January, February, March, 2015: I really did knuckle down after Christmas to finish the first draft of The Loyalist Legacy. And I did! On March 24, at about 10:15 a.m., I got to write the last sentence and I felt fantastic but mostly relieved. Now I’m venturing out on more speaking engagements and even a tv interview. I’ve done a podcast, too, which I’ll be putting on the site soon. I’ve signed up to attend what looks like a fabulous June conference in Toronto for two days. Looking forward to hearing Jean Little speak again on the Friday night. Years ago, upon finishing reading her Listen for the Singing, I sat in my screened-in porch with tears running down my face and wished I could write like Jean.Then writing novels was just a dream; today I’m living that dream. Check out my events page for where I’ll be speaking in the upcoming months.
December, 2015: After a very busy fall with not much writing done but a lot of bookish events enjoyed, I’m glad to have time now to just work on The Loyalist Legacy. I’m excited to have just under 400 names of readers and lovers of books, mine in particular, on my quarterly update list. These wonderful people get an email every 3 months or so with special news that no one else gets. I might send extra scenes from one of my books, or a chance to win a contest, or special events news, or any other of dozens of exciting events that I’m doing. Only those who sign up for this list get these! And I’m working on a new and better website with more capabilities, one of which is to enable my readers to sign up on a link right from the site. As a Christmas treat I’m giving $5 off for those who live close enough to me to buy two books from me here at my Woodstock home. Click here if you want to set this up. Legacy is back on track and coming along well. Its launch is next fall, 2016, so I must keep creating. Looking forward to doing more than one launch so let me know if you have an idea in your area. Meanwhile have a wonderful holiday!
Summer, 2015 into Fall: The good news first–I’ve got The Loyalist Legacy half finished and I’m pleased with it so far. Of course it will need a lot of revision once the whole draft is complete but I look forward to that stage when I strengthen and hone the manuscript. Our Authors and History Cruise was last week and now I can concentrate on writing again. The cruise was fabulous and we had a good time with the participants. Of course those historic places were thrilling to walk, ride and gaze around. The bad news is that I contracted shingles in early August and have really struggled with energy. This morning I’m writing for the first time in three weeks. So much for my planned schedule! Check out my Events tab to see where I’m speaking next. Maybe you could join us!
March and April, 2015: On April 1, I holed up in my hotel room in Ottawa and wrote the first few pages of The Loyalist Legacy. It felt so rewarding to be actually working on the first draft even though researching is so interesting. I started with Catherine and her young son, William, and that’s all I can tell at the moment. Great speaking venues in March and April keep me working and staying excited about finishing this third book in the trilogy. Already ideas are slipping into my mind about what will come after. I continue to need reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and am most thankful for the notes and letters I get from happy readers. Check out Raving Readers’ Comments. I’m into the writing of the story now so will concentrate on that and hope to have a rough draft by the fall when the Author and History Cruise takes us away on Princess Cruise Lines.
January and February, 2015: These two months I’ve set aside for intense research for the third novel in the Loyalist trilogy, The Loyalist Legacy, and I’m almost ready to start roughing out the story! February 26 is the last date for special pricing for the Author and History Cruise I’m featured on. I’m busy doing meet and greet events in connection with that, listed on my Facebook author page, and am guest speaker at the fabulous Historical Society in Woodstock. As if all that isn’t exciting enough the first two books have been very favorably reviewed by the Historical Novel society here.
December, 2014: This month I’ve announced a special pricing for people living near me if they buy two of my books. These can be separate titles or two of the same title. Go back to the home page for the details. And this weekend I’ll be combining work with pleasure as I sign books at the marvelous Fort Erie Museum’s weekend event. I’ll also be reading in the early afternoon on Saturday and wandering through the shops at Ridgeway, where the event is being held. I can hardly wait to combine Christmas celebrations with history and books. It’s the perfect cocktail. I’m working on book trailers for both the books in the Loyalist trilogy so look for those in 2015, hopefully sooner rather than later. May each of you enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season!
