Saturday, July 31, 2010

XXXVIII - August 2010

I'd almost begun to despair of ever hearing from my editor about UNDER THE SKIN. Finally my agent asked Herself what was up.

What do you mean, says Herself? Didn't Vicki get my email?  

So then Herself goes on to say  that she loved it and thinks it's the best thing I've ever written. . . says she was totally enmeshed in it . . . says the characterizations were rich and fresh and the novel-within-the-novel was strong and instantly compelling. Says she hated for the book to end. 

Well, okay, then!

Now I'm waiting for the edited manuscript to arrive so I can address a few quibbles Herself had about one plot line and give the whole thing another good proof reading.  

Meanwhile, aside from enduring the hottest summer on record, I've been working in the yard and the garden and thinking about what my next writing project might be . . . something in Cherokee, reuniting Rosemary with an old friend? Might be a possibility.

Or another standalone  . . . about a very special place hidden deep in the mountains of Marshall County . . . or . . . or . . .

I'm out of contract with this just handed in manuscript and will have to come up with something enthralling to tempt Herself to offer me another contract. The publishing climate isn't great these days and publishers are ending series with less than stellar sales right and left. 

Much will depend I suspect, on how The Day of Small Things sells.
 Recommended Reading

Mary Maupin says: "I'm reading "Cutting for Stone", by Abraham Verghese.  It's an engaging story and well-written.  Put it on your next year's reading list, when you have time to read something other than the books being delivered to your door, required reading."

Deb Dandolino writes: My reading lately has given me a lot of pleasure from some of the books. Interred With Their Bones and Haunt Me Still are two great books by Jennifer Lee Carrel. The first book is set around a search for a lost play that Shakespeare wrote. The second one posits the question - did Shakespeare base his Macbeth witches on actual witches and could the real witches have given Shakespeare information about actual spells. Both of the books had me up way past my bedtime.

Another series that I have loved is the one from Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli,
The first is Dead Dancing Women which revolves around older women who have
been seen dancing around a fire (gasp! ;-)) and such and are now being
killed.  If you haven't read it, do - I think you would like it.  The other
two books are Dead Floating Lovers and Dead Sleeping Shaman.  There is
another planned for fall but Elizabeth didn't give me the title.
Last, but definitely not least, is The Crossing Places and The Janus Stone
by Elly Griffiths.  Both have to do with archaeology in the marshes of
Norfolk, UK.  The first one starts out a little slowly but, if you
persevere, you'll find a great book.
Pat in TN has this to share: 
Just wanted to tell you that I am completely and utterly in love with my Kindle!  I was a little apprehensive at first, but it's not that complicated and is oh so easy on the eyes when reading.  I whipped through my first book on it, "Requiem by Fire", by Wayne Caldwell, (Great book!) and am now reading a 'real book' that was on my TBR pile.  What a world of difference ... I do find my eyes getting more tired reading this book ... who'd a thought!?!?!  I have 3 more books on my TBR pile, so am going to alternate between them and the Kindle and then I'll go Kindle all the way.  
I also ordered "The Secret Garden" on my Kindle this morning ... couldn't believe that it's one of their free books!  I have never read it and after your raving about it and almost everyone commenting on it, I thought I'd better give it a try. 
And Janie Matthews says: I'm still reading "Inherit the Land: Miss Maggie's Will Meets Jim Crow.  We've had different house guests for 3 weeks, so I haven't had much time to read.

We've been enjoying watching the humming birds and also two turkey hens and their poults who are daily visitors at our bird feeder.

Yesterday I went to a threshing demonstration -- more about that over on my daily blog!

A slide show of some of July's highlights!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 1, 2010

XXXVII - July 2010

A few days ago I heard from Herself -- no, nothing about Under the Skin; I'm still in the dark about Herself's reaction thereto.

But she had excellent news -- a wonderful blurb for The Day of Small Things from Deborah Crombie, New York Times Best-Selling author of the Duncan Kincaide/Gemma James mysteries! This is what Deb had to say:

"Vicki Lane is one of the best American novelists writing today.  In The Day of Small Things, she has once again rendered a lyrical, evocative, and haunting portrait of life in the Appalachians, both past and present. And in Birdie, she has given us a character who will steal your heart and stay with you for a long time to come. 

I loved this book--The Day of Small Things will definitely make my short list for 2010."
Oh my! Oh Deb! I feel faint!
Blurbs, as you probably know, go on the cover of the book to entice the reader.  I've been fortunate in getting nice blurbs from kind authors hut it's still difficult to ask. In Deb's case, however, she had let me know that she'd read and enjoyed my previous books so it was easy.
With Deb's kind words to energize me, I've begun to think about the promotion of the book. Yes, the publishers assign me a publicist but they expect me to do a fair amount on my own.  This newsletter is one of those things. And now I've set up a blog/site dedicated to 
The Day of Small Things.

It won't be a regularly updated blog -- more of a website for the book which I can update as needed. It will have reviews and blurbs as they come in; there is a page for the media with photos and bios; there is an excerpt from the book and a page of Frequently Asked Questions (please, ask me a question and I'll answer it there!)

Eventually I'll add photos pertaining to the book and whatever else seems useful -- questions for book clubs perhaps.  You're invited to give it a look and make suggestions. Here's a link and there'll always be one in the side bar. Do let me know what you think!

Notes and Observations

Pat in East TN says: 
I'm still reading quite a bit and gave in and ordered myself a Kindle the other day.  Many folks have been after me to get one and when they dropped the price significantly, I couldn't resist ... ha, there goes my berry picking money!  It should come tomorrow and I'm excited.  There are still some books that I will want to buy, just to have, but most of everyday reading will go on the Kindle. 

I do believe I've learned something new in the past week.  Two yellow jacket nests that were built above ground!  When I saw these round paper nests I thought instantly of hornets, which I totally dislike after being stung a couple of times by those suckers, BUT these are definitely yellow jackets.  Have you ever heard to this?  In all my years I do not recall seeing an above the ground nest.  Food must be lacking in the woods as our local wildlife abounds in my yard and the hayfield next door.  We hadn't seen any for quite a while and now it seems their all coming in to graze and raid my bird feeders.  I don't mind sharing as long as no damage is done. 
Follow this link for recommendations on books set in western NC or written by authors from the area.

In other news -- I've bitten the (financial) bullet and signed up for Bouchercon (the big mystery convention in October.) It's in San Francisco -- a place I've never been -- and the expense is significant. But with a new book out, it seems like the thing to do.  I'll hope to find that some folks on the west coast have heard of Elizabeth Goodweather. . .

Here on the farm, blackberries are ripening,  as are squash and cucumbers. The weeds are thriving;the dogs and cats are shedding; friends and family are visiting. I'm trying to make up for all I haven't been doing while finishing Under the Skin. And I'm reading a whole lots of mysteries, as I mentioned in a previous post.

Please do visit my blog/site for The Day of Small Things and tell me what it needs -- or ask a question that isn't in the FAQ. There are links to the other pages just under the header photo.
And here's a slide show from the past month. Have a wonderful July!

Posted by Picasa