The page is pretty much dedicated to this writer’s incredible excitement over getting published in 2015. Begun as a journal of sorts, it is intended to track a journey from first book to last. HEUER LOST AND FOUND, released April 23, 2015, continues to grow and capture the the imaginations of those who find it. Encouraged, I released my sophomore effort SCOOTER NATION on March 11, 2016. A third effort, SHELL GAME, is not far behind. Where the muse comes from is a long and sometimes strange story, but I continue to embrace it as long as it is kind enough to touch me. I don’t know if writing ever has an end date, but if it does, this commentary can live on. Cheers, and happy reading!
January 31, 2015
Late yesterday, I received the proof copy of Heuer Lost and Found. I also learned that the COVER is being designed–not right now because it’s ridiculously early Saturday morning (can’t sleep), but you catch my drift. Wow! This publishing thing is really happening. Next up: release date. Any suggestions?
February 1, 2015
The proof copy is now in the hands of able bodied proofer bees willing to comb the beastie backwards, forwards, lee and port. Every time I go through it, I find something new. And every time I write something new, I’m more convinced than ever that I can no longer spel. With the occasional cat firmly ensconced upstairs in the writing lair, I’m consigned to the kitchen and a sink full of dishes needing attention. This is not as bad as it sounds: I do my best mulling over a sinkfull. (Is this even a word?) Waiting on the cover now, anticipating genius from the art wizards at Solstice.
February 10, 2015
Proofing, proofing, proofing. It’s a discipline. The temptation to skim and shoot it back to the publisher is HUGE, but I will not do this. I have one shot at making a good impression, and if I blow it with typos, it’s my own fault. So, with 40 identifiable goofs so far, I have another sixty pages to go. Guess it’s time for another pot of peppermint tea. Also, birthday is one month away, and must find a way back into my swanky work wear that was kinda tight the last time I tried it on. Must finish. Must fit.
February 12, 2015
Holy smokes. Imagine my surprise when the journalist I sometimes correspond with on matters of state such as the viability of strapping on Valentine’s Day (See my Unreview of Fifty Shades) expressed her surprise over my fledgling writing career.
“You write?” asked the esteemed PRINT journo.
And then I gave her the coordinates to the site.
She likes what she read and has asked that I keep her apprised. Oh, yah, and there’s that thing she said–hmmm–what was it? Oh–she wants to read my book.
That’s good, no?
Okay, okay. Here’s how I really feel. (see right)
Thank you, friend. I will send you Heuer as soon as the proof corrections are complete.
Oh, happy day.
February 14, 2015
Happy Valentines Day! It’s all about love, and in my case, the love of talking about my pet Heuer Lost and Found. Today, I was interviewed by author Charlene Jones for her radio program on 102.7 WhistleRadio Stouffville. Imagine my surprise when I actually started
to enjoy myself. Well, er, truth be told, being on radio fell into line with the adrenaline rush I get every time I do open mic. I didn’t know I had it in me. I don’t have an air date yet, but when I do, I’ll report it here, for sure.
February 18, 2015
Today, I have a cover. In the next few days, a trailer. Then comes the BIG DAY, Blog Tour, reviews, and then back to the grindstone. SCOOTER NATION calls. But for now, I’ll pause and just enjoy the feeling. Thanks abound for the great people at Solstice Publishing, from Editor-in-
Chief K.C. Sprayberry to C.E.O. Melissa Miller, Editor Judi Mobley, and Cover Artist Michelle Crocker. Special mention must go to fellow Solstice authors Bernard Foong, Diana Harrison, and Rachael Stapleton for assisting on the proofing side. Call on me anytime. I’m here!
I’d be remiss, if I didn’t mention my on the ground sistas in writing: Cryssa Bazos, Ann Dulhanty, Marissa Campbell, Susan Croft, Connie DiPietro-Sparacino, Sally Moore, Gwynn Scheltema, Rachael Stapleton, Ruth Walker and Yvonne Hess. This is a dream and I’m glad you’re here with me.
Now time for a coffee and a little laundry lite–my family has been very patient and so has the house and all the little spiders with their contributing cobwebs. There is much to do on the home front too.
Cheers, darlin’s and a big ragin’ WOO HOO.
