Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Agony and the Ecstasy and the Agony Again

As I (Donis) noted in my last blog entry, I have recently returned from a two week book-tour/family reunion to my native state of Oklahoma, during which I did some quite successful book events but no actual writing while I was on the road. Then five minutes after we returned home I came down with an evil plague and spent the next week or so trying simply to live. In short, I did not write on my WIP for three weeks. The fact that Christmas, my birthday, and New Year's Day were in there didn't help, either.

Well, I'm back at it now, trying to get the first half on the new book in order so I can sent it to my editor for her approval THIS WEEKEND. I like what I have, and I certainly hope my editor does, too, because the book half done, by god, and I certainly don't want to have to start over at this late date. On top of everything, I'm still involved in publicizing my last book, The Wrong Girl, which is set in Hollywood in the 1920s In fact, I did an event at my local library a couple of days ago. That is where my husband took the above photo, which is one of my favorites. I've started using power point illustrations when I do talks, if the venue can handle them, and I've found that the audiences like it. It's fun for me, too. That particular photo is of 1920s screen icon Mae Murray, the Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips. I used it to show how movie make-up was done in the silent era.

The Wrong Girl seems to be doing well. I have gotten some mail from a couple of Alafair fans who think I mistreated her in this book (which is ironic since Alafair does not appear in this book), but most of my fan mail and reviews have been very good. In fact, I just got a note from one of my favorite authors, Tim Hallinan, which said:

Dear Donis --

Just finished THE WRONG GIRL, and I could kill you because I want the second book RIGHT NOW. This is just amazing, and I can only hope that your publishers know what they've got.

I finished it about 90 minutes ago and posted a five-star review on Amazon. If they run it, here's what it will say"


I love Donis Casey's Alifrair Tucker books for their living, breathing characters, their meticulous prose, and their remarkable sense of place. The good news is that Casey has brought all those gifts to this remarkable new series, set in silent-movie Hollywood during the still-roaring Twenties and she's struck solid gold. In telling the story of the Oklahoma teenager Blanche Tucker, swept off her feet and out of her tiny home town by a handsome, smooth-talking man who has dire plans for her, Casey takes a wonderful route that leads us ultimately to the Hollywood of stars whose voices no one ever heard, where the studios eradicated real life stories in order to manufacture new names and legends to go with them. Holding things together is a believable private eye who, trying to solve a years-old and trace a missing financial ledger, finds himself in the highest stratosphere of Hollywood, where nothing and no one are what they seem. I'm looking forward impatiently to the next one and wondering whether Casey will explore Oklahoma's sprawling Tucker family. which (it seems to me) must include both Alafair and Blanche.

Now, that made my day, you betcha! And then, while I'm basking in this much appreciated praise, my sister calls and says she's listening to the recently released audio version of the book and the reader mis-pronounces one of the characters' name over and over.

So much for my momentary elation.

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