In my life as a college teacher (yes, I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t earn enough from writing detective novels to just write detective novels) we have this thing called course evaluations. You remember them: before grades are entered, students evaluate their courses and instructors.
Occasionally I get a bad review from the poor student. I understand the psychology at work: if a student is doing poorly in a course and is likely to get a D or an F, it’s unlikely he or she is going to say, “Well, I was a poor student. I didn’t study, didn’t come to class, didn’t write the papers. But I realize that the instructor seemed prepared, seemed to know what he was talking about, seemed to be fair in grading the papers. I can see now that it wasn’t on him. It was all on me.” No, I don’t expect that kind of insight. A sinking student is not going down alone.
Which brings me to book reviews. All in all, my two detective books have gotten very positive reviews. (You’re thinking, “Oh, my God, he isn’t going to criticize his readers, is he? He can’t be that stupid, can he?” My answers: “yes” and “apparently.”) Continue reading “What Does a Reader Owe a Writer?”
Author Guido Mattioni has lots of reasons to celebrate this holiday season. His novel, Whispering Tides, is a finalist in both the 2012 USA Book News Awards and the Global Ebook Awards.
When his beloved wife Nina suddenly dies – after 23 years of life together – Alberto Landi understands he has to leave Milan Italy, where he has always lived and worked. He leaves his friends, colleagues, a good job and the polluted big city he has never loved which has now become even more intolerable to him. He is fifty, he is totally alone and he is confused, but he definitely knows that he has to escape very far away, across the ocean, to the only place he and Nina had always loved together. He lands in Savannah, Georgia. There, in a natural paradise governed by the breath of the tides and with the help of many dear friends – colorful human characters as well as wise animals – he starts to rebuild his new life. His dream is coming true until the day he wakes up one morning and discovers that…
As the year draws to a close, numerous publications, blogs, and authors are beginning to take stock, heave a sigh, and wonder if next year will be the same rollercoaster ride as this year has been. One of the best posts I’ve come across so far is here, where Anne R. Allen gives a neat overview, delivered in an accessible and enjoyable tone, of the many recent and rapid changes. While I’m no fan of the word “dynamic”, it is difficult to think of a more appropriate word to describe events in the two main parts of the same publishing industry: Mainstream and Indie. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full?”
Yeah, I said Google Earth. For research. What do I know about that? Well, not to brag, but some people may even consider me a bit of an expert on research. Either that, or I completely fooled the staff putting together the Writer’s Guide to 2011 – in which I am quoted numerous times in the chapter titled “Making the Most of Research with Technology.”
But enough about me. Let’s talk some more about me.
I decided, for some reason I cannot explain, that the sequel to Lust for Danger HAD to contain a scene in a skyscraper next to the Danube River in Vienna. Keep in mind, I write faction, so that building had to actually exist. I asked a number of people, and they couldn’t think of one. So, I turned to Google Earth. I scanned along the banks of the Danube until I saw a long shadow: from a skyscraper. Voila!
But that’s not all. Google Earth does SO much more than let you look down from a satellite.
Google Earth is a free, downloadable product. It does use quite a bit of memory, but if you’re doing locational research, it’s an invaluable tool. I’m no techie, by any means. I don’t get how to use some of the bells and whistles of this program. I have managed, however, to use it to find the perfect sites for fictional near-drownings, black ops assaults, and a really nice place for my characters to get a cup of coffee. Continue reading “Author Tools: Google Earth”