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Working with the editor: a case study

Editing has been on my mind lately, as I’ve been preparing Tracy Hayes, P.I. with the Eye for publishing. As a happy coincidence, Delilah S. Dawson had a lengthytweet chain about the topic too, prompted by her annoyance with aspiring authors unwilling to make changes that editors suggest to their books. Her response, in short, was that no author escapes the changes, so you’d better get used to them from the start. Her notes are useful to read in full.

She was speaking from the point of view of a traditionally published author who has more than one set of editors making suggestions and demands, all of which strive to make the book as good as possible. She doesn’t claim it’s easy to let other people to have their say, but that it’s necessary.
Listening to one’s editor is even more crucial for self-publishing authors, as we lack the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. If you’re lucky, you find one who understands your writing, and who isn’t afraid to tell you how you can improve it. If …
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Streamlining my author profile

When I began to publish my own books in 2012, one thing seemed obvious. I couldn’t publish different genres under one name. It would confuse my readers and possibly accidentally make them read books in genres they didn’t want to. They’d naturally be upset for this.
So from the beginning, I’ve been publishing with two author names: Susanna Shore for paranormal romances and Hannah Kane for contemporary romances. I even had a pen name ready for historical romances, but I’ve never got around to publishing those, and so haven’t needed it. Incidentally, I have a folder full of unfinished regency romances.
From the start, the two author names were a hassle. Do I create different webpages for them, and social media identities? I tried the first, which resulted with such a complex system of pages that I had no idea what was where. It also took me a great deal of time to keep each page updated. Fairly soon, I collected my pages under one address,, which made my life easier. …

Reading recap: December

Happy New Year! I’m starting the year by rounding up the series of posts I did last year about the books I’ve read. December was a good reading month despite the fact that I was busy publishing my Two-Natured London Christmas short story collection. The Goodreads reading challenge counted nine books into my challenge, and even though two of those are actually very short stories, I think reading seven proper books is still impressive.

The stories were For I Have Sinned by Darynda Jones and Black Friday by Karen Chance. The first was a bit of a disappointment. The story – part of Charley Davidson series – was told from a ghost’s point of view, and it was nice. However, it was only a ten or so pages long and took about twenty per cent of the e-book. The rest was filler material I’d already read, so I kind of felt cheated out of my money. The second story was one of the many that Karen Chance offers for free on her website, a mad Christmas romp in Hell in the best Cassie Palmer style. It w…

And so the year comes to an end…

It’s that time of the year again, time for retrospection. It has been a long year in many respects, but I’ve been happy with my year as an author-publisher. There were some highlights, like visiting WorldCon in August, and not so bad lowlights that they would pull the entire year down.
I began the year with a bang by publishing two P.I. Tracy Hayes books that I’d written back to back at the end of the previous year. It was an intensive writing period and after it my brain needed time to recharge. Not that I realised it at first. I tried to write both of my ongoing series, Two-Natured London and the next Tracy Hayes book, but both got stuck after a few chapters.
Instead of pushing doggedly on, I decided to write something completely different. I’ve had this idea of a book brewing at the back of my brain for a long time, and I gave it a try. The project occupied my time suitably for most of the summer, and the writing process was interesting, not least because I aimed at a longer book tha…

Reading recap: November

I had a great reading month in November with six books finished, and only one of them from my reading list. Two books by Max Gladstone and two by Gail Carriger, with Nalini Singh and J.D. Robb thrown in the mix.
The Craft Sequence series by Max Gladstone continues strong with Last First Snow that takes place twenty years before the events in Two Serpents Rise. The story is about the last effort of old gods of Dresediel Lex to defend themselves against the new craft rulers, namely the King in Red. The uprise is led by Temoc, the last priest of the old gods, and father of Caleb who was the main character in Two Serpents Rise. Temoc becomes a reluctant leader of an uprising of people of Skittersill that the developers want to claim. Unlike the earlier books, which were crime mysteries, the story reads kind of like an epic fantasy with a build-up to a final battle, only it takes place on one city square and is mostly fought on negotiating tables. We also get Temoc’s side of the story of ho…

Tracy Hayes is back! With a sneak preview.

As I promised last week, this week’s post is about my writing. Coming up later this month – the date isn’t set yet, but I’m hoping around US Thanksgiving – is the fourth book in my Tracy Hayes detective series, Tracy Hayes, P.I. with the Eye. For those who haven’t met her yet, Tracy is a Brooklyn waitress who, after losing her job, becomes an apprentice to a PI. All sorts of shenanigans follow. Adding to the mix is Tracy’s family, two brothers and a sister, with their problems. If you want to read the previous books in the series, you can do so here, here, and here.

In today’s post, I have the description, the cover, and the first chapter for you – though still unedited. I hope you like them. And stay tuned for the publication date so that you won’t miss Tracy Hayes, P.I. with the Eye.

Thieves and baby nappers, Tracy is here to catch them.

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, but Tracy isn’t happy. She’s back to waitressing, a thief ruins a perfectly good party – lousy beverages notwithstanding – and …

Reading recap: October

I got back on my reading track in October with five great books. Well, technically I finished the last one in November, but it was in the small hours of the morning, so I’m counting it to this month. As has been my habit this year, some of the books were outside of my reading list, some from it.
I started the month with a great young adult book called Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. It tells about Piper who ends up as a manager of the up and coming – hopefully – band called Dumb of her high school, mostly on dare, but partly because her parents have raided her college fund to pay for a hearing implant for her baby sister and she wants to get rich fast. It would’ve been a good premise as is, but the twist is that Piper is deaf, so she has no idea if the band is any good or not. Also she has zero knowledge of the music the band is interested in, or music in general. The book is kind of an emotional roller-coaster with both the band and her family offering her plenty of opportunities…