I'm an inconsistent writer of my blog. It's been almost 60 days since my last post. I've been distracted from my work on OPUS MURDER, as well as writing blog posts. First, I've updated the cover for MURDER AT THE PODIUM. So why did I updated it? It didn't fit in with the other book covers in the Jill Quint series. My book covers always say something about where the murder takes place. In OPUS MURDER, the crime takes place in a church sanctuary. In MURDER AT THE PODIUM, the victim collapsed and died while giving a speech at a podium, but it's a bigger story that takes place in many parts of Texas. So the new cover features the skyline of Dallas. I looked at a few oil rigs as a potential book cover, but they just didn't excite me.
On to other news, I have a significant birthday this year, and I wanted to celebrate it with friends in our National Parks. That might sound like a strange location for a landmark birthday, but I reached that birthday in good health. I wanted to celebrate my good health by hiking in the great outdoors. So I went with a group of friends, and we hiked Capital Reef, Bryce, Zion, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Walnut Canyon parks. I saw lots of beautiful vistas and scary drops of 1000 feet into a canyon. My vivid imagination got the worse of me on the rim hike at the Grand Canyon. I could just imagine a character in one of my books tripping and going over the edge to their death in the canyon. My friend continued along the path, while I moved inland to walk on the road where I couldn't trip to my death. It's probably more reflective of my growing fear of heights that my writer's imagination.
I also attended two book conventions. It was the fiftieth Bouchercon (World Mystery Convention) in Dallas. I'm a member of the national board of Sisters in Crime, and so we have a lot of planning meetings each year at Bouchercon. I also spoke on a panel discussion and participated in author speed dating. With the latter, you pair up with another author and visit twenty-one tables with eight readers at each table. You have two minutes to pitch your books. So I had a legal-sized poster for each of my two series. That poster of the Jill Quint series is nudging me to change a few book's covers so that they scream that they're mystery books. Since the moment I designed the CASTLE KILLING cover, I've worried that it looked closer to a horror book than a murder mystery, so it's next on my list to improve.
The second convention I attended was 20books Vegas, which I would describe as more a writer's retreat than a fan convention. I walked away with a renewed desire to write, something that has been flagging for the last few months. I learned a lot from a lot of speakers, including some technical assistance. I bought a new microphone for dictation, and now the words are flowing faster and more accurately.
I have a fan of my books who is leaving on a long-haul flight to Australia on January 29. She wants to pass the time in the air with my latest book. So I'm going to do my best to release OPUS MURDER the week of January 27, 2020. Once that book is complete, I'm going to turn to the fourth book in the Damien Green series. I'll notify my subscribers of when OPUS MURDER is ready for pre-order at a reduced price
Wishing you and yours happy holidays over the coming months,