MARLO’S DANCE

 

The first mystery set on Merculian now available on-line in e-book format (print to follow). Here’s what Vicki Delany thinks about Marlo:

“Great fun. Marlo’s Dance combines intricate, fascinating, complex world-building with a practical police procedural. I loved getting to know the charming, chubby Marlo Dasha Bogardini, Merculian detective, and his colourful, artistic, sensual world. Marlo’s Dance is the perfect read for both sci-fi fans and crime fiction aficionados.”

— Vicki Delany, national bestselling author of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Year Round Christmas mysteries.  

Here’s the video:

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The Roaring Twenties

Me-13 launchThis was supposed to be my year! The good stuff started off early even before the new year with the Mesdames of Mayhem book launch for their music themed anthology In the Key of Thirteen, where I had my story “The Moonlight Sonata”. This is the first of their anthos that I have been in so I was very happy to be included. The good times kept rolling right along with my trip back to Costa Rica in February, a place I love, where I lazed about and read and thought about writing as I swung in my hammock on the beach. And then we came home. A week later, the dreaded plague struck and we were all in lockdown.

Nevertheless, the writing went on and so did the good stuff, although adjusted to this new way of living. The staying inside part was nothing new, since I live this way anyway, hunkering down as I write, but watching all the highlights that give me such joy disappear one by one, that has been hard.  First the opera cancelled the rest of the season. Then the ballet. Then one by one all the appearances I was to make at panels and readings and other events–gone.

Worst of all–– I have two new books coming out. I was looking forward to launch parties, which I haven’t had for a while for one reason or another. Marlo’s Dance is a new
adventure for me. Although it is set in my world of the Merculians, it 

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introduces a new character and a new kind of story–– a police procedural kind of mystery. Marlo Dasha Bogardini is an investigator and is involved right away with finding the dead body of a young dancer. It’s available for pre-order now but I will talk much more about it later.

My second book will be coming out on September 15. The title is IMG_0758Dancing With Chairs in the Music House,  from Inana Publications. This, too, involves murder. Set in Toronto in 1949, it’s the story of a 10 year old girl, living in two rooms with her eccentric family in an old rooming house on Jarvis street. She spends her time wandering around, listening at doors, watching through windows and trying to make sense of what she sees and hears. Eventually she sees something not meant to be seen which changes her world.

But really why am I complaining? Isn’t most of this good news? Yes! It really is. And more good news is that I am writing, working on the last Merculian novel and making notes on another possible novel that will be completely different.

So although the twenties may not have begun to roar in the best of ways, it has plenty of time to change its tune to a more cheerful mode. And we can help by just keeping on keeping on. Write on! And most importantly, read on!

 

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MyÜber Life

7C8C4625-D925-41F5-BA21-7D73D4CB533CWhen I found I could no longer drive, I was strangely relieved. Yes, I realized this would make some things a little harder, but really it was only the short trips that seemed a problem; those quick runs to the store which is just a little too far to walk to now. The bank I do nearly entirely online, and my ever faithful chauffeur is usually on hand, or eager to run the errand himself, so problem solved. I also admit that at first as we Übered alng, I was forever checking side mirrors and turning to see if a cyclist might be coming. My right leg would stiffen, knowing the brakes should be applied. Now!

But little by little I am relaxing as I discover I no longer need to watch the road. Instead I check email, text , look at FaceBook, or even read, though That onlyv happens if I bring bmy Kindle. Yesterday I made notes with my trusty botebook from Lisbon and my little pink pen. Story ideas, naturally.

So yes, I am now living the Über life and enjoying it. Tomorrow  I am going to the opera and don’t have to worry one bit about which route to take to avoid the marathon or roadwork or anything else. I will be relaxing in my chauffeured car, checking up on the story of Rusalka in the back seat. And all for little more than the opera parking!

 

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The Downside of Writing

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Usually during the summer I read, and read, and read. When I go to the cottage the first thing I pack is a milk crate jammed full of books. And in case I run out, I gave a Kindle, also fully loaded. I look forward to these long hours when I have nothing more to do than read. But this year nothing like this is happening. Why? Because my poor brain is on a full boil, completely focused, blinkered to the life around me. In other words, I am living on Merculian.

This has happened before but never to this extent. Usually when I write I can take a break from time to time and read a book. Now, when I try, (and believe me, I have tried!) I feel antsy, anxious and frustrated. I can’t concentrate on what is going on with the plot. And these are good books! It’s not that. It’s just that someone else’s world cannot hold my attention because I want to go back to my world. The one in my head.

