Book signings

Thank you Central Texas Oil Patch Museum, Friends of the J.B. Nickells Memorial Library of Luling, and  Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Parsons for the MEET THE AUTHOR event Saturday, March 24.  More than fourteen authors participated in this friendly, fun and successful book signing.

Sitting next to co-authors Peggy Engledow and Victoria Daywood, I traded my information about Kindle publishing and Createspace for their stories about running the genealogy research in the area.  They sold copies of their compilation BAD BOYS OF CALDWELL COUNTY. Rose Chase Smith brought in delicious cupcakes to compliment her inspirational book NOTHING LIKE ME. Roger M. Olien sat at the table next to us with  ten to fifteen of the many books he’s written. And across from us historians Al Pickett, Donaly Brice, and Cliff Caldwell attracted their fans to the room.

Children’s book writer Candice Wiester showed off the very cute mouse cover to JEFFREY, THE HERO OF MORRISTON MEADOWS.  Chuck Parsons and his book LIFE OF CAL POLK were somewhere behind us, as were ladies selling cookbooks.

The residents of Luling were hospitable, friendly, and looking to buy our books.

My sister Roxanne gave out special THE COWBOY’S BABY and ARROYO decorated cookies to encourage sales. Lots of people left exclaiming about the toilet paper design of the biggest cookie 2Tarts of New Braunfels invented for us. ARROYO’s cookie was a flying saucer. You can see the original in the top left corner of the book cover if you pay attention.

Okay. This is what the best of the book signings are like. New people to meet. People with money looking to buy what they see. An interesting venue. The worst book signing experiences usually come inside bookstores where you’re set up in the front of the store and everyone ignores you. I hope we get invited back next year.

(Can you tell I used to write newspaper stories for small-town papers? The women’s section, no less. Weddings.)

See my books and stories at

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK–The Last King of Texas by Rick Riordan.  The Caline Conspiracy by M.H. Mead.

We’ve added Patrick Kampman and his novels to our Rix Cafe Texican appetizers at . Take a look.

Three weeks of finishing it up

With one hand I’m printing up flyers for our Scare The Dickens Out of Us ghost story contest/fundraiser to take to this weekend’s book signing at the Central Texas Oil Patch Museum in Luling, Texas.

And with the other hand I’m retyping my short story “The Return of Truepenny” into a Word document. 

Then with the other hand I’m revising my new novel TALKING To The DEAD GUYS. 

While with the other I’m composing this blog.

I must be one of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ green Martians with four hands, right out of A Princess of Mars (or John Carter, as the movie is called). But no, I’m just a moderately busy writer.

I’ve just started the revising part of my job by going back and typing out an outline for Talking to the Dead Guys. I know, that sounds backwards. Outlines are supposed to come first. But that’s what I’m doing. Already I see that my transitions need a lot of work in the first two chapters. Thankfully, though, the next several chapters flow much better.

 It will be interesting to see if I can do all the revisions and editing in the three weeks allotted to it by the Susan Mallery schedule I’m following. There is no law that says I have to keep to this schedule, but I’m curious if it will work 100 percent  for me.

Saturday, March 24, I’ll be joining writers Roger M. Olien, Al Pickett, Donaly E. Brice, Cliff R. Caldwell, Peggy Engledow and Victoria Daywood, Candice M. Wiester, Debra Winegarten, Rose Chase Smith, and Chuck Parsons in a Meet the Author event at the Central Texas Oil Patch Museum in Luling, Texas. We’ll be there from 11 am to 3 pm. I’ll be there with Arroyo and The Cowboy’s Baby, and also lots of delicious cookies from 2Tarts in New Braunfels that they shaped like bathroom paper rolls (TCB) and flying saucers (A) for us.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK–77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz. Passage by Connie Willis.

Susan Mallery’s writing schedule

First of all, thank you everyone who took advantage of my short story give-away Saturday, March 10. All four of my stories were free for Kindle e-readers. I was pleased at the number of people who participated, and especially proud to have attracted some attention from Germany at last. Comments welcome.  Nothing’s free anymore, but you can find them all at

I’m trying something new.

Best-selling romance author Susan Mallery came through Texas last year and gave a program to Austin’s Romance Writers of America chapter about how she writes. Since I already had a writing habit that worked for me, I put off  looking at what she gave us  until I’d finished my last book Arroyo and was ready to begin the next, Talking to the Dead Guys, a  Boo-Done-It  mystery.

What has always worked for me in the past was a time limit: usually one hour a day. Susan Mallery’s program calls for a page limit each day, no matter how long it takes you. On January 1, 2012 I began her program and today I just finished writing a novel. If I keep to her program I should be able to write three more this year. Right now I’m loving it. Of course, next week some time I’ll re-read Talking to the Dead Guys, and if I find I’ve written crap I won’t be quite so happy about it, but I don’t think I’ve written crap.

What am I trying to tell you? Mix it up. Get out of your comfort zone and give someone else’s method a try. It will be real interesting to see if I follow through and actually write four publishable books in 2012. I’ll let you know. What happened with me was that I now spend a lot more time writing that I ever had since leaving the journalism field way, way back. From about one hour a day I’ve gone to three hours a day (but that’s when the writing goes slow; when it flows, it’s closer to two hours).

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK–Hunted (The Flash Gold Chronicles) by Lindsay Buroker. Here is Lindsay’s link


Thank you, everyone who took advantage of my free story give-away Saturday March 3.  This time it was my novelette THE TAKING OF RHINOCEROS 456.  Next time I think I’ll throw all three stories into the mix while I’m publishing the fourth, which is SAINTS & SINNERS.

So, keep your eyes peeled for another freebie on WHEN GYMKHANA SMILES, TRUEPENNY, AND THE TAKING OF RHINOCEROS 456. This upcoming Saturday, in fact, MARCH  10.

WHAT I’VE READ THIS WEEK–Dark Horse by J. Carson Black.