Sunday, November 11, 2012

Austin Cap10K race

On April 7. 2013 there will be another Austin, TX Cap 10K race. Kathy and I signed up for it already. I have the same goals as last time:

Show up
Don't finish last
Don't have to go to the hospital
Don't die

NOW I've got to start training. It takes me a while, so I'd better start early. Kathy and I have registered so we're committed. Now we need to get a few friends to do it with us too. Of course I'll be the last of the group in at the finish but I will make it (I hope). Who knows, maybe I won't be the last of our group. Should be fun, I hope. As long as it doesn't rain. Anyone want to join us? How about you on the Left Coast?

Monday, November 5, 2012

'm going to be at Gourmage in New Braunfels, TX on Nov. 30th 4 to 6 PM to do a book signing for the Trashy Gourmet. There will be things to do and Trashy Gourmet recipes given out free. If you are in central Texas then stop by and say Howdy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

New newspaper column and other stuff.

Okay, it's been too long between posts. I have some news:

1. I'm now a columnist for the Georgetown Advocate and my column is called Professor Dave. First column appears in the first november issue. This will be fun.

2. I'm giving two training sessions at Love is Murder mystery conference in Chicago next February1,2&3. This will be fun. The conference was a blast last year and was just the right size to have good speakers etc and small enough to meet new friends. Sold a lot of books too. (Also deductible).

3. Got a publicist to help market The Trashy Gourmet. I'm hoping for lots of good things to happen.

4. Quilters are asking about my next book that is due out soon titled Dangerous Threads. Marketing to the quilters and others will be a lot of fun.

5. Going to Killer Nashville next year and to Bouchercon. Both mystery writing conferences. (Also deductible).

6. Finished the Coroner mystery and now working on another Virginia Davies novel.

         Here is a teaser about the coroner book:


                                                           David Ciambrone

            Eleven thirty in the overcast evening, a man of medium build, with thinning brown hair and wearing wire rimmed glasses, dressed in U.S. Army work camo uniform, with a major’s rank insignia Velcroed to the front, entered the outer section of the Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) suites within USAMRIID. Following a carefully laid out plan, he stole the stainless steel thermoses of the particular samples he was after.
            Dr. Jack Turner, a Ph.D. chemist is the Coroner of San Sebastian County, California and a reserve Lt. Colonel in the army attached to USAMRIID. He watches his life change forever when an alarm goes off and emergency protocols lock down one of his autopsy suites. The “customer” in the lab had smallpox. Not just any smallpox, but weaponized smallpox from a chimera. It’s supposed to be extinct, but there are samples still around, at the CDC and the army. But, some of the Army’s is missing from Ft. Detrick, the home of USAMRIID. To add to Dr. Parker’s problems The army presents Dr. Turner with orders from the U.S. Army Adjutant General activating his reserve commission to active duty and authorizes him to act as a law enforcement special agent of the army, to the displeasure of the FBI and local Sheriff, who he must work with. Adding further complications, he has to work with Nancy Cartwright of the Department of Public Heath. Their objective-find the source of the Chimeras and smallpox, find the perpetrators and stop anyone from using it as a terrorist weapon and causing a pandemic, especially with all the military bases, defense contractors and tourist destinations in Southern California.  He has to stop an attack worse than an atom bomb.
            With the clock running down, Jack and Nancy, using their wits, cunning and, slightly bending the rules and the law, entangle the reader in a rapid-fire adventure racing headlong into a series of macabre organizations and locate the smallpox and stop the continuous murders by a group of terrorists. 

Now it's back to work on my new column. Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My new book, The Trashy Gourmet- cover

The new cover for my next book THE TRASHY GOURMET is above. The book should be out in a couple weeks. 

