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Friday, December 24, 2010

ReadUP TweetUP

I'll be signing books in Nanaimo on January 27, 2011 at ReadUP TweetUp. Come check it out! See the link below for more information.

ReadUP TweetUP

Thursday, December 9, 2010

STILL MISSING IS ON SALE IN THE UK!

That's right! STILL MISSING hits the shelves today in the UK and I'm so very happy and proud. I'm also grateful to my fantastic team over there at Little, Brown who have done a wonderful job getting the word out.

Friday, December 3, 2010

On Lost Dogs and the Art of Positive Thinking


















I am not always the most positive person. I try to be, I want to be, but I'm a worrier. And yet, I do have a strong belief in hope and miracles and the Universe. There are times, usually when everything in my life seems to be going wrong, where I doubt the magic. But I try to tell myself that it will all make sense one day, that this is just part of the process. Because the alternative choice, which is to just give up, really kind of sucks.


Recently, a dog went missing in Nanaimo. When I first got an email about him, I noticed he had disappeared from Departure Bay, which is quite a distance from where I live so I didn't pay close attention, just registered that it was a black lab cross. Almost a week later, after it had snowed heavily the night before, I headed out one morning to take Annie for her walk and spotted a black lab across the street. I stood still for a moment, but he didn't notice me and continued up the street. I wondered if he was a lab I'd seen wandering around before who lived in the neighborhood. I also remembered there was a dog missing, but dismissed it as being too far away.

I called out and he ran back down the street and hid in some bushes. I put Annie back into the house ( she was not happy about this!) and walked over to where I'd seen him dive into the bushes. I used all my best puppy voices, encouraging him, crouched down. Nothing. I got Annie, hoping he might come out to another dog. He didn't. Annie stared into the bushes, wagging her tail, but there was only silence. I didn't like leaving him there, but thought he was likely the dog from the neighborhood who someone had let out for a morning pee and that he'd go back home. I've rescued many dogs when out walking and the lost ones always come up to me. So I took Annie for a short walk, thinking of the dog the whole time. When I came back, I put Annie in the house and checked the bushes again. But he was gone.


Later I mentioned it to my husband, speculating whether it was the dog from Departure Bay, but again I dismissed it as being too far. My book was due back in a couple of days, so I was very busy and forgot about the dog. Then three days later I noticed a sign on the telephone pole right outside my house. Now I noticed his name was Jocko and that he was wearing a red collar. I felt sick to my stomach when I realized the dog I'd seen that morning had been Jocko. I quickly checked online and found a Facebook page for him. He was still missing.

I woke my husband up right away and forced him to listen to my agonizing about how I should've looked up his information sooner, should've used food to bribe him, wished hadn't made assumptions about him belonging to a neighbor, everything and anything. My guilt was enormous. I called his owners and they were nice and kind, which increased my guilt. Jocko hadn't been seen since that day.

Over the next couple of days I searched all the woods around our area, put up signs at my vet's, my blog, my Facebook, emailed everyone I knew, searched the fairgrounds, checking every stall, empty shed, barn. I called "Jocko" so many times my dog was starting to think it was her name. I also checked his Facebook page every day, hoping and praying for good news.

He'd been missing since November 16th and hadn't been since since November 23rd. My husband thought someone had taken him in. I wanted to believe so, but I thought that the type of people who would rescue a dog would call his owners or the SPCA. I also had my doubts whether he would allow anyone to catch him. Every morning when I walked my dog I called for him and I searched the fairgrounds. I knew the chances of him still being in the area were slim, but I couldn't seem to forget about him. When I looked on his Facebook page it was clear that lots of people were worried about him, many were searching and sending out emails, doing everything they could.I hoped that something would give somewhere and he'd come home soon.

I decided to make a vision board. I printed off his poster, crossed off "Lost" and wrote "Found" under it. Then I put positive affirmations around it. His owner and I had exchanged a couple of emails, and I confessed that I'd made him one, wondering if she was going to think I was crazy. But she emailed and asked about my board as she was thinking about making one and she also sent me some photos of him.

My husband came into my office as I was looking at them and I told him how worried I was. It had been over two weeks. Where could he be? I was starting to fear the worst. Time and time again, I went to our window and stared at the spot I'd last seen him.

