Tag Archives: Mystery Novels
The aftermath of getting Beyond Faith published has been nothing close to easy, especially in the book promo department. Don’t get me wrong. I love doing book promo and I realize it all takes time and some of it will get put temporarily in Pending. But …
Well, let’s say that all did not go well for me…and apparently some other authors had the same problem – at the CWC Arthur Ellis Awards. Even CWC itself ran into a few snags – but Elizabeth Duncan who organized it with the Indigo Bookstore venue, fixed them very well. For example, the main guest who was to announce the authors shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis awards was ill and couldn’t make it. Elizabeth had some of the mini-presenters – one per category – go up to the podium, open the envelope(s) and read out the shortlisters. It was such a great choice and maybe could be done in future years.
The venue was good, a little oasis set up for the event surrounded by shelves and shelves of books. What more could an author want? Well, maybe spring weather outside.
Everybody’s presentation went very well and was interesting – much more interesting than eight authors reading excerpts from their books, one right after the other. We had to talk about our books in whatever way we wished. I chose not to do a Dana Bowman skit, but the nosy Private Investigator had apparently jumped out of Beyond Faith a a busy subway transfer station enroute to the bookstore and was lost in the rush-hour crowd. But Dana is not stupid and I knew she would show up. After thanking CWC for arranging the event, I went into my presentation – holding up a photo of Dana Bowman and asking “Have you seen this woman? She is….” After the escaping-the-book business I segued into a bit about what the book is about from the viewpoint of what Dana and her twin PI investigating brother Bast Overture have to contend with. As I neared the finish, I thought I saw Dana darting between the bookshelves, said so, thanked the audience, grabbed Beyond Faith and Dana’s photo, chasing towards the books. A few seconds later when I showed up at the back of the audience, Elizabeth from the front asked, “Did you find her?”
“Yes,” I answered. “She’s back in the book.”
So, what was wrong with this picture? Both Beyond Blood and Beyond Faith, hadn’t arrived at the bookstore and it’s all the distributor’s – Ingram Sparks – fault. First because of all the nonsense with BF not able o be ordered in the Indigo chain stores, yet available for online orders – which had to be fixed twice and also as the bookstore manager told me “sometimes it takes six weeks for books to arrive from Ingram.” But the manager had contacted me beforehand about BF’s not arriving yet and we arranged I would bring in three copies for show and sell that evening, and any left could also be left in the store afterwards to go through usual ln-store selling procedure. When the shipment from the distributor arrived, I could come in to get three copies back from that.
But what happened to Beyond Blood? There were no issues with ordering it in – at least as far as availability was concerned. It has to be Ingram’s tardiness, although another store in the chain had already ordered in copies of Beyond Blood for another event with me and those copies arrived in two weeks time.
And I found out some other authors had the same problem – their books didn’t arrive on time either. No idea if their publisher uses the same distributor.
I know this has happened before to authors, but it is frustrating to an author, especially as I didn’t know about Beyond Blood.
Still, it was a great event.
And there is another CWC one Monday, April 23 in the Richmond Green Library in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Five of us crime novelists are on a “crime” panel there. Here are the highlights.
If you’re are in the Greater Toronto Area, why not drop in? It’s free and an interesting time is guaranteed.
And our books will be there – we five are bringing copies from our own stashes.
Sharon A. Crawford
I have a sequence of events where I am appearing with two of my Beyond mystery series in the next few weeks. One on my own and others with other criminal (I mean “crime”) writers. Fortunately, the snafu with Indigo and its chain of bookstores having problems ordering in Beyond Faith for the actual stores, seems to have been fixed by the distributor, Ingram Sparks. Let’s hope it stays fixed. The store managers and I were perplexed and frustrated by the problem.
Here is the first event.
We will not be reading from our books. Instead we will be doing mini-presentations about our latest books. In my case, will my nosey main character PI Dana Bowman show up? I am trying to contain her between the book covers of Beyond Faith. But who knows what that wily PI will come up with?
And what are the other authors going to do?
Maureen Jennings (Murdock Mysteries) will be announcing the short list for each category for this year’s Arthur Ellis Awards. We (and others present) will be listening with the proverbial bated breaths.
So, if you are in the area in the GTA or actually in Toronto, please drop by for an interesting evening. And it’s all free.
Meantime, you can click on the Beyond Faith book cover at the top for more info about it.
Sharon A. Crawford
It’s here – Beyond Faith, the third book in the Beyond mystery series. Well, the cover is. Take a look.
And here is what true crime author Nate Hendley has to say about the book.
Beyond Faith offers secrets, lies and death with a connection to the Catholic Church, set in small-town and big-city Ontario. It’s a great story with a great pair of unlikely protagonists (a brother-sister pair of twin investigators), twists, surprises and Sharon Crawford’s distinctive tone and shining dialogue. Recommended for any detective-story fans yearning for Ontario-based tales.
– Nate Hendley, true-crime author (Steven Truscott: Decades of Injustice and The Big Con)
And here’s what I, Dana Bowman, have to say about it
I am thrilled. It perfectly illustrates my book. It…Oh, oh, I hear Sharon A. Crawford coming. She thinks she wrote Beyond Faith, but I have a thing or two to tell her about that.
Voice of Sharon: Dana, what are you up to now?
Dana, shrugging her shoulders: Just publicizing Beyond Faith – that cover is very intriguing. And very apt for the book’s contents.
Voice of Sharon: Which I wrote.
Voice of Sharon: All right, Ms. Dana Bowman private investigator. That’s enough. Get your you-know-what back in the agency office. Detective Sergeant Fielding wants a word with you.
Dana: Oh, all right. Coming.
