life for me, I am stumped as to the best candidate.

I wait eagerly to see how much better the rest of the week’s answers are!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hard to put down

by Dietrich Kalteis

Here are three mysteries I’ve read over the past few months, ones that I’d recommend to someone who’s never read one.

First up is Sucker Punch by Canadian writer Marc Strange. It’s the first Joe Grundy mystery in a two book series, published by Dundurn Press in 2007. It was Strange’s first mystery and was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for best first mystery right out of the gate. Its storyline follows ex-boxer Grundy whose claim to fame is he was once KOd by Evander Holyfield. Now, he’s the security chief at a swank downtown Vancouver hotel. When a guy who just inherited millions checks into the hotel and announces that he’s going to give it all away, then starts passing out hundred dollar tips, Grundy guesses trouble’s on its way. And when the rich guy ends up dead and a large amount of his cash is missing from his hotel room, Grundy sets out to discover who did it. This story gives readers the right mix of plot, pace, interesting characters, told and just the right touch of humor. 

You can’t read Sucker Punch without following it up with the sequel Body Blows, released in 2009 and winner of an Edgar Allan Poe Award for best original paperback. Another great mystery. And if you like Marc Strange’s writing as much as I do, there are two more written before his death in 2012. Follow Me Down (2010) and Woman Chased By Crows (2012) make up the Orwell Brennan series, published by ECW Press, and they’re every bit as good as the Joe Grundy stories. 

At End of Day was the last novel by George V. Higgins. His career as a prosecutor served him well, getting to know the lowlife crooks of Boston’s underbelly. This one was published in 2000, and the storyline follows a couple of long-time Boston gangsters, McKeach and Cistaro who rat out the Italian mob to the FBI. The trouble is they’re used to agents who look the other way to the crimes that they’ve committed themselves. When a new guy takes over the Organized Crime Unit, they’re not sure if they can trust this guy. In typical Higgins’ fashion, the story is told mostly in dialog. Taking the place of narrative and action, his street lingo is so strong and right on the button that it works as well as it did for his early classics from the seventies like The Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Digger’s Game and Coogan’s Trade.

“So I go in, way outta my way, and, this and that, and say to him, ‘What’s goin’ on? You know? ‘What gives?’ Like, ‘Where’s my fuckin’ money? And he acts like , well, I dunno, like it’’s a big surprise or something, I might be somewhat concerned. He’s onna phone when I go in, talkin’ to some fuckin’ broad, and he’s the one now pissed at me—I’m comin’ in with no appointment—like I’m interruptin’ him. Just what am I doin’ there?
“Well, geez, I mean, what’m I supposed to do? He’s three weeks late. He owes us thirteen thousand bucks and change, plus the nienety underneath. I’m gonna write it off this week and next, ‘til things turn around for him? Who the fuck are these people …

The Second Girl by David Swinson is another book to add to your reading list. Swinson’s former career as a police detective goes a long way to add authenticity to his writing, and he’s got a great understanding of the workings of police departments as well as how the darker side thinks. The Second Girl’s a solid mix of fast pace and believable characters. The protagonist, Frank Marr has his finger on the pulse of crime in Washington, D.C. A decorated and retired police detective turned private investigator, Marr’s the best in the game; the only problem is he’s also a long-time drug addict whose equally good at hiding his secret. When he accidentally stumbles on a kidnapped teenager in the home of a local drug gang he planned to rob, he finds himself in the spotlight when asked to investigate the disappearance of another girl, possibly connected to the first. The trouble is trying to keep his own secret when he finds himself constantly under the spotlight. The Second Girl is a great start to the Frank Marr series, and the next offering is Crime Song which will be available from Mulholland Books this May.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Face to Facebook

How do you get yourself and your books noticed by the public? We hear that many publishers aren’t doing much PR anymore. How do you stand out from the crowd?

by Paul D. Marks

Set your hair on fire, borrow Lady Gaga’s meat dress, wardrobe malfunction. All of the above. They say there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Everyone earlier this week had so many great things to say, I hope I have some new ones as well as maybe re-hitting some of the previous things in my own inimitable way, especially as this was written before I saw this week’s posts. But great minds and all of that...

