This year October 31 will be a little different. While trick or treating isn’t banned, it’s strongly suggested to keep the kiddies at home. As an alternative, there are several suggestions being kicked around.
A Hallowe’en hunt, Easter style
Decorate the doors inside your house and trick or treat room to room
Join an online painting workshop
Pumpkin carving – you can still decorate the outside of your home
If you are going out, be sure to wear a proper mask. Hallowe’en masks are not considered COVID safe.
Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since October!
So, what’s new? Unfortunately not a lot. Book 2 of D.E.M.ON. Tales, Bobcat Got Your Tongue, written by my co-author M.J. Moores, has been released. Book 3 seems to have stalled thanks to COVID-19. OK, maybe not completely the fault of the virus. My writing routine is to go to a local coffee shop (Cardinal Press Espresso Bar) and spend a few hours in the back writing. They had to close up, as did so many other businesses. They now have a take-out window, but it’s not the same. Too many distractions at home to make myself write. That’s my fault I suppose. I did manage to get a little done recently, but I need to do more. And SOON. It was supposed to be released at the end of April. Book 4 was to be released end of July. I know that’s already in the works.
Regular job hasn’t changed much. Still working 3 days a week, only difference is I work from home and only go in about once a week to deal with deposits. And my days working float around somewhat. Since I moved my internet connection is much better and it no longer takes up to 5 minutes to open an Excel spreadsheet full of coding.
I think I can safety add my move to my writing procrastination. I moved Jun 8, but I’m continuing to move stuff out of the old place, which still hasn’t sold. Maybe this weekend I can put pen to paper again? Fingers crossed.
This past Saturday I was invited to be part of the Crime Writers’ of Canada panel at the Orangeville Library. The library runs an annual event called Words the Orangeville Way (WOW). I only knew a few of the other panelists so I met some new friends. The event was well attended and everyone was uber-friendly.
Thanks for sending the photo Judy. Perfect timing with my name on the screen. LOL
OK, changed my mind. Instead of doing several short stories, I’m going for book 4 in my Detective Hodgins Series. As usual, I’m starting with nothing more than a few notes. This series has two ‘things’ that are consistent: (1) each story is very loosely based on articles I find in the old newspapers – pre-1920, usually pre-1900, (2) he has to go somewhere in York Region during the investigation.
I found several stories and may actually pull in stuff from a few instead of just the one. Haven’t figured out where in York he’s going yet. Book 1 took him to Stouffville, Book 2 he visited Woodbridge (and Kingston), Book 3 Hodgins came to my home town of Aurora, with a side trip to Berlin (now Kitchener). I’ll have to take a gander at the old rail line and see where it went in 1875. Still have a few days for research.
Even though I’m making my 3rd attempt at this, I’ll also be participating in the Writers’ Community of York Region‘s Mini Nano. We set our own goals, minimum word count a measly 1,000. I’ve logging in for 12k. That much I know I can do. Since I work 3 days a week, that leaves 4-day weekends to write at Cardinal Press Espresso Bar in Newmarket.
I was asked to do a blog on how to get into bookstores. The process is easy, but it can take time. Basically all you have to do is ask. If you’re lucky enough to have a local bookstore, go in or email and ask if they take consignment books. I’ve found they usually take a smaller percentage than the box stores. And most want to promote local talent.
If you want to get into someplace like Chapters/Indigo it can be done. I’ve done it and several of my friends have as well. The first step is to go in or phone and ask if they take consignments. Not all do. They’ll provide a contact name for the person who handles your genre. It’s usually a different person for adult and children’s books. The ones I’ve contacted so far have provided an email for me to make a formal request. One asked me to drop off a copy so he could review it first. Be warned — they take 45% commission.
Currently, my books are in two locations. One is a local coffee shop. The owners are big on promoting local talent and always have someone’s art work/photography up on the walls for sale. They’ve also made arrangements with the writing organization I belong to, The Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR) to have our published authors sell their books. The commission fee is waaaaaay lower than Chapters. A small bookstore about an hour east of me also has my books, but unfortunately she’s closing in March. Too many small businesses of all types are closing their doors these days.
Don’t forget about craft fairs and farmers’ markets. The cost of a booth can be as low as $25. Higher end fairs or conferences can run over $100, but if you have a friend who’s also an author, you can usually split a table.
As the saying goes, think outside the box. Do you write children’s books? Check with a local store that sells children’s clothing or toys. They might be willing to sell your books. Do you write about horses? How about the local equestrian store? If you live in a small community with only a few stores, one of them might be more than happy to promote the local author.
Check everywhere you think is a fit for your book. After all, asking is free.
Well, it’s official. I confirmed my first book signing. On June 13 I’ll be live and in person at Chapters Newmarket, 17440 Yonge Street at 11 am. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a few more locations later in the year. Oh, and I might even have a new book available for launch in June.
If you want to keep posted on my book selling spots, sign up for my newsletter. There’s a link on the right side of my blog, or you can click http://eepurl.com/dc-za1.
This morning I finally finished the first draft of my 3rd in the Detective Hodgins Victorian Mystery series. Haven’t come up with a title yet, but that will come in time. I doubt it will be ready for my next event, which is the end of April, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I need to let this one rest a few weeks while I edit my new novel, Generation Witch: Rebirth. As the title suggests, this is not a Victorian mystery. 🙂
I’m in the process of arranging a book signing at my local Chapters and I’d really like this ready to launch by then. The date isn’t set yet, but I should have enough time to have it ready and printed.
Well, the final spoken word open mic for 2017 at Covernotes Tea and Coffee is over. We had a great selection of readers and a full coffee shop of listeners. The genres covered to were; children’s fiction, general fiction, mystery, and sci-fi/fantasy.
We’re taking a break in December, but the Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR) will be holding a pot luck in Dec and we’ll have an open mic there. We’ll pick up the monthly coffee-shop readings again in January. We’ll be announcing the dates and time with a special announcement some time in December. Meanwhile, here’s a slideshow of what you missed if you weren’t with us. In no particular order, I present: Erika Willaert, Susan Charney, Sheila Horne, Dianne Gemmell, Rob Rinne, MJ Moores, Paul Teledi, and me (Nanci Pattenden).
I spent a good chunk of the day Friday in lovely Fergus, Ontario with my friend MJ and her son Jaden. Lingered in the library, which is gorgeous, for a few hours. Originally built in the very early 1800s, it’s been expanded, but it’s something else.
We grabbed lunch, then went to Roxanne’s Reflections, where we left our books on consignment.
Then we had a quick look at the river before heading home. All in all, a nice day out, despite the chill in the air.
I’m part way through my 2nd last course in my Creative Writing program at the University of Toronto. Currently taking Novel Writing – Master Class. In May I’ll be registering for The Final Project. Wooooo
Whatever will I do with my time once that’s done? I’m sure I’ll find something to take.