Wednesday, July 25, 2007

State of the Onion Link

Hey, I think I figured it out!

State of the Onion

Hope this works... let me know.


Love Is Murder

Just a quick mention here... please don't forget Love Is Murder, coming to Chicago the first weekend in February, 2008. This one is shaping up to be wonderful, with Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen, Kent Krueger, Melinda Wells, Barry Eisler, and Caroline Haines headlining. And that doesn't take into account all the other fabulous authors we'll have there.

I'll update as we get closer and information becomes available. Here's a hint: register early!

In other news, I'm busy writing book 2 of the White House Chef series. The first one debuts in January and Amazon has just posted the book's cover on its site. I'd love to put an Amazon link here, but I can't quite figure out how to do it in a way that doesn't take up three lines with symbols and numbers. Anyway, the book cover is up on Amazon now, and if you think it looks interesting, please feel free to pre-order!

Thanks :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I never heard of synesthesia till just a couple days ago, but I've always had it. I always just thought I was a little bit weird, but it turns out there's a name for the condition I have. The word "condition" suggests sickness and negativity, doesn't it? But synesthesia has never been anything but positive to me.

What is it? Well, in my case, certain days of the week, months of the year, and letters of the alphabet are associated with certain colors. I've been like this for as long as I can remember. For instance - Monday is red. So is January. So is the letter "J."
Tuesday is blue. So is the letter "C" and the month of March. Weird, huh?

I've discovered that this color association is one of the most common forms of synesthesia. There are other, more dramatic versions. For instance, a person could eat an orange, but taste cake. How they measure something like that is beyond me, but I find it incredibly fascinating.

I'm perfectly content with my watered-down condition. Even for grapheme-color synesthesia, I have a light version. Occasionally my color-associations change. "T" is generally yellow, but it occasionally shifts to orange. Stuff like that.

I love learning about these little quirks. Maybe one of these days I'll introduce a character with a very strong synesthesiatic streak!

Anybody else out there with this fun "condition?"

Check out this link for more information:

Friday, July 13, 2007


Happy Friday the 13th!
How fun. Hope you're enjoying your day of superstition. I am. It's Friday, I've gotten a lot done on my manuscript, and tomorrow is a big booksigning in Merrillville, Indiana.

There will be five of us. Five stars from Five Star (publishing). Cute, huh? We'll be there to talk about our books and sign them, too! Scarlett Dean will be there with Invisible Shield, Tom Keevers with What the Hyena Knows, Dave Case with Out of Cabrini, Michael A. Black with A Final Judgment, and I'll be there too, with Deadly Interest.

If you have some time, stop by and say hi.
Borders at Southlake Mall
Merrillville, IN
2:00 - 4:00

See you!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Book Clubs

I loved To Kill A Mockingbird. Great movie, great book. Another of my favorites, Fahrenheit 451, was rumored to be coming to the big screen under the direction of Mel Gibson, but I haven't heard anything about that in a very long time. I wonder if Mel's media troubles have put some projects on hold...

No matter. My point here today is to talk about book clubs. I can see how To Kill A Mockingbird, or Fahrenheit 451 inspire discussion, but now, when I'm faced with the task of coming up with questions for my own books - questions for book clubs to use to keep conversation flowing- I'm coming up empty.

When I spoke to Judy's book discussion group in May, it was wonderful. Everyone had already read Deadly Interest, and we were able to talk about the characters, how some scenes came to be, writing and reading in general ... and all sorts of fun stuff. The time flew.

But in trying to come up with book discussion questions for my books for clubs where I *won't* be in attendance ... I'm lost. I mean, I really can't use questions like: "How early did you know XXX was the bad guy?" because readers happening across my site won't want to know that information if they haven't read the book yet.

So, readers, let me know. What sort of questions can you suggest? Remember that the upcoming State of the Onion is a culinary mystery, and the first in the series, so if there's anything you like to see in that genre, feel free to add that to our discussion as well.

Let me know here, in the comments section, or e-mail me. I'll look forward to hearing all your ideas.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Dusting Doorknobs

You know how it is - when everything seems more important than putting words on a page? For instance yesterday I kept finding things to do that didn't involve writing. Mind you, I didn't *really* dust doorknobs (anyone who knows me knows I rarely dust anything -- unless my Auntie Lena is coming to visit ) but I did manage to waste time all day with useless busy-ness. I found a missing book, I trimmed my roses. I went out to the book store but, unfortunately, I got nothing accomplished there.

To be fair, I also ran a few errands and mailed some contracts, so that counts as important stuff... right?

Today I've taken care of a few promotional tasks, and I'm researching the current book I'm writing. There are some big-busy items on my agenda from now till next Wednesday, so I know if I don't write today, I'll be sorry.

But here I am, at the blog... blogging. And wondering exactly when I should begin mentioning this site to people. I don't think it's "ready for prime time" just yet. If you happen to stop by, leave me a comment, okay? I'd like to know if anyone has seen this.

Enough procrastinating. Fun though it may be, I have even more fun in mind for today. Writing. And with that in mind... here I go. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rick Kogan's Sunday Papers

Wow! Today was our appearance (mine and Mike Black's) on Rick Kogan's Sunday Morning radio program on WGN. What a wonderful experience. Rick Kogan is an incredibly nice man, and he could not have been more welcoming. He guided the discussion with such grace and ease that I didn't have a chance to be nervous.

Seriously - this was fun. When he asks questions, and when he listens to your answers, he makes sincere and warm eye contact. I truly believed he was interested in everything we had to say. I can't say enough about the man. Plus he has a great voice.

And you know what I loved, too? The fact that when he said "Franklin Park" instead of "Forest Park" for the location of Centuries and Sleuths, people started calling in to correct him. That meant folks were actually listening! What a rush!

What a great guy. I make it a habit to read his essay every Sunday in the Chicago Tribune Magazine already. Now, I'll listen in every Sunday, too. There were four other people - friends of Mr. Kogan's - who came in and visited during the last segment of the show. Really great folks. I sat next to Chris from Wisconsin (Manitowoc, I think) who told me about her hole-in-one at a WGN (at a Kathy and Judy Show event) at Cantigny.

The whole experience was just fabulous.
Thanks to Augie who encouraged us to do this and thanks to Rick Kogan for inviting us to be part of his show!