February 28, 2015
Victories come in small batches, and I’m jiggy with that, because without the love and support of good friends and fellow journeyman authors, I’d feel very alone indeed. Two days ago, yours truly was the subject of a profile piece on international best selling author Bernard Foong’s blog “In The Harem.” Seeing it for the first time, I felt a little disembodied–like the woman with the big toothy grin wasn’t me at all. I got over the feeling soon enough, as I read through the post. One step further to spreading the word on HEUER LOST AND FOUND. Thanks so much, Bernard Foong. http://bernardfoong.typepad.com/in_the_harem/2015/02/author-a-b-funkhauser.html#
March 4, 2015
Intrepid author, interviewer and great friend Bernard Foong submitted for printing here on Das Blog, the very first Heuer Lost and Found Review…or Preview Review if you will. And it’s a beauty. May it be the first of many.
In the meantime, it was brought to my attention that scammers abound taking snap shots of excerpts from as yet unreleased works and reproducing them on their blogs in order to claim authorship in a copyright suit. In a lousy economy, I’m not surprised. The ever creative will find ways to make money no matter what. So no more sneak peeks, I guess. And that’s okay. I can focus on revisions and blogging in the interim.
March 30, 2015
Stopping for a breath! Since presales began on March 26, I’ve been wrangling the Goodreads site, opening a fresh account to highlight Heuer as well as the works of some of my favorite authors. Who knew that establishing an author profile could be so difficult? And yet it was: a lot of hyperlink clicky things concealed in fine print made it more of a treasure hunt than anything else. It took four friends, including fellow Solstice Author Silvia Villalobos and a fantastic customer service rep from Goodreads named Laura Borilla to get me set up. *Hooray!* It was worth it. Here I am: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25232328-heuer-lost-and-found?from_search=true
While I look to Heuer’s release date on April 23, I continue to write blogs in anticipation of the tour that begins Arpil 20 through Bewitching Book Tours. Thanks go out in advance to Roxanne Rhoades for all her help so far. The banner and buttons look fantastic!
I’m also continuing with the teaser ad campaign although I’m breaking for a bit to focus on reading, rating and reviewing authors who are kindly doing the same for me: Rocky Rochford, David K. Bryant and Vicki-Ann Bush are among them. Thanks guys!
April 14, 2015
Counting down to the blog tour and release date, April 20 and 23 respectively. What a month that preceded this; blogs to write, interview questions to answer AND there’s that nagging feeling I get with the thaw and first break of sun. SCOOTER NATION, my sophomore entry in the “Unapologetic Lives Series” calls. June and July is for editing, I’ve decided.
May 13, 2015
So much going on and it’s only going to get busier. I’m not complaining. Since the launch April 23rd, I’ve produced another book trailer; this one designed to showcase the ‘real’ Heuer. The video entitled “Pensive Heuer” was taped in a local Pickering, Ontario hotspot called “Port Restaurant” which I vigorously recommend to anyone visiting this part of Ontario. Port is gorgeous, featuring panoramic window views of Lake Ontario and Frenchmen’s Bay Marina. Located at the bottom of Liverpool Road on Wharf Street, it delivers perfectly the type of ambience character Jurgen Heuer would be drawn to. Classic, opaquely lit, with plenty of stone and tile–and enough single malt scotch to sate an aficiando–it’s pure Heuer. portrestaurant.ca/
For the video, I wanted a contradictory tone. Like the character, it teases with elegance mashed to a country western music overlay (by the ever brilliant Kevin MacLeod incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/)
As much as Jurgen Heuer puts his best foot forward, he will always be an outsider, play acting by establishment rules, but confined to the periphery as dictated by a complex personality unwilling to accept that he has arrived.
With the new video out, I prepped for the world’s smallest book launch, right in my own home with–who else?–my beloved Brooklin 7: Ann Dulhanty, Connie DiPietro Sparacino, Marissa Campbell, Yvonne Hess and (this one time only) observer spouse John Avgeris. Not present that evening were G.L. Morgan and Rachael Stapleton, both committed to projects literary and professional that took them far from Durham County Borders. It was an incredible night with plenty of hors d’oeuvres and vino blanco and rosso.
There followed vigorous promotional days beginning with the Blog Tour and Giveaway that continues through May 18. Put on by Roxanne Rhoads and her juggernaut that is Bewitching Book Tours I couldn’t be more pleased. New friends like Shyla Wolff http://shylawolff.blogspot.com/ Wenona Napolitano http://creativelygreen.blogspot.com Teresa Noel http://teresanoel.blogspot.com/ Alecia Stone http://cbybookclub.blogspot.co.uk Lynda Dickson http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com and of course, Roxanne Rhoads http://roxannerhoads.com have been indispensible in getting the message out: Heuer Lost And Found is on the ground and running. And of course, no promotion is complete without out my bestie and good friend, Rachael Stapleton http://rachaelstapleton.blogspot.ca/ who has hosted me not once, but TWICE in recent weeks. Thanks, luv. Thanks, ALL.
