Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Your next visit with Meg

I'm thrilled to let you know that another visit with Meg is in the offing. Dundurn will be publishing A Cold White Fear late 2015 or early 2016. I've had a lot of fun writing this 7th book in the Meg Harris mystery series and am now deep into the revisions. I always enjoy this part of the writing process. I get to know the story and my characters so much better. In fact I usually hate to part with them, when I finally have to say good-bye to the manuscript and send it into my publisher.

This time I am trying something different. I have put Meg in a threatening situation. I wanted to push Meg, get her outside her comfort zone and see what she would do to get out of it alive. I've also brought back her young friend, Adjidamo, or Jid as most of us know him, Sergei's buddy, the boy with the impish grin.

Here's the teaser....

It is five days before Christmas and night is approaching. A major blizzard has cut off access to Meg’s isolated wilderness home, Three Deer Point. She is alone with her young friend, Adjidamo, preparing for the big event, when a knock suddenly echoes through the house... 

And so it begins. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The fun of a book tour

I had a fabulous time on my western Canada book tour. When Words Collide was a world wind of panels and author discussions and I particularly liked the multi-genre aspect of the Calgary conference. Usually the conferences I attend are devoted solely to crime fiction, so it was a nice change to meet science fiction and romance writers. If you are looking for another writers/writing conference to attend, you couldn't go wrong with When Words Collide, usually held in August.

And of course I couldn't go to Calgary without a trip into the mountains. I spent a delightful day hiking along the shore of Lake Louise and paddling on Emerald Lake with my niece, who was working in Field B.C. for the summer. Her brother who happened to be out West at the same time joined us for dinner the night before, so we had a bit of a family reunion. It was great fun. It was also a trip down memory lane. When I was in high school I spent a summer working at Lake Louise. I won't say how long ago it was, but let's just say the hotel Chateau Lake Louise has changed a bit in the intervening years, but they still grow the Icelandic poppies in the gardens.

Vancouver was spectacular. I returned to the hotel I stayed in for my research trip for Silver Totem of Shame. And followed Meg's footsteps along False Creek, walked past the houseboats on Granville Island where she and Eric could've stayed and saw the carving studio that served as the model for the murder scene.

But the best part was meeting readers and fans at three Vancouver Public Library branches and the store signings at Black Bond Books/Book Warehouse. Living in such a large country, I don't expect to find fans in places that are several thousands of kilometres from where I live, so I was thrilled to discover people who not only knew my name but had read all my books and were dying to meet me. I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Heading West in August

I am very excited about my western book tour to Alberta and British Columbia. First I'll be in Calgary doing a store signing and attending When Words Collide. I've heard lots of good things about this multi-genre conference, so am looking forward to having a fabulous time.

And then onto B.C. Although I would've loved to have gone to Victoria and Haida Gwaii, it turned out not possible, so I will be spending close to a week in Vancouver doing a number of library and store events.  It would be fabulous to see you, so please drop by and say hello.


Thursday Aug. 7 - Chapters McLeod Trail, I'll be signing Silver Totem of Shame and my backlist from 6:00 pm to 9:00.

Aug. 8-10 - When Words Collide - I'm involved in a number of events including a book social on the Friday, Aug. 8 at 5:00 pm, when I will be sharing Meg's adventures with Alberta fans.


Tuesday, Aug. 12, 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the West Point Grey Library. I'll be reading from Silver Totem of Shame and discussing the Meg Harris mystery series

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the Kitsilano Library - I have a family connection to Kitsilano, so am quite excited to be introducing Meg to the patrons of this library.

Thursday, Aug. 14, 12:00 pm to 3:00 - I'll be signing at Black Bond Books, 632 W. Broadway Ave.

Saturday, Aug. 16, 2:00 pm to 3:30 at the Dunbar Library for another reading from Silver Totem of Shame and a discussion on the Meg Harris mystery series

Saturday, Aug. 16, 7:00 pm to 9:00 at the Book Warehouse on Main Street, 4118 Main St.  I'll be reading and discussing my books. I am thrilled to have two Vancouver authors join me, E.R. Brown and Sam Wiebe. This promises to be a fun evening of murder and mayhem.

The photo was taken during my research trip to Vancouver for Silver Totem of Shame. I am very much looking forward to returning to this fair city that has so many ties to me and my family.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Next stop in the Writing Process Blog Tour

I’ve been invited by children’s author, Rie Charles to participate in a unique blog tour on writing. Rie, and I practiced yoga together for a number of years before either of us got involved in the writing world. And now Rie is set to have her third children's book, A Hole in My Heart, published by Dundurn in the fall. Visit her website http://riecharles.com to learn about her writing process and to learn more about her and her books. You can also visit other authors on this tour by following the different links in each of the blogs. Enjoy.

