Monthly Archives: December 2009

Pre-order now available!

Holy hell! I just discovered that “Crashers” is available to pre-order from the following, kick-ass Web sites! Woo hoo!




2010? Really? Weird….

I started writing “Crashers” in 2000. When the sun rises tomorrow, I will have lived with these characters for 11 freakin’ years. Good lord. When I think back to just how crappy those early drafts were, I want to sign up for an English As a Second Language course.

When the sun rises tomorrow, my novel will debut in only five months.

When the sun rises tomorrow, Katy King and I will enter our seventh year together. Yes, your honor, I stipulate to the fact that she could do better. But there it is.

When the sun rises tomorrow, it will officially be the year of the Great Recovery from the Great Recession. It will be the year of the draw-downs for military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will be the year that near-universal health care – badly flawed, weirdly hobbled and politically castrated – will begin setting in. It’s a rough start. But it’s a start. Congress needs to pat itself on the back for kick-starting the dreams of FDR, JFK, LBJ and the Clinton couple. Then, get busy fixing the biggest flaws, such as a lack of a public option and the infuriating limitations on women’s reproductive rights.

Long before the sun rises tomorrow, Velocity and Glamour will begin wrestling on the bed and will wake me up. Cranky, I’ll get up, perk a pot of coffee, then will grab a Roaring Spring Paper Products steno pad, a Sanford “Clickster” 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. I’ll curl up in the big leather chair, yell at the cats to stop breaking things, then dig down and get some traction on The Next Novel.

‘Cause there’s always a Next Novel. Always.

Happy New Year, folks. Buckle up. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

Pants on fire

I am a tough audience for mysteries. Especially on TV. I don’t enjoy the couple dozen “CSI” spin-offs. I can’t watch “Law and Order” and “NCIS” isn’t my cup of tea. So It’s surprising how much I’m enjoying Fox’s “Lie to Me.”

I’m watching the first season via Netflix and I’m enjoying it. Tim Roth (“Reservoir Dogs,” “Pulp Fiction”) plays a scientist who has mastered the art of reading voice, face and body language, to tell when people are being honest. He runs a private firm that hires out to law enforcement, the federal government and attorneys. Rounding out the cast are Kelli Williams (“The Practice,” “Medical Investigation”), Brendan Hines (“Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles”) and newcomer Monica Raymund.

It’s difficult to fool me on TV. I usually know whodunit by the second ad break. “Lie to Me” is a delightful surprise.

Kindling creativity

I know some writers consider’s electronic reader, the Kindle, to be the devil’s creation. Confession: I own one and love it.

I haven’t stopped buying books, mind you. I am proud to say that, this year, I bought almost all of my Christmas presents at Multnomah Village’s Annie Bloom’s Books. Independent bookstores supported me when I was last in print (about 137 years ago) and I’m proud to give back.

But I use the Kindle when I fly so that I don’t have to carry three or four novels.

Here’s something else: Every writer will tell you that when you print out a manuscript and edit from the hard copy, you catch more errors than you see on a computer screen. I don’t know why that’s true but it is.

Likewise, when Katy King and I went to Spain and Italy in September, I loaded an early draft of the sequel to “Crashers” onto my Kindle and read it while crossing the Atlantic. The device lets you leave notes as you read. It’s a 400-page novel and I found more than 200 things worth noting and, later, fixing. It ends up being an excellent editing tool.

I just finished another draft on Sunday. Today, I’ll load that onto Kindle and, since I have the day off, will curl up in the big chair, under the window looking out at the phalanx of trees that protect Multnomah Village, and do an editing run.

Kindle no more ruined books than the creation of the video-cassette recorder ruined Hollywood. Quite the opposite.

Jance Encounters

The Northwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America recently awarded the Willo Davis Roberts Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award to none other than… wait for it… J.A. Jance. Good call! Brava!

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