That morning I emailed everyone I knew again. Then I printed off the photos Jocko's owner had sent and added them to the board with more positive affirmations. I took a white label and stuck if over the word, "Lost" which I had only crossed off before, and wrote "Found" over top of it. Then I searched the fairgrounds again: in the barns, under the barns. My heart leapt when I spotted a black dog in the distance, and sank when I realized he was with his owner. I'd been carrying Jocko's posters in my pocket, along with some food, and decided to stick one to a barn. I had nothing to pin it up with, but when I stuck it to the damp wood and wedged it under a board, I thought, Action creates action, movement begets movement. If one person sees this and tells someone, then they might tell someone.

Every time I thought about how the big the world was, and how long it had been since anyone had seen Jocko, I remembered a quote that I heard on TV one night, "Don't quit before the miracle happens."

I wanted a miracle for Jocko.

When I was in real estate if I did nothing, then nothing happened. But if I started calling "For Sale by Owners," then I'd get a call on a sign or a referral. Things don't always happen directly, but they happen. I knew it wasn't likely he was still in my area. But I thought if I put out all this intense positive energy and all these other people were doing the same all over Nanaimo, then someone, somewhere might find him.

An hour later I got an email from his owner. There had been a Jocko sighting back in Departure Bay, walking into a park near where he'd first disappeared from. They had been searching and calling but so far nothing. Right away, I called a friend who lives in that area. She had a bad cold, but she's a dog nut like me, so she wanted to help. I packed a leash, some food, his poster, and we were off.


After I picked up my friend we drove around for a while, debating where he might be. Finally my friend suggested we go back to the park. I grabbed my pack sack, my container of tempting tuna, and we were heading down the trail when I noticed a car pulling in near mine. A woman climbed out, asking if I was Chevy. Then she said the best words in the world, "We found him!" When Jocko climbed out of the of the car and ran over to us, I almost cried. It was the most amazing feeling of joy.


Jocko had disappeared from his owner's friend's house, who lived in the area. After they searched for him that morning they called his name all the way back home. A little while later, Jocko arrived. He may have followed their scent, their voices, or was heading that way already. But regardless, this is one amazing dog. He had been missing for 16 days and had lost a lot of weight but otherwise was in great health. When I think about how far he travelled, what he must have gone through, I don't know how he survived. But I'm sure glad he did.


Some can argue that my vision board had nothing to do with it, that he would have come home that morning anyway. Maybe, sure. But I'm choosing to believe in miracles and that positive energy from so many people protected him and drew him home. The power of community is an amazing thing, that so many people, strangers, neighbors, dog lovers, connected over one lost dog? That's wonderful. In this day and age, when life can be so hard for so many, it sure is nice to have a happy ending.

Don't quit before the miracle happens.

PS: This week I also heard about another missing dog in the DC area. Her name is Olivia and she's a Mastiff. I made a vision board for her right away, of course. And I just checked her blog and they've had a recent sighting. So paws and fingers crossed that Olivia's story also has a happy ending. For more information on Oliva, click here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Missing Dog in Nanaimo


If anyone lives in Nanaimo please pass this information on! I should mention that it's not Annie, but I hate thinking of this poor dog being lost at this time of year, or any dog being lost at any time! Let's help bring him home.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Amsterdam!


I was recently lucky enough to be invited to Amsterdam to meet the fantastic team at Cargo Publishing. It was a wonderful trip and I fell in love with Holland. Here are some photos. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

COVER FOR NEVER KNOWING!


I haven't been able to blog for a while because I've been focused on writing and taking care of Annie, who had surgery to remove a Mast Cell Tumor. But good news all around! Annie is recovering and I love the cover design for NEVER KNOWING. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain


I loved this book! Well, I love anything to do with dogs, so when I heard this book was narrated from a dog's perspective I had to read it. I'm glad I did. In this case it's not just a great story, but one with a powerful message. Five out of five!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Launch Nanaimo!


A few photos from my book launch this past Saturday in Nanaimo. Thanks to everyone who came out! More photos are on Facebook!








Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Still Missing

This is a photo of my father, "Chevy," taken when he was in the Navy. He passed away when I was twenty-two. It's my pub day and I'm thrilled, stunned, overwhelmed, and so touched by the outpouring of support, but it makes me sad that he won't get to read my book and I wanted to honor him somehow. So today's for you, Dad.

Friday, June 25, 2010

PEOPLE MAGAZINE!