Note the comment about it from an advanced edition:

The Trashy Gourmet
An Adam Thomas Mystery
The story pacing here is superb; just fast enough to make the reader want to keep reading and turning pages to see what happens next without totally overwhelming the reader. Character involvement and plot layering techniques are good, with sharp dialogue and interesting subplots. It reminds me of Jack du Brul and early Clive Cussler.
--Barb Wilson--
Freelance Editor

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

LeciCon 2012 in Denton, TX

Went to LexiCon in Denton, Texas last weekend. Was a great conference, good speakers and panels and very friendly people and great mixing and networking. I highly recommend going next year.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just got done with my first year with the Williamson County Appraiser's Review Board. It is a Legal appeals board. I am a hearing officer. We get trained by the State of Texas and act as hearing officers (judges) on tax appraises. It was fascinating, educational and we did a lot of work. Will have a few scattered hearings later in the year and will hit the deck running next May, June and July.

I'm also on the Chisholm Trail Special Utility District (water district) Board of Directors. It  covers parts of three counties. Things with this district are heating up as well. Interesting job.
Had a thought about writing to share. This is about ideas for a book discussion group:

                                                   Items for a Book Discussion Group

The following is a set of guidelines for use during book discussions at a book club. It is a start for the users to build upon. Feel free to add or subtract as you feel the need. The following is based on a discussion by a number of writers and readers and parts of various articles. I wish I could credit all the participants but I don’t have names. But whoever you are, thanks for the contribution.

Discussion topics:

After you read the book, how did you feel?
Did you enjoy the book? Why or why not?
If you picked up one idea that is central to the book, what would you say it is?
What problems or issues are raised?
How realistic were the main characters?
Would you have made the same or similar decisions in their place?
Were there characters you identified with? If so, how?
Did you feel you were experiencing the time and place which the book was set?
Is the story’s time period critical to the story and why?
How would it have been different if placed in a different time and location?
Did the plot pull you in?
How did the story make you feel?
What emotions did the story evoke?
Did you learn anything from the story?
Did the book end the way you expected?
If you could change anything about the book, what would it be?
Describe what you liked and disliked about the author’s style.
Would you read another book by this author?

Just wanted to update this blog with some good news.

1. Still keeping the weight I lost last year off. Learned that walking 4 to 5 miles a day can be not just good exercise but a lot of fun and clears the mind.

2. Just got back from Lexicon in Denton, Texas. Nice book conference. Lots of fun, good sessions, great people and great interactions and networking. Recommend it for next year.

3. The Trashy Gourmet will be coming out soon.. Good news.

4. Dangerous Threads (a Virginia davies Book) is being edited at the publisher. Good news here too.

5. Met the publisher from Whitebird Publications. She is really nice and has some great ideas and seems easy to work with. I recommend anyone looking for a publisher to contact her. (Evelyn Byrne).

6. Met a literary agent who does more than just represent. She also edits and helps her authors. The company is Writer's Ink / Media and her name is Pat Haarhaus.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lost weight and the 10K

Just a note:  Last year I came close to dying twice and in the process of getting well lost 45 pounds in 6 weeks. I don't recommend the method used. But I've pretty well kept it off and a few weeks ago actually did the Austin Cap 10. It's a 10K. I actually did it. I now walk (fast) 3 to 4.5 miles a day and feel great.

News and Tips for the new writer


I's been a while since I last Blogged. My new Adam Thomas book Trashy Gourmet is scheduled to come out in June 2012 (in a few months) and Dangerous Threads is scheduled for the fall. Nice!!! I also wanted to share something for new writers so here we go:

