Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shop for books in bookstores this Christmas

At the rate that bookstores are closing down, we need to support them before they disappear. I've got nothing whatsoever against purchasing books online, but there's nothing so satisfying, so rich and full of soft memories as flicking through the pages of a paper book. They even smell right. I don't get quite the same emotion when downloading an e-book. Sure, I buy lots of e-books, but I feel as if I've made an investment when I buy a hardback or paperback, an investment in knowledge and history.

I sit up in bed at night with one propped on my knees (yes, you can do that with an e-reader - I agree) and angle the bedside lamp to glow over the pages. And then I wriggle down to finger through the pages.

Instead of aftershave and boxes of biscuits, this Christmas buy your loved ones a real book. Quick, before they disappear.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Zealand

I said I would post some photos and articles about New Zealand on my blog and here is the first one. This photo is of Lake Matheson, a lake near Fox Glacier in Westland National Park. It is about halfway down the western side of New Zealand's South Island. (NZ is composed of the North and South Islands and the very small Stewart Island way down south).

Lake Matheson is in the middle of glacier country and it is well-known for reflecting Mts Cook and Tasman in its still, pristine waters. Mt Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain at 12,346 ft, although NZ measurements are metric so it's 3,763 metres high. And the problem with experienced skiiers and trampers coming to this area from far afield is that this area is treacherous. Do not underestimate this wild area. The weather changes from one breath to the next so you NEVER set out without the best equipment you can afford, or without notifying someone of where you're going and when you'll be back.

As always, beauty walks hand-in-hand with death.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Psychological Police Procedural

Okay. I promised last month (LAST MONTH - I'M ONLY BLOGGING ONCE A MONTH?) to say something about Trust in Time, the book I've just finished. It is winging its way through cyberspace as we speak to agents and publishers. Now maybe you're not interested, but I've spent nearly a year writing this 'romantic suspense' as it's called and then there were all the edits which took even longer, so listen up. I deserve an audience.

The book is set in New Zealand which is where I hie from - a great little country, very beautiful, but not much of a place for ambitious young people since there are no big corporations or manufacturers based there. But it's a great place for tourists to go and see a microcosm of terra firma all wrapped in one gorgeous little parcel. I'll try to post some pictures of New Zealand on my blog when I manage to work out how. Considering my track record, this may take a while.

ANYWAY (you can see I get sidetracked a lot) my heroine, Celie, gets thrown into the witness protection unit after she stumbles over the aftermath of a vicious crime. And Celie mistrusts everyone in the Unit. She doesn't do co-operation and trust and all that jolly stuff very well. She's a loner and she's got good reason to be.

But the hero, Brand, laps up that co-operation and chummy trust stuff really well. He's a police psychologist, and his strength is getting people to confide in him.

These two mismatched people are thrown together and have to get along, whether they like it or not.

There are a couple of gruesome murders in the book and the pressure goes on when Celie realises her dysfunctional family is involved.

And that's all I'm going to tell you right now. When some nice publisher sends me a contract (about the time Hell freezes over), I'll let you know. Then you can buy the book and find out how Celie and Brand outsmart a murderer who is right on their doorstep.

Now I purposely labelled this 'Psychological Police Procedural' because the main label my book is being touted under is 'Romantic Suspense.' What a vague description. It covers everything from Karen Rose to Dick Francis. But I guess there are so many labels out there at the moment that any more will sink the publishing boat.

And without a doubt, the mother of contemporary romantic suspense is Mary Stewart. Do you remember her books? Great stuff. Cerebral without being preachy. Softly romantic without sex getting in the way of a good story. My favourites are My Brother Michael and Airs Above the Ground. Now, if I could only write like that...