So my wife and I are in Lisbon on March 8th having dinner at a window seat. Across the street there’s a crowd gathering with police, security, and TV cameras. It turns out to be a book store and we figured it might be a celebrity author such as Yann Martel, Life of Pi guy, Canadian author of The High Mountains of Portugal. We moseyed over there, curious about the cops outside the doors. Turns out it is a book launch by Portuguese author Henrique Raposo for Alentejo Promised. A store clerk said the book is about a journey through his memories, and the family, a journey that begins in the summer of 2015 with the return to the village of grandparents, on the coast, the purpose of marriage to a cousin. Apparently, 2,200 people signed a petition not to publish it as it makes their state look poor and uneducated. The area has a high crime rate and many rapes and assaults and is treated very casually by its denizens. The author had death threats so there was five security guards in the store and four cops outside. It was interesting.
Whenever someone bought any of my books I told them I’d appreciate a review on Amazon. Not that many did. Amazon reviews are important for new writers as the company circulates an author’s book more as reviews come in, good or bad. So I was doing okay with reviews getting posted. Amazon discovered there zillions of phony reviews on their site and came up with a new Amazon review policy. I even posted my Goodreads reviews on Amazon even though I bought the book at Chapters or got it from the library. Now, Amazon will only post reviews if you bought the book from them. That is bad news for me. So if you’ve posted a review on my books I’d appreciated you reposting it on Goodreads. Or better, buy another book through Amazon.
The Arthur Ellis Crime Awards are for Canadian crime authors and have a few categories for entries. I spoke with a small Calgary publisher over a year ago who said she’d take all my juvenile stories, but I think she got busy and forgot all about me as she has her own series that she does crazy marketing on, so I’m submitting mine around. Kids and adults are saying Voodoo Bully is a very good juvenile story, so I figured on putting it up against others. It has plenty of crime in it, from killing cats to extortion of public officials to pollution. I looked at the entries so far and I think I have a good chance. Arthur Ellis, if you’ve got any decency, pick my story.
Archie’s Gold is going into the Alberta Writers Guild awards, pretty quick. The story was accepted by Tundra Books years ago but cut after two years. I entered The Far Bank in that Guild contest years ago and one judge said it had poor placement of 42 commas. Another said my characters shouldn’t be mocking the town drunk (the boys threw him a donut). The third judge LOVED IT! So that’s what I’m dealing with. The Guild is heavy on literary writing.
WriterPalooza is ready to roll on Nov.10th at the Beaumont library 6-10 pm. I will continue with my book launch for FINAL RESPONSE there. I have 10 or so books left. I’ll also be selling and signing my young reader novels. Every fall, Alberta Culture Days promotes artist stuff and I was in the one in Beaumont with Diane Tolley. We were overwhelmed by the visual artists there and I think she sold one book of her many. We were also promoting the anthology MOB HIT ON MY GRANDMOTHER’S DOG where we have short stories. Maybe three people came to our table. So I suggested to Andrea who is the library events coordinator that authors should have their own night and she came up with WriterPalooza. I’ve rounded up 8 local authors to appear as well. I couldn’t attract a few others who have books such as K.C. or Christine or Heather. So, we’ll see if Beaumont is interested in authors.
I’m presently working on OLD FLAMES final tweak for Bookkus . It doesn’t really need much but….I can’t stop fooling with it. Like Paul McCartney said about his old tunes that he’d go back and add a bit of horns here, less bass there, a choir maybe here….
Reading chapter two to 95 Grade 5 kids @ Landsdown School in Edmonton. They previously read chapter one. In spite of no dragons or magic wands, they liked it!
I would appreciate if any of you have read FINAL RESPONSE to post a review on Amazon.com. FINAL RESPONSE reviews are needed to help promote by book. You only have to post 25 words. I only have 9 so far on Amazon and 16 on Goodreads. The ratio of books sold to reviews is quite low.
I’ll be doing a school reading for young readers in Oct. of one of my young reader novels. Beth McCormick, a teacher at Landsdowne school in Edmonton was impressed with my work and asked me to come out during READ IN week. For Grade 5 and 6 kids. I gave her a copy of Voodoo Bully. Hope it doesn’t scare her off. She’s going to order one of my six and then study it for a few weeks. I enter the class and feel intimidated by all the subtle things I didn’t purposely write, you know, hidden meanings and such. For the school readings I’d choose Voodoo Bully or The Far Bank
My first firefighter novel in paperback FINAL RESPONSE is getting great reviews on Amazon and I am featured in the Edmonton Journal books section. FINAL RESPONSE gets some press, too, in the form of a pic of the book cover.