Dana, looking up: Sharon is creating a Beyond Faith page on her website and it is rumoured to be going live soon. Meantime, check out hers and my upcoming appearances on that website under Books or under the Gigs and Blogs page here. See you next week.
Dana heads into the agency office.
Voice of Sharon: That Dana. Sometimes I wonder why I ever created her. But like she said…see you next week.
Sharon A. Crawford
the real author of the Beyond mystery books.
As some of you know I do comedy skits featuring Dana Bowman, the main character in my Beyond mystery books. After the most recent skit, which I did with literary fiction author Shane Joseph at my East End Writers’ Group “Creativity from the Stacks” presentation the end of June, I’ve banished Dana to between the covers of Beyond Blood…until the next book in the series, Beyond Faith, comes out in October.
But that isn’t sitting too well with Dana and she’s been straining the book covers. So, I’m letting her out, but in my weekly blog posts only, and only until Labour Day. Dana swears she has a story to tell and it has to be told.
Very well, I’m turning the blog post over to Dana.
Dana: Finally. Oh, yeah. Thanks Sharon. Yes, well let’s get right to it. First, I have to go bring in the weekly local newspaper. Well, it is 1999 and print was still the main way to read a newspaper, although there were some articles posted online.
Dana goes to the front door, opens it, steps out onto the veranda, and stoops to pick up the paper. A large photo of a young woman stares back at her. The headline says Local teacher’s brother suspect in b and e ring.
Dana: What the? .She starts reading the story as she heads for the kitchen and a cup of coffee.
Bast: Anything interesting in the paper?
Dana: Yeah. David’s teacher has suspected criminal ties.
Bast: What? Here give me that paper.
Dana hands it over and Bast starts reading the story.
Bast: The brother of a Thurston grade school teacher is being held by police on break and enter charges. Wayne Dugan, who lives with his sister, Carla Dugan in Thurston, was picked up last night by Cooks Regional Police as he left Morgan’s Hardware on Main. He was carrying a bag of screwdrivers which he had just bought.
Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding who is heading the investigation, claims they received an anonymous tip that Dugan was involved in the current break and enters in Thurston. These break and enters are widespread across different areas of Thurston.Unlike the spurt of vandalism and break and enters that plagued Thurston in August of last year, it is believed that the current burglaries involve more than one person.
In August 1998, Thurston’s burglaries took an ugly turn with dead raccoons being found at the homes of some residences broken into. The situation escalated into the murder of Debbie Sanger during The Attic Investigative Agency’s opening reception. Co-owner of the agency, Dana Bowman’s son, David, was kidnapped that same evening..
Dana: Oh for Christ’s sake. Can’t they leave last year alone. David is having enough trouble recuperating from all that. Here, give me that paper.
Bast hands it back to her.
Dana: It says here that Carla Dugan is proclaiming her brother’s innocence and that the screwdrivers were needed to fix some loose hinges in the front door. Really? I mean the innocent part.
Bast: Innocent until proven guilty.
Dana: Oh, for Christ’ sake Bast, get real.
Bast: I’m just saying.
Dana: Well he is David’s teacher’s brother and they live together. What if the rest of the gang were at their place? What if she is part of the gang? What if…?
Bast, mimicking Dana’s voice: Oh for Christ’s sake…
Dana: It’s not funny. It’s too close to David, especially after last year.
Bast: I know, sis. Maybe you should have a chat with your er, boyfriend.
Dana: Fielding is not my boyfriend.
Bast: Well, your admirer. I’m sure you could get him to talk. I’m sure…
A loud knock sounded at the front door.
Dana: Who can that be? David just left for school an hour ago. And it’s not the agency door.
The two rush to the front door. Bast pulls it open.
On the doorstep stands David. Beside him is the woman in the newspaper photo – Carla Dugan.
David: Mommy, mommy, the police are after Ms. Dugan. You have to help her.
Want more? You’ll have to come back next Thursday..
Sharon A. Crawford
I like to say I write “M and M.” And I don’t mean the candy – although I am a chocoholic. What I write is mystery and memoir. And because I’m one day late with this week’s posting (too many deadlines, don’t ask), I want to take a look at the second M – memoir writing. Or in my case this month teaching memoir writing – four weekly sessions at the Toronto Reference Library.
Before I go off on a memoir tangent, I want to mention that many authors, besides me, who started out writing and in some cases, publishing memoir books, also turned to fiction. For example, Catherine Gildner of the Too Close to the Falls memoir “series” – three books so far, also wrote the mystery Seduction. Ross Pennie,whose first published book was a memoir of his time as a young doctor in now writes the Dr. Zol Szabo medical mystery series. If you go to to the Crime Writers of Canada website and check the members biographies, you might find a few more who write M and M. And their quarterly e-publication Cool Canadian Crime (it’s free and available to all, not just CWC members) keeps mystery readers (and writers) up to date on members new books.
So back to that Memoir Writing Course and the connection here I am going to make. I also write another weekly blog on Tuesdays – which focuses on growing up an only child and the consequences over the years since. That gives me leeway for many topics, including writing memoir and teaching memoir. On this other blog, called Only Child Writes (what else would I call it?) for the Tuesdays this month I have been posting a snippet post and a link to it to read the rest. It is all writing and some of it can apply to fiction writing as memoir, although the truth according to the author, is written in fiction style.
Only Child on Research for your Memoir
“Have you found Grandpa’s farm?” my cousin Leona asked me when I called her just after arriving in Walkerton, Ontario.”
This is all part of my research for my family history on my mother’s side.
Read on. Can you see possibilities in what happened for some short fiction?
Sharon A. Crawford
Author of the Beyond mystery series. More info about Beyond Blood here.