October and November, 2014: Whew! I’ve hardly noticed the days going by on the calendar with all that’s happening! Late September saw us on a trip to Alaska (cruise) and Victoria where I finalized things with my printer and cover designer extraordinaire. This was a bit stressful with the book launch on October 19th but Craig and Iryna at Island Blue came through with a superb product. They are beyond excellent. Speaking engagements and book signings are ramping up as individuals and groups want The Loyalist’s Luck itself and the stories behind it. I’m creating a new presentation featuring the War of 1812 and amazing events tied up with it. My to-do list just keeps going but it’s all fun and people are so appreciative. Both books will be with me in London on October 26th as I do a launch and signing at Coles in Masonville. More events are listed on my Events Page. I’m sending out a special email to my wonderful list subscribers about the new book. Just a quick notice saying it’s here! As if I don’t have enough to do, I’m doing a jewelry show and sale on Nov. 15 here in Woodstock. Of course I’ll have books here, too. Oops, I almost forgot: I’m a finalist in the Inspire Awards connected to the Toronto International Book Fair, winners announced Nov. 16th at the Toronto International Book Fair. Being short-listed for this has really got me excited.
August and September, 2014: My plans were somewhat diverted this summer with two major things slowing me down just a tad. I lost one of my sisters in July but, ironically, kept on revising as a way of keeping my mind occupied. That wound will take a long time to heal. I’ve dedicated The Loyalist’s Luck to Linda. The second thing that slowed me down just a little was the amazing summer camps my husband set up in July. They needed lots of work and driving from one site to another; I helped with the driving all over southern Ontario to different sites. Great fun. And all the while I revised when I could, thought about revisions much of the time, and finally on September first at 7:30 in the evening I put finished on the manuscript for The Loyalist’s Luck. Whew! And now I’m into map production, interior design, and getting the word out this fall. Ir’s a busy but wonderful time, punctuated by readers asking “When is the next book going to be ready?”
June and July, 2014: My speaking has let up for the summer, a welcome thing as I am spending a lot of time going through revisions as the publication date approaches. Wonderful beta readers are showing me lots of things I’ve missed. I love to get their comments to help make this book as good as it can be. I’m hoping to have the revisions done by the end of July. Crossing fingers!
April and May, 2014: Book sales continue to be quite good at speaking engagements and I’m thrilled with the reception my presentations receive. Book clubs and historical groups are wonderful places to speak as I get to read my work and discuss its birth with people who are book and history lovers. After doing a major first revision on The Loyalist’s Luck, I’m almost ready to get this draft out to beta readers. And the cover is ready and it’s awesome. Thanks again to my amazing cover designer, Iryna Spica.
March, 2014: March finds me back in Ontario which is experiencing one of its worst winters ever. Snow is piled everywhere, roofs rarely are any colour but white, and my winter scarves and mitts are permanent fixtures. My speaking engagements are heating up again, as are book club visits. Two writing workshops are scheduled and my alma mater gave me some great publicity in the alumni magazine. And that was a surprise! The writing continues.
January and February, 2014: I spent four weeks in South Carolina really focusing on The Loyalist’s Luck, the second book in the Loyalist Trilogy. Such a gift that was, to have so few time requirements that I could write with abandon, research in peace, and walk the beach with my husband. The book really is taking shape.
December, 2013: One of my speaking engagements led to an article in The Tillsonburg News. Both the evening itself and the article reawakened pleasant memories of teaching high school in that pleasant and progressive southwestern Ontario town. Here is the article link.
November and December, 2013: The video interview I did on Rogers TV was posted on the web for all to view and I blogged about it and put up a link here. Book sales continue to rise as I do speaking, reading, workshop presentations. I even was recognized by a complete stranger in the drug store; she had seen me on TV! That was another first for me. I am learning all sorts of techie things to make my presentations easier to give and more effective for those in the audience. The latest is how to use my iPad connected to a video projector for my screen presentation. Up till now I’ve used my computer but my iPad is much easier to carry. I also did a creative arts show for two days, sold lots of books, and learned that carrying boxes of books is not easy. Another author there had hers in a pull suitcase. Eureka! That’s for me next time. Work on The Loyalist’s Luck, book two in the series, progresses but not as quickly as I’d like. So much to do you’d think I’d be frustrated but no, I’m energized!
