Monday, February 12, 2007

My day so far... (and penitential pralines)

So everyone's back at school now. Hooray!

Of course, I celebrated by going to my traditional coffee haunt, where I got my usual (the cheapest thing on the menu -- tall drip) and deposited myself in my favorite brown chair.

And read through the entire Wolf 1 manuscript, marking the areas I want to revise. (My word count today, if there is any, will be on the first manuscript; this week is dedicated to revisions. Unless I need a change of pace.)

Then I wandered next door to rearrange books to my advantage. As I was relocating a small stack of Murder on the Rocks books from a table in the back to the mystery bookshelf, I came across a woman reading the back of Dead and Berried. And of course, I said, delightedly, "That's my book!"

She was more than a little bit startled, and I think prepared to point out that there were six copies on the shelf, and that I was welcome to any one of them. I hurried to explain that the book didn't actually belong to me, it's just that I wrote it. As it turned out, her name was Amelia, and she was very nice. It all ended with me signing a copy of Murder on the Rocks for her. And buying three books to take home, including Jitterbug Perfume (which is what I went in for), Haunted Castles of England and Ireland, and a book called Dark Fire (I think) that takes place in England in the 1500s. Where exactly I'm going to put these books, I have no idea. I should not be allowed in bookstores; I'm a menace.

On a totally unrelated note, evidently it was Prison Awareness Sunday at the Austin American-Statesman; I read a fascinating article about a man who spent thirty years in jail (for a crime he didn't commit, incidentally) making pralines out of purloined butter and sugar packets. Evidently it requires burning thirty (thirty!) rolls of toilet paper, and you have to do it over a toilet so you can flush the evidence if a guard walks by and catches you with sticky fingers. So to speak. So if you have a yen for pralines, he sells them online. He no longer cooks over an open toilet, in case that was a concern for you, and now uses natural gas rather than flaming toilet paper as a fuel source.

And to think that with two convection ovens, a high-output gas stove, and a refrigerator bulging at the seams, I have difficulty getting dinner on the table!

I'll check back later with word count. I hope. How's everyone else today?


At 1:45 PM, February 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,

Too funny about the lady in the bookstore. I guess when we're browsing we don't expect to run into the author.

Yesterday when I finished cleaning/laundry/grocery shopping I finished reading a mystery that I've been reading for a couple of weeks. I was very disappointed when the killer was revealed. I had to re-read the scene 3 times before I figured out who the killer was - it was very confusing. It was so anti-climatic that I really felt cheated.

I sent my chapter where my sleuth confronts the killer to a friend of mine, she came back with some good suggestions & a few "you don't need this" & also a suggestion to increase the suspense. So, I'm going to let the chapter rest this week and re-visit it next weekend. She's right, it needs something more. Especially after reading that other book, I never want a reader of mine to feel cheated or regret wasting the time to read the book.

Gotta run,
Debra S.

At 7:28 PM, February 12, 2007, Blogger nealla said...

Hi, Karen!

I am a different lady you spoke with at some bookstore or another in Austin. I also ended up buying "Murder on the Rocks", and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading it. I love the recipes, too.

I have already preordered "Dead and Berried" and can hardly wait. What other books do you have? Did I read somewhere that you write short stories too?

So glad I ran into you. It's always nice to find a new author to read!

Best wishes,
Donna S

At 8:43 PM, February 12, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


Doesn't the reading world change when you start reading like a writer? Sure makes it harder to find books you enjoy.

Sounds like you've got the right kind of people critiquing your book -- and you're probably right to let it be for a while. There's a lot to be said for 'fresh eyes'.

I once read a book that was 600 pages long... and then, when I thought I was 50 pages from the end, it stopped abruptly in a cliffhanger ending that took me to another country.

The last 50 pages were appendices.

Cheated really isn't the word -- steaming mad is more like it. And I didn't bother buying the second book. (If they'd told me it was a two-part book at the outset, maybe I would have reacted differently. I don't know.)

Anyway, I did write a new scene for Wolf 1 today -- not sure of the word count, but I'm guessing around 700 -- and I now know exactly which sections I need to address, which means it's a finite task. My favorite kind. I'm hoping to get all the revisions done this week -- I don't want to lose the thread of book two! (Oh, and I have to check the final proofs of Beads of Doubt by Wednesday. Tra, la, la!)

Any plans for your next endeavor, Debra? (As an aside -- something to think about -- it's sometimes refreshing to work on a book that's totally different.)

Sounds like things are chugging along great -- I'm so excited for you!


At 8:50 PM, February 12, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


Thank you so much for your kind post! I'm so glad you enjoyed Murder... and I hope you like Dead and Berried just as much! (Try the strata recipe... it's one of my favorites.)

Thanks for stopping by the blog! I'll be at the Westlake Barnes and Noble March 3 and the Round Rock Barnes and Noble March 24... I'd love to see you again! (That reminds me, I need to get that web site updated this week, too.) A writer's work is never done... :)

As far as other books, I've got the two in the Gray Whale Inn series, and one with Barbara Burnett Smith (Beads of Doubt) that's coming out in June. I'll also have three books coming out from Ballantine starting spring of '08; they're about a reluctant werewolf, and they're lots of fun. And I've got about a jillion other ideas, and will be writing another few proposals as soon as I get the next Urban Werewolf book under my belt. Lots to look forward to, for me, anyway...

Oh -- almost forgot the short stories -- I write a serial for Bed and Breakfast America Magazine. It's a quarterly/biannual magazine (not sure which right now). I have a few copies; I'll try to remember to bring them to my signings!

Hope to see you soon, Donna -- and thanks so much for your sweet comment!

Take care,


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