Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fatal Dose Featured in Huffington Post

Samantha McGraw who blogs as the Teacottage Mysteries as well as for the Huffington Post has featured my books in her posts today. She will also post on Facebook and Instagram. The blog post is labeled “Tea with M.E. Maki.”

Samantha was easy to work with, provided a list of questions, and was very flexible with my publishing schedule. She is looking to feature authors and their blog posts, even recipes. Check her blog out, and consider sharing a blog with her.

While marketing Fatal Dose, I am developing an outline for my next book with the working title, The Missing Waterman.

Through this process, I have learned that what I love about writing is developing the different characters, describing the setting, and then bringing it all to life.

Fatal Dose and An Unexpected Death can be found on Amazon under author M.E. Maki. And Amazon reviews are always welcome. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fatal Dose: A Caitlyn Jamison Mystery - Now available

Graphic artist Caitlyn Jamison is back in scenic Riverview, New York, working on a winery photo shoot—and hoping to reconnect with Sheriff Ethan Ewing. But the sheriff has a serious situation on his hands: an undercover agent posing as a professor disappears on the same morning a college student is found dead. When Caitlyn learns the missing man is her friend’s uncle, and against Ethan’s wishes, she insists on helping with the investigation.

Meanwhile, Caitlyn’s Aunt Myra hears about a different kind of mystery from her friend, retired teacher Verna Adams. Verna is searching for her long-lost brother, who once lived on the abandoned road where the student’s body was discovered. As Riverview’s town historian uncovers the unsettling truth about Verna’s brother, Caitlyn and Ethan defy the town’s officials and keep their investigation going—with dangerous consequences.

Fatal Dose is the second book in the Caitlyn Jamison Mystery Series. The stories are set in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, and the book covers are by local photographers. The first book, An Unexpected Death, has a cover featuring vineyards on Seneca Lake by photographer Richard Welch. The cover of Fatal Dose is of Grove Cemetery, Trumansburg, New York by Ithaca photographer Joseph Scaglione, III.

Both Caitlyn Jamison mysteries have interesting subplots, and current social issues are worked into the plot lines of both books.

Fatal Dose can be ordered through Amazon.com.

Good Books are Fueled by Passion

This weekend I attended a University of Mary Washington Great Lives lecture at our branch library. The author, Marc Tyler Nobleman, was a powerful speaker, an accomplished researcher, and with an insatiable curiosity. The passion that fuels him is superheroes. Specifically, Superman and Batman.

In his book, Bill, the Boy Wonder, Mr. Nobleman debunks the story that Bob Kane alone created Batman. In fact, it was Bill Finger who was the creative and writing force behind Batman and the spinoffs. Mr. Nobleman writes:

When Batman was first written, one name was attached to his creation: Bob Kane. Bob's name appeared in every Batman comic, without any other creator noted. However, this is not true. Bill Finger, a Depression-era, New York resident, had a lot to do with it, too. In fact, according to Marc Tyler Nobleman's breakthrough biography Bill the Boy Wonder:The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, Bill was responsible for the majority of the Batman persona we see today.

Through dogged persistence, Mr. Nobleman found Mr. Finger’s one descendant, and together they successfully appealed to DC Comics to add Bill Finger’s name in all future publications, movies, and videos.

Marc Tyler Nobleman started his presentation by saying, “Good Books are fueled by passion,” and I agree!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fatal Dose is almost there

The last few months have been a blur as I put the finishing touches on the second Caitlyn Jamison Mystery series, Fatal Dose.

As an author, whether you are published or self-published, it is your responsibility to put out the best product possible. To accomplish that I paid close attention to what each of my seven beta readers said. I took their comments seriously, and made adjustments to the story in order to address their concerns.

When I was sure the manuscript was as clean as I could get it, I loaded it and the cover into CreateSpace, and ordered three proof copies. I read one, my husband read one, and a colleague who is a grammarian, read the third. We each found things to address, which proves that editing is never done.

Having said that, there comes a time when the author has to decide the book is done. We have to let it go.

I reloaded the corrected manuscript and the tweaked cover into Createspace at eight o’clock Tuesday morning. The book was approved by five o’clock Tuesday afternoon and I ordered one more proof copy. I am a firm believer in “Murphy’s Law.” As soon as this last proof copy arrives, I will not read it again, but instead will check the cover, and make sure no formatting issues have popped up.

Fingers crossed that my second book will be available by mid-next week. Whew!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reader Etiquette

I am getting close to publishing my second Caitlyn Jamison mystery, Fatal Dose, and with that comes an increased level of stress. What if, after all the beta readers, after all my editing, there remains an elusive typo, an extra word, a missing word, or different spellings of the same word, or … you fill in the blank.

I suspect every writer goes through this anxiety period, and maybe it never ends for some. At some point you (or your publisher) has to decide the story is told. Editing and rewriting is done. It is time to close the document and let it go. And that is when high anxiety hits.

I have been thinking about this process lately, and decided to air my feelings about reader etiquette.  I still laugh over a comment I received after publication of An Unexpected Death. The person said she hoped I would have a good editor for my next book because she found a misplaced apostrophe! How do you answer a na├»ve comment like this? As an author, you don’t. You just smile and nod. (And try not to burst out laughing.)

This week I started reading Lisa Unger’s The Red Hunter, published April 2017 by Simon & Schuster, and by a fourth of the way through the book I noticed two editing errors. I will not be emailing or commenting on the author’s Facebook page telling her about these errors. Instead, I will do what I always do, understand that no one is perfect, and what I really want from any book I pick up is a good story.

And that brings me to reader etiquette. When you read my books, I’m sure you will find an editing error or two of some kind. What I wish is that you overlook those and just enjoy the story.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Various Editing Processes

I never thought about it, but it makes sense there are different editing processes for each phase of story development.

A Developmental Editor works with the author on developing the story. They will check the structure and content of your book. You may or may not need this service, depending on your skill level. For a detailed article on how to work with a developmental editor, check Jane Friedman’s website.

A Line Editor looks at the author’s creative content, writing style and language, making sure the use of language is clear and readable. A line editor will point out overused/unneeded words and sentences, where dialogue needs to be tightened, and confusing scenes, just to name a few.

A Copy Editor gets down to the nitty-gritty of finding spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. The copy editor will look for consistency in your use of words and statements. You can’t have someone with blue eyes in the beginning of the story and brown eyes at the end – unless, of course, contact lenses are part of the story!

Thanks to the New YorkBook Editors website for pointing out the differences between line editing and copy editing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Editing – You gotta love it!

I’ve been through my manuscript a number of times. I utilized Prowritingaid software diagnostics, and then addressed the comments/issues my three experienced first readers sent. Before I send the manuscript out to my “second” readers, I need to make sure all the changes I made are correct and the story works.

I’ve learned every time I touch a document, there is the possibility of a typo, leaving a word out, or leaving in an extra word. With that in mind I had a copy run so I could read it from a different point of view – if that makes sense.

In other words, I’ve put aside my “writer” hat and put on my “reader” hat. When writing I tend to be tense, trying too hard to figure out the right way to say something and thinking about consistent formatting. This time I am sitting back, more relaxed, and in that process, with red pen in hand, I am finding all sorts of different ways to phrase what I want to say. I am also deleting sentences that don’t pull their weight, and adding some that will.

Having said that, I learned with the first book that editing can go on forever. There has to be a time when the author says, it’s done, and that is a hard decision to make.

In the meantime, I will continue to color my manuscript red.