Friday, January 20, 2017


Writing has changed how I read fiction. It is as if I have two things going on now. I read the story, but at the same time, I’m noticing the structure. Sometimes, I will go back and reread a section to see how a writer got in and out of a flashback - something I always find hard to do without it seeming confusing.

I make note of things I like about what I’m reading. I’m reading a book now by Mary Kay Andrews. I suppose you’d call it women’s fiction with a dash of romance added. She is very detailed in her descriptions and I see how it makes the book more interesting. It inspires me to do the same. She writes great dialogue and while I’m reading it, I’m trying to figure out what makes it so great. In her case she manages to tell a lot of the story with the dialogue and also give the characters each their own style of speaking.

I am also continually checking the plot as I read. This book had a black moment situation at the very beginning which got taken care of too neatly for the size of the set up. As I read, I kind of went huh? But she was facing disaster and it got fixed that easily?

I’m always paying attention to how the writer mixes in action with the dialogue. Another thing I struggle with and I’m always looking to learn how to do it better. If it’s a mystery, I am always on the lookout for the clues. How were they hidden?

It is a dance trying to mix getting lost in the story while analyzing how it is being told. At first, it felt uncomfortable and awkward and it was kind of an either or situation. But now I have learned how to juggle it so that I can learn and enjoy at the same time.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Inspirations in Fiction

I recently blogged at Inkspot, the blog for authors of Midnight Ink, about two of my real-life character inspirations for the Downward Dog Mystery Series, including my most recent installment, A Fatal Twist.


Tracy Weber


All four books in the Downward Dog Mystery Series are available at booksellers everywhere!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

And Now It's A New Year

I've got three different blogs posting today.  I wasn't paying attention when I scheduled one of them for a Wednesday that happened to be the 18th of the month, but that's what happened!  I'm here at Killer Hobbies on Wednesdays, and I'm at Killer Characters on the 18th of each month --or at least my characters are.  I also scheduled a Writerspace blog for today.  So... the contents of this blog are pretty much the contents of my Writerspace post.  I learned something while putting it together anyway: I've already got a lot on my schedule for 2017!

Here's some of what I said:
First, I anticipate the publication of two new books, in different genres, this year: BAD TO THE BONE, the third Barkery & Biscuits mystery, will be a May 2017 release, and PROTECTOR WOLF, the eighth paranormal romance in my Alpha Force miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne, about a covert military unit of shapeshifters, will be published in June. 

But that's not all I'm doing that's writing related.  Last weekend I attended an author event at the Santa Clarita, California, Library.  Soon I'll attend Mystery on the Menu at the Cerritos Library. 

In March is California Dreamin', a conference held by several Southern California chapters of Romance Writers of America.  In April I'll attend Malice Domestic, all about cozy mysteries, in Bethesda, Maryland.

First thing in May, I'll attend a couple of events held by the Ridge Writers, which is the East Sierra Branch of the 106-year-old California Writers Club.  In June is the California Crime Writers Conference, which is a joint event by the local Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime chapters.  Then, in August, I'll be giving a presentation to the new Santa Clarita Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

I think that's all I've scheduled so far, although I will attend meetings of local chapters of the organizations I belong to as well as get-togethers with writer friends. 

Gee, putting it all down in one spot like this really does demonstrate even to myself that 2017 is going to be a busy year. 

And have I described everything I'll be doing that's related to writing? 

Probably not!

Plus, there are time-consuming family-related things coming up as well.

And one other thing I didn't include at Writerspace: Cari!  My new puppy is a time sponge, especially since I'm giving Mystie a lot of extra attention, too.

So... oh, yes.  This year will be a busy one!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Getting Re-Published

I have nothing to say.  Seriously, nothing.

Well, one thing: There is a collection of short stories, some written by me, some written by me and Ellen, some written by Ellen.  The title is a play on a state characteristic called Minnesota Nice: Minnesota Vice.  Because currently the most famous pseudonym of the two of us is Monica Ferris, the publisher is Monica Ferris Presents.  All the stories are previously published and I think at least some of them are damn clever.  This is an ebook available on Amazon and Kindle.  A hard copy in Trade Paperback format is coming very soon.

And wait a minute, here’s something else:  We are also working on republishing a collection of stories set in a late-medieval nunnery, something I wrote while establishing and exploring my “persona” in the Society for Creative Anachronism.  I used serious research into medieval nunneries and the Holy Rule of St. Benedict to establish the place, and at the same time named the nunnery Deer Abby and described the Mass Priest assigned there, Father Hugh of Paddington, as a “small brown fellow with kind, anxious eyes, who means well.”  The abby’s proper name is Abatia Cervi Albi, Abby of the White Stag, from the vision of St. Eustace.   Look for it soon as an e-book titled The Chronicles of Deer Abby.