                                                          Tips for a New Writer

·                Begin writing. Don't worry about how it sounds the first time through... just write.
·       When possible, develop a rudimentary 'goal' (a potential ending); a theme (or themes); a rudimentary setting (temporal [time] as well as geographic); a rudimentary set of characters - including the protagonist (sometimes a 'hero' - i.e. the main character); one or more antagonists (those who hinder, or attempt to hinder the protagonist from achieving his/her goal); and the supporting characters (family, friends, co-workers, etc.)
·       You can use tools such as Topical (or other types of) Outlining to help you develop the story line; and logically keep track of your continuity along the way. Maintaining logical continuity in your story is highly desirable; as it is a hallmark of professional writing; and nobody wants to read a story that has no logical progression; with unexplained holes and gaps along the way.
·       Consider using authoring software, if you do not have a good feel for going it on your own. This can be expensive, but can help the novice and professional alike in developing solid stories using some of the tried and true formulas that have been analyzed in creating such software.
·       It's not always the best idea to send your manuscript in for publishing the second you finish it. Give yourself awhile to consider revising and rewriting. This may be a few days to a few weeks. Step away for a bit, and then come back. There always will be things in your novel that you may wish that you had done differently. Don't linger too long - revise it; spell-check it; grammar-check it; pick a time when you feel the manuscript is ready; let friends, colleagues and select others review it; get feedback; apply or don't apply that feedback. Get an agent - have the agent submit it; OR go the small independent press route.
·                It's really up to you, the writer, regarding how long you should take to revise/rewrite.
·       Consider joining an online writing community. This can provide support and feedback/peer reviews. Or, even better yet, join a critique group locally to get their personal feedback on a personal basis and it also allows you to be inspired and around other writers for the often overlooked support from people with the same goals and problems.
·       Consider an agent and hope for a large publisher or small press before a vanity press. NOTE: Many e-publishers really are just another form of "vanity publishing" - they claim "no costs," but you end up paying fees for various add-ons, premium 'this' and premium ‘that’. REAL Publishers pay you.
·       Many e-pubs and small presses are offering print versions of their books through the benefits of Print on Demand services like Lulu. Also, with MOST NON-TRADITIONAL (small presses) PUBLISHERS, be prepared to help promote your own work by setting up a blog and attending online chats, as well as other promotions AND other leg-work on YOUR part!
·       Write your story the way you want. There are markets for all genres. You can search for publishers based on the keywords that you think describe your story best. Many publishers cater to a broad variety of tastes in readers and writers.
·       Make your idea as original as possible; or make it a truly unique twist on an already-existing idea. Without realizing it, you could be taking storylines from books you've read or movies you've seen. Conversely, using other works as inspiration is a useful writing method - just be sure to avoid plagiarism and clich├ęs as much as possible.
·       Use writing advice that works best for you - different writers write differently. Regarding writing advice: "One size" does NOT fit all.
·       You do not have to write about something you already know: you always can research and learn about things you wish to incorporate into your plot. Use the Internet, libraries, interviews, etc. as tools to assist in research.
·       One method of developing a novel is to begin with the ending in mind: If you know the ending of the story, it can help you form the theme, the plot, the settings, and the characters; and it can help you more easily progress toward that ending.
·       Develop your characters to be as multi-dimensional as possible - flat, boring, uninteresting characters can kill even the best story before it gets off the ground. Sometimes your characters will begin to develop in ways you hadn't expected. Don't panic! This can be a good thing, and it can add new and refreshing directions for you in your plot. Try to base your characters on real-life experiences and on what motivations and traits that you believe your characters would have in an equivalent real-life setting. Use your imagination fully; use your interactions with others as an initial basis. Also, don't be afraid to research various personality types for character material.
·       Another tip that might prove useful is a "big picture" approach: Try to create the world (the overall setting and environment), and then build on it to create your novel. Base your characters around the world that you have created (geography, races, towns, cities, capitals, cults, factions, governments, etc.)
·       Try to avoid throwing away ANY ideas! In writing, it's often a good practice to have MORE material than you actually need, so please try to retain ALL of your ideas (even those you may have considered tossing out earlier). At times, you may need "filler ideas" to finish out a sub-plot and move to the main plot along. Set up a computer or hard copy file for all “discards” and other ideas for future reference. This also helps when you have to cut the great idea that didn’t really fit and you don’t want to lose it. Put it in the file for future reference.
Things you will need
·       A clear mind. You can't do anything without clearing your mind.
·       A quiet place to sit and work.
·       Loads of stamina, perseverance, and the willpower to plough on and finish what you start, running with your idea to its conclusion rather than abandoning it midway through.
·       A dictionary and thesaurus. You might need to look up words or you might need a different word to use. This will help!
·       A computer or typewriter.