Friday, March 29, 2019

My Big Decision I Didn't Have to Make

The decision I was pondering was to ask for my rights back from Mundania for my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series for several reason, but the main one being I wasn't receiving any responses to my emails.

When I did decide it was time, I sent off an email and registered letter asking for my rights to be returned..

The response I got back was Mundania Press was closing it's doors--the main reason being Amazon. Many small presses have given up because of Amazon. All the Mundania authors could have their rights back.

Truly, I'm sad because Mundania Press was very good to me. I published 16 books with them.

Moving forward, the next step will be self-publishing the series. I'm fortunate in that my good friends, Larry and Lorna Collins are helping me with the process. (They were instrumental in getting many of my other books self-published on Amazon.)

Once I know when Spirit Wind is live I'll pass the word along--maybe even shout it from the rooftop!

From there it means I'll be planning a book launch, announcing a blog tour, and maybe setting up another, and all other means of promotion possible.

Fortunately, I already have some book events planned.

So until I have more news, signing off.


We are enjoying poppy season. The poppies have exploded all over.

Monday, March 25, 2019


What prompted this post is over the years I've attended many writing conferences ranging from great to mediocre. However, no matter, I always managed to learn something new at each of them. 

Plus for ten years I was the program chair for the Public Safety Writers Association's writing conference, so I do know what needs to be in a successful writing conference. 

# 1 is good presenters with interesting information for writers.  There also needs to be a variety of topics--something for the new writers, and something for the veteran writers.
Not too much down time so that the conference moves along and keeps everyone interested.

Recently I attended a writing conference that was a great disappointment. It was an all day conference with only two speakers. I won't go into detail about the speakers as what they had to say may have been of great interest to some of the people there. The biggest problem for me was the fact that there was huge amounts of time where nothing happened at all. Yes, you should have some time for networking, but over half of the conference time was unplanned.

For two great writing conferences, there's one coming soon, first Saturday in April is a one day writing workshop?… It's in San Luis Obispo, California.
This is going to be an outstanding writing conference: There is something for the beginning writer as well as the most advanced: The keynote presentation will be given by Mara Purl--The Oyster and the Pearl, followed by Creating a Business Plan, Tight Writing, Getting the Details Right (Setting and Characters), Research, Collaboration and Editing. Only $50.

And of course, in July in Vegas is the Public Safety Writers Association;s writing conference which is particularly helpful to crime, mystery and thrilled writers.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

I'm Ready for My Close-Up...

by Janis Patterson

In journalism school I was taught to lead off an article with the big news first, so the readers could get everything necessary in the first paragraph. Just the opposite of a novel, but okay, here goes.

I'm getting my own YouTube channel.

All right, you can stop applauding now. This wasn't my idea. After reading and liking several of my books, a friend asked why I didn't have my own YouTube channel. Now y'all know I am a complete techno-naif who can barely answer email, but at least I did know what a YouTube channel is.

Anyway, I said I'd never thought of it, to which she replied she thought my books were so good I should have one. Before I could say I'd think about it she said she had a sideline of doing them for fine artists - I knew she was a great painter, but had no idea about the channels - and she'd do mine.

Now over the last years I've indulged in an occasional bit of voice work, but it has been years (decades?) since I've done any on-camera work. It's true - once I quit shaking I discovered it really is sort of like riding a bicycle - once you've learned, you can always do it. At least, sort of.

So, not too long ago The Husband and I trotted up to her studio, bearing costumes and books, and we taped. I sat in her library, seated in a lovely old chair (so no one could see my knees knock), and talked. That I can do. We have a good idea of content; there will be just one book a show. I read an excerpt and tell a little bit about the book - why I wrote it, or maybe a funny story about writing it, or something interesting about it. Then I give a writing tip. Simple, right? Right. Even if your knees are knocking.

Actually, the whole thing is so easy for me I'm almost embarrassed. My friend is the one who does the work - shooting, balancing the sound, editing, creating the titles for the show.

So now I know you're absolutely panting to know when you can see this magnificent opus. Well, today was supposed to be the roll-out date, as we've decided to release a new show on the Third Wednesday of every month, but thanks to Circumstances Beyond Our Control (wouldn't you know!) the roll-out is probably going to be the first part of next week. Sigh.

Anyway, the name of my channel is Janis' Tips and Tales and I would appreciate it very much if you would check it out the first part of next week, and maybe subscribe to the channel. If nothing else, you can laugh at my return to the front of the camera.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2019 Has Had a Bumpy Start for Me

I'd expected to have a new Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery out by now, but it hasn't happened as yet.  I feel confident that it will appear sooner or later.

Within a one week period I fell twice. Once at the post office, tripping over a 1/2 inch curb. Hurt my knee, head and hand and had a trip to the ER in an ambulance. Not big injuries but lots of bruises. The next day, hubby, daughter and I drove through a snow storm to go to a meeting in Ventura. We got there fine--I was the one that had to attend the 3 day meeting, hubby stayed with two daughters.

We came home on Monday, I did a big wash on Tuesday and caught up with a lot of chores, then of all things, on Wednesday I tripped over a rug in the house and hurt the same knee and the other one too, banged my head and hurt the same hand in a different place. Did not go to the ER this time. However, I am learning to use the walker in the house.

What I really want to do is work on my book in progress--so some good news about that. I needed to know some information about cadaver dogs and the conditions of dead bodies over a long period of time, and though a lot of people gave me some information, one of my friends in the Public Safety Writers Association put me in touch with a woman who has a cadaver dog and works with a sheriff's department. She's been giving me lots of help.

Looking forward, I know the road ahead won't be smooth all the time, but I'm looking forward to those, and I'm sure I can manage the bumpy ones.

So how has your 2019 been so far?


Monday, March 4, 2019

Self-Doubt and the Author

Make Mine Mystery
March 5, 2019
by Linda Lee Kane

Writing a novel is a huge undertaking, and self-doubt is a natural part of that process. It can happen at any time. Perhaps in the early stages you feel daunted by the task, or mid-way through your novel, you begin to lose your way. Even a big success can cause you to stumble.

No matter what phase of writing you’re in, remember to focus on your process. It will help keep you grounded and give you a sense of accomplishment with the things you can control-finishing your book, researching your book or promoting your book. 

Sometimes you’ll need your creativity for more than just writing. It can keep you motivated and confident when you’re working alone for long periods of time. Your book is not just a project, it’s a tool for sustaining courage and determination in a time of self-doubt. When ever you begin to doubt yourself, go back to the rituals you’ve created around your writing and find ways to support and respect your work.

Please look at my interview for Death on the Vine on the Author Show. The people are amazing.