So What is NANOWRIMO?

Well, I’ll tell you. NANOWRIMO is National Novel Writing Month, which is November of each year. It’s a national challenge for people who write to draft a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. The first time I participated was about 5 years ago, and the effort resulted in my first published mystery novel, Painting Lessons: a Bella Sarver Mystery (available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions). I had a great time, and the experience reminded me just how much I love to write. Although I didn’t participate in subsequent years, I did keep on writing, and produced 3 additional books in the Bella Sarver Mystery series: Brush With Death, Paint a Murder, and Death on the Danube (all of which are also available on Amazon).

My good friend Elaine convinced me to give NANOWRIMO another try, so I rejoined the local group this year and have very much enjoyed the preparatory workshops, speakers, and exercises that I’ve attended. I even presented one myself, on How to Write a Mystery Novel. But now November is here, and it’s time to try to meet the challenge again.

So–the working title is Time Warp: a Love Story. It’s an outgrowth of a short story I wrote that will soon be published in an anthology. (More about that in another post.) Like Death on the Danube, the story takes place on a river cruise, this time on the Rhine. I’m not exactly sure what genre it’s going to be, but so far it’s a sort of a combination of paranormal/romance/mystery. (Is that an entirely new genre?) I’ve spent the past 10 days coming up with an outline, doing some research, doing time-line maps and –oh, yes. Writing. Will I make the 50K? Watch this space to find out. About 12000 words so far!

Two Events This Week

Friday, Nov. 1st, 7 to 9:30 – Villa Park Library, 305 S. Ardmore, Villa Park

Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 1 to 4:30 pm. 95th Street Library, 95th & Cedar Glade, Naperville.

I’m really looking forward to participating in the two Local Author Events this week. It will be a wonderful opportunity for me to meet some of my fellow authors and for all of us to meet current and future readers. I’ll be signing copies of my newest novel, Death on the Danube, for purchasers ($12 each), as well as copies of the previous three novels in my Bella Sarver Mystery Series: Painting Lessons, Brush With Death, and Paint a Murder ($10 each). It’s going to be fun, so spread the word!

Oops!

Sorry for the confusion. The artist reception at NUHS is this coming Sunday, Oct. 27th, from 3 to 5 pm. National University for Health Sciences is located at Roosevelt and Highland, in Lombard.

Studios 630 Reception 10/17

Join us on Sunday, October 27 for the Studios 630 Fine Art Show Artist Reception, 3 – 5 p.m. at National University of Health Sciences, Roosevelt at Highland, Lombard (Clinic Building B). Refreshments will be served. Come meet the artists and enjoy the exhibit of fine art in the gallery.

Local Author Day Nov. 2nd

What a terrific opportunity for authors and readers to connect with each other! Come check it out!

I’ll be signing copies of my latest book – Death on the Danube: a Bella Sarver Mystery, at $12 (a 20% discount.)

Now Showing–Caffe di Moda

I’m excited to announce that some of my Fruitful Relationship paintings are currently on exhibit at the Caffe di Moda, 1012 Burlington, Lisle (right across from the Lisle Train station, Main & Burlington). The cafe is beautiful, the food is delicious and as an extra bonus, you get to see some gorgeous original paintings by some of the members of Studio 630. Be sure to stop by soon.

Girlfriends, oil, 12 x 24, $190.00

Pre-Order Death on the Danube

Death on the Danube: a Bella Sarver Mystery
Now available for Kindle pre-order at only $2.99 at Amazon.com

I’m very excited to announce that Death on the Danube is finished. The Kindle version will be released October 5th, and can be pre-ordered now, to be delivered on the release date. I’ll also have a paperback version out soon.

This book has been very challenging to write, demanding quite a bit of research. It’s also been the most fun, so far. I’m beginning to feel like Bella Sarver and Art Halperin are old friends. I wonder what they’ll get up to next?

Working to a Deadline

I promised to have my next mystery novel, Death on the Danube, ready by the end of September, and I’m happy to say I’ll be able to keep that promise. I finished the final revision a few days ago. It’s getting a last going-over by my favorite editor, Chuck, and then it will be up and running, and available for pre-orders.

So why the rush? I’ll be participating in a local author book-signing event in Naperville, at the 95th Street Library, on November 2nd. I want to have Death on the Danube on hand then, along with my 3 previous books featuring artist/detective Bella Sarver: Painting Lessons, Brush With Death, and Paint a Murder.

I titled the first exhibition of my paintings “A Colorful Journey,” and I see my writing as a continuation of that journey, a journey of exploration and discovery. I wrote the first book as a challenge, just to see if I could do it. I found that I could, and now I go to my laptop with anticipation, eager to find out what my characters are up to each day. It’s a lot of fun, as well as a lot of hard work. And sharing it with my readers is all part of the adventure.

On Creativity

Falling Water, acrylic, 30 x 30

I just finished reading “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She writes as if she’s sitting across the table with the reader, cup of coffee in hand, leaning forward, and you’re having this great discussion, except she supplies both sides of the discussion. In this case, the discussion is about what qualities we need to cultivate in order to live our most creative lives. It’s all very upbeat and encouraging, whether you think of yourself as a creative person or not. As someone who has to admit to some level of creative impulse in her life, I found it very enlightening.

Speaking of creativity, for a while now, I’ve been exploring abstract shapes, colors, textures and designs in my paintings. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m certainly not done with that aspect of my ‘colorful journey’, but I was inspired recently to return to a genre I painted earlier – landscapes. In ‘Falling Water,’ I used my recently acquired ‘abstract’ skills to try to capture the almost explosive power of water as it thunders and roars its way down a mountain. I hope this painting manages to capture some of the electric energy I felt looking at scenes like this up in Alaska recently.

Death on the Danube

I spent the last couple of weeks working on the technicalities of my latest mystery novel, the least favorite part of my job. There’s a reason why traditional publishers get paid the big bucks! Book design isn’t a lot of fun, but there’s plenty of help out there, so hopefully, the finished product will look fantastic as well as being a good read. I’m publishing the paperback and Kindle versions simultaneously, and there will be a special offer for Kindle pre-orders, so be on the look-out for that. In the meantime, what do you think of my cover?

From the back cover:
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It was meant to be an idyllic cruise on the Danube, filled with castles and romance.  But first the omelet maker disappeared, and then a body was found in the refrigerator, and Bella Sarver and her new husband, Art Halperin, were suddenly up to their necks in murder – again.  Past history and drama play havoc with the present in this newest adventure of artist-turned-amateur sleuth Bella Sarver.
The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” William Faulkner said it first, but Bella realizes the same sentiment while visiting the Belvedere Museum in Vienna and viewing examples of “degenerate art,” so-defined by Adolph Hitler back in the 1930’s.  In fact, reminders of the Nazi era are everywhere in Eastern Europe, and Bella finds that the events of that time are still exerting their influence today.  But some of the passengers cruising the Rhine-Main-Danube Rivers on the M/S River Muse will never need to worry about these things, or anything else, anymore.