Dozens of friends gathered at Mimi’s Cafe in Ventura on November 14, 2017 to help me celebrate the release of my latest book, Written Off. Food, prizes and lots of fun. As she has for all my other releases, Debbie Mitsch of Mystery Ink drove all the way up from Huntington Beach to sell books at the Written Off launch party.
We had such a great time, I plan on doing it again when my next book, Proof of Life, comes out early in 2019.
Local author and buddy James Francis Gray also had a table with his books.
James is the best-known author in Ventura. He belongs to every networking group there is and he’s the best person to know if you need the word spread about something you are doing. He touts the Latino Expo and has made Tatiana’s Coffee & Tea the most popular independent coffee house in Ventura. Tatiana and Diego display local vendors’ wares there, several of which are authors, including yours truly.
Everyone seemed to be having a great time. I gave anyone who brought a prize a 30-second commercial to talk about anything they wanted to. There were all kinds of prizes. My good friend Tracey Bolton, a phenomenal psychic medium, donated a reading. The person who won really lucked out. Everyone who buys books gets a free ticket for each one they purchase. Then I do a drawing free handwriting analysis.
Since moving to Ventura in 2004 I’ve made some great friends, many of whom became my readers. When I got published, they all came out and supported me. It’s warm feeling to know you belong to a community.
At the end of October, 2017, the zany ladies of the Hillside, Ventura, Book Club read What She Saw (a young woman with amnesia. For the second time, my friend Amy Herron invited me to attend their meeting as guest author. They met the night before Halloween and they dressed up as characters from the book. What a thrill to see my characters come to life that way! Almost as good as having it made into a movie (almost).
Irene Mefford (in mermaid green) hosted the event at her home in Ondulondo, a neighborhood in the hills high above Ventura. Imagine the view of the lights at night, the Pacific Ocean during the day. Irene went all-out with fabulous Halloween-themed food. She created claw-shaped meatloaf, witches head apples in cider, Jello shots in huge syringes. As you can imagine, by the time we got around to judging the costumes, everyone was in a great mood.
Teri Casey dressed as Jessica Mack’s backpack! How’s that for creativity? She won a prize for that great costume.
Tragedy strikes the book club
Tragically, few short weeks later, Irene’s beautiful home became one of a thousand casualties of the Thomas fire, a heartbreaking loss. Other club members in the neighborhood were also evacuated. These terrifying experiences teach us a lot about what is really of greatest value in our lives.
The good news is, the book club continues to meet and I hope to be invited back again some time. How would they dress up for my upcoming book, Proof of Life, which is the sequel to What She Saw.
What She Saw, a young woman with amnesia. Imagine waking up on a train and realizing that you don’t know who you are, where you are going. or where you came from. Furthermore, something tells you that you can’t call the cops.
Famous mystery authors at Bouchercon and me. When Bouchercon, the largest mystery fan convention in the world came to Long Beach, CA, I got a pic with a couple two famous mystery authors. Plus, I’m honored to say, both fellow Brit Simon Wood and Jeffery Deaver provided wonderful cover blurbs for my 2016 book, Outside the Lines.
And that’s not all. Mr. Deaver told me he used my book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis as a reference for The Devil’s Teardrop. Why? The book features a forensic document examiner like Claudia Rose and me. Pretty cool, no?
Several of his books have been made it popular movies, including The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. I just hope some of that talent, hard work and good luck rubs off on me!
Here’s what these two famous mystery authors said about my book:
“Utterly compelling! “Outside the Lines” joins the ranks of those rare thrillers that expertly blend nonstop plotting with keen perceptions of the characters—good and bad—who populate this wonderful tale.” Jeffery Deaver
Simon Wood, author of “The One That Got Away” wrote,
“An expert witness makes for expert storytelling in “Outside the Lines.”
Going to mystery writer conferences and appearing on panels is one good way for a mystery author to get visibility. Especially at Boucheron, where there are usually over 1000 attending, it’s great exposure. I’m a little more comfortable at Left Coast Crime, where there are about half that number. Besides, I’m more of a house cat, more likely to attend when it’s on this side of the country.
Inkslingers Ball is book number 5 in the Forensic Handwriting suspense series.
Explosive drama erupts when the life of a teen with a tortured past is jeopardized by her secret tattoo. Handwriting expert Claudia Rose joins forces once again with Detective Joel Jovanic, who is investigating a firebombing, a young woman found dead in a dumpster, and the disappearance of an investigative journalist. The investigation heats up when Jovanic uncovers evidence that the same tattoo is linked to his cases.