Monday, March 31, 2014

It’s April
Having said that, I don’t have anything else to add.

Not really. But the end of the month kind of crept up on me, and I never even thought about a blog until today, March 31. However, I do have a few things worth mentioning (I hope).

The first is that I finished writing a book in March. Titled DARK SPIRITS, it’s book #8 for Daisy Gumm Majesty, Sam Rotondo, and Daisy’s family and dog, Spike. The Ku Klux Klan features large in this book. Let me tell you, it’s not all that easy to write a basically funny book about the Klan, because the Klan is so not funny. Also, I was shocked and surprised to learn that the Klan actually gained a foothold in my beloved City of Pasadena, California, in the early 1920s. Well, 1923 was the precise year I wanted. So I got in touch with Rosalie Jaquez, librarian at the (equally beloved by me) Pasadena Public Library, and she sent me a whole bundle of information about the Klan and the geography of Pasadena in 1923, which isn’t as easy to find as one might think (the geography, I mean). But Rosalie was a champ, and she helped me heaps.

So did Mimi Riser, friend and fellow author, who suggested I get the book AN UNDERGROUND EDUCATION, by Richard Zacks. I tell you, if you ever want to know the hidden history of anything, check out this book. I not only learned that the Klan had an uptick in membership in the early 1920s primarily because a sheet-maker in Atlanta wanted to make money, but also that the price of Klan membership in early twenties was $10.00. The price of a Klan sheet (with the pointy head covering) was $6.50.

Mimi’s participation in my book-writing process is nothing new. In fact, if it weren’t for Mimi Riser, I’d have quit writing anything at all several years ago. She’s the inspiration behind my newest published Daisy book (SPIRITS REVIVED). Well, she and the image I got in my brain of Daisy holding up a bad guy with a pair of chopsticks, but that wasn’t as important to the writing of my past several books as Mimi’s been. In fact, there would be no PECOS VALLEY books at all if it weren’t for Mimi. Too long a story to detail here, but trust me on this.

Then there are my beta readers, who include former RWA Librarian of the Year Lynne Welch; Michigan schoolteacher Sue Krekeler; and a new cyber friend who lived for years in Pasadena and Altadena, Andie Paysinger. Without them . . . well, there wouldn’t be a book without input from Lynne. There might have been a book without Andie and Sue, but it wouldn’t have been a very good one.

Who said writing is a lonely profession? I swear. And I’ve never even met Mimi, Rosalie, Lynne, Sue, or Andie, except via the Internet. Of course, if I didn’t live in the outer reaches of the universe (Roswell, New Mexico) maybe I’d get out more, but it’s hard to get anywhere from here. You can trust me on this, too.

Um . . . what else? Oh, yeah. I signed up to attend the mystery conference Bouchercon in November. It’s being held in Long Beach, CA, so I’ll get to visit friends and relations after it’s over.

I’ll be giving away copies of PECOS VALLEY RAINBOW in April. If you’d like to enter my contest, send me an email with your name and address to alice@aliceduncan.net. At the end of the month, Bam-Bam, my latest winner-picking wiener dog, will select two or three wieners. I mean winners.

21 comments:

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Alice,

Sounds like you have great friends to give input for your writing. Congrats on your creativity!

Alice Duncan said...

Boy, that's the truth, Jacquie! I don't know what I'd do without them.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Alice, I love your blog and you and can't wait for another Daisy book. I admire her spunk and initiative and love the scrapes you devise for her. I love all of your books, but Daisy's are my favorite. Keep writing. Write faster. ☺

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Caroline! Daisy's my favorite, too (well, of the people who have shown up in my head, I mean).

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Caroline! Daisy's my favorite, too (well, of the people who have shown up in my head, I mean).

Alice Duncan said...

I don't know why that posted twice. Magic, I guess.

Sheila Deeth said...

I never thought about sheet-makers liking the clan. Fascinating. And is it really April? The end of the month certainly crept up on me too.

Alice Duncan said...

Me, neither, Sheila. Mimi Riser is the one who told me about it, and then I read the true skinny in AN UNDERGROUND EDUCATION. Fascinating book! All sorts of cool facts :-)

Boy, what a weird expressing "getting the skinny" is. But never mind. Maybe I'll use odd expressions in another blog.

Suekrek said...

Believe me, Alice, it is my pleasure and honor to be your beta reader. How lucky am I to see Daisy and Mercy's adventures before anyone else?! Just reading your blog is fun. I ALWAYS laugh at what you write. Guess I should be thankful to Mimi, too!
Sue

Alice Duncan said...

Thanks, Sue! Since I live in Roswell, NM, which is the precise Middle of Nowhere, there's not a critique group within 200 miles, so I REALLY rely on my beta readers!

Carole Price said...

Alice, as long as you have great friends, you'll never be alone. My friends mean everything to me.

Alice Duncan said...

So true, Carole! I don't know what I'd do without my friends!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Duncan.....

I must tell you how much I enjoy your Mercy Allcutt books. I have just downloaded the latest one to my Nook. I hope you come out with more.

Janice in Northern Minnesota....the proud owner of two long haired miniature Doxies, one three legged Brittany Spaniel, and four rescued cats.

Alice Duncan said...

Thank you very much, Janice! You made my entire weekend! And good for you and the wieners and rescued cats :-)

Alice Duncan said...

By the way, the next Mercy book (THANKSGIVING ANGELS) will be out in 2015, but I don't know the month yet.

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)

Alice Duncan said...

Thank you, Skyline Spirit!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the response to my email. A year is a long time to wait, but well worth it. I will put it on my "Bucket List", along with a reminder on my calendar for 2015. I also will put it on my "Wish List" at Barnes and Nobel. One way or another, someone will remind me.

Thank you again!

Janice in Northern Minnesota, near the Canadian Border...where today it was sunny and 60. Just glorious! Unfortunately, we still have a ton of snow on the ground.

Alice Duncan said...

You know, it just amazes me that you guys still have snow. Of course, I grew up in Pasadena, California, where we don't get snow as a rule. But EASTER? When my kids were little, we'd hide Easter eggs outside and hope the dogs wouldn't get to them first :-)

As for the book, don't worry, I'll write a blog about it!

Thanks again for liking Mercy. You made me so happy.

Anonymous said...

We had a very cruel winter...terribly cold and tons of snow. We always feed the birds, but this year we also fed the deer and the squirrels. There is finally some grass showing through here and there, so the deer should be okay now. I love winter, but even I have had enough. Grin

Janice in Northern Minnesota

Alice Duncan said...

I can't imagine a hard winter like that. My joints ache just thinking about it. My first four years were spent in Maine, and I know we had some rough weather, but I don't remember it. It's probably for the best :-)