You might get the idea from this that I am pounding on the old laptop from morning to night but nothing could be further from the truth. I can barely eek out one scene a day. But in my head, the story lurches on, unrolling in my mind every night when I go to bed. I actually look forward to these times the way some sane people might look forward to a favourite TV show. And every morning I make some notes and write another scene. Or part of a scene, or I go back to add some witty dialogue that came sauntering through my head as I was falling asleep. The wonder of all this is that I do remember it. Most of the time I can barely remember what I came downstairs for!

The writing life is odd. We all work in different ways. But underneath the differences is that same urge, like an underground river, forcing its way into the light. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Living in Your Head

D5A25378-A5BA-4685-A28C-CED477EE3BAFI  suppose all authors live in their heads as they write the current novel. We fall in love with our characters and sometimes have a hard time making bad things happen to them, feeling rather apologetic as we put them in danger and anguish and occasionally have to kill them off.  When I wrote my first Merculian novel many years ago I fell in love with a whole world! It was, I thought, a Star Trek novel. Alas, Paramount did not agree and I have their kind rejection letter framed on my wall. Looking back I am really glad! But my Merculian characters lived on quietly in my head, biding their time.

Meanwhile I wrote more novels, which were published, finally, where I explored other genres and their worlds; mystery and erotica , literary short stories and a coming of age novel. But from time to time I remembered my Merculians and at last it was time to revisit their world. I wrote first one book, then two, then three. I took another break and then along came a Merculian mystery, and finally, my work in progress, The Colony Dancers, which is, in a way, a study of what family means.

So far only The Danger Dance and The Abulon Dance are in print, but The Memory Dance just came out in ebook, and the print edition will follow soon. Each of these books is complete in itself, but many of the same characters appear in all of them.

Who are these characters I love so much? They come from a world where the arts reign supreme. They are emotional and pleasure-loving and very sensual. They are small-ish and hate the dark. They are funny…well, some of them are…and thir impetuous natures lead them into a lot of trouble. And they are loyal to a fault…well… most  of them.

Will you love them too? Maybe. Maybe not. But their adventures are complex and  intriguing and many of the questions tackled in these pages are those asked by many of us. Take a look. Step into the world in my head! You might really like it there! And if you do, there are five books to explore! So far….



 

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Notre Dame Memory

70F3D344-6867-487F-8CE0-4DF40DC6AC82Like many others, I have visited the cathedral of Notre Dame every time I am in Paris. Except the last tine. I regret that now, that I wa s too lazy or too blasé to bother. However, I do have great memories. My first visit I was still stirred by Victor Hugo’s great saga and the history of the place. Always the thought of the generations of workers it took to get these  great gothic  arches in place, the small pieces of stained glass stitched together with hot lead, the way the artists poured their soul into the work with no thought of recognition, inspired me and filled me with awe.

But what I remember best about Notre Dame is from when I was thirteen, living with my mother for a while on the Isle de la Cité, and going to mass one Sunday in the cathedral. Suddenly the main doors opened and the emperor Haile Selassie came in with an impressive entourage of cardinals and bishops and such, incense swinging as the great organ thundered. The Conquerng Lion of the Tribe of Judah struck me as quite handsome,  looking  every inch an Emperor! That was the only time anywhere that I have seen the main doors of a  cathedral open.

I love those grand  old many-storied Churches of Europe, the wonderful stained glass, the soaring  archways, the lingering smell  of  incense and the beeswax  scent of many candles. I was shocked to discover lately that  some  places have switched to ghastly (but much safer) flickering battery operated  things. No soul. Little ritual. Bah. Humbug. The way it should be, however, lingers on my memory.

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A Brand New Year!

FB344A29-9EDA-4BC2-B632-85419A720C83Yay! A new year! Gaudeamus! Odd how that a change in the calendar , a simple turn of the page, can lift one’s spirits. A new year offers possibilities that in the old year seemed impossible. Doubly odd since 2018 had some wonderful high points amongst the sorrows to look back on: the publication of PEOPLE  LIKE US, the writing of a new and completely different sort of book, a wonderful trip to Lisbon with Adrienne, and to Seville on my own. And right near the end, I signed a  contract with Inanna for my novel DANCING WITH CHAIRS IN THE MUSIC HOUSE. Last but not least, an offer to translate one of my Kyle Stone novels into French, which is much appreciated.

In 2019 will see the emergence  of three Merculian novels, startng with THE DANGER DANCE. (First pubbed in 2007) And here is the new cover! 36481E51-C8DA-4C8C-9982-436A20626E18Cover design by the inimitable Istvan Kadar from original art by Grey Cross Studio.

I love this cover, with its hint of motion, its suggestion of one of the main characters and the swirl of space. My dancing hermaphrodites will be happy!

There will be a fourth Merculian novel eventually, and this one  is a mystery, a sort of  odd take on a police prceedural. But more on that later.

And there will be trips! More of that later, too. This is  just a quick tip of the hat to the new year and good things to come!

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