Posts filed under my novels

Happy Saturnalia

ay the ginger cat in the window

I’ve been catching up with life and working on other media projects this month, and family stuff necessarily trumps all at this time of year, even for secular celebrants.

The problem is that “The Girl In the Blue Flame Cafe” is still a WIP. That must be my priority after Christmas.

I don’t generally do New Year’s resolutions, but I’m thinking I might this year. Clearly it is far too easy for everything else to interfere with both my writing and my self publishing. Self Publisher’s set our own deadlines. The downside is that it is far too easy to change them when encountering unchangable deadlines for other things.

So I need to reinvest myself in my real work, so I think my New Year’s Resolution is that 2014 will be my Year of The Book.

Happy Holidays!

Adventures with Amazon Central

When you decide to self publish, it’s important to be as visible as possible. This is a big part of why I am all over the Internet, and why I’ve just set up my “Author Page” on Amazon Central. Unfortunately the Amazon page is a rigidly set up form that limits what and how authors can share our information.

Possibly the most ironic part of the experience was where the page offers the new user an opportunity to view a “sample” page. What displays is Frank McCourt’s Author Page, which demonstrates where the author photo will sit, as well as showing off Frank’s nice black & white title banner. In creating my own banner, I even made sure to use the exact dimensions of Frank’s banner.

My own black and white author banner, with my gravatar alongside my name written in white letters against a black field

The problem is that while my author photograph rests on the left just like Frank’s, alas, there is no way for me to upload my own black and white name banner to Amazon Central, nor any means of creating one on the site. It is possible such banners used to be allowed, but since that is not the case now, Frank’s page does not provide a true example of how an Amazon Central Author Page will look.

Another difficulty was having a limited space for the biography without knowing what the limit was, exactly. The limit is not screen real estate; it makes no difference whether your words are squished together in a single paragraph or spread out in airy paragraphs. The limit is probably by word or character count, but it required trial and error and tinkering to ensure mine ended where I wanted it to. You can exceed the limit but then are left with only an exerpt, not the best way to make an introduction.

The “Upcoming Events” segment had its issues as well. Naturally I intended to add my participation in NaNoWriMo 2013. While the form allows this, but automatically fills in the venue information with the physical address of the NaNo HQ. My participation will be taking place online, not in California. I can see this being a problem for me forever, since the address for the venue for many of my own events will be “online.” Altering the form to allow the inclusion of a URL as an address would be very helpful.

My last problem is that the section requires an Amazon published book title. While I can understand why Amazon would like to encourage this, NaNoWriMo isn’t an event for selling books that are already written, but to encourage the writing of new novels. Including the name of my debut novel was not really appropriate here, but is required by the form, so I was torn between not making use of the space or including information that isn’t quite right. I’m still trying to come up with a way to make it work.

Beyond these glitches, my page came out fine. 🙂

August is the perfect time to read Inconstant Moon… before the school year begins

Students are just finding their way through the fall semester at Christie University when a brutal on campus attack sends a chill through the Fyfield House residence.  [Caution:  Before giving copies to kids,  remember that this whodunit deals with mature subject matter.]

If you’re on #Goodreads, you can vote for “Inconstant Moon” as the August Mystery Read.  I’m planning on building an “Inconstant Moon” book trailer in August, while my Beta Readers get started reading “The Girl In The Blue Flame Cafe.”

Inconstant Moon Paperback Edition Cover Art

You can also follow me on GoodReads and Library Thing.  Read “Inconstant Moon” online in the serialization blog, or get an eBook from Kobo or Kindle.

Union Station, Toronto

The exciting opening of “The Girl In The Blue Flame Cafe” set in Toronto’s Union Station is not likely to change in editing. I’ve always loved Union Station, so I was quite tickled to stumble across this very cool look at the earlier incarnation of the 19th Century Cathedral of Transportation.

Union Railway Depot, Toronto, Canada ~ Strickland & Symons, Architects, Toronto ~ Vol VII Canadian Architect And Builder No 9

Architectural drawing for the Union Railway Depot, Toronto, Canada that was to be built in 1896
Strickland & Symons, Architects, Toronto
Vol VII. Canadian Architect And Builder No. 9. September, 1894

“The history of the current Union Station can be traced to 1858, when Toronto’s first Union Station was opened by the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), just west of the present Union Station. The wooden structure was shared with the Northern Railway and the Great Western Railway. This structure was replaced by a second Union Station on the same site, opening in 1873. As both the Northern Railway and Great Western Railway had been acquired by the GTR, this was not a true Union station. However, the Canadian Pacific Railway began using the facility in 1884 and it was completely rebuilt, opening in 1896.”

— Wikipedia: Union Station (Toronto)

The original “Canadian Architect and Builder” is part of the Fisher Rare Book Collection at The University of Toronto, has been digitized and shared online by

This work is free to share, as part of the public domain.