Writing Year in Review

Writing Year in Review

The approaching New Year’s Eve is a good opportunity to reflect on the year that was and think about the year to come. Here are a few highlights from mine!

In March, I flew to Vancouver for Left Coast Crime and spent four days meeting crime fiction readers and reconnecting with fellow authors and making new friends. I was on a panel, did a reading, took part in book speed dating, and co-hosted happy hour with Mary Jane Maffini and Barbara Fradkin at a pub near the waterfront – an opportunity to get to know some new readers who had to pre-register. All in all, a fun, busy few days and well worth the trip.

Police in Modern Crime Fiction panel: Corey Lynn Fayman, me. Barbara Nickless & Catherine Maiorisi.

Posing after a reading with Dundurn author Kim Moritsugu and former Mcleans journalist Ken MacQueen.

April 25th, the Ottawa Public Library Carlingwood branch hosted a ‘Mystery in the Hood’ evening with CBC Radio host Giacomo Panico interviewing Barb Fradkin and me about our writing. All of us are Kitchissippi ward residents, thus the hook. We had a full house and a great chat, led most ably by Giacomo.

The Ottawa launch for Turning Secrets, sixth in the Stonechild and Rouleau series, took place June 2nd at The Cross pub on Elgin. Another great turn out! The Haughian Brothers Band entertained us and Perfect Books was on hand with copies for purchase. My daughter Lisa gave a beautiful introduction and friend Fred Taylor was the event photographer. It truly was a terrific afternoon. Everyone is invited to the launch of Closing Time, last in the series, on Saturday, May 9th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Granite Curling Club. I’m pleased to tell you that the Haughian Brothers Band is returning as is Perfect Books so should be a wonderful send off for the last of the series.

The last few years as part of Curling for a Cause, I’ve raffled off a name in an upcoming book and donated the money to the event’s charity. This year, Kelly MacNaull, who organizes Curling for a Cause, invited me and some curlers to an event at O’Grady’s Outpost to celebrate with Trevor Cavanagh, who won the name prize the year before. I made him a coroner and you can find him performing an autopsy in Turning Secrets 🙂 (He’s now known as Dr. Cavanaugh at O’Grady’s.)

At the end of August, I was a guest author at The Ladies Killing It crime fiction festival in Picton, a town in the beautiful Prince Edward County. This is a great annual event if you’re ever looking for a Labour Day destination. The weekend included an evening ‘speed dating’ where we introduced our books to tables of readers, an afternoon tea and an evening panel held in a small chapel in the graveyard. I also gave a workshop Sunday morning on point of view. The weather was perfect and everyone I met was just lovely.

Speed dating

Front row (l to r) Ausma Khan, Joy Fielding, me, Hannah Mary McKinnon. Back row (l to r) Janet Kellough, Vicki Delany, Janet Bolin, Iona Whishaw & Shelaugh Mathers.

Early fall, Grass Roots Press released the last two novellas in the Anna Sweet mysteries entitled Killer Heat and Too Close to Home. It was bittersweet as these are the last two in the series. It’s odd to have the two series that I’ve been writing for the last seven years both finish up so close together.

I also became a monthly regular on 1310 News The Power Lunch with host Mark Sutcliffe. Along with another guest, we’d discuss the news of the day on this live broadcast, which was also shown simultaneously on Rogers Cable 22. I became even more of a news junkie, never knowing which day I’d be asked to be on the show. Mark is shortening his four-hour show to one-hour in the new year so I’m not sure what will happen to The Power Lunch; however, I am going to be back on this coming Monday, September 30th if you have a chance to tune in.

With The Power Lunch host Mark Sutcliffe

Finally, this past year saw the revamp of my website. I was fortunate to be introduced to Kim Hadley who brought my concept to the screen. You can now find all of my books with each synopsis and review quotes in one handy dandy place. I’m also listing my events and have links to media videos and articles, social media, and my blog. Be sure to check out the site if you haven’t already.

So all in all, it’s been a full and satisfying year. I’m excited  to introduce you to Closing Time in 2020 and am already lining up a few signings and events to make sure it gets a proper launch into the world. I’m also continuing working on a new manuscript with the hopes of placing it with a publisher. We’ll just have to wait to see what the year holds!

I wish each of you a wonderful New Year and thank you for your continued support with my writing journey. It wouldn’t be half so much fun without you.

A fond farewell to 2019 and cheers to 2020!