STILL MISSING is reviewed in the June 28th issue of People Magazine, on stands now! And once you get past the distracting cover, ha!, you'll find it in their "Great Escapes" summer reading feature. It's so exciting to be part of this feature, but even more so because I'm in such great company. Linda Castillo's second book, PRAY FOR SILENCE, was also reviewed and it's in bookstores now. I loved her first one and can't wait to read this one.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

STILL MISSING and Oprah!


That got your attention didn't it? Okay, okay, so I'm not on Oprah ( yet!!) but STILL MISSING is in the July issue of "O" Magazine, under the summer reads section. And let me tell you, in Writer Land that is pretty gosh darn exciting. Of course I had to run out and buy myself a couple of copies!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Vancouver Island Launch/ Book Signing!

I'm excited to announce the dates for my Vancouver Island launch/ book signings! Dates and location are on the invite to your left. I look forward to seeing you there!

Cute!

Now this is the way to start your day! Except maybe not on a counter. I'd probably fall off and crack my head. Oh, wait, that's not really positive thinking is it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

Watch it!

PS: My annoyance with the major weep fests on SYTYCD continues. I just about needed a wet suit to watch Wednesday night. Less tears last night, but not sure how I feel about the " all stars" being paired with the contestants. I enjoy the dances, but it's hard to focus on the new guys and gals.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Happy Friday!

Just a little mini update, because life is crazy busy right now, but I wanted to share some good news. STILL MISSING has now sold to Taiwan! Yippee! And in just over a month STILL MISSING will be published in the States and Canada, which is almost five and a half years from when I first started the book. WOW!!



On a completely unrelated topic, I'm SO happy that So You Think You Can Dance is back on. But I'm kind of annoyed that they are going the American Idol route and filming everyone's hard-luck stories. Now, I love a great story about someone overcoming adversity, obviously, but we don't know the dancers yet, nor do some of them even make it to the next round. It just feels very contrived. Like they are milking every sentimental moment for all it's worth. Does that bug anyone else?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm So Excited....


And I just can't hide it! A couple of weeks ago STILL MISSING sold to Little, Brown in the UK, which was unbelievably exciting. Thought my head was going to spin right off! Then today I found out that we sold the Italian rights to Fazi Editore!! Two more places I'd love to visit ( hint, hint, universe)!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

German Cover!!!!

I love how each country picks a different element in the book for their cover design. This cover for Germany is so symbolic, simple but powerful at the same time. The title means " One Thousand Deaths." So cool!!!!

Is it Just Me...

Or has their been a rash of bad movies lately? Husband and I tried to watch four different movies last night and gave up on all of them within minutes. He managed to see the last one to the end, but I bailed half way through and went to bed and watched Cougar Town. There's a show that snuck up on me. I didn't think too much of the original concept, but it seems to have evolved to more of an ensemble thing and I like it a lot. The friendships really drive the story.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grateful

Today I'm just feeling very grateful and blessed. Grateful for the nice dinner I had out last night with a lovely friend, who hired me for my first sales job when I was twenty-one! Grateful my husband got up early to go for a walk with me--and Annie, who is still doing well. Grateful that so many people have believed in me and my book. Grateful for my health, grateful for the chocolate cake I had last night, and grateful that my trainer cancelled our appointment this morning:)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Don't Judge a Book...

You know, I've gotta say, I've been really surprised by Bret Michaels on Celebrity Apprentice. There's NO way I would've thought he'd make it to the final two, but he's kicking butt. I never thought a lot about him in general before, just a vague impression of a girl-crazy rock star. And he is that, but the man has some brains. He's pretty savvy with business and people. Anyway, he's got my vote. Rock on, Bret!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Guest Blogging

Today I'm chatting with my friend Maureen over at Drunk Writer Talk about the importance of getting feedback on your writing.

Come on over!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finally

So I finally got the People magazine with Sandra Bullock on the front. Turns out when you live on an island in Canada they take a little longer to hit the newstands. Anyway, I thought all the photos were lovely and I was really impressed with her perspective on everything. It made me sad, but in a happy-she's-found-her-son-but-sad-she -lost-her-relationship kind of way. It does seem she has a good grip on it and has reached a place of understanding. She said something in there that I thought was just so wondeful and wise. She said that she hoped her son sees that life's sorrows don't eliminate the great joys. I hope we all see that.

