My journey with Peri and her friends

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Posts Tagged ‘book’

Say ‘hello’ to Mark

Posted by Gayle on August 30, 2008

Meet Mark Tieslau. He actually looks a lot younger in person. And I look a lot thinner.

Why is Mark here? He’s the bartender at the Firewoods Restaurant in the Gray Eagle Lodge (, a place in the Plumas National Forest where my family and 5-6 other groups of our friends gather yearly for a week of fun in the outdoors.

When I was writing Freezer Burn, I was looking for a high end drink that Peri, my heroine, would drink when she could afford it (when she’s broke, it’s cheap light beer). Mark suggested a Grey Goose dirty martini, and of course, fixed one for me to try. I love green, stuffed olives, and Mark makes some of the best drinks EVAH, so it worked for me.

There was an additional benefit to giving this to Peri for her signature drink; before she was a P.I., Peri had a housecleaning business. Now I can tell people that she likes clean houses and dirty martinis. How cool is that?


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Kat’s in the house!

Posted by Gayle on August 27, 2008

On Monday, I got an email from someone called “Senior Editor”. Turns out it was Kat Thompson, senior editor at Echelon. My book is out of the queue and into her hands, yay! She assured me that she’s not going to try to change my story, just insist that it’s clean.

I’ve never worked with a book editor before, but I’m looking forward to the experience.

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After the contract, the rest is gravy, right?

Posted by Gayle on August 8, 2008

I admit I was disappointed in the contract money, although not at all in the contract terms. I wasn’t expecting to get rich, but… okay, I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I knew Echelon was a small, independent publisher, so I knew that the $$ would be more like $.

I thoroughly believe in this book; it would be false modesty to say, aw, shucks, I’m an okay writer. I’m a good writer, and Freezer Burn is a fun read. It’s not a literary masterpiece, but that wasn’t my goal.

So I could have passed on Echelon and gotten an agent and shopped my book around. I’m certain it would have been picked up by a bigger operation, offering me more money. But…

1. With an agent, some of my “more money” would go to their outstretched hand.

2. I had met Karen (the publisher) and I liked her directness and her energy. Everyone I spoke to about Echelon sung her praises.

I debated this for at least a week, maybe two. I had friends saying that I should take the deal. I had friends saying I could do better. Then, my friend, Pam, gave me the best advice of all: “Screw everybody else. Follow your heart.”

My heart wanted to go with Echelon. I took the deal.

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Why, of course it’s complete

Posted by Gayle on July 14, 2008

In September (2007) I went to the Southern California Writer’s Conference in LA-Irvine with my 45 pages of murder and intrigue. I had submitted the first 20 pages to Jean Jenkins for an advance read. In addition to listening to all of the experts and taking large quantities of notes, I attended many read & critiques, reading the first five pages to the groups and listening to their feedback. They were mostly positive; the one group that didn’t care for my work was a late night session with Matt Pallamary. Part of the problem was that I read it poorly. Part of the problem was that I was too tired to hear what they were actually saying, so it turned out to be a waste of time.
But Jean Jenkins wasn’t. She’s a professional editor and loved my story.
“Have you finished this book?” she asked. “There wasn’t a lot wrong with it, and if it’s done, you need to be shopping this around to the agents and publishers.”
“It’s halfway finished,” I lied.
When the conference was over, I began a whirlwind of writing. After a few distractions, I finished the book before Christmas. Then I did what they had told me to do at the conference – I set it aside for six weeks.

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Writing the book

Posted by Gayle on July 10, 2008

Once I had the 5 W’s, I could just write the book, right? Wrong.
First, I was in the middle of finishing my second edit of my first book. Oh, yes, I had written a book previously. It’s a well-written piece of complete drivel, in which I made every mistake imagineable while remaining grammatically correct, and even sometimes lyrically brilliant. I plan to use it for parts – someday.
By August, I had freed myself from the 1st novel and could start on Freezer Burn, whose working title was “Hands of Time.” I changed the name as soon as it dawned on me that “Hands of Time” sounded like a soap opera.
The first thing I had to do was figure out how my trusty heroine would find the clues to lead her to the solution. Being uber-organized, I put together an MSExcel file laying out the plot, listing problems I needed to address, things I needed to learn about, and defining characters. After all that, I started to write.
I went to the Southern California Writer’s Conference in LA-Irvine in September, with 45 pages of a mystery.

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