Concurrent with this, were two amazing Writers Community of Durham Region (WCDR) events that I can’t say enough about. So why not let the pictures speak?
Up next? Well, my spider senses tell me that it’s time to court local media, so I’ll be dedicating time to building a press kit and then cold querying. Should be a trip. Stay tuned…
The learning curve remains steep and I’m liking it. First off, there’s the marketing element which I seem to be growing more comfortable with. The tweets, blogs, spotlights and limited appearances at local cultural events seems to have delivered an amazing gift:
For this ranking, I am truly grateful. In response the question from a few writer friends: How did you do it? The answer is “I don’t know, but I think promotion is in there somewhere.”
So promote I will.
In the coming days, I look forward to comments from a local journalist who generously offered to review HEUER. If all goes well, it will be featured in a gorgeous magazine available in glossy print and digital formats. Fingers crossed this comes to pass. If it does, then Heuer’s reached another milestone.
Last month, I asked readers to send me selfies for inclusion in a virtual scrapbook I’m creating right here. The response has been amazing and it will take many hours to paste everyone in, but I will do it because the readers make the book happen.
Thank you, one and all.
June 21 (or thereabouts) marks the beginning of Summer and with that comes my summer retreat into book 2. SCOOTER NATION, already in second draft, needs another 15,000 words and I can’t wait to get started.
For the blog, I hope to run some SUMMER RERUN gems featured elsewhere during the spring blog tour. The Genesis of Heuer, Why I Write, Why It’s Important to Watch the Grass Grow are touched upon, as well as some wise words from Heuer character Charles Emerson Forsythe. Watch for these in the coming weeks.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy summer. Will write soon. Cheers.
And then the next book dropped! What a year!!!!
The book is out and with it came cover reveals, book trailers and my fave, the Q & A’s. So far, I have taped my first ever cable show with the amazing Jules Carlysle. TELLING STORIES on Rogers TV highlights authors from Durham Region right here in Ontario in a relaxed and informal setting. The show aired September 26 on Rogers Durham Cable 10 and 63 and I’m happy to report that I came out of it okay! Thanks Jules for editing out the part where I stared wide-eyed at the camera. lol.
I also had some back to back excitement with my first ever author to audience speaking engagement before the Sister’s In Crime, Toronto Chapter, back in April. For ninety minutes I shared stories about life and death inside the funeral industry from the POV of yours truly, funeral director at large. The audience regaled me with thought provoking questions and for those I was truly appreciative. Such a wonderful group, the members welcomed me and I have become a member too!
On the heels of SinC, I was interviewed by Steve Cronin for a feature piece on my life and work in AMERICAN FUNERAL DIRECTOR magazine. Under the banner STORYTELLERS OF FUNERAL SERVICE, I, along with two other colleagues, shared experiences as both director and writer and of how we reconcile both. The piece, which appeared in the June 2016 issue will be reproduced here at a later date.
I am thrilled to announce that SCOOTER NATION won the Summer Indie Book Award 2016 “Best Humor” Category. This is the first year for this award and I was delighted to be a part of something that recognizes writers from all genres.
Nominations opened January 1st this year and closed two weeks prior to voting, which began on September 1st and wrapped on the 11th. Voters select books in each category and were permitted to continue voting for their choices each day until the polls closed.
Heartfelt thanks to everybody for your support and belief in SCOOTER.
SCOOTER NATION has also been honored as Medalist Winner “Humor” 2016 New Apple E-Book Award through New Apple Literary. Selection was made by a jury panel. For the next year, SCOOTER will be on the receiving end of New Apple’s promotional expertise. Thanks so much to Becca and the team!
Following what has been a very exciting summer, I was honored to take part in my first Word on the Street Book and Magazine Festival at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre September 25th. As part of the Sisters in Crime Toronto Chapter booth, I had ample opportunity to talk about “things macabre” as well as offer up for purchase copies of HEUER LOST AND FOUND and SCOOTER NATION. SinC also had available, both volumes of their critically acclaimed THE WHOLE SHE-BANG anthology.
As work continues on SHELL GAME, the third volume in The Unapologetic Lives Series, I will also be preparing for a new book tour and giveaway through Roxanne Rhoads’ amazing Bewitching Book Tours. Beginning October 17th, I will be travelling around the digital world with interviews, articles, photos and plenty of SCOOTER talk. See you there!
SCOOTER NATION, of course, would not have a life outside of my own backyard without the help of author friends here in North America and across the oceans in England, Australia, India, South Africa and more. Five months after its release, it continues to get its day with cool questions and spotlight features. Thank you one and all for your support and encouragement.