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Writers Who Read

Posted by Kathryn Long on February 17, 2016 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

You're a writer, you read. Why? Many reasons. 1) Reading enriches your creative mind; 2) Reading allows you (whether you like this or not) to compare styles, even to your own; 3) Reading is an ACTIVE process, engaging all your five senses (think about it, my reasoning will come to you and make sense); Reading gives you lots of conversational material when talking to fellow readers, i.e. enriching that mind, again!; and 4) Reading is much safer than many other hobbies like snow skiing, playing b ball; sky diving, etc, (this coming from a not-so-coordinated person).


Reading? Yes. Every day, each day, more and more. You want to improve and sharpen your creative mind, your intellect? READ! :)

Satisfaction

Posted by Kathryn Long on October 4, 2014 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (0)

It feels good to finish writing a book. And I have. Finished, that is. What I hope to turn into a series, starts with GRAVE MAKER BLUES. It may be a standard mystery, but it does have some specific elements to make it fit into a certain nitch. Native American folklore, for one. I have fingers and toes crossed that this one will hold great promise. I've sent it off to an agency which I hope will take me on. We'll see. 

In the meantime, I'm trying to piece together an outline for book two. I have never followed up so quickly on a second in a series. With any luck, it will go even more smoothly than the process for book one. You know what they say about getting to know your characters making it easier to write a series. I feel close to Sarah (Mac) and Nash, Papa and Uncle Chaz, the beautiful nature of the Alleghenies, the little burg, Priest Hollow, and of course Moe's Deja Blue Bar & Grill. Every time, now, when I get the chance to visit our cabin on Roper Hollow Road, I'm reminded of those characters and inspired with new ideas and storylines to put into future books. 

Again, we shall see....

Just Spring It!

Posted by Kathryn Long on April 14, 2014 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (1)

I can’t think of a better way to welcome Spring than to clean out my closets and flowerbeds. But add to that, how about cleaning out my file of writing project ideas? Sounds like a reasonable plan.

 

I have a few ideas, some good, some really dumb ones, and one that even after letting it simmer for awhile I still think is fantastic! Guess that’s a keeper. Now, when I decide to work on it is one question. The other is how do I start?

 

Ideas are just that. Have you ever met someone who says, “I’m an idea person.” Yeah, that’s great. You come up with the idea and somebody else will do all the work, sweat and toil through the details. Don’t misunderstand me. You have to start somewhere and an idea, a premise for a story, is a really great place.

 

And what’s my idea? Well there’s the other thing. Call me superstitious, but I don’t really want to talk about it because then if it doesn't work or I won’t start on it … I guess it makes me a bit nervous. So, I don’t talk about it.

 

The same thing happens to me at times when I make an outline for a book. I place a lot of details into it, which you’d think would be a good thing, right? Have your trip agenda, your road map all set for you to hit the road. No worries. Who knew such a plan could give me claustrophobia? Yep. I feel constricted with limited creativity, like an artist who has his arms tied and told to go ahead, paint the darn picture!

 

So, change it, you say. Well, duh. I know that, too. But at the same time, I’m thinking, “what if I hadn’t written the stupid outline in the first place? Maybe my creative juices would have been awesome and I might have come up with a really, really great story, but now it’s just this oh-so great story.” Or something like that.

 

Just Spring it? That’s the great thing about Spring. It’s rebirth, it’s opportunity to start again and come up with new and wonderful things, like my story ideas. Yep, it’s time to clean out that file and start anew.

 

Happy Spring and enjoy reading and writing, all!

 

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mom! You would have been 106 today :)

Dear Readers ...

Posted by Kathryn Long on November 1, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I realize it's been awhile ... I've been deep into editing A DEADLY DEED GROWS. It's back in the editor's hands. So, now I wait. In the meantime, I am picking up where I left off writing the next Lilly M mystery. I titled it DEVIOUS, DIABOLICAL, AND DEADLY IN ONE BITE. At least for now :) . It's about a pastry chef who has been charged with murder by serving a poisoned dessert to a well-known food critic. Of course, it's full of craziness in typical Lilly fashion. The three aunts will cause their share of trouble, though they mean to help solve the murder. Mystery X is back and she kidnaps Kline. And of course the dreamy Latino, Nick Galina must return to complicate Lilly's love life. I'm enjoying it so far, just getting impatient as always to finish. Only 20,000 words/64 pp done. Long, long way to go!

What else, do you ask, is going on in my world? Well, author visits to promote DYING TO DREAM have slowed to a halt. Officially schedule dates for the future start up again in February. If anything else comes up sooner, I will be sure to post it here first! I do have a promo tour coming in December for the first Lilly M mystery - WHIPS, CUFFS, AND LITTLE BROWN BOXES. I make ten blog stops, do two interviews, and a couple of ebook giveaways ...YAY!!! I hope you, my wonderful readers, will follow along. It's a way to thank all the kind, generous blog hosts for the good work they do in helping out the humble masses of authors like me :D I will post the scheduled stops under my events agenda tab of this website sometime in the next couple of weeks.

As always, enjoy reading!

Another One Coming ...

Posted by Kathryn Long on July 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Another one is coming ... another novel, that is. It's suspenseful, it's romantic, it's in a warm and sunny place ... it's A DEADLY DEED GROWS.

I just heard from my editor, Johanna, at The Wild Rose Press. She's emailing me the edits sometime later this month. I've got goosies just thinking about it. Very excited to get rolling on this one. And I'm so relieved that this has become my only occupation! I really don't think I'd have the energy or time to juggle teaching and promote one novel while editing another. Anyway, it's a really comfortable place to be.

