31 Dec So Long 2022 – Come on in 2023!
New Year’s Eve 2022 and time to look back at the writing year that was.
It would be difficult to review the past twelve months without context. Covid 19 was still very much a factor, limiting in-person events, particularly during fall and winter months. As we round the corner into 2023, we’re entering the fourth year since Covid first rocked the world, and while we’ve learned to live with it to some degree, its presence continues to loom.
March 1st saw the launch of Blind Date, the first in my new Hunter and Tate mystery series. Set in Ottawa, the books are part police procedural/part amateur sleuth and bordering on thriller. My good friend and fellow author Mary Jane Maffini joined me in a virtual launch , still available on Facebook. I spent a good part of the year writing book two in the series, titled When Last Seen, due out April 1st of this new year.
Blind Date received some local coverage, including a virtual interview on Cable 22’s Daytime Ottawa with host Derick Fage, and a review in the Glebe Report. The Ottawa Citizen ran a full-page spread with an excerpt from the book as part of its summer local book series. More recently, the book made Jim Napier’s top crime fiction reads of 2022! Thank you to everyone who posted a review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. Some readers wonder if their review or rating matters, and I can assure you that every little bit helps. I also made a guest appearance on an online show called Lurking for Legends and had a great deal of fun chatting with the three hosts. Here’s the link.
Heather Williams, radio host on CHEZ 106, jumped on board to record the audiobook, which was released a few months after the ebook and paperback versions. We had a lot of fun working on the project and I’m super pleased that she’s currently recording the When Last Seen audiobook, which should be out April 1st along with the other versions. We also did an Instagram live ‘chat’ for Blind Date that you can find on myInstagram page (BrendaChapmanAuthor). (Skip the first 40 seconds as I figure out how to bring Heather online.)
So Ted and I threw caution to the wind and spent the month of May in France, visiting Bordeaux, Avignon and Paris with side trips to various villages. I took a break from all things writing and came home refreshed and raring to get back writing.
During 2022, I managed three live book signings at Perfect Books, Chapters Gloucester and Coles Carlingwood and two in-person events, the first at the Almonte Library and the second as guest speaker at the Capital Crime Writers Christmas dinner. Every outing was great fun and I met so many terrific people. I also visited book clubs virtually and one in person, all wonderfully welcoming.
This year was the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) 40th anniversary and as part of the events to mark the milestone, they put out a call for short stories for an anthology. Blind judging led to my story “The Final Hit” being picked along with twenty other varied and creative stories, all bound up in Cold Canadian Crime. Author Erik D’Souza also interviewed me twice on behalf of CWC – the first time to discuss my entry in the anthology, and the second interview for the meet and greet series (available for members only). This year, I also passed on the torch for the CWC Director of Ottawa/Eastern Ontario region to Norm Boucher after two years volunteering on the Board. I enjoyed my time, especially getting to know so many writers from this region and across the country.
Dundurn began working on having the last five books in the Stonechild and Rouleau series made into audiobooks late in the year. They are also re-issuing the series with new covers, and all will be released in the spring (2023). Stay tuned to see the new covers, which really update the look. When Last Seen will also be coming out around the same time, so lots of excitement on the horizon. I’m hoping for an in-person book launch in late April so stay tuned my Ottawa friends and readers.
Overall, I had a fine 2022 and it felt as if the isolation experienced over the past few years began to cautiously lift. We still have a ways to go, however, before we feel completely at ease in crowds and social gatherings. I’m hopeful that 2023 will show another leap forward. Happiest of New Years to each of you as we raise our glasses at midnight to usher in a new year full of possibilities with lots of good reading ahead 🙂