In a sense you’re not just a writer anymore but a small publishing/PR company of your own, even if you’re with a major publisher. The big publishers push the big authors—you know, the ones who don’t really need it, like Stephen King, Anne Rice, Sue Grafton and John Grisham. But you and your little book, whether you’re pub’d by a major, a small publisher or an indie, and who could really use a push, well you’re on your own for the most part. But you can do it. It just takes time, effort and a little money. But not nearly as much money as ad campaigns used to take when your only outlets were print, radio and TV.

So, as much as many writers like to disengage from the world, you have to engage, at least to some extent. Sometimes in person. Sometimes online.

Face to Face:

Be part of the community. That can happen in a variety of ways.

There are bookstore (and other) signings and panels and interviews to do. The problem with signings is that it’s sometimes hard to get people to come out if you’re not one of the aforementioned big stars. On the other hand you might make friends and connections with booksellers who can help you down the line.

There’s also conventions like Bouchercon, Malice and Left Coast, etc. All good places to meet people and network. And just have a good time. I haven’t been to Malice, but I’ve really enjoyed Bouchercon and Left Coast. And if you get on a panel so much the better. On top of that, my wife and I always book a few extra days so we can explore the convention city. We went to Bouchercon in Albany, not a place I had ever really expected to go or to like. But we enjoyed its New England Flavor and history, as we enjoyed all the cities of the various conventions we went to.
There’s also groups like Sisters in Crime, ITW, and MWA, and others. These groups hold social functions, informative meetings, have an online presence. They’re a great way to meet people.

Face to Facebook:

I went kicking and screaming onto Facebook a few years ago. Publicist and friend Diana James “gently” suggested that I should go on it.

“I don’t want to see pictures of what people had for breakfast…or worse,” I said.

So, after much cajoling from Diana I took the dreaded step and signed onto FB. At first I didn’t know what to do, how to use it. I was an evil lurker. Of course, since I had few FB friends I didn’t have much to lurk at. So I’d check in every few days or so, still not knowing what to do, but gaining a few friends here, a few friends there.

And eventually I started posting. Don’t remember what those early posts were. But not too long after I started I began to find my way. I began to post things that meant something to me or that I related to. Things like pix of my breakfast: cereal can be fun and entertaining pop art. And pix of my scars—want to see them? Just kidding.

Actually, I started posting things about noir and film noir and putting up “Film Noir Alerts” when I knew a noir movie was coming on television. Also stuff about mystery and noir writing, Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson, et al. And I started posting about Los Angeles and LA history, something I’m very much into on many levels. I began to be known as the LA Guy or the Noir Guy. People I’d never met in person would come up to me at conferences and other events and say, “You’re the Noir Guy”. I had to plead guilty.

And then when White Heat came out I put up some posts about that. And other people shared them. And I think it did help get the book known, get reviews and make sales. But the key is, as everyone says, not to only push your books. People get turned off by that big time. Be a friend. Be part of the community. Comment and share other people’s posts. Participate.

Besides Facebook, there’s also Twitter and Instagram and Reddit and so many more online entities that you can’t count high enough. The key here, I think, is to pick one or two, maybe three, to focus on. Otherwise it just gets out of hand. I do mostly Facebook and Twitter, with the help of Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, which is the only way to make Twitter decipherable.

Have FB and Twitter made me a NY Times Bestseller? No. But they’ve definitely helped get me more readers and connect with people with similar interests, which is more than I could have done by going on a cross country book signing tour …and it costs a lot less. And I figure now there’s not a state in the country that I couldn’t have lunch with someone if I happened to be passing through—and if I do I’ll be sure to post the photo of the meal. Hell, there’s several countries on different continents that I could have lunch with someone I know from social media. Anyone for tennis?

