Back to paper and pen: So after seven years hard labor, my Mac book finally gave up the ghost. Luckily I’d completed three manuscripts. But the fourth is only half done! I was backing up (honest!) but only once a month or so. Yesterday Tim drove me to the closest Apple store, we purchased a machine twice as fast and half the weight, and they promised to do their very best to recover my ‘stuff’ in 3 to 5 business days. “Never know with a vintage machine.” Vintage! I don’t know which is worse, being without my Mac, or waiting for the phone call to hear it’s well and truly dead!
Seeking First Readers
I’m now to the point in my writing and publishing process where I need your help. I’m looking for first readers, to whom I will email a free e-copy of my first book in the series Cali May Mysteries and ask that you provide feedback. As a First Reader you can email me with any typos you find and will receive occasional news about upcoming books, character naming contests, excerpts, and the inspiration behind my writing.
My first book, Death Remembers, is now on Amazon for preordering!
However, as one of my First Readers Team, you will have the opportunity to receive free e-copies of my books before the publishing dates and provide a review. Click the following link to sign up: http://eepurl.com/dkry-r
I appreciate your support immensely!
Thank you All, ~ Wendy
Image: Cali May’s Southwest Drawings, by Wendy Fallon
Looking forward to 2018!
My first Murder Mystery Series Coming in Spring 2018
My high school yearbook bears witness to my wish to be an artist and writer, and it’s happening!
My first Murder Mystery Series Coming in Spring 2018 – I’m excited to announce the tentative release dates for my first fictional paranormal murder mystery series with dashes of romance and urban legend published by Short on Time Books: Cali May Mysteries.
Recently widowed and retired Phoenix art teacher, California ‘Cali’ May struggles to start a new life without her beloved husband, and finds herself unraveling local murders with the dubious aid of her newly discovered talent for seeing ghosts. These aren’t just any phantoms, but the spirits of murder victims and she soon discovers her husband may be among them.
Death Remembers 3/2018
Killing Rose 3/2018
Black Diamond Graves 4/2018 (Tawnee Mountain Mysteries Multi-Author Series)
Magnolia Murders 5/2018
Left Coast Crime, March 22-25, in Reno, NV will be my third LLC conference, and my first with at least three published credits. I’ve met so many nice people, writers and readers alike, at these conferences. Meeting established writers is like coming face to face with my favorite celebrities, and being able to swap writing and publishing stories with aspiring authors makes me feel like anything is possible. Thank you to everyone who has ever shared their own writing and publishing journey. You inspire me!
And to all the readers out there, thank you for giving me a chance. I write for you! I’ll be publishing more information about pre-ordering, and how to receive free e-copies of the first two books.
Perseverance pays off. If you write, keep writing! If you paint, dance, sing, make music or art, or do anything else you love, keep doing it. Eventually people notice.
In August 2017, a short story I wrote was chosen and published in the Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime, Anthology for 2017. Entitled Elixir of Death, it follows Julia Ward, a woman of older years and modest affluence with a benevolent heart, as she searches for the missing homeless souls she’s fed in her free Kitchen in downtown Phoenix. When one of her guests turns up dead in a city canal, she worries no one will care enough to find out what or who caused this death. Stepping up her investigation she comes face to face with a self-righteous killer. One who justifies the death of the homeless because he believes they will not be missed.
In September 2017, I signed my first contract with publisher, Short on Time Books, to write a novella for a multi-author series. Each author is tasked with writing about their sleuth as they solve a murder at the Tawnee Mountain Resort, a fictional, luxury ski and golf complex set in Northwest New Jersey. Mine will be entitled Black Diamond Graves, and I’ve included a sneak peek at the cover.
And today, in October 2017, I signed a contract with the same publisher, Short on Time Books, for a three-book series of Southwest, paranormal, murder mysteries.
In book one, Death Remembers, California (Cali) May is a recently retired public school art teacher, a well-known Southwest artist, and a widow of one year. She’s feeling old, tired and obsolete, with no idea how to move her life forward. As she begins to experience strange, sometimes terrifying visions, she’s convinced she’s lost her mind with grief over the loss of her Phoenix Police Homicide Detective husband, Charlie, to cancer. When she discovers he was murdered, she enlists the help of acquaintance Daniel Silvertree, a Native American Arizona State Park Ranger. Unraveling a messy mystery that includes the death of two of her neighbors, a collection of priceless Native American, hand-carved animal fetishes, and corporate corruption, Cali finds herself attracted to Daniel. He seems to be the only one who doesn’t condemn her unusual new talent for seeing ghosts.
All three books in the series, Death Remembers, Killing Rose, Magnolia Murders, will be available in Spring 2018, along with my contribution to the Tawnee Mountain Resort multi-author series, Black Diamond Graves.
So keep on writing, painting, singing, sewing, or whatever you are passionate about. Not only is it good for your health and soul, but eventually you will reach whatever star you’re shooting for.
What do you do when you suddenly feel like you’ve lost control of . . . everything? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I feel like I’m running around trying to balance too many plates in the air at the same time. My life is always changing, as it should be, but over the last year I’ve ventured into unknown territory.
At the end of 2017, my husband and I will be relocating to Florida, to be closer to the water. It is definitely something to be celebrated, and excitement abounds. In the meantime we need to downsize. A daunting task and the source of much unanticipated anxiety. Suddenly every item in my house is a family member.
In March, Tim and I attended the Left Coast Crime conference in Hawaii. The trip was far beyond anything I could have imagined. I’m still missing the sand, sun, resort atmosphere, bursts of color everywhere, and meeting fabulous authors I didn’t know, and many that I did. Tim sat on the beach, while I attended fascinating sessions about murder, and we ate dinner watching the sun set over the ocean.
I’ve completed my first murder mystery novel, Death Fetish, and am currently writing the last 1/4 of my second, Killing Rose. These are the first two of my Cali’s Kindred Spirits series of three books about a recent retiree, widow and Southwest artist, California (Cali) May who sees the ghosts of murder victims and thinks she’s going crazy. I’ve also been writing short stories. All of my writing is a learning experience, and I’m thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. Like all things, it takes time, practice, and patience.
On top of all this, I changed my email address, missed reminders from GoDaddy, and didn’t realize my domain name had expired and this site had been down for 10 months! For this I sincerely apologize to you, my readers! Definitely a plate came crashing down, slid right between the cracks in my amazing, but sometimes out-of-control life!
As you can see from this blog post, I’m slowly but steadily picking up the pieces. Eventually I fully expect:
- to have a series of three Southwest murder mysteries published by next year’s Left Coast Crime conference in Reno,
- my treasures sold through my Etsy site (Shore House Vintage) to patrons who will love them as much as I have,
- our move to Florida completed and everyone, including the dog, settled in,
- (our dachshund trained to do her business on a leash)
- and all my media, like my website, up-to-date.
Too much, you think? The way I figure, if it’s not on the list, it won’t get done. Let’s shoot for the stars and expect the very best!
Inspired by History
Shore House Vintage, a new project!
I recently opened an Etsy shop: Shore House Vintage
At first, I thought it couldn’t be further from my origins of writer and artist. But as I posted one item after another, I began to realize this shop was just another expression of myself.
Most of the artifacts I’ve posted for sale are from previous generations of my own family. My husband and I have made the decision to ‘retire’ in 2017. This doesn’t mean we won’t be working, but it will mean we’ll be relocating to a much smaller living space. And just as painful as it was to wave good-bye to my children as they moved out on their own, it was initially devastating to think I’d be selling off my ‘ancestors.’ I knew I had to ‘downsize.’ So eventually I decided I had to think about this situation differently and change my point of view.
I often wonder why I collect stuff. My husband and I disagree, of course, on the definition of these artifacts. He considers it stuff, I consider it family. But I also collect things that catch my eye at the local antique mall. Definitely not from my family. Does it remind me of my family, or is it something else?
A parallel project of mine is writing murder mysteries, and in each story there is an artifact (a piece of jewelry, a Native American fetish, an old carving) that is woven into the plot.
As I photographed each item in my extensive collection of vintage ‘stuff’ to post to my shop, I was inspired to try on a pair of small, wire-rim glasses. I don’t know who they belonged to, but I inherited them from my folks. I researched them, and discovered they were made in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. That would be two generations before me! Who wore them? What did being able to see clearer mean to them? Did they misplace them often? Were they a wife, a mother, a sister, a cousin, or a man of business, a teacher? To wear or touch something that had been used everyday by not only a relative, but someone who lived in a different era, a different world, made my fingers itch to write about them.
And my mind immediately began to build a story around these old glasses that I could hold in my hand, or wear on my face. Since then, I’ve traveled back in time with every piece of history I post to my Easy site.
Visit me, even if you use the photos for writing inspiration, at Shore House Vintage. You might find a tiny slice of history that mirrors your own past or family, or a unique gift for someone in your present life.
Getting Together at Left Coast Crime 2016
Thursday, February 25, 2016 – Sunday, February 28, 2016
This will be my first year attending Left Coast Crime, an Author/Reader conference for anyone who loves writing or reading a good mystery. Several of my favorite authors will be there and I intend to visit with or meet, or even just listen to and worship, all of them. Among them will be Laurie R. King, Rhys Bowen, Simon Wood, Charles Todd and Catriona McPherson. Local authors and friends I’ve read and written with and who will also be there include Betty Webb, Laurie Fagen, Margaret C. Morse, Dane McCaslin, and Timothy Moore. It will be a great opportunity to meet so many more authors that I don’t even know. I can’t wait!
Visit LeftCoastCrime2016.com for more details.
Winners in the Adult Coloring Contest: Congratulations!
My Adult Coloring Contest 2015 is now closed, but watch for more fun contests in 2016!
I am pleased to congratulate and thank all of you who participated in my Adult Coloring Contest 2015. The following Artists (in no particular order) will have their artwork included on the cover of my next Workbook, Drawing & Coloring the American Southwest, Animals & Cacti of the Arizona-Sonoran Desert.
Bonnie Lou Coleman
Debra Ann Christian
Karen Mueller Bryson
Here is a sneak peak at the cover in progress:
All participants will receive their choice of a free ebook copy of either workbook: Your Six-Year-Old Inner Aritst Dream Journal, OR Drawing & Coloring the American Southwest when it is publish in 2016.
Thank you so much for reading and participating! ~ Wendy
Learning to Write Murder Mysteries
Why would I want to write about murder? Because I’ve lived long enough to mourn the death of several loved ones, and am finally beginning to face the undeniable fact that death is a natural part of life. So while I’m personally not so afraid of death, I still shudder at the thought of murder. But it fascinates me, like being unable to resist poking a sore tooth with my tongue.
My story then becomes not just about the human response (my own? my character’s?) to death, but to murder. In which case it’s about revenge, love, hate, uncontrollable rage, abuse or any number of human conditions which become the justification for using death as a tool.
And this is all apart from the eternal human question of what comes after death. Is there something so heinous, so violent, about intentionally ripping the life from another human, that the victim is able to retain a thirst for revenge, or a yearning for karma? How can anyone overcome the natural reverence for life to commit murder? And why? That is the really interesting question, but do I need to know this to write about it? I hope not.
What I’ve learned so far:
1. Murderous Villains must believe in the justification of their actions, to the same extent the Hero believes otherwise.
2. Murder must be the result of evil intent, and not accidental. But sometimes, unfortunately, it’s hard to tell the difference.
3. If taking a life is taboo in our society, how do we explain the popularity of Dexter?
Seven Days Left to Win! Adult Coloring Contest
ADULT COLORING CONTEST
I’m still accepting entries for my Adult Coloring Contest. Your opportunity to be included on the cover of my next Workbook, and to win a free e-book copy of Your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist Dream Journal Workbook, ends midnight Dec. 31, 2015.
Indulge your Six-Year-Old Inner Artist by coloring the Road Runner! Visit the http://wendyfallon.com, Contests page for details.