Thursday, March 20, 2008

2008 Sage Award

I have a little self congradualtions to boast about for a change. It is about the Barbara Burnett Smith Mentoring Authors Foundation Sage Award. See following:

The Barbara Burnett Smith Mentoring Authors Foundation is pleased to announce the Second Annual Sage Award. The Sage will be awarded to the Mentoring Author that demonstrates an outstanding spirit of service in mentoring, sharing and leading others in the mystery writing community.
The Sage recipient will be honored at the Fourth Annual Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event on Sunday, May 18, 2008, at Barnes & Noble Westlake in Austin, Texas.

Well guess what? I was nominated by persons unknown but I was selected as the 2008 Sage Award winner. I think that is great. I've always believed in sharing knowledge and helping and encouraging others but didn't think anyone really noticed. Biy was I surprised! I can't thank the selection committee enough. This is great. I hope the people I have tried to help got what they needed and are successful.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Newest book released

I'm happy to announce that my latest book THE POISONS HANDBOOK FOR WRITERS was released Monday March 10, 2008. You can get an idea of the subject matter by reading the following.

Writers love poisons.
They really do. In fact they love them a great deal. Guns are noisy and messy. Knives are hard to use and bring the killer to close to the victim. Most don’t have the fortitude for strangling and bludgeoning. But, a poison? Simply slip a bit into food or drink and walk away. No fuss, no muss. Poisons are simple and clean. Almost civilized.
But, what exactly is a poison? The short answer is anything and everything. There is an adage in medicine that says: What can cure; can kill. This is a very true statement. Too much water and you’ll die. Breathing 100% oxygen will destroy your lungs...and you’ll die. Take too much aspirin and you’ll die. The basic difference between a medicine and a poison is the dose.
A couple of aspirin will cure a headache. A handful will knock your system sideways. You’ll develop severe acidosis and die. A proper dose of digitalis can strengthen the heart and keep its rhythm regular. A lot will cause the heart to jump into a chaotic and deadly rhythm. So medications can be poisonous.
The opposite is also true. A poison in small doses does little harm. We all have low levels of lead and arsenic and even cyanide in our systems. In larger amounts, each of these is extremely deadly.
So, where do writers find the poisons they use in their tales? The medicine cabinet would be a good place to look. Or under the sink. A pharmacy or chemical supply house would work, too. But, the best place just might be your back yard or your local nursery.
The world is filled with toxic plants. The medicines digitalis, quinidine, and belladonna come from the Foxglove, the Cinchona Tree, and the Deadly Nightshade, respectively. Opium and its cousins morphine and codeine and heroin come from the Opium Poppy. So, the plant world is filled with writerly possibilities.
Where can writers learn about all these household and backyard poisons?
Enter Dr. David Ciambrone and his Book of Poisons. In this remarkable book he shares his extensive knowledge on all things toxic in a clear and concise format. The writer can easily choose the poison that fits his plot needs and learn all he needs to know about how the poison works and how it affects the unfortunate victim.
If you write crime fiction, you need this book. It will not only supply you with a vast range of knowledge, it will also tickle that little part of your creative mind that asks: What if? And that’s where the story starts.

D. P. Lyle, MD
Award-winning author of Forensics For Dummies
and Forensics and Fiction

It was really great of Dr. Lyle to write that great article that is the Forward to the book. If you are a mystery writer or just curious, this is the book for you.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Issues - new book and stuff

I have taken an issue with the announcement by Sisters-in Crime to delete the small presses from their books in print booklet. This should have been up to a vote of the membership not done by management. A lot of their members are published by small presses and this is a slap in the face. It is about time the bookstores and libraries worked with smaller presses. This has caused a lot of e-mail and blog traffic on the subject and most of it is not good. I think Sisters in Crime made a monumental mistake. This will and should cost them membership. Okay, now I'll get off my soap box.
Last night I sent me latest work to the publisher for reading. It was a long effort to finish it but after a number of rewrites and going through two critique groups, I think it was finally ready. It is about a retired engineer from California who moved to a small Texas town and writes a newspaper column under a woman's name because it is a handy hints column. He inherits a Confederate soldier's journal and this starts a wild, and dangerous ride to locate a long lost treasure, even though people around him are kidnapped, killed and have bad things happen (it is a mystery after all). It has a lot of action and suspense in it too. I've started another book in my old Virginia Davies series again.
In the mean time, I was appointed to the Library Advisory Board by the City and will go to my first meeting next week. This should be interesting.