TOPICS: Paperback Releases / Summer Promos / In Progress / New Web Links / Just for Amusement / Until Next Time

Deborah O'Toole: Newsletter (Autumn 2015)

Hello readers!

The summer was overlong and miserably hot. I wished a hundred times that I could magically transport myself to the Scottish Highlands for the duration, where the temperature does not get much above 68-degrees F. Needless to say, I'm so ready for autumn. Truth be told, I was ready for it as far back as June.

A friend sent me a note near the end of August, which concluded with "Hope your summer is going well." My response was quick but rather testy, sorry to say:

Summer overstayed its welcome long ago. Glaring sunshine, suffocating heat - same thing, day after day after miserable day. I may as well drop dead to the sun-baked pavement now and be done with it. On the bright side, you won't hear me complain one iota when it turns cold (if it ever does). At this point, I'm convinced my current place of residence has replaced that hellish entity known as the pit of Hades.

My friend is accustomed to my heat-induced tirades, and knows I always feel better after venting.

Paperback Releases

The Advent and Quixotic Crossings (books 1 and 2 respectively in the Collective Obsessions Saga, written by me as Deidre Dalton) were released in paperback editions in early summer. I didn't realize the releases were going to happen so fast after I signed the supplementary contract with my publisher, so when I saw the initial email alerting me to the fact I nearly choked on my tea. Being published never gets old.

Front and back cover design for paperback edition of "The Advent." Click on image to view larger size in a new window.      Front and back cover design for paperback edition of "Quixotic Crossings." Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

(Above, left to right): Front and back covers for paperback editions of The Advent and Quixotic Crossings.

Click on images to view larger sizes in a new window.

The remaining six books in the saga are also scheduled for paperback release between now and the early part of next year. New covers are being designed for some of the books as we speak. I'm perhaps most anxious to see the new cover for book #3  The Twain Shall Meet, for which I gave quite a bit of suggestive input. The physical appearance of the main male character is based on a real person (but my lips remain forever sealed as to his true identity). Hopefully, he will be as near as can get for the paperback cover. He inspired many of the new "bonus" scenes I wrote back in February for the book's reissue.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it all comes to pass without a hitch.


Summer Promos

As part of their 8th annual summer sale, Smashwords offered discounts on books in their catalog during the month of July 2016.

Four of my books were part of the event, including Celtic Remnants, Mind Sweeper, Torn Bits & Pieces and Bloodfrost. The eight novels in the Collective Obsessions Saga were not part of the sale as they are contractually obligated to my publisher.

A new interview with yours truly is also available at Smashwords >


In Progress

I spent most of the summer focused on The Crypt Artist. I'm making good progress with the story (knock on wood), and hope to finish it before the year is over. I haven't written a blurb or even a synopsis for the book yet. Perhaps this one sentence will give over a hint: "A struggling artist is encouraged by a group of restless ghosts to achieve his dream." It doesn't really sum up the story, but it's the best I can do for the moment.

Inputting handwritten notes (08/01/2016). Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

(Above): Inputting handwritten notes (08/01/2016). Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

My writing habits for The Crypt Artist have taken on a familiar pattern. I write by longhand at night, mainly to get away from my computer screen, and then input my notes the next day. It has worked splendidly so far. I usually don't tamper with a routine that keeps the writing flow moving along, so I'm sure my age-old habit will continue until I finish the book.

Next in the line of writing priorities is Glinhaven, which I hope to complete by early next year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it shall be so!

As per my usual notation, storylines, estimated release dates and book cover designs may be subject to change.


New Web Links

My web host Tripod had a major meltdown back in June (which I describe in detail on my blog entry Tech Anguish), forcing me to find a new host tout de suite. I found one quickly, thankfully. It is reputable and a damn sight more reliable than Tripod. Links to my web site, blog and all the book sites have since changed. In essence, anything with the word "tripod" in the web address is no longer valid.

New links for restored web sites include:

The only site I left behind at Tripod was Food Fare, which has more than 1,000 pages. There was no way I could reassemble all of it in a timely fashion, so complete migration has been saved for a future date.

Just for Amusement

How did I beat the summer heat? I stayed indoors for the most part, frankly. However, aside from reading and writing, I did manage to find a few other ways to amuse myself.

Me & Rainee in Shades

I have quite a few pictures of me and Foofer together when he was alive, and I've always wanted the same thing for Rainee. It was my intention to take a decent picture of Rainee and I together near the end of July, but she became rather disobliging the second I put Foofer's old Doggles on her head.  Doggles are canine sunglasses, which I ordered specially for Foofer long before Rainee came along in 2004. The shades were made to fit Foofer's large head size, so they were a tad loose on Rainee.

Me and Rainee (07/31/16). Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

(Above): Me and Rainee (07/31/2016). Click on image to view larger size in a new window.

She fought me nearly every inch of the way. I tried to get her to sit with me on the couch - she flopped down on her side on the floor instead. I finally managed to get her onto the couch, but she jerked her head away from me when I held her and snapped a picture. The end result was all the images came out blurry. However, it was the best I could do with a camera in one hand and a squirming dog in the other. When I finally gave up, Rainee flew off the couch and ran as if the hounds from hell were at her heels. I'll try again some other day.

Irish Humor

Over the summer, I discovered the comedy trio known as Foil, Arms & Hog. The three guys are a scream. According to their  website: "We are Sean Finegan, Conor McKenna and Sean Flanagan (aka Foil Arms & Hog), an Irish sketch group who perform on TV, radio, the stage and YouTube. We work out of an office in Dublin where we write, film and edit our own sketches for our YouTube channel. We do a new video every Thursday, sometimes topical, but mostly completely random."

Their humor brightens my days considerably. Give them a whirl for a good laugh!

English Humor

I've long been a fan of English sitcoms. A few of my favorites include As Time Goes By, To The Manor Born, Keeping Up Appearances, Waiting for God, Yes, Minister and - my all time favorite - One Foot in the Grave.

From Wikipedia: "One Foot in the Grave" features the exploits and mishaps of irascible pensioner Victor Meldrew (played by Richard Wilson), who after being forced to retire from his job as a security guard, finds himself at war with the world and everything in it. Meldrew, cursed with misfortune and always complaining, is married to long-suffering wife Margaret (played by Annette Crosbie), who is often left exasperated by his many misfortunes. Despite its traditional production, the series subverts its domestic sitcom setting with elements of black humor and surrealism.

Here's a sampling:

I splurged last year and bought the One Foot in the Grave: Complete Series DVD set. Whenever I'm down or simply need a good laugh, watching one or two episodes never disappoints me.

Kids on Film

Near the end of August, I took new videos of my "kids." Neither one of them was pleased, to say the least.

On the day I took her video, Kiki was rambunctious (running around and knocking things over; flipping an apple and a lime off the kitchen table for starters), and opening cupboards with her head and right paw. The second I turned on the video camera, this is what she gave me.

Rainee wasn't in the mood to cooperate with the camera, either.

Pardon the darkness of the films. My only excuse is I haven't used my video camera in ages and forgot some of the basic functions (focus, lighting, etc.). I'll do better on the next go-round.

Until Next Time . . .

In honor of Halloween, free views of Jack the Ripper and Foofer & the Ghastly Ghost will be available online for the month of October. Check my blog Irish Eyes or Facebook page for links and updates.

Look for another newsletter in late December 2016 or early January 2017.

Until next time, happy reading . . .

Deborah O'Toole

September 22, 2016

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