Now, if I could just calm down about next week's book event! It's odd that even though I've had to "perform" in front of a classroom full of students for more years than I'd like to admit, I can still get nervous about speaking in front of what will probably be a modest crowd at this book event. Go figure.

AND I just scheduled yet another event for October! That makes six all together. Well ... it will get easier ... I hope :-)

Random Thoughts

Posted by Kathryn Long on May 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I started thinking about random things, details about what I expect to happen or at least anticipate when I start holding author events. I know it can be chalked up to a case of prestage jitters, and I've done events before, but I can't stop it from happening.

For instance, what if someone asks me a question I can't answer? I remember one event where a guest asked me how many characters appeared in my book. Oh boy, there was no way I could answer without going back and checking my book notes. Of course, she then commented that she asked authors that question at every book event she'd been to, and no one had been able to answer it yet! At least I have a lot of company.

Another situation I seem to worry about is what if someone from Louisiana (the setting for Dying to Dream) attends ? Again, I've had that experience. When I held an event for my first mystery, Oklahoma's Gold, a man from Chicashaw, Oklahoma attended. When he came up to me after my discussion and told me, I grew nervous, thinking he would call me on some event or detail that he found incorrect, even though I had done a thorough research of all things Chicashaw and Lawton. Fortunately, he was very gracious and didn't say a negative or critical word!

And finally, the ultimate worry ... NO ONE showing up to my event! And yes, I'm sad to say that I did have one event -- a very snowy winter evening -- when only two people came! That was very ego-deflating, to say the least.

But I will trudge along, despite my worries and concerns. I've been a busy bee and already have five book events scheduled at libraries and one bookstore ... so keep on reading and stop by to visit on one of those evenings or afternoons. I'd love to see you!

Words Become Pictures

Posted by Kathryn Long on March 30, 2013 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, I now have cover choices ... only two of them, but I still debate over which one is best. Both are beautiful, each has its attractive features. This makes it even tougher to choose.



One has the images described in the main character's dream: a tombstone, a ghostly mystery lady, the rose she places upon the grave. Its colors are dark and ominous.



The second cover has the tombstone rising out of the water, the swampy background of a Louisiana bayou. The colors are more golden, hinting at daylight.



My problem is that the first is more accurate, and the second not so much. I can't decide if this makes the second more intriguing and mysterious as some friends have suggested to me, and therefore be the better choice. Or would I be better choosing the more accurate and detailed cover?



If anyone is curious to see the cover choices and offer an opinion, here is a link to my website:

http://www.kjlong-teacherwriter.blogspot.com

Errata Sheet with Corrections ... Check

Posted by Kathryn Long on March 24, 2013 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, I sent off my list of corrections to the editor and now I wait once again. I know I was able to catch a few errors, but always the worry that there may be more. After all, if the pub's editor missed some -- ones that I noticed -- then what? I'm not going to stress over it though. At least I feel between the two of us we did a great job.



It's difficult to read my work so many times. I wish I could be one of those who experience it anew. I envy that. Still, I think it's good, really good, the best story I've written so far. I love my characters, especially Tante Louise Picault. She's old but feisty, and colorful with the perfect touch of french culture. The southern feel to the characters makes them approachable and loveable. I'm optimistic that readers will find them endearing and drawn to their story that weaves mystery from the past and the present. The touch of paranormal with the main character who uses dreams from spirits to gather clues is yet another layer to interest, I hope, many. We will see.



In the meantime, I wait, patiently.

Imagine a Book Cover

Posted by Kathryn Long on March 17, 2013 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

And now I'm wondering what it will look like. The colors, the images, the title, my name ... the creation of my cover brings this one step closer to publication. So much fun.

 

I received an email from MMP's cover design artist. She asked for some examples of the cryptic messages my main character, Marin, receives when dreaming her dreams of spirits. I find it interesting to have a peek at the inside of the creative artistic mind. You see, while I manage to spin my creativity into words, I cannot for the life of me draw, paint, watercolor, etc. I can cross stitch though, if that redeems me any :-)

 

So, now I wait. Maybe only a few weeks, but it will be soon. Soon ... just need to have a bit more patience.  

Racing to the Publishing Deadline

Posted by Kathryn Long on March 4, 2013 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I finally received an email with lots of goodies attached ... my ARC and editor comments. And I have 20 days to read through it all, make my comments, corrections, etc. Yikes! I can do this. Yes, I can. Uh ... right? Fortunately, nothing really big going on at work, so I should have time. I just want to make sure I do a thorough job. So, nobody better bug me! Or ... grrrrrrr. (Just noticed: is it any wonder my editor says I use maybe a few too many ellipses?)

 

 

I read and reread the email, and then a few more times to make sure I didn't miss anything. So, this is the skinny: my feedback on the first draft ARC is due March 23rd. Cover should be coming around the beginning of April, so I need to start collecting reviews. If I would like them added to the back cover, that is. Of course, as anxious as I am, I already sent out requests for reviews to several mystery review websites and authors. Keeping fingers crossed. -- Thanks Michael Murphy for agreeing to do one :-) And to Cjung at Over My Dead Body. You both are great for responding so quickly, and settling my nerves since this means my back cover won't be blank! haha

 

Okay, what next? Well ... (yet another ellipse ... sigh) just have to wait and see! If all goes well and according to plan, I will be seeing my baby in print sometime in June. Then, I'd absolutely love to have a book launch event. Maybe at our local library or perhaps at one of the area bookstores. I'll have to start researching. Hmmm. Yet another task to consider, but such fun!


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