Here you can follow the blow-by-blow account of my attempt to transform myself into a (regularly) published author.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chapters 13 & 14 of Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp

Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp
Slowly but surely, this manuscript is progressing. I've been working hard on a chapter-by-chapter "outline" of the plot. I'm still missing a couple of key pieces, but I have enough to keep forging blindly ahead for a while. I suspect the missing pieces will fall in place. They always do, right? If not, I suppose authors would have to abandon their stories.

I'll be in the car a lot this next week. That's often where I manage to dream up good sections of plots. I have high hopes.

Meanwhile, enjoy a snippet of Chapter 14:
    I closed my eyes and tried to nap, but sleep didn’t come. I finally quit trying, but we continued to wait silently. Apparently neither of us could think of anything to say. Jerry fiddled with his cell phone, but I couldn’t tell if he was playing a game, texting someone, or making notes for a news story.
    A city truck pulled up at the end of the block and removed a small cover plate from a pipe at the curb. He inserted a long bar with a handle in the opening and began twisting it.
    “Nothing like an emergency to get the utilities turned on in a hurry,” Jerry said dryly. “If I work this right, maybe I can get the city to pay for the boiler inspection too.”

You can find the first three Anastasia Raven Stories at Smashwords or Amazon

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Four Winners of News from Dead Mule Swamp

There are now 400 likes of Anastasia Raven Mysteries on Facebook. As promised I will give away four copies of News From Dead Mule Swamp. These winners are chosen from the list of people and pages who have "liked" Anastasia Raven.

Due to Facebook regulations, I'll be changing the way I give away free books and other items, but more about that at the end of this post.

Here are the numbers from

You'll have to take my word for whose names the numbers correspond to, but I have no reason to cheat, since I don't know any of these people personally. That's great, if they claim their prize, because it might result in new readers! If any of them already has this book, I'll offer them a different e-book of their choice.

Here are the winners (in no particular order):
Select-O-Grafix, LLC
Adriana Ryan
Leah Diane Hutchinson
T.M. Franklin

Please contact me at to receive a coupon for your free book. Let me know if you already have News from Dead Mule Swamp and prefer a different ebook of mine.

From this time on, all contests will be managed through the MailChimp list. You can sign up at
MailChimp email list
to receive advance notices of books, coupons and special freebies.

This actually is more beneficial to everyone, because there will be a lot more benefits than just an occasional free book for a few people. No spam ever. No one else can grab the mailing list because it's managed by Mail Chimp.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Interviewed for Michigan Writers on the Air

alt text Joan H. Young
Today, I traveled to Interlochen, Michigan, to be interviewed for the radio program "Michigan Writers on the Air," at Interlochen Public Radio. The focus of the interview was my non-fiction book, North Country Cache. The host is Aaron Stander, and he described the book as a combination hiking story and personal memoir. He asked questions about the North Country National Scenic Trail and my experiences hiking it. I always appreciate the opportunity to share about the trail with people who may not be familiar with it. And I wouldn't mind selling a few more books!

He also had me read an excerpt from the book, and I chose a section of the chapter "Forever Wild." This is a great little story about my hiking pup, Chips, within the larger story.

alt text host Aaron Stander
One of the really great outcomes of attending the Blood and Tea mystery writers' conference last fall has been all the new relationships I've formed. Of the authors who were leaders of the seminars, the one my "writing plan" most resembles is that of Aaron Stander, and we've stayed in touch. When he asked if I'd like to be on his program, of course I said, "yes!"

We took mutual pictures, but as you can see, this was radio, not TV- I could have used a comb. It doesn't always help, but maybe it would have looked like I tried.

The program will air at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, February 20, and Sunday, February 24. After that, it will be available at any time on the IPR web site.

Aaron writes procedural mysteries set in northwest Michigan. You can see more about him at Aaron Stander.

Order North Country Cache at Books Leaving Footprints

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Elements of Life Kindle Version Available

Elements of Life Cover
Elements of Life is now available in digital form from Amazon. The paperback copy should also be ready for sale in just a few days.

I have one poem in this anthology, "Now Then When." It's from the darker side of my nature, but just as real as more upbeat writings.

There are interesting short stories and more poems in Elements of Life. This book is not really literary fiction, rather, the stories are written for enjoyment.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Contract for Elements of Life

Elements of Life Cover
Just returned the contract for Elements of Life. This is an anthology of short stories and poems from Twin Trinity Media. There have been some bumps along the way, but now there is good hope it will be available really soon.

I have one poem in this book, called "Now Then When." That isn't very much, to be sure, but it puts us one step closer to the next book in the series which will have one story and one poem of mine.

The e-version of Elements of Life should be available very soon, perhaps even this week yet. The print version will appear about a week later.

Despite such a small contribution, I'm excited by this, because it is one more little thing I've had published that isn't self-publication.

Find Elements of Life at Twin Trinity Books and Amazon.