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 At the end of the month, Bam-Bam, my latest winner-picking wiener dog, will select two or three wieners. I mean winners.