October, 2013: The Loyalist’s Wife announced in Western University: Arts and Humanities newsletter.
September and October, 2013: These two months I have lots of speaking engagements booked where people want to hear about the journey to publication, the book itself, and all sorts of other questions which are fun to answer. Book clubs are most interesting as they have already read The Loyalist’s Wife and have really probing questions to ask me. And, of course, these are often lovers of historical fiction. I bought myself a present for doing presentations–a light pointer thing which allows me to move the slides along without bending over my computer and also allows me to indicate things on the slides themselves. Oh, I love techie stuff!
The official book launch for The Loyalist’s Wife was held on October 6 in a lovely meeting room at Quality Hotel here in Woodstock. What a dream for a first-time author! Friends and family looked after the details so I got to chat with visitors and sign books. This is some kind of heaven after all the years working to get here. October will end with me speaking to a group of history lovers. I hope they don’t tax me too much with their questions! I do, however, think this will be a great way to spend Halloween night–after my 5-year-old grandson’s visit in his costume. Lucky he is still in the 5 o’clock group of kids or I wouldn’t be able to fit it all in.
July and August, 2013: My life as the author of The Loyalist’s Wife is full of book signings, guest speaker requests, and blog hops. So many clever and resourceful readers and writers have clamored for my book and for my attention that I am just having a wonderful time. September has a book signing at a Chapters book store, a guest speaker gig at a Probus club and a historical society, and the promise of several more engagements in the works. From summers which used to be lazy and languid, I have transitioned to something new and exciting happening every day. My desk was so full of snippets of paper that I had to start a list in Word of all the things I’m balancing and organizing.
June, 2013:The Loyalist’s Wife is out! Kindle was first, Kobo next, and CreateSpace for the printed version on Amazon is so close to being ready I’m like a hungry horse held an inch from the trough. I received my first printed books and they are flying out the door as fast as I can see people. This part of the process is really fun for me as everyone wants a signed copy. Finally, after six years, I get to hold my book in my hand and feel proud. Formal launch plans are underway, book store signings and library visits are being set up; in fact, a whole host of activities have come to the fore now that I have the actual book in hand and on the Internet.
May, 2013: A minor blip in my personal health slowed me down this month but we’re back on track now. Sell sheets and bookmarks have been designed by my wonderful designer and the proof copy of The Loyalist’s Wife is corrected and making its way to the presses. We are on track for the e-book versions, Kindle and Kobo, to start and are working toward the June release date for both print and e-book versions to be available. Who knew there were so many little bits and pieces to squeeze together. I feel like I’m doing a giant mosaic!
April, 2013:The Loyalist’s Wife is moving ahead. Final cover is completed and I love it, the inside pages are being set up and I’ve begun the edits associated with that. The Loyalist’s Luck is back on track with the synopsis done and actual writing of the rough draft continuing at the breakneck pace of three pages a day. The third book in the series is tentatively entitled The Loyalist Legacy but that is not written in stone although I think it’s pretty accurate as to how the book will shape up.
January, February, March, 2013: I’ve been so focused on moving my writing ahead, I forgot to update this page. Took the leap to publish with Peache House Press, cover for The Loyalist’s Wife is almost done as are the extra pages before and after the actual novel. Publication date is May 15 for paper version and June 15 for electronic formats. The Loyalist’s Luck, book two in the series, is taking up my writing time these days with 25 pages done and work-shopped with Barbara Kyle and a very good start on a 20-page synopsis from which I will write the rest of the book. It’s hard going because I’ve never written this way before but it is definitely helping me get the story in my head. I’ve also got research started for book three, unnamed as yet, and the story arc floating around my brain, as well. An extra project that is stewing until I can find the time to do it is an anecdotal family-history-picture-book-lineage sort of album and I’m collecting material for that.