Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I'm sorry that I've been quiet lately. In addition to coping with a really miserable heat wave (we've had temps in the high 90's, with matching humidity- we're talking middle of July heart attack weather, not the first warm days of summer ), I've been finishing up work on the Kindle formatting of Funeral Food.

Non-writers probably don't realize that writers have to read their books at least a dozen times before publication. By the time a book hits the stands, nothing seems fresh, or funny, or readable. Long before actual publication, I never want to see the book again (well, unless I am gazing proudly at it on bookstore shelves, or on bestseller lists)(HAH!). Except for carefully selected excerpts that I would trot out at appearances, I have managed not to re-read any of my mysteries.

Until now.

The first version of Funeral Food was published as The Missionary Position in 1993, in a limited trade paperback edition. The revision came out as a mass market paperback in 1998. Since then, I had not so much as peeked at the pages, until the Kindle file for the book arrived. But a new version demands a new reading, even though I am the world's worst proofreader. And this book had to be read, not only to check for errors, but to make sure that the Kindle formatting was correct. (Speaking of Kindle- hearing my book read out loud by the computer voice was worth the price of admission all by itself.)

I expected to cringe at every word. And you know what? I did cringe a little bit (my first editor was right- I needed an adverbectomy), but I also chuckled once in a while. I had forgotten major plot points and whole characters, so though it was not exactly like reading a new book, it wasn't exactly like reading my own book either. I still wish I could revise the whole thing (and take out a passel of adverbs), but on the whole, it's.... okay. (Side note- the book went into 4 printings- check Amazon for reviews from people who didn't write it. Most of them liked it).

So today I have to write the book description (which is, in some ways, harder than writing the book itself- how do you condense a year of work into two paragraphs that will entice someone to part with hard-earned cash?), and then the files will go to my agent, who will get this thing moving. I think that the book will be available in all e-book formats, not just Kindle.

In the meantime, the Sex and Salmonella files will be ready for proofing very soon, and Curt is nearly done with the cover (I don't know what he's going to put in the middle of the frame, but I know it'll be cool). S&S only had one paperback printing so it's the rarest of the titles, and it's pretty hard to find. I'm glad it'll be available again.

And when I'm not working on old books, I've been moving ahead slowly with the revision of the new book. And working on Cassy's Wedding Shawl (the wedding is barely a month from now... Yikes!)... and okay, I confess... I've been reading a little bit (I'm on the 3rd book of the Game of Thrones series... wowsers... it pulls you in and doesn't let go).

Anyway, I'll try to post more often.

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