Book Trailer

Once again the marketing team at St. Martin's blows my mind. With the help of some wonderful booksellers, they created this fantastic book trailer for STILL MISSING! I won't tell you how many times I've played it :) But if you'd like to see it for yourself, then click here!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Goodbye Chocolate, Hello Bikini

Well, it's the 1st of May, which means the good times are over. Okay, hopefully not ALL the good times, but my love affair with apple crisp, popcorn, and anything even vaguely resembling chocolate is.

I decided about a month ago that I'd start working out with my neighbor, who is a personal fitness trainer. May 1st seemed like a good start date because it was 8 weeks to summer. Years ago I hired a trainer and saw much better results than just going to the gym myself, and this year I really wanted to be in shape for the beach. Sitting at a computer all day is not exactly exercise and even though I walk Annie twice a day, those are casual strolls. She burns way more energy than me.

So I made a goal. The problem with that is I went completely nuts in the last couple of weeks and ate food I would never eat--and lots of it. I told husband that it was akin to getting drunk the night before you're going to rehab! The good news is that I ate so much bad food I kind of grossed myself out and now my body is screaming, "Please, no more grease!!" I'm actually looking forward to getting back into a routine, feeling my body change, buying new clothes!

Husband has been warned. Contraband food is not allowed past the doorway.The first couple of weeks of giving up anything are always the hardest. I feel sorry for husband because I'm pretty sure he was doling out sweets in self-defense. The man knows how to keep me sane! Something tells me he's going to be taking a lot of fishing trips in the next while :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

What is Going on!

Now I read that Halle Berry is splitting with Gabriel? I feel sad for her ( although she may be happy about this, who knows), but it doesn't seem like she's had a lot of luck in the relationship department.

Okay, time to walk Annie and stop worring about people I don't know!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh, Sandy....

Just in case anyone thinks I'm only obsessed with my dog, I feel the need to rant about one of my other favorite subjects. The Sandra Bullock and Jesse James drama. When this horrible story first broke, I was shocked, angry, and I have to say taking it pretty personally. I felt duped! I really believed they had something special. The guy sure looked like he was in love. And if someone can love a person and still do those awful things? Ouch.

I wasn't surprised when it was revealed she was going to divorce him. It would be pretty hard to look past that big of a betrayal. The baby adoption was very much a surprise, but power to her. I haven't read the People article yet, but damn rights I'm going to be streaking out tomorrow to buy a copy. But the thing that strikes me about the snippets that have been leaked, is her composure. It's great she's showing women can be strong, holding her head high, moving on as a single mom, embracing the new adventure etc. But does anybody else find it a little TOO calm? She mentions being sad and scared. Um, how about totally devastated? Okay, I get not wanting to pour your whole heart out to a magazine. But " sad" just seems like a major understatement.

Of course, we don't know how Sandra really is, and she needed to tell the world something, and sometimes announcing how you want to feel is the first step to actually moving toward that feeling. But I guess I wish she'd felt it was okay to be a little more open. Then again, after what she's been through, you can't blame a girl for having some trust issues.

PS: Somebody just made a very good point. Sandy was probably being careful about what she said, and how she said it, because her son might read this article one day. Not to mention Jesse's kids. Oh, yeah, forgot about that part:)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's the Little Things....

That make me laugh. Like today I'm on my morning walk with Annie in a big field. Annie is happy because she's found herself a HUGE stick, but I couldn't throw the sucker without using it like a javelin! Then I spot a little brown bunny fleeing across the field. Annie doesn't even glance at. She has a stick! Then we nearly stumble on another one who freezes in panic. When we get closer he takes off, practically under Annie's nose. But she doesn't notice it because, well, you know, she has a stick! Then she's bouncing through long grass, which I love because her tail wags like crazy and she has this big grin on her face, not to mention the massive stick in her mouth. To her left I see a tabby cat leap up into the air, spin around, and streak out of there like his tail was on fire. Annie? Didn't even see it. Good thing she doesn't have to fend for herself in the wild!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Living in the Moment


























So I thought I should update everyone on my little Annie and send a thanks to all the lovely people who wrote me. Annie is doing well, all things considered. She's gained back eleven pounds and her energy level is great!!She still doesn't want to cuddle, which I miss terribly, but overall she's the best she's been in months so I can't complain. Well, not too loudly anyway :)

I've made her a bucket list, but I refuse to check anything off and I keep adding to it. I've posted some photos I took on our walk this afternoon. As you can see she was indulging in some of her favorite activities: stick chasing, stick killing, and puddle digging. The missing fur on her leg is where she had her surgery. She has a pretty big scar there now, but I told her it gave her " street cred" and no puppy will mess with her now!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Thrill Begins Blog Interview

The wonderful Carla Buckley, author of Things That Keep us Here, interviewed me today for The Thrill Begins Debut Blog!

