I HAVE BECOME A PROMOTING ‘HO!

Never did I think I would see the day when I would shamelessly push, promote, advertise, and in general, throw myself on the mercy of the eWinds out there. Between the Alvarez Family and the Persephone Cole Mystery Series, I hawk like a barker for a 3rd-rate carnival. Facebook and I are close pals. I’m even learning how it works. I tweet like nobody’s business. If I could afford to hire a plane whose duff dragged a long sign overhead promoting my books, I would. Maybe even a dirigible. Roadsign, anyone? And I used to have so much pride. But pride doesn’t get you sales, nosirree. I have discovered that maybe I’ll never do the sales of Agatha Christie or Janet Evanovitch, but if I sit still and wait for the fates to do it for me, it might never…okay, will never happen at any level. Man oh, man. I had no idea that being a writer involved so much of this end of the stick! It seems now the luxury of writing is the actual writing, itself! Any thoughts on this, dear writing pals? And before we leave, here’s my buy page at Amazon, just to keep this ‘ho thing going!! http://www.amazon.com/Heather-Haven/e/B004QL22UK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1355071938&sr=1-2-ent Happy Holidays, everyone!

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Jingle All The Way!

I love Christmas. Always have. Ever since I found out the tubby guy in the red suit did NOT give me those presents once a year, I’ve been on a high. Let’s face it, Santa’s a little weird. Definitely someone my doctor would want to talk to about his weight. Further, what’s with the white trim, fella? Everybody knows when you’re a short zaftig person, the last thing you need is white fur running horizontally around your belly. I mean, come on. Talk about no clue. When it’s all said and done, I really like it that my mom, a single, struggling mother of two, always managed to put something under that tree year after year. True, often it was a pair of much needed shoes, socks, or underwear. Occasionally, though, it was the gift of gold – new skates, a book, and once, when I turned fourteen, a portable typewriter. My childhood, you see, took place during the Punic Wars, when a computer or iPad was just a gleam in a yet-to-be-born entrepreneurial eye. I remember opening up that typewriter like it was yesterday. The goldest of gold. Small enough to haul around with you wherever you went. The very thing for a fledgling, young writer. Ah, the prose, the poetry, the stories that typewriter helped me write! I wish I had it now; it was pure magic. I believe the act of giving is Christmas. It’s all of us when we’re at our best. We don’t need those we love to sit on our knee and rattle off a wish list. We know their heart’s desires, just as they know ours. If we can make those desires a reality, we will. Christmas is love, hope, and the giving of ourselves. So yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.…

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Tagged: The Next Big Thing – Find Out What I’m Working On!

I’ve been tagged in a blog game called The Next Big Thing. The game involves authors answering questions about their work in progress (aka WIP). So I am “it” for the moment, and I am off to the 20th century, 1942, to be exact, to talk about a murder taking place under the Big Top. Come along with me back to the Ringling Brothers Circus and World War II! Leave a comment, if you like! Here we go. . . my answers to the OFFICIAL “Ten Questions for The Next Big Thing”: 1. What is the working title of your book? Death of a Clown 2. Where did the idea come from for the book? This book started with the circus memories of my mother, around whom I’ve created the protagonist, Jeri Deane. The cover to the right is a real picture of my mother sitting on the trunk of an elephant in the early 1940s. This picture has a nameless clown extending his arms to Mom. This started my crafty, murderous mind working. What if this clown got murdered? Could Jeri solve the crime? Well, why not, I asked myself?  At that point, I was off and away. I would like to add that to my knowledge, no murders have taken place in the circus. However, one of the characters in the book says: “There’s never been a murder under the Big Top before. Unless you count Miss Brassy’s Performing Poodles. That act could kill a group of Shriners.” 3. What genre does your book fall under? Mystery noir. It has humor and is very fast paced with everything taking place in less than three days, but there’s a definite noir feel about it.  4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? That should only happen, but…

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My Only Burn is Heartburn

Monday I’m giving a lecture on the art and craft of writing. As if I know more than my cats about this. But that’s the funny thing about being published. Suddenly, everybody thinks you know something. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. You give it a shot. I do know a decent novel is not done with smoke and mirrors. It takes a modicum of talent, a studious amount of technique, and a helluva lot of work. It’s like playing tennis. The more you practice, the better you get. Now I’m not talking about the likes of Roger Federer. There’s a certain type of genius going on there. A touch of ‘forever’ in what you do. The works of Michelangelo, Nijinsky, Mozart, Caruso, Elenora Dusa – just to name a few – have soared above the rest of their peers in their particular field. The guy with the lid on the left, BTW, is Nijinsky. When he died, he left his feet to science for study. They took the bones apart to see how he managed to soar so high in all his dance steps. They found normal bones. I never considered myself a soarer. Certainly not on the same plane as literary geniuses. I have no great American novel burning within me. In fact, the only burning sensation I have is solved with Tums. Could be the ice cream. However, I do know a thing or two about writing, I love to write, I am committed to being better at my craft, and hope I turn out a decent novel or two. Sometimes you need a trampoline to get as high as those other guys. I’ve got one on order. Meanwhile, happy writing to us all. It’s a gift to be able to do it at all, never mind eternity.

