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Archive for May 24th, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARosemary McCracken is a Canadian journalist. Born and raised in Montreal, she has worked on newspapers across Canada as a reporter, arts reviewer, editorial writer and editor. She is now a freelance journalist who specializes in personal finance and the financial services industry. She advocates greater investor protection, and improved financial services industry regulation and enforcement.

Rosemary’s short fiction has been published by Room of One’s Own Press and Kaleidoscope Books.

Safe Harbor is her first published novel. It was shortlisted for Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger in 2010.

Rosemary lives in Toronto with her husband, and makes frequent retreats to her stone cottage in Ontario’s Haliburton Highlands.

Rosemary’s published stories include “Crazy” in Kaleidoscope Books’ anthology, Mother Margaret and the Rhinoceros Café; and “Putting Mother in Her Place” in Room of One’s Own, vol. 19:4, winter 1996. 

Her latest book is the suspense thriller, BLACK WATER, available from Imajin Books. Also on Amazon.

Q: Congrats on the release of your book, Rosemary! Tell us why readers should buy Black Water.

A: Take a look at a few comments that readers of Safe Harbor, the first book in the Pat Tierney series, made. “I can’t wait for the next Pat Tierney instalment,” one Amazon review wrote. “I look forward to seeing what trouble Pat Tierney gets herself into next,” another reviewer added.

Well, Pat is back! In Black Water, she leaves Toronto and heads out to Ontario cottage country where an elderly man has been brutally murdered. Her daughter Tracy’s friend Jamie is a suspect in the murder, and when Tracy asks her mother for help…well, Pat is a softie when it comes to family.

Pat is also fully committed to her clients. She’s a financial advisor with integrity and ethics. Because the financial services industry revolves around money, it provides opportunities for those who are clever and greedy enough to challenge the system. She doesn’t want to see people taken by these bad apples. She has the courage to stand up for what she believes is right.

This is probably why The Toronto Star called Pat “a hugely attractive sleuth figure.” 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00071]Q: What makes a good suspense novel?

A: A good suspense novel grabs the reader’s attention in the first few pages, and keeps the tension mounting through the rest of the book. In Black Water, the initial grabber is a prologue from the point of view of Lyle Critchley. This elderly man drives into his detached garage one evening and the building goes up in flames. Lyle is trapped inside. The prologue sets the novel into motion, and it raises some important questions for the reader. Who set fire to Lyle’s garage? And why did this person want to kill Lyle?

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?

A: I’m a working journalist as well as a fiction writer so I find it difficult to carve out a set chunk of time for fiction writing every day. My days are often shaped by interviews for my articles and publication deadlines. But because I’m now a freelancer, I have control of my schedule and I try to keep my summers free for writing fiction. I spend most of the summer at my country home in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands north of the city of Toronto, where I can get a lot of work done on a novel. I can often complete the work, and work on subsequent drafts when I return to my home in Toronto over the fall and winter.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

A: I love seeing my books on a shelf, and picking them up and opening them. Ebooks are wonderful and they’ve brought my books to people all around the world. But there is just something so thrilling about holding a book in your hands that has your name on it.

And I’m thrilled beyond words when a reader tells me that he or she enjoyed my novel. That is the reason I write!

Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?

A: Keep writing. And take advantage of every opportunity to get your work published and launch your writing career. Enter writing contests, attend conferences for works in your genre, and network with other writers. And don’t let negative comments about your work get you down. They’re often just sour grapes.

BLACK WATER is available at http://www.amazon.com/Black-Water-Tierney-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00CWF2X8S

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If you’re reading this, chances are you are an author, maybe published, maybe not. Regardless, you dream of success.  The question is what do you think of as success.
Is success being published by a large publisher with mega sales? Do you think of success as making a fortune from your writing? Or do you dream of success as being well known with fame attached to your name and have people recognize your face and name everywhere?
Perhaps, you don’t care so much about fame or becoming wealthy from your writing. While a good return for your efforts is nice, the idea of success might be having people actually read and enjoy the books you write.
Ah, little do we know. And that’s the truth. Beginners know little about writing and even less of the publishing world. This has been true since out grandmothers’ days. Things have changed in the last hundred years beyond their wildest dreams. 
Any author who is comfortable with what they have achieved will tell you, the world of writing and publishing is constantly changing today, largely due to the changes and advances of modern technology.
Enter the Internet and the advent of new publishers and types of publishing. The first to break ground in this new medium would be the online publishers or small presses as they may also be called. These presses are responsible in large part for the success of many authors who never would have had a chance to be published and they are the founders of the new world of publishing.
This does not include the vanity presses of old.  The way the worked was simple. An author would finish a manuscript and whatever form it was submitted to the vanity press of their choice, along with a hefty check, is the way the book would be printed. Often the books themselves were well made since most of these vanity presses were printers who decided the extra income of producing books was nice to have. They would print and bind the book and send a certain number in boxes to the author and that was the end of their job. The author was now stuck with maybe as many as a hundred to five hundred copies of their book to sell, give away, or whatever they did with them.  Often, upon the passing of the author, the boxes were found stored somewhere, unopened. This was because the author had no idea how to sell their book, where to sell their book and how to reach the market. Bookstores would not accept them and unless the author went door to door, the only copies sold were to family and close friends who often as not never read the book.
Had those authors been around today, they could have saved their hundreds of dollars and been published on the Internet by a small press if they were lucky or later, they could self publish.
From the days of those old vanity presses, which are still around, the world has expanded to include several types of publishing and more come along all the time. Today, there is the ebook which with some learning can be published by the author and sold and publicized by the author. 
There are publishers who produce ebooks only and most of them are of excellent quality and well written books. Some will put the work into print but may charge the author for a set up fee.
There are traditional presses online that produce booth print and ebooks and their quality is excellent. Many will publicize the books they produce and build their name at the same time. Others leave the promotion to the author. For an author to be accepted by the first type of small press, their work must meet certain standards and be suitable to the niche market the publisher aims at.
To achieve the dream of success of other authors, they must make a connection with an agent who will successfully promote the work to the larger houses that refuse to deal with anyone but agents. This can be a very hard road to travel and result in disappointment. One must be prepared for this as it may take years to find the right agent who will believe in your work and promote it to those large presses.
So success may prove elusive to those of us who wait for someone to promote our work to others or we may take on the task ourselves and start those query letters or emails moving.
A writer’s success not only depends on writing that book, possibly the best book ever written, but their personal efforts to contact publishers or agents or both and getting their name out before the public, maybe months before their work is available and that effort must be continuous.
The reading public is wonderfully kind to most  authors, but it also has a short lived attntion span so the author must keep reminding them of his or her existence.
Our eventual success really does depend on us, whether we are aiming for top of the heap or a comfortable spot in the middle. You must decide what you can affort in time and money for the advancement of your book and work from that point. Achieving success means engineering our dreams to fit reality. And that is the most difficult step to success of all.
 *****
Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing in a variety of genres, excerpts of which are available for reading at Twilight Times Books or on Anne’s website.  Anne also reviews and edits, writes short stories and articles. She enjoys meeting people and travel. Be sure to visit her blog, “Invitation to a Book” on her website. Anne K. Edwards can be found on http://www.AnneKEdwards.com.

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