And so to continue the tour, I will answer the four questions

What are you working on?

I’m trying something different with the next and 7th Meg Harris mystery.  I’m putting Meg in a precarious, thriller situation.

After her adventures in B.C. in Silver Totem of Shame, she is back home in Quebec at Three Deer Point, the Victorian cottage she inherited from her Great Aunt Agatha. It’s less than a week before Christmas, Eric is away in Regina on Grand Council of First Nations business and a major blizzard has trapped her inside her house. So much snow has fallen that the roads are almost impassable, her own driveway clogged with two feet of the white stuff. Jid, the boy she rescued in Red Ice for a Shroud, is helping her get ready for Christmas. She is balancing unsteadily on a ladder trying to hang some mistletoe when a loud knock echoes through the house from the front door. On her way to answer it, the power goes off and she’s plunged into darkness….

Well….since I am about half way through in its writing, I am waiting to find out what happens to Meg too.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I write distinctly Canadian mysteries with distinctly Canadian stories. Because I love the Great Canadian Outdoors I want to bring this alive to my readers, so I have chosen wilderness settings, which tend to be less common in the mystery genre. While Meg lives on a remote property in the wilds of Quebec, she does travel to other wildernesses, as she did in my recent book Silver Totem of Shame, in which she travelled to Haida Gwaii in search of a killer of a young Haida carver.  Meg lives next door to an Algonquin First Nations Reserve, so I interweave their stories into the mystery series. I find writing mysteries is a terrific way to explore social issues. So in each of my books I explore issues related to Natives, issues, like missing native women, police prejudice against Natives, controversary between the archeologists and Natives over ancient human remains and so on.

Why do you write what you do?

I grew up on a diet of Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and host of other mainly British mystery writers. I’ve been gorging on mystery books ever since. When I finally made the big decision to try my hand at fiction writing, it seemed only natural that I write a mystery.  Since the mysteries I enjoyed the most involved series characters, I decided to write a series. Thus Meg Harris was born. I named her Meg, short for Margaret, after my grandmother and Harris after the street I grew up on in Toronto. Like me, she too comes from Toronto, but apart from our mutual love of the Great Canadian outdoors that is about the only thing we have in common.

How does your writing process work?

I suppose the writing process I use can best be described as ‘writing by the seat of my pants’. I have tried outlining, but invariably found Meg sending the story in a totally different direction, so I don’t bother with an outline any more. I start with a setting, a time of year, an overarching theme, a general idea of what the story will be about and the opening scene. Since it is a series, I already know what Meg thinks and feels as well as the secondary characters. I generally pick up on Meg’s life where it left off in the previous book.

Once I have the story down in the first draft, I go through two-three revisions before sending the manuscript to my publisher. Part of the revision process includes having two to three critiquers help me see the ‘forest for the trees’. I find this a very invaluable step and invariably make key changes as a result of their observations.

I should not forget where I write. I find my writing muse at my cottage, where I can look out on the natural world that Meg also enjoys watching. The photo is of my favourite summertime writing spot inside the screened-in porch of my Quebec log cabin.

Thanks for this opportunity for me to talk a bit about my writing process. And if you would like to know more don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Now let me introduce the next two authors on this tour, long time friend and former colleague at DMR Group, Maureen Fisher and fellow Ottawa crime writer, Mike Martin.

Maureen Fisher will be posting her writing process on June 2 on her blog http://booksbymaureen.com/my-blog/ 

Maureen is a terrific writer with a very wry sense of humour. She writes sassy romance novels containing a slice of adventure and enough steamy love scenes to drive those who to dare read them racing for a cold shower. She enjoys taking readers into another world, a world full of romance, humor, and suspense.

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of "Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People" and has written a number of short stories that have been published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. The Body on the T was the second book, and Beneath the Surface is the third installment in this series. He's having a big launch at Chapters Rideau in Ottawa on May 29 in the evening. 

Like Maureen he will be posting his writing process blog on June 2 at www.beneaththesurface.co.

Be sure to put June 2nd in your schedule so you won't miss the next blogs in the Writing Process Blog Tour.

I hope you are enjoying this blog tour. Don’t forget to check out Rie Charles writing process blog and work back in time to the other blogs. You will discover new writers from many fields and revisit familiar faces.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Store signings, conferences and more

With Silver Totem of Shame now out on bookshelves, I am set to start store signings. Thus far I have Ottawa stores booked and one in Peterborough. Here's the schedule. Drop by. I would be thrilled to see you.