Pay or Play:

If you’ve got money you can hire a publicist. But, just like with anything or anyone else, some might be good, others not so good. And just because they work for a big company or have a fancy office doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better. When I was working in Hollywood my then-writing partner and I got one of the Big Three agencies as agents (have I told this one before?). We thought it was the best day of our lives. Celebrated. Flying high. But it turned out to be the worst experience as we were the little fish in the big pond. (But I’ll leave the details for another time.) And the best agent I had was working out of his converted garage when I met him. He hustled for me. And got me work. And he was eventually picked up as a VP by another large agency and took me with him. The point I’m making here is don’t let the trappings of a big publicist (or publisher for that matter) fool you into thinking you can sit back and do nothing or let things slide.

Besides publicists, you can try to get your book on Book Gorilla, etc., or place ads in things like E Reader News or Kindle Nation Daily or Kindle Review or the very expensive and very choosy Book Bub. Even Facebook ads.

Yammer Yammer Yammer:

Get out there and talk, to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Blog. You can start your own. Guest on other people’s. Join a blog like Criminal Minds. I blog both here and on SleuthSayers.

Try to get radio interviews. People, especially internet radio, are always looking for interesting guests.

Try to get your book reviewed. Not always easy, but there’s a ton of bloggers in the great cyberspace out there who review books. Contact them.

Do blog tours.

Word of mouth is one of the best things. If you can get people talking about you or your book/s, you’re on your way. Easier said than done, but not impossible.

Use Goodreads and other sites like that.

Pay It Forward:

Pay it forward. A lot of people have been nice to me over the years. And while I want to repay their kindness directly I also try to pay it forward in general. The mystery community seems pretty nice and pretty supportive overall and I want to contribute to that atmosphere.

And the bottom line is write a good book.


And now for the usual BSP:

Available now from Down & Out Books:

Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea 

A collection of 15 Private Eye stories from some of the best mystery and noir writers from across the country. Also available on Amazon:

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Yes to everything, by Catriona

"How do you get yourself and your books noticed by the public? We hear that publishers aren't doing so much these days. How do make your work stand out from the crowd?"

Disclaimer: I'm late with a book, getting very close to the revised deadline, stressed and grumpy and some social niceties have evaporated. Also I can't top or even match the magisterial splendour of Cathy's post yesterday. But here's what I found in the corners of my brain when I had a scrape round.

My default position is "yes to everything". If a publicist asks for an interview, listicle or blog post, I say yes. If someone asks me to go to a bookgroup, library event or literacy fundraiser, I say yes. If anyone asks me to do any of the above naked, I'll let you know.

As well as that, my top three tips - if they're coherent enough to be called tips - about publicity and promotion are as follows:

1. A book is like a suitcase full of money

I want to start by echoing what Susan said on Monday. The most important arrow in your PR quiver is a finished, polished, as-good-as-you-can-get-it book. I think it was at Killer Nashville that someone in the audience asked this question of the panel on the podium: "I've written my synopsis and three chapters and I've got a website and business cards. What's next?" The roar of "chapter four" might have been silent but it was deafening too.

It doesn't matter how well you pitch [see below] or how great your swag is; these things are just promissory notes. They try to persuade people that you have a suitcase and it's full of money. You might be convincing and they might believe you. But flinging open the lid and showing the treasure is something else again.

2. y book in my book in my book in my book in my book in my book in my book in my book in my b

It's not a good idea to bore people if you're hoping they'll spend 10+ hours with you. And few things are more boring than verbal synopses of books you haven't read. It's almost never a good idea spontaneously to talk about the plot, characters or setting of your book except in a book group, where people have read it and can join in. In a nutshell, I'd say never pitch a book unless someone has just asked you to. How do you know when you're pitching? The phrase "in my book" could be included.

It was at the bar at Bouchercon that a man asked me what I wrote. I said "preposterous 1930s detective stories". He replied: "Ah, cozies. Not for me. But you should read my stuff." He gave me a business card. "In my book ..." he went on (and on (and on)). Guess whether I pounded straight to the dealers' room to snap up his book. Go on. Guess.