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Writer’s Slump

I don’t have writer’s block. If need be, I can sit down and write something. Aren’t I doing it now? Well, I didn’t say I could write something of value, just something. However, I have been working on the final cleanup of a novel I’ve been penning for the past six years, getting it ready for publication. You know how that goes: a tag line, a blurb, another tag line, a better blurb, a tag line that might make someone want to pick up the book and read it, a blurb that makes sense. Daunting. Then there’s the cover, back cover, the spine – and I’m glad something’s got one – because my spine has turned to jelly. What happens is after maybe 45-minutes of doing this and that on this project, I’m shot for the day. I don’t want to go back to the draft of the 3rd book of the Persephone Cole series and get Percy out of the kitchen. I’m okay with leaving her there, gaining weight, not getting anything done on her latest case, because I am unwilling to switch gears from my stand alone mystery noir back to the Persephone Cole series. This is unlike me. I usually like to juggle 2 to 4 writing projects at the same time. Helps to keep me from getting writer’s block. I am now wearing that block around my neck. See albatross below and to the right. I’m feeling overwhelmed. Lethargic. Doesn’t that closet need to be cleaned out? You know, you’ve really been neglecting the cats. Grab that toy and go play with them. Go kiss your husband, go take your shoes to be re shod, go to blue blazes, but whatever you do, Heather Haven, don’t get any writing done. Big sigh. Okay, I’m done grousing. After I come back from the post office, I really have to get back…

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A Heap of Trouble is a Heap of Good Writing

Join me in getting to know author Lorrie Unites-Struiff a little bit better. A Heap of Trouble is a western humorous romance action story. That’s a lot of stuff for Struiff to put in one book, but she does it with style! This book has something for everyone and I love the cover. It’s, of course, by Suzannah Safi. Lorrie lives in West Mifflin, PA, thirty minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. She lives at home with her husband and her favorite toy—a computer.  Once a gold medalist teacher/manager for a big-name ballroom dance studio she has retired and now enjoys the quiet life of writing and watching TV. But she loves to have lunches with local authors to keep abreast of the challenging world of publishing. Lorrie writes in many genres so you never know what she will come out with next. She never wants to bore her readers and enjoys the thrill of entertaining them by writing a good story. Here’s a few answers to questions, so we can meet the real Lorrie! Thank you so much for the invitation to guest on your blog today, Heather. 1.      What is your favorite book? Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. The first in his John Corey series. I love the way he can take a tense situation with gun fights, chases, etc. and still make me laugh. It’s a wonderful talent I wish I had.         2.      Who is your favorite writer? Oh, my gosh! Do you want me to take up three pages? I have so many, but sadly, lately I haven’t had much time to read. I miss it. With two books out; the promoting is taking up so much time, even my writing is suffering. I think most authors know the feeling. Then there is real life that keeps interfering, too.  3.      How…

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My Life Resumes!

How cool is this! Coinciding very nicely with my latest mystery novel offering, Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse, is a Halloween contest at the Books We Love Publishing House, complete with a basket of goodies as a prize. Visit  http://bookswelove.net/ for the details! Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse is the first of a mystery series taking place over the holidays and stars a 1942 female gumshoe nearly six feet tall and, nicely put, a full-figured gal. If you’ve ever wondered how Sam Spade, Lew Archer, or Phillip Marlow would act as a woman, this might answer the call. Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse starts off the Persephone Cole Holiday Mystery Series, but the second novel, Persephone Cole and the Christmas Killings Conundrum, was actually written first. After a few emails back and forth between the publisher, Books We Love, and me, it was decided we needed to start the series off in the fall. So I committed myself to writing a novel – albeit a short one – in three months. I’m the one who should have been committed. I don’t have to tell anyone who has written more than a postcard, you don’t dash off a novel, even one at 60K. I mean, you can, of course, but who would want to read it? So if I was going to deliver anything with a modicum of readability, I had to cram eight months’ to a year’s worth of work into three months. Goodbye summer-time fun, goodbye  playing with my cats, goodbye life as I knew it. Did I mention goodbye having fun with my husband, who as a teacher, had the summer off?  This meant he couldn’t disturb me until the afternoon. Get your own breakfast, answer the phone, don’t bother me. I would come up for air sometime around two, when he would get a kiss. I would get…

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A Visit with Roseanne Dowell, Author of Ring Around the Rosy

I’ve had the good fortunate to be part of a group of writers that include the likes of Roseanne Dowell. In my opinion, Roseanne is a talented and prolific writer, who creates easy to read page-turners of the romantic/mystery type, where you not only meet some lovely, charming people, but get to wonder who did the dastardly deed or deeds. It’s a win-win and so enters Ring Around the Rosy. I just finished this book and if you’re interested in my thoughts on Amazon, zip on over here. Then come on back and get to know a little bit more about this author via her own words in a recent interview: First off, I want to thank you for having me, Heather. 1.  Always a pleasure! Let’s get to it, Roseanne, What is your favorite book? Oh my, that’s a hard one. I have so many. Just about anything written by Nora Roberts, especially Blue Smoke and Northern Lights. I also loved Devil’s Corner by Lisa Scottoline. 2.      Who is your favorite writer? Think I just gave that away above. LOL 3.      How old were you when you were first published? Wow, what an interesting question. Do I dare answer?  57. 4.      What is your favorite word? Favorite word. Hmmm not sure I have one. 5.      When and how do you write? (typewriter, Mac, in a café, for four hours each morning, etc?) Computer and just about any time. For a long time it was the middle of the night, but that’s not happened for a long time. I find if the characters are speaking, I’d better listen and get it down on paper (computer) right away. I’ve lost those words a few times by putting it off. 6.      What is your greatest fear when you first turn in a manuscript? Rejection. I…

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The Perfect Margarita

Recently, I decided not to focus on anything about writing, being an author, or having a book published. What with Death Runs in the Family, 3rd book in the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery Series and Corliss, my suspense short story out within weeks of each other, and banging away on the keyboard trying to finish the Persephone Cole Series, which debuts in September, I needed a break. So we zipped off to Las Vegas for a few days for a little R&R. We decided to drive, the pissed-off skies being what they are, and after several hours arrived at Barstow, California, mentioned in the famous song, (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66. We usually stop there when we drive to Vegas, get a motel room for the night, and have dinner at the Idle Spurs Restaurant. It’s a tradition. A silly one, but there you are. However, as this was the first time we arrived in Barstow on a Monday, we couldn’t go to the Idle Spurs. Closed, dontchaknow. The best laid plans. We wound up at the Los Domingos, where we stumbled upon good Mexican food and even better cocktails. Life being what it is, you never know when you are going to have a serendipitous moment like that. So instead of books, let’s talk booze. Serendipitously, of course. And enter Max, the Mixologist. We walked into the Los Domingos Restaurant and there was Max standing behind a pretty interesting bar. Norman was in the mood for a Margarita, but not the super sweet kind made with lots of Rose’s lemon-lime mix. That is more or less a north of the border tradition. He wanted one just like we could get in Mexico, Cuernavaca, specifically. Years ago the best Margarita we’ve ever had – and we’ve been searching endlessly…

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Welcom Penny Estelle, Author of Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare

Just the title of this book, Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare, and the wonderful cover, sends me into laughter every time I see it. Penny Estelle is a lovely lady, especially in her cowboy hat, and from what I’ve read so far of the story, it sounds like something I would enjoy, even though I am decades too old. That’s what comes of being a kid at heart. Before you get a glimpse of it, yourself, here is an interview we did. A chance to get to know Penny a little better, of course. —————————— 1. What is your favorite book? I am always looking for news about upcoming Janet Evanovich books. These are the numbered Stephanie Plum series books. I am waiting for number 20 (I think). Her books are laugh out loud funny! 2. Who is your favorite writer? I have several but of course my #1 is Ms Evanovich. She actually answered three questions for me to put on my blog! OMG – I was floored when she said she would do that. That helps keeping her in the lead! But I also love Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Fern Michaels, and Linda Leal Miller 3. How old were you when you were first published? It was one year ago – I was at the very young age of fifty-eight. (Heather’s Note: You don’t look it darling. You could say 38, and we’d buy it.) 4. What writing style do you most abhor? This is a toughie….I’m not crazy about old style English dialogue and I don’t like it when an author goes on and on and on describing different scenes, etc. 5. What is your favorite writing cliché? Apparently every cliché ever invented because I get dinged with using clichés from my critique group all the time and…

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