Chapters Kanata - May 23, 6:00 pm to 9:00
Barrhaven Indigo - May 24, 1:00 pm to 4:00
Chapters Rideau - May 25, 1:00 pm to 4:00
Chapters Pinecrest - May 29, 6:00 pm to 9:00
Chapters South Keys - May 31, 12:00 pm to 4:00
Chapters Gloucester - June 1, 1:00 pm to 4:00
Brittons on Bank St - June 21, 12:00 pm to 2:00


Chapters - June 8, 1:00 pm to 4:00

May 10, all day, I'm participating in Capital Mayhem at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. At 11:00, I'm on a panel with those other killer dames, Mary Jane Maffini, Barbara Fradkin and Linda Wiken. This is a going to be a grand celebration of Ottawa crime writing.

May 13 is the big launch of Silver Totem of Shame. I'm joined by Vicki Delany who is launching two of her recent books. It's at the Heart and Crown Pub in the Byward Market and starts at 7:00 pm. We're going to have a great bash.

I will also be attending Bloody Words in Toronto, June 6-7. If you love mysteries, consider registering for this terrific Canadian mystery conference. Just click on this to go to the site.
Sadly this is the last year for this con, so it's your last chance to mingle with Canada's crime writers who will be coming from all across the country.

And I must not forget that I will be heading out to Calgary in August to attend When Worlds Collide, August 8 -10. Since I will be out west I am also planning on going to Vancouver and Victoria for some events and hopefully Haida Gwaii. Once these are finalized I will post them.

Take care. And enjoy Silver Totem of Shame

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Silver Totem of Shame Launch!

May 13 is going to be party time in Ottawa. I'm launching the latest Meg Harris mystery, Silver Totem of Shame, and you're invited. I'll be joined by Vicki Delany, who is launching not one but two books, the latest Constable Molly Smith, Under Cold Stone and a Rapid Reads, Juba Good. So if you live in Ottawa, come join us. We'd love to see you.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Contest!! Free Book!!

I'm so sick of looking at this never ending snow piling up outside my log cabin. To top it off, it's snowing right now, when it was supposed to be a bright sunny spring day. So I'm going to hold a contest. The first person to guess the date when all this white stuff is finally gone wins a free signed copy of my upcoming book, Silver Totem of Shame. The person with the date closest to the actual date wins! What could be easier than that. Just leave your answer in the comments section.

Monday, February 3, 2014


I was thrilled to do this interview for Mystery Maven Canada, the go-to site for what's happening in the Canadian mystery scene. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Upcoming events

With Silver Totem of Shame coming out in June, my dance card is starting to fill up.

On Jan. 31, I will be at the Ontario Library Associations Superconference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto. At 11:00 am I will be participating in Meet the Crime Writers of Canada on stage in the exhibit hall and at 1:00 pm I will be signing books at the Dundurn booth.

Two weeks later, I will be attending the Montreal Book Fair on Feb. 18 in Montreal at the Delta Inn and a week later, the Ottawa Book Fair on Feb. 23 at the Delta Inn in Ottawa.

In March I go to Florida. Yahoo. With 3 feet of snow on the ground and -20Cs temperatures, I will be very ready for some Florida sun and fun by then. I am a guest author at the 2014 Lake County Bookfest. On Thurs. March 13, I will be at the Leesburg Public Library in Leesburg talking about the Meg Harris series from 1:00 pm to 1:45. On Fri. March 14, I will be at the W.T. Bland Public Library in Mount Dora participating in the "Across the Border" panel along with fellow Canadian writers, Vicki Delany and C.B. Forrest. It starts at 1:00 pm. Then next day, Sat. March 15, the three of us will be speaking on another panel, this one on Creating Memorable Characters at the Cooper Memorial Library in Clermont. This panel is from 10:00 am to 12:00.

In April, I will be greeting readers and selling my books at the Canadian Authors Association's First Annual Book Fest on Apr. 12, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm in the Clark Hall of the RA centre on Riverside Drive.

In May, I will be joining other Ottawa crime writers for a fun day of murderous intrigue at Capital Crime Writers Mystery Writers Conference on Sat. May 10 at the Ottawa Public Library. Once I have more details I will post the program for the day.

When Silver Totem of Shame is released in early June, I intend to do store signings at several stores in Ottawa. I'll post the dates and times once everything is finalized.

In the mean time happy reading.