3. There are worse things than telling Stephen King you love Lisey's Story (but don't lick his face).

So, I can imagine someone reading No. 2 and muttering: "Well, what are we supposed to talk about then, Miss Bossy Knickers?" And my reply is . . . be a reader first. Share the joy of books instead of the miseries of publishing. At conventions, in newsletters, on your website, while teaching workshops, on social media, in the bar, on the bus . . . talk about the books you love. With fellow readers, find out what they love - find one you've both read. Do the same with fellow writers. With heroes, I think it's perfectly all right to say thank you and tell them you love their books, even to let them know what your favourite is. 

But no licking faces.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Keeping up with the ??? by Cathy Ace

How do you get yourself and your books noticed by the public? We hear that many publishers aren’t doing much PR anymore. How do you stand out from the crowd?

PLEASE BUY MY BOOK! ” …a pleasant mélange with a garnish of death and danger.” Kirkus Reviews
My first Cait Morgan book was published in 2012, by a small Canadian press with just one PR person responsible for overseeing the efforts of about 60 authors. I now have another, much more prolific publishing house for my WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, but even they aren’t blessed with a huge team. I know they all work as hard as they can for me, but it’s unreasonable to expect them to be able to promote my work as effectively as I can – or with as much passion and vigor as I have for the task. To be honest, I’ve not been around for long enough to know anything other than the way the business is today.  One thing I have learned is that publishers can be much more effective at getting reviews in mainstream press than an author can - and I'm grateful they do that for me.

Online: I find I spend a lot of time planning how to promote my work, then writing blogs, guest blogs, interviews, Facebook posts and Tweets about my work. I also spend a certain amount of time every day interacting with those kind enough to follow me on Facebook and composing posts not just about my work, but about subjects that are interesting to me, and which might prove appealing/interesting to the sort of people who choose to read my work. There’s also an ongoing reading of blogs by industry bloggers, and the reading I need to do to keep abreast of developments in the marketplace. I’d say all of that needs about two hours of my time each day, pretty much seven days a week. When I have a book about to be launched I have to spend more time writing series of guest blogs for blog tours, then following comment threads when those blogs appear; this can take an additional couple of hours each day in the run-up to launch and during the period of the blog tour. I write a newsletter that goes out to a mailing list every two months, too, and do my best to make sure my website is up to date and looking fresh. You can like my author page here:

Face to face: Beyond that daily, and launch-dictated online effort, there’s also the aspect of getting out to meet readers and potential readers, so I spend time trying to set up signings and get myself invited to various events or book club meetings either in my local area or in other parts of the world via Skype; the amount of time I spend on this varies tremendously. I also attend fan conventions when I can afford them; I try to go to Left Coast Crime, Malice Domestic, CrimeFest and Bouchercon each year. All these events require an investment of time (several days’ attendance each, plus travel time) and money…but are a wonderful way to reach out to readers and meet them – as well as having the chance to meet other authors. Find out where I'll be, when, here:

Giving back: While I recognize the importance of promoting my own work, I also try to give back as much as possible, by helping to promote the work of others. I have been on the board of Crime Writers of Canada for the past four years and am Board Chair this year. As such I am heavily involved in representing our more than 300 members’ interests. I find the role takes about 10 hours a week (which basically means there’s a whole book I won’t be writing this year). I’m a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers Association (UK) and Mystery Writers of America; all these bodies allow me a chance to spread the word about my books through the lists of work by their members they publish and promote. I don’t teach writing courses, nor am I a reader or judge for any competitions, because I know those areas are not my forte, but I am often approached via email by new authors and offer what help I can, when I can. You can find out more about Crime Writers of Canada and all our wonderful members' works here:

Overall: it’s a real challenge to try to bring my work to the attention of readers without looking as though I am always begging them to buy my books – which is, really, what I am doing. So, help a girl out? Buy one of my books – please? There’s a new one just about to come out in Canada & the USA. Thank you, Cathy

Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries (#8 The Corpse with the Ruby Lips was released on November 1st) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (#3, The Case of the Curious Cook, was released in hardcover in the UK on November 30th and will be released in the USA & Canada on March 1st).  You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers: