Welcome to my first newsletter! I aim to keep you informed of my professional life, with snippets of my personal life thrown in (you can also follow me on social media at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).
Each month I’ll have a short reflection, update on my publishing journey, and recent eclectic reading recommendations. Look for my monthly question for readers, too (all answers will be entered in a monthly drawing for various prizes).
Overall, I’d like to think of the newsletter as a conversation between friends.
We’ve all got our COVID-19 stories to tell, from mild inconveniences to loss of loved ones. It’s been a challenging time for many, and not just because of the pandemic. We are living through unprecedented times of national unrest and re-forming our collective identity. We will all remember 2020 as a year best viewed in hindsight.
As you might imagine as a Spring 2020 author, publishing in the Time of Coronavirus has been most problematic for me. Thanks to my publisher, publicist, bookstore owners, bloggers, and sister authors, word has gotten out about Answer Creek. And it’s put into perspective sheltering in place; the Donner Party spent 124 days in a dark, cold hovel existing on shoe leather before their rescue.
In the “silver linings” department, sheltering in place has brought me several blessings: time to be in touch with old friends and family more than ever via Zoom, finishing long-abandoned projects, and lots and lots of reading.
I’ve waited my whole life for this!
It happened on July 4, 2020
I’m busy at work at my third novel, set in 1905 rural Arizona. Right now, I’m deep into the first draft and simultaneously doing research investigating early 20th century Arizona history, laws, and legends. It’s like Christmas with all the book mail that’s arriving! Of course, the Internet is a great help locating historical societies, museums, and local historians.
The novel, set in fictional Jericho, Arizona, north of Tucson, features a 32-year-old female protagonist who runs a roadhouse peopled with extraordinary guests, some historical and some fictional. There’s adventure and intrigue and drama and a whole lot of Arizona history mixed in. And of course, subplots with colorful characters (and at least one recipe!)
Random fact: Although Arizona’s mining history is famous and fabled, gold prices didn’t fluctuate by more than a few cents between 1875 and 1918 (@18.93/oz). In contrast, today gold is valued at $1771.23/oz.
(Picture courtesy of https://alaskanroadhouses.wordpress.com/tag/roadhouse/)
Recent Five Star Reads:
Less, Sean Andrew Greer
Queen of the Owls, Barbara Linn Probst
The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Robert Dugoni
The Talking Drum, Lisa Braxton
There’s Always a Prize Question:
Here’s your chance to name a male character in my new novel. I’m looking for memorable nicknames of some of the miners. Add your two cents by naming a character and why he’s called by that name.
Send me an email (at firstname.lastname@example.org) to answer for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card (chosen randomly on the last day of the month).
I love to hear from readers, so if you’ve got any questions or comments, please send me a note!
Thanks for stopping by The Reading Corner. Until next month, Happy Reading!