If you'd like to read the interview click here.

We had a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it!

Australian Cover for STILL MISSING


I have to tell you, it's just the coolest thing to see another country's take on the cover design. I'm a lucky girl, because I love this one as much as I love the US one! Can't wait to see the others.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Trailer

Allen and Unwin, my Australian publishers, have created this awesome new book trailer for STILL MISSING! I love what they did with the cover. Very creepy! I can't wait to see all the different ones for each country.

Click here to watch the trailer!

( Isn't that background music freaky?)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Change

I do not embrace change. Those who know me, know this well. Although, I have made major changes in my life and taken some pretty big gambles, they required a lot of gearing up and stress on my part before anything happened. My husband, however, is a whole different kettle of fish. He loves change. He's stable in his roots (thank God or he probably would've changed me a while ago!), but household things he's all for mixing it up.

He also knows me very well.

He'll suggest changing the living room. I'll say, "It's been like that for years. I LOVE it like that. My life will be ruined and everything would be horrible if you moved it." Husband waits a few days, I'm out for a little while, then I come home and the living room is completely rearranged. I'm all, "WHY did you move the furniture? You didn't even talk to me about...Hey, that looks really good over there. Did we always have that lamp?" Within a couple of days I'm acting like I rearranged it myself.

Same goes with the exterior garden area. I swear every time I look out there he's moved something. And it always looks good. I never would've thought a patio table can be placed in so many arrangements. I barely had plants out there when I lived alone. Don't even get me started on his beard. He grows one. I complain, then love it. It's the best beard ever. Can't imagine him without it. Just when I've hit maximum loving stage he shaves it off. Chaos breaks out. Lots of, "Why! How could you!" rants and moans. Sulking, what have you. Then in a couple of days I'm saying, "Wow, your skin is so smooth. I think you look younger. Man, you're hot. " Then it grows back and I fall in love all over again.

And so we have our pattern and it generally works well. Except for one unfortunate incident where he decided to changed our Internet/Cable services without discussing it and I almost wrapped a cable around his neck. We both learned from that one. But I digress.

Then there was the air mattress situation. When Annie had her last surgery on her leg, I slept on an air mattress in the living room with her because she wasn't allowed upstairs and no way I was leaving my baby downstairs by herself. Husband was working out of town, so Annie and I had created a full on nest by the time he got home. I had a TV, close access to the fridge, my lap top, fuzzy blankets, a coffee table as a footrest/TV tray. Books, magazines, movies. It was great! After a few days I was completely immersed in " nest living." I even did all my final page proofs from the nest.

After a few days Annie wanted back up on the couches ( I built her stairs with cushions) but I was still happily ensconced on the air mattress. When husband came home on weekends, he also started to see the benefits and stole my nest for PlayStation usage. We also discovered watching movies was much cozier cuddled on a double air mattress.

Life was good.

Annie recovered from her surgery and was able to go upstairs, we were all back in bed. But the air mattress stayed in the living room. I started wondering how long it could go on? Could we just move it when we had guests? Everything was wonderful. But I knew, deep down, I knew. Change was in the air. It had been almost a month. Then it happened. I was upstairs writing and came downstairs to get a cup of tea. The air mattress was gone. The coffee table was back in place. The pillows all in their right spot on the couch.

I stared at husband, who was sitting on the couching watching TV.

"What did you DO!?"

"Had to happen eventually, baby."

I know he was right. But oh how I mourned the air mattress, my nest, my cozy little island in the middle of the house. The house is tidier now. You can actually walk around the living room. Annie can play on the carpet. It's good. And it did have to happen. But still.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bittersweet....

So I'm back from my prepub tour, which was lovely and much fun. It was great to meet so many booksellers, and they truly are the nicest people. I know how rare of an opportunity a tour like this is for a debut author and I appreciated every moment of it. When I was in Toronto I had my first interviews, which was a whole new experience. John Barber from the Globe and Mail ran his article last weekend, which thrilled my friends and family ( and me).



