Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When life gets crazy-making

Barbara here. It's almost midnight on Tuesday night and I have just remembered that tomorrow (more accurately, in twenty minutes) is my day to blog on Type M. I have just returned from a Passover Seder, which among other things involves the consumption of great quantities of food and four glasses of wine. Will this blog even make sense in the cold light of morning?

Blog writing usually begins with several days of fretting about what to write about. Followed by procrastination, then more fretting, this time with a touch of panic. Tonight, however, I am faced with a thousand possibilities, each worthy of a blog on its own. But a thousand ideas scattershot onto the page do not make a good blog. Focus is the key.

But here's my problem right now (besides the four glasses of wine). I am deep in the process of writing the first draft of my newest Inspector Green novel, entitled None So Blind. So new, in fact, that it only just got a finalized contract today, and has no official publication date yet. My mind is consumed with contract details and plot hurdles.

At the same time, however, the current Inspector Green novel, The Whisper of Legends, hits the bookstores on April 6, and I am trying to gear up all the promotional and marketing initiatives that we authors have to do these days. Facebook posts, tweeting, email announcements, updating my personal website, my Amazon author page, and various events pages, wondering what on earth to do with Goodreads, etc. Oh, and planning two launches. I mustn't forget the launches. One on April 16 in Ottawa, the Toronto one on May 9. There are invitations to design and send out, food and entertainment to organize, nerves to calm (my own). What if no one shows up? What if everyone has forgotten Inspector Green's existence in the two and a half years since his last appearance?

Add to these launches the other signings and readings in bookstores and libraries around town, all to introduce the new book. All fun, but all requiring some degree of thoughtful preparation. For details of these events and the launches, check the news and events page of my website at

As if this weren't enough, I am also planning three book tours this summer; the first to Malice Domestic in Washington with a side trip to Festival of Mystery in Pittsburgh. Then a much larger tour to the Northwest Territories and Yukon with Vicki Delany to promote our books. Flights and hotels have to be booked, venues and itineraries worked out, endless correspondence with libraries, museums, bookstores and Dundurn's publicist to coordinate all the details. The third tour, to Calgary for When Words Collide in August, is barely on my radar yet, although I am very excited about this festival and thrilled to be Mystery Guest of Honour. I will be giving a couple of talks, participating on panels, and teaching a two-day workshop.

Clamouring for notice among all these demands is Orca Books' Rapid Reads series. It was to be the original topic of this blog until it was sandbagged by my life. Rapid Reads is celebrating its 3rd anniversary since the publication of the first in its first easy-read series of short novels for adults who have literacy or English-language challenges or who simply want a quick, entertaining read. With teaching guides developed to accompany them, these books fill a crucial link in strengthening life-long reading skills, and are used in high schools, employment training centres, ESL programs, prisons and other literacy settings. The authors are mostly established crime writers, favoured because they know how to tell a gripping, fast-paced story that will keep the reader engaged.

I have two books in this Rapid Readers series, which feature country handyman Cedric O'Toole, himself a man more comfortable with engines and gadgets than he is with the written word. To celebrate their 3rd anniversary and encourage readership, Orca has put all their Rapid Reads books, including mine, on a killer sale; $2.99 for the ebook versions and 40% off print versions. Orca is encouraging all its authors to help advertise this sale on our own social media sites. This is a company and an initiative that I am proud to be part of, so Orca, consider this a plug. Check out this link to their announcement.

Now perhaps I can go to bed. After I walk the dog.

1 comment:

Charlotte Hinger said...

Barbara, it will be great to see you and Vicki at Malice! I just got back from Left Coast Crime and saw lots of friends.