Daisy Update: Yipee!

My friends, it’s official.  I received word from my editor last week that Five Star Publishing will produce Sliced Vegetarian.  Yipee!  I am so excited. So what does all of this mean in terms of getting out to the bookstores and library shelves?

Book Offer from Five Star

Whoo Hoo!!

Step One: Contracts

Within the next three or four weeks, I’ll receive the legal document that forms the agreement between Five Star and me.  In this document they’ll outline where, how, and in what form(s) Sliced Veggie will come out, what royalties are involved, who has what ownership rights to the product, what the legal obligation is for getting the book out in specific times, copyrights, editing limits and obligations and more.  The contract is intimidating but well worthwhile.  Hopefully by August, this contract work will be done.

Step Two: Blurbing and Input

As my book is handed off to marketing and other people within Five Star, I will be asked for things like the back of the book blurb, cover ideas, profiles of the main characters etc.  While I have been working on this all along, the official work document may take a couple of weeks.  That puts us into the later part of August.

Step Three: Editing

If this goes like last time, there will be at least two rounds of editing.  The first will be someone who will read the book for glaring errors in plot and general content. He or she will either give it a go signal or return it to me for corrections.  At any rate this is about a month of back and forth.  Then things, from the author end, go quiet for a couple of weeks.

A second round of editing will take place that’s more detailed. This line editor will go through the book word for word, looking for spelling, grammar, or punctuation challenges. He or she may also comment or question details about passage of time in the story or other layers that aren’t obvious on a first read.  That will probably take another six weeks or so.

Hopefully editing will be complete by the end of November.  But, with all of the books Five Star has to produce, these “deadlines” are not carved in stone.

Step Four: Rough Production

In this step, I think the editors, marketing people, and all the magicians at the publisher’s will be making decisions on how the cover will look (authors giggle over the fact that they send in a lot of good ideas, but the cover never truly ends up how they would expect), where in the market it will be placed, how it will be promoted from their end.  They’ll also work on the ARCs, or Advanced Reader Copies.  I’ll get about 40 of these for my own promotion work (hint: if you missed the last writing contest, now might be the time to sharpen your pencils-heh, heh, heh!). Guessing I’ll get ARCs sometime around June of next year.

I would appreciate your help when the ARCS to come out. If you know book reviewers who have popular blogs or columns in newspapers near you, I’d really appreciate their contact information.  The same goes for library media purchasers.

Step Five: The Waiting Game

There will be months of waiting after the ARCs ship.  I’ll have one last time to make corrections, but mostly, at this stage everyone will be looking for feedback from the big names in publishing–Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly.  I’m also hoping for positive feedback from Gumshoe Press and others who were kind enough to review Faith on the Rocks.  I’ll be using this time to send out news and promotions.

Finally: The Launch

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe Five Star launches books twice a year.  My best guesstimate is that Sliced Vegetarian will hit the shelves December of 2015, but please don’t hold me to this.  I’ll keep you up-to-date on what’s happening as we go.  Meanwhile, I’ll need to have been working on Pot Shots all along, so hopefully that book will be ready to submit to Five Star just after Sliced Vegetarian comes out.


E-Book Autographs

I have electronic signing now.  How cool is that?  There is a website called Authorgraph, in which you can request electronic signatures for some of your favorite books or authors.  Go to the site, and simply request an autograph by clicking a button under the book you’re interested in.  The request is sent to the author who then scribbles his or her name using an artwork software.  This way, you get the “real” author connection.  If you bought Faith online, please click that button, and I’ll be happy to send you an “authorgraph”.  Then you can start a collection of these.  Something fun to do.

Presentation Coming

If you live in the Denver area, I have a book talk coming up.  Hope you can join me at the Lakewood Arts Council gallery on Saturday, July 26 at 1:00 pm.  I’ll be reading, selling, and signing, and doing an art project with regards to either murder or Daisy’s adventures.  Should be fun.


Date: Saturday, July 26
Time: 1:00 – 2:30
Place: Lakewood Arts Council Gallery
85 South Union Street – Suite B
Lakewood, CO 80228
Details will be kept posted on this site until the event.

Wishing you a great week.


Daisy Update — Fingers Crossed

Hello my reading friend,

Here are a few updates regarding Daisy books, and my work as an author:


Five Star Publishing on FacebookAt last, I have sent off Sliced Vegetarian to the publisher.  Now all I have to do is wait for several weeks to see if this second Daisy Arthur Mystery meets Five Star’s needs for publishable work.  I don’t understand much about the review process, but I do know that if the senior editor likes this book, she will make a pitch to someone else in acquisitions and then the book “goes to the top.”  At any stage the work can be sent back with “rejection” on it, but only after it’s made the complete rounds favorably will I see an email that might start with the words, “I am pleased to contact you with an offer for publication . . .” Please keep your fingers crossed for Sliced Veggie.


Mystery Writers of America logoI’m also excited to let you know that I was recently elected to “Membership Chair” for the Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America association.  This terrific organization is part of Mystery Writers of America, which has been in existence for more than 66 years.  You do not have to be a published mystery writer to join, but just someone interested in the crime, mystery and detection aspects of our fiction life.  Each month I go to the Denver Press Club and meet others interested in mystery and crime, and we listen to speakers on all sorts of interesting topics. If you’d like to become a member of either RMMWA or MWA, please let me know and I’ll send you information.


Part of building an “author platform” is getting your name out there in the publishing world. To do this, you need to attend conferences, join organizations, and enter contests.  With that in mind, a few weeks ago I submitted Faith on the Rocks for consideration in the Colorado Book Awards, sponsored by ColoradoHumanities.org.  I’m also thinking about nominating Faith for Left Coast Crime’s Lefty award, which recognizes humorous mystery novels. While I will hope, hope, hope, I’m not truly expecting to win anything. It’s great to be in the game though.  Have you suggestions for contests I might enter?


Okay, so I’m not even to outline mode yet, but wanted to let you know I’ve thought of a next topic for Daisy to play with.  On January first of this year, Colorado officially authorized people to posses small amounts of marijuana for recreational use. In my local paper, I see a debate over whether or not to allow a pot shop to open in our fair city. This is also a cash-based business, as the FDIC is involved with all banks, and marijuana is not legal on a national basis.  There is just too much good stuff here (and motivation to kill) for a mystery writer to leave the topic alone.


Would you like me to open a new category and occasionally post my research about marijuana? Do you think Daisy may have an interesting time in a story called Pot Shots?  Please let me know, as I’d like to get started as soon as possible on the next Daisy Arthur Mystery.

For now, I’m off and running, before the whole day goes up in smoke!

Have a great week.