But then I had to come home. See, what a lot of people didn't know, unless they were unlucky enough to ask how my dog was, then they heard far more details than they probably wanted, is that my beautiful Annie has cancer. For months I'd been fighting an invisible enemy. We consulted many vets and specialists. Annie endured test after test as we tried to find out what was wrong with her digestive system. Then a month ago I found a lump on her flank, which turned out to be a mast cell tumor. We were looking on the inside and the devil was on the outside.



After consulting five vets, I decided to give her a chance at life, and she underwent surgery to remove it. This was not an easy decision as she'd been through a lot already, but the vets were hopeful and the odds were good if they got it all. But what we didn't know was that she already had another tumor under her armpit. When I came back from the prepub tour, I talked to her vet and we decided not to do any more surgeries. This one is in an awful spot and the odds of her getting another one are too high. It's time to just let her be. I am hopeful we will have some time with her still. I don't know how long. But I'm trying to make the best of every moment.



I will try to blog more about my tour in the future, but right now I'm focusing on finishing NEVER KNOWING and trying to baby my baby. We take slow short walks, and I let her sniff every blade of grass to her heart's content. She is not as cuddly since she's been sick, but when she does allow me to hold her, I curl up against her back and inhale the scent of her fur, trying to memorize her. In the moments when she is playful, I rejoice. And I tell her in every way, every day, how much she means to me.



You might wonder why I'm sharing this, and I hope I'm not depressing the crap out of you. But I'm a writer, this is what we do. Put our pain on paper.



I've never in my life had such a juxtaposition in my worlds. Career wise, wonderful things are happening with my book. Things I worked for and dreamed about for years with nothing more than faith and hope to go on. But personally, I'm losing something so important to me it hurts to type these words. And I had to pause. Because writing it makes it so real.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How Nice is That!

So remember when I was saying how awesome book people are? Well, last week the fantastic folk at Fenn ( say that ten times fast! Fenntastic?) sent me the cardboard cut out of my cover!

It arrived on a day I sorely needed a cheer up--poor puppy had surgery--and it was also the fifth anniversary of when I first started writing STILL MISSING. Thanks Fenn!

Next week I'm leaving for my pre-pub tour. I'm very excited and I'm sure I'll have lots to blog about!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Great Expectations
















For years I fantasized about being published, what it would be like, who I would meet. What publishers and anyone in that world would be like. In my mind it was always very posh and slick. Hey, I grew up on a ranch and lived in jeans ( still do) anything past Vancouver is the OTHER WORLD.

The first time I went to NYC was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I even Facebooked when I saw my first New York yellow cab!! I sat outside the Flatiron building for a few minutes before I met my editor at St. Martin's, and just shook my head. Here I was, little ole me, in New York, going to go meet my publisher. Crazy.

Of course I was nervous as all get out and spent the weeks leading up to the trip driving myself and my husband nuts agonizing over clothing choices and anything and everything else. But then I was there. And it was amazing. Everyone at St. Martin's was so real and friendly. Not sure what I was expecting--white marble floors, white leather couches, fancy coffee type drinks I'd never heard of? Maybe. Anyway, I was ecstatic to realize not only was I happy to be published, I loved my publishers and everything about St. Martin's. How lucky is that?

I had a similar experience the first time I met my agent ( who is amazing. I send him long emails and I get " Yes" back. Love him.). He was on holidays with his wife in Washington and they took the ferry up to Victoria to meet me. My mind was busy for weeks trying to imagine what he'd be like. I had a mental picture of fancy New York agent. Sort of an Entourage Ari, kind of thing. So I was nervous. (Insert hours of obsessing here.) But then I met Mel and his wife and they were wonderful and real and well, normal!

Then I was asked to speak at the BC Book Fair. My first speech. Gasp! I rehearsed for weeks and gave the speech so many times to my husband he was repeating it in his sleep. More debating clothing options etc. etc. Then I was there and I met the sales reps for Fenn, the Canadian distributor for St. Martin's, the lovely Judy Parker and the super cool Peri Maric. They put me at ease right away ( although, Peri wouldn't let me take the cardboard version my book cover you see in the photo above, which I coveted furiously, something about needing it somewhere :) and I couldn't have asked for a better support system. Even if we weren't working together I would want to be friends with these people.

