My book launch for Spring Into Danger is tonight at cSpace King Edward Marda Loop. I think I have everything prepared and will have lots of stuff to bring up to the 4th floor Treehouse — food, drinks, disposable dishes, my computer for the PowerPoint presentation, door prizes, and more. Books will be the heaviest item, since I’ll be supplying Owl’s Nest, the bookseller for the event.
It looks like we’ll be fortunate with the weather. After two overcast days, the sun is out. It won’t be summertime warm, but people will be able to step outside on the deck as well as catch views of the city and mountains through the Treehouse’s glass windows.
My husband Will and I are going early to get a parking spot in the lot since cSpace has another event going on that night. For those who come later, there will be plenty of free parking on the nearby streets.
I look forward to seeing friendly faces in the audience cheering on my new book.
Yesterday’s cool, cloudy weather made it a good day to stay home and work on my book launch presentation. I enjoy creating PowerPoint presentations. As I’ve done at past launches, I’ll show slides of locations that inspired my novel and read scenes related to each setting.
My first reading will be the novel’s opening scene, narrated by my protagonist, Paula Savard. The novel begins with Paula alone in her office building in Calgary’s historic Inglewood neighbourhood, pictured at the top of this post.
After my readings and talk, I’ll invite audience questions and answer them as best I can. Then comes a trivia quiz, which I spent this afternoon preparing. I did my best to find interesting questions that strike a balance between easy and hard. With luck I succeeded and people will find the game fun and informative.
I look forward to tomorrow evening with readers and friends at cSpace Marda Loop.
Thursday, September 21, 2023, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
The Treehouse, 4th Floor cSPACE Marda Loop, 1721 29th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta
RSVP Owl’s Nest Bookstore email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 403-287-9557
At Bouchercon San Diego in early September, I met Nancy Brashear at an evening event. She said she’d driven from San Clemente to the convention with her husband, who wasn’t attending Bouchercon. He’d brought his e-bike and had discovered interesting bike paths in the city. That morning he’d taken his bike on the ferry to Coronado island. Even though I was thoroughly enjoying the convention, as an ardent e-biker I was a tad jealous.
Hard to believe my book launch is only five days away. I’m finding it hard to focus on preparing for the event in the midst of Calgary’s burst of summer weather. Wednesday I went hiking in our beautiful Kananaskis mountains south of the city. Today I went to another part Kananaskis for a short hike and our hiking club’s annual highway cleanup. It’s always disappointing to find so little garbage by the roadside. Tomorrow I’m off for a bike ride in Banff on the Bow Valley Parkway, which is closed to motor vehicles this month. But Sunday, despite the forecast sunshine and warm temperatures, I will have to get down to work.
The launch party for Spring Into Summer will take place Thursday, September 21, 2023, 7:00-8:30 p.m. cSPACE Marda Loop, 1721 29th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta.
When I’m on holiday my mind reboots. I wrote today’s BWL blog before my trip and had forgotten the topic I chose until I checked the BWL website today. Turns out I wrote about how biking inspired my new novel, Spring Into Danger, and how I came to set the story during the first pandemic lockdown. Here’s the post: https://bwlauthors.blogspot.com/
I’m excited about two upcoming events. Next week I’ll be on a panel at Bouchercon, San Diego, with four talented writers. It promises to be informative and fun. https://www.bouchercon.com/
On Sept 21st Owl’s Nest Bookstore will host the book launch party for my new novel, Spring Into Danger. The event will take place at cSpace Marda Loop, 1721 29th Avenue SW, 4th floor Treehouse. Scroll down Owl’s Nest’s Event page for details. Owl’s Nest Bookstore (owlsnestbooks.com)
BWL’s Art Director didn’t set out to create a cover brand for my Paula Savard Mystery Series. The first cover that Michelle Lee designed for me was for book # 2 of my series, Ten Days in Summer, published in 2017. The process began with me filling out a BWL Cover Art Form (CAF). I provided details about the story, its setting in Calgary, and the two main characters and suggested images related to these. At that time, BWL required that most novel covers include at least one image of a person.
I plugged keywords into the photo image website, searching for ones that suited my protagonist and the story antagonist, a wannabe cowboy. None were exactly right, especially for Paula, my insurance adjuster sleuth. “Female detective” turned up images of young women peering through magnifying glasses. Paula is fifty-two and doesn’t use that prop. Keywords “female insurance adjuster” showed women examining cars. The story involves a building fire insurance claim. I tried “businesswomen” and got images of women sitting in meetings, while Paula spends her time out on the case.
I selected the best images for Paula that I could find along with images for my antagonist, which included a silhouetted cowboy. I also suggested images of the Calgary skyline, fires, and a boarded-up house for the burned building. I don’t think Michelle used any of the exact images I sent, but she meshed my ideas into a cover that was better than one I could have designed (see cover image above). The fire suggests the heat of summer in the title.
Two years later, BWL republished A Deadly Fall, book # 1 in the series. During that short time period, book cover fashion moved away from portraying people and toward crisp and intriguing images that evoke a sense of the story. Now BWL’s CAF stated that most covers would not include a person. I sent people image suggestions anyway, but I found it easier not to have to focus on finding an image that fit the characters in my head. On my CAF, I suggested images for the Calgary skyline and fall — fall leaves on water, a path in fall, trees with colourful fall leaves, and falling leaves. Again, I doubt Michelle chose my actual suggestions, but they were her starting point to create this golden cover.
When the third series book, Winter’s Rage, was ready for a cover two years later, we were on our way to a series cover brand. My CAF included a few people image suggestions — a woman texting, a man in a snowstorm, but I focused on images of the Calgary skyline in winter and winter driving, since this story was about a hit-and-run collision. For the first time I considered colour. While red, orange, and yellow suited the fall and summer seasons of the first two books, I saw winter as white, blue, and black (night). Michelle came up with a cover that continued the brand with snowflakes and a frozen Calgary. Winter’s book cover was blue, with yellow lettering that linked it to the colour of the two earlier books in the series.
By book # 4 of my Paula Savard Mystery Series, the series brand was established: Calgary skyline, colours to suit the story season, and additional images related to the season or story. Since bicycles feature prominently in Spring Into Danger, I included bicycle images among my CAF suggestions and chose Calgary skyline images that had a place for a bike or cyclist in the foreground. Here’s the cover design for Spring Into Danger, which is scheduled for release in September.
I like how the cyclist pops into view. Whenever I look at this cover, I don’t notice him until he emerges from the shadows. The book’s blue cover with yellow lettering matches Winter’s Rage and the covers for the four books have come full circle by including a silhouette on the first and last design. I look forward to seeing Spring Into Danger sitting on a bookshelf.