Sunday, January 17, 2016

Death and taxes, and a lot of other things

No, no death. I just always thought death and taxes went together--maybe because both are inevitable.

It’s amazing what you can get done when your knee hurts when you sit down, stand up, or walk. I spent most of the day at my desk—okay, there was that nap—but I got a lot done. Yesterday I tried five or six times to post Murder at the Tremont House, #2 of the Blue Plate Café Mysteries, to Kindle. Finally gave up last night, and posted it successfully this morning. This means all three Blue Plates are available again as e-books. Check it out at Please don’t be surprised at opportunities to buy it for over $1,000 in paperback. I’m never sure why Amazon puts those extravagant prices on out-of-print books. But Murder at the Tremont House is no longer available in print, except used copies. If you want to pay a thousand dollars for one, God bless you—but rest assured I get no royalties from those used sales.

People keep asking me what I’m writing. I’m tempted to say, “Nothing.” But my answer is that I’m “managing my career.” It’s true—I pushed myself for several years to write two or three books a year. Now I’m concentrating on marketing, making available titles that disappeared when my publisher went out of business. I’m blogging more and arranging blogs tours for Desperate for Death, which debuted this month as an e-book. I have two guest blogs to write by the 25th—wrote one tonight and was totally dissatisfied with it. Will start over tomorrow.

And I’m planning ahead for the debut of a totally different novel, The Gilded Cage: A Novel of Chicago. It will launch in print and ebook in April, I’ll do a blog tour (yes, I’m working with a tour company that knows historical markets whereas I know mystery sites), and fretting every day about how to spread the word about this novel. I consider it my “big” novel. It’s Chicago history from 1847 through the Columbian Exposition, the Gilded Age which much like our own saw a great division between wealthy and poor. Central to the story are the Potter Palmers (he of Palmer House hotel fame). While Potter built a fortune and became a leader in Chicago politics and society, his wife worked to turn philanthropy into good deeds. Pardon me, but I think it’s a good story, and I’m excited about it. More to come later.

I also started on taxes tonight, answering the basic questions on the organizer and putting my bank statements into order so I can go through them easily. A yearly chore that I dread, but once I get started, I know I’ll move ahead on it.

I’ve been watching the Democratic debate with one eye and listening with one ear. They haven’t sunk to the level or anger at the Republican debates but I am sad that they are attacking and accusing each other-Clinton and Sanders, while O’Malley remains the voice of calm. I liked it better when there was a sense of collegiality.

Okay, enough work for the day. I just got Julie Hyzy’s Foreign Eclairs, and I’m going to read. Sweet dreams, everyone.

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