They took me under their wing, introduced me to lots of fabulous BC booksellers ( book people are so nice, really), and just generally gave me a crash course in the Canadian publishing world. I learned so much, and had an absolute blast doing it. I even got to sign some books--another first! I was so bloody new at it that I didn't know there is a certain page authors are supposed to sign. There is a man out there with one of my ARCs signed on the wrong page. Sorry!
The moments of the speech are still a blur in my mind, but I survived, it was over and I'd DONE IT!!! Then that night I got to go to my first ball at the Union Club, which was all very elegant with wood beams and dim lighting. But I think my favourite moment at dinner was when I was talking to this lovely young editor sitting next to me, who exclaimed that she couldn't believe she was at the Union Club having dinner with publishing people and sitting next to an author! It took me a moment to realize she meant me! I cracked right up, because I knew exactly how she was feeling.

Thanks again, Peri and Judy! You guys are the best.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What a Trip!


Portugal, Brazil, and Spain. What do these three countries have in common? Amazing sunsets, gorgeous scenery, fun people, fabulous beaches, and my book! That's right, STILL MISSING will now be available in three more countries! Can I just say how jealous I am that my book gets to go to all these countries before I do?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Awesome Contest!!!

Wow! There is nothing more exciting to me than the chance to win BOOKS unless there is a chance to win BOOKS AND A VACATION! Seriously. I read about this on Susan Juby's blog and my heart just about stopped. All you have to do is vote for some books and then you could potentially win 64 books ( yes, you read that right. 64 books!!!) and a 7-day trip to the Bahamas!? My head just about spun right off at the idea of having all those books land on my doorstep. Oh, and the dreamy idea of a vacation somewhere hot. Lazing in a hammock, a fancy umbrella drink in one hand a book in the other...sigh.

Enter HERE in case you missed the link above.

PS: Vote for Susan Juby! We live in the same town and she's great!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fall On Your Knees

I don't tend to read a lot of literary fiction, but when they are as dark and delicious as this novel, I do. I've been travelling back and forth to Vancouver with my dog so she can get treatment and this book kept me company on the ferry and in the waiting room. I needed to get lost in another world, in someone else's pain, and Fall On Your Knees did the trick.

The characters are wonderful and the language gorgeous. I also loved the historical aspect of it, especially because it never meandered into a history lesson. It just added depth and a richness to the narrative. I appreciate many books, but only a few really make me go, Wow, now there's a writer. If you haven't read this one, I suggest you do!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Zen Moment with Annie



This photo was taken on Christmas Day at my mom's ranch. Annie was sitting quietly, taking in the view, sniffing the air for the scent of horses, rabbits, ponds, chickens, and cats. She wasn't angry that she was sick, she didn't blame anyone or ask for anything. She was just taking it all in and living in the moment.

Friday, January 22, 2010

They're Here!

My ARCs arrived! Each time the novel passes through another stage on its way to publication I'm filled with excitement and a lot of, Holy cow, is this really happening? This is the first time I got to see the book with its final cover design and typeset pages, so there were squeals of joy, and, I'm not ashamed to admit, one seriously crazy happy dance! My hubby took some pictures of me holding the ARCs, but as I'd just crawled out of my cave ( office) and was giddy with glee ( looked like Annie when she's fetching a stick), no one gets to see them!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oh, Happy Day...

Today is a good day for a couple of reasons. First, the Dutch rights to STILL MISSING sold to De Bezige Bij, a fantastic publisher, who represents Karin Slaughter and James Patterson among many others. So I'm very excited about that. And I can finally enjoy last week's Czech and Slovak translation rights sale because Annie is feeling better!

When my baby is unhappy, I'm REALLY unhappy. Yesterday we went back to one of her vet's ( she has three, really more of a team at this point, but this clinic has mattresses instead of metal tables, which Annie thinks is pretty cool!), and added some new meds and got an acupuncture treatment. I thought there was NO way that was going to go over well. But she was a trooper. She gave me--and the needles in her legs--some funny looks, but she hung in there. My life has become a series of timers and pills and droppers ( I even had to make up a timetable) but if it helps my fur-child, I'll gladly do it all and more. Today the tide seems to have turned. Fingers ( and paws) crossed!