Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Birth of a Book

I don’t usually talk much about my own writing. The truth is, most writers are rather shy people who would much prefer to sit alone and write rather than compelled to talk to people about what they write. However, now and then it’s not a bad idea to say something – especially when you have a newly birthed book in your hands. So, even though it feels funny, I shall talk about my writing today.

Announcing – my new book!

Title: Glitter of Diamonds: A Manziuk and Ryan Mystery

Publication Date: May 1st, 2007

Size: 126,500 words, 384 pages

Time from conception to delivery: 8 years

Actual writing time: About a year including editing

Format: Hardcover

Price: $24.95 US; $29.95 Cdn.

Writing Glitter of Diamonds was actually a labour of love. It got interrupted big-time by other things – primarily founding The Word Guild – but the time I actually spent working on it was great. I love all my characters – well, I created them, so why shouldn’t I love them? J if you’re familiar with the line in Chariots of Fire where Eric Liddell’s character says that when he runs, he feels God’s pleasure, that pretty well perfectly describes how I feel when I was writing Glitter.

The old adage, write what you know, often frustrates aspiring writers (that’s so ordinary!), but I originally thought of doing a book involving Major League Baseball when I sat down to make a list of what I know. On my list, I put “baseball” because the truth is I’ve been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember. I cheered for the New York Yankees way back when Mickey Mantle was still playing. Later, I cheered for Montreal. We moved to Toronto around the time the Blue Jays were being formed, so, of course, I became a Blue Jays fan.

I didn’t want to use the actual Blue Jays team or any other “real” people, so I created my own team, my own stadium, and my own sports media. What fun!

And, of course, I’ve brought back Paul Manziuk and Jacqueline Ryan, my police team from Shaded Light. Paul is a baseball fan when he can find time; Jacquie knows nothing whatsoever about the game, but she’s not going to let that keep her from solving the crime.

Yes, of course there’s a crime. This is a mystery. There is a body, but not much blood. J

After Stasey Simon, an outspoken sports talk show host, asks on air for volunteer to knock some sense into the baseball team's temperamental new Cuban pitcher, Manziuk and Ryan have to hustle to catch a murderer swinging a lethal bat before the case explodes into an international incident.

I've already had some good reviews from mystery fans. And yesterday, someone who was given an advance reading copy posted this note to a large group of mystery readers and writers:

“I promised to loan the book to a friend who is a former coach retired) and coaches Little League these days…. He loved the book. Told me ‘The suspense was terrific and either this woman really knows baseball inside and out or someone advising her does.’”

Wow! You know, the thing even close to the feeling you get when doing something you absolutely love is the feeling you get when someone else loves it too.

Hmm. Just wondering how God feels when we tell him how much we appreciate one of his creations…

Read the first chapter of Glitter of Diamonds here.

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