Tag Archives: A Well-Timed Murder

Time to travel….

Tomorrow I leave to start promotion for A WELL-TIMED MURDER, first to Alabama for Murder in the Magic City then on to a tour of great bookstores across Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia and Texas.

Every time I walk into a bookstore I see old friends and make new ones. If you’re in the area I hope you will stop by! If you aren’t nearby, pre-order now wherever you buy books and get ready to start reading February 6th!

Tour postcard 2018

Timing is Everything

A Well-Timed Murder final cover.jpgMy next book, A Well-Timed Murder, is about the Swiss watch industry. In it, Agnes Lüthi investigates the murder of a prominent watchmaker, Guy Chavanon. Agnes quickly learns that despite the industry’s reputation, nothing about the man’s death seems precise. Ultimately, timing will be the key to law enforcement, and possibly to love as Agnes races to stop the killer before he strikes again.

 While writing A Well-Timed Murder I dove head first into the watch industry. Today, with a ‘watch’ on every smart phone and inexpensive wristwatches that keep accurate time, we don’t give much thought to how time controls our life.

For thousands of years, time related to the rise and fall of the sun. The Egyptians divided the day into two 12-hour period and used obelisks to track the sun’s progress.

In the early 14th century mechanical clocks yielded more precision. As the century progressed, watches (as jewelry) developed as novelties for the wealthy elite. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries pioneering pilots strapped timepieces to their wrists so they could keep track of fuel usage. At the same time, the British army required greater coordination and timing among the troops. Clearly the need for practical and precise wristwatches had arrived. Fast forward to today and every person with a smart phone can mark time to hundredths of a second. Time is now everything.

Watches are appreciated for their beauty and collectability. Every minute of our day is accounted for (and in some industries billed-for). We have greater accuracy but, perhaps, that’s not always a good thing?

I wonder how people mark their days now. Through constant checking of the computer clock, their iPhone, or an antique Patek Philippe? And does the constant realization that minutes are slipping past help or hurt us?

I have days where time seems to stand still. Those are the days I want to capture. That’s the kind of timing that means everything.

 

 

 

Am I working on one or three?

This is not an uncommon situation – in fact, I should acknowledge how fortunate I am to be a ‘working’ author at all. However, there is something a bit odd, perhaps even awkward, about being in the midst of finalizing, working on finalizing and at the beginning all at the same time.

Swiss Vendetta is in some ways a thing of the past – I’m still out and about in bookstores and libraries talking about Agnes’s first adventure in Violent Crimes – however, what I’m really thinking about is A Well-Timed Murder, her next adventure (set amidst the watch industry in Switzerland). No cover art yet, in fact I’ve not seen the first round of edits….. so I’m in waiting mode.

Did I mention that I’m waiting? The moment an author hits send the waiting begins. I like to think that I’m a patient waiter. I like having some distance before getting this all important feedback from my editor. Too soon and I might not be ready to hear suggestions. Hit it just right and I can read with a fresh eye. Certainly time and distance will have made me re-think some parts of the book (the question is will my editor and I agree on the changes…. back to waiting patiently). I won’t bother fretting (will my editor want changes that I agree with?). I defer to Stephen King on this – and I paraphrase – writer’s write and editor’s edit.

At the same time, I’m well into research for book three. I know what the big theme is, I’m working out the various characters, and have some ideas for the story (beyond the big idea). There’s still time for the story to evolve and change and likely it will look much different when finished that I envision it now, but it is the next big project! This is where I want my mind to be 100%.

On the other hand…. the mental hopper needs time and feeding and when I get A Well-Timed Murder back (today? tomorrow?) I am ready to dive in and rotate a bit backwards in the cycle.

I’m curious, though, how do other authors do this? Wait until one is completely finalized before starting the next? Or is everything always on a middle, simmer burner?