Lots of “Lasts” to Come

I’ve just completed writing the third book of my South County Mystery Series, Last Carol of the Season. Of course, writing’s the easy part. Now begins the editing, formatting, proofing, and myriad assorted tasks necessary in bringing a book to publication.

I’d never really intended to do a series. Last Train to Kingston was written to appease my Rhode Island friends who felt I should show some loyalty to my own state. I’d been writing children’s stories set in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and my RI audience wanted something local. I had no idea that first mystery would be so popular.  But still, my RI fans were not appeased. They wanted another book with Detective Lieutenant Kara Langley investigating and solving crimes right here in our own back yard.

So, I wrote Last Rose on the Vine and set it right here in Kingston at the University of Rhode Island. It launched in April and sales are doing well. Now, I don’t need to be hit over the head (like poor Thea in Last Train) to know I’ve got a good thing going and there are three more towns here in South Kingstown, Detective Langley’s purview.

I think Last Carol is my favorite so far. It’s set at Christmas time in Wakefield, the village I first moved to when I decided to live in South Kingstown. Although the underlying theme of the book involves abuse, alcoholism, and the effects they have on families, there is much joy in the pages of this book. A wedding is being planned. Parties, gift shopping, decorating, baking, holiday traditions are all intertwined and every chapter title is taken from a line or two of a favorite Christmas Carol or Hymn. The words in the lyrics form a motif around which the scenes in each chapter revolve. And of course there is the local history and settings which thread through the plot as the mystery unfolds. I’m sorry to see this one end but I’ve already begun writing the fourth book, Last Sermon for a Sinner, set in the village of Peace Dale.

Tonight, I’ll be discussing the South County Series at our town library. It’s going to rain and I’m not sure how many people will attend, but I enjoy talking about the characters I’ve created and the familiar settings included in each book, so if one person shows up, I’ll be happy.

One more thing – last year I mentored an art student, Zachary Perry,  from the University.  Zach graduated this spring and is setting up his own business, ZPerryDesigns.com.  We worked together for over a year on my latest children’s book, Carnivore Conundrum and now he’ll continue designing the covers for the South County Series. Here’s a look at one of his ideas for the Christmas cover:

Advertisements

37 thoughts on “Lots of “Lasts” to Come

  1. Congratulations 🙂 I love the cover for Last Carol of the Season and it sounds like an interesting story. As you say, that’s the easy part out of the way and now you have the hard part in front of you! Good luck. I hope the talk went well and a few folk braved the rain to come and hear you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Mary, I really pushed myself to finish this third book. Now, I’m glad I did because there’s plenty of time to make necessary changes. I really don’t like working on a deadline. I’d make a terrible reporter – unlike you, my friend. Yes, Zach has been doing drafts for the cover and improves with each one. Now that I’ve decided to do a series, we are planning to redo the cover of Last Train and will try to do succeeding covers in a more uniform style. I hope the weather in Scotland is pleasant. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are all different – I work better to a deadline. If I didn’t have deadlines, I’d never finish anything! The weather here in Scotland is absolutely glorious at the moment. I have a feeling it is going to change soon with rain and high winds forecast for the weekend. I don’t mind that as long as the sun comes back 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read The Last Train to Kingston then interviewed this very talented writer on our radio show live and really consider this a must beach read. Great expandable future characters for a sequel and is suitable for both male and female from about 12 up. Very descriptive on her locations and her style is perfect for a chapter book. Claremary should have started writing books for a living twenty years ago for her very fast growing readership who are wanting for more. Her new third book of this series should be a best seller. Wayne G. Barber, author, host of the Authors Hour

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wayne, I was just telling people today of the wonderful experience I had of being interviewed on radio with you. I felt it was as though we were two authors sitting around my living room talking book talk. I’ll make sure I have a special copy of Last Carol of the Season for you when it’s launched in 2019. This will be one you can read when you’re stuck in Northern RI during one of our winter snowstorms. Thanks for your lovely, encouraging words. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ethel, Wow!! All those lasts are wonderful ones!! I had a twinge of anxiety, when I read your title. What lasts were you talking about?? Whew, anxiety banished.
    Hi Roxie!! How ya doing, love??
    Love, Lucy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucy, Well, now I’m in the middle of it and will probably be writing books for this series until I’m well into my dotage! I thought you’d like the photo with Roxie helping Zach with his design work. She sends her love, too.
      Love, Ethel

      Like

  4. You have really been busy with all the “lasts.” You’re so passionate about your work, Clare, and you appear to be building a fan base. I agree with you that the writing is the “easy” part because marketing and publicizing, etc, demand a completely different kind of mindset.

    Zach’s work is equally gorgeous – you two compliment each other perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Sharon, Great to hear from you and thank you. Right now, it’s 2:20 AM and Zach and I have been working on the cover design for two hours by email. He’s as nutty as I am! We’re having problems with decorating the lamp post. We’ve tried garlands of holly, pines, lights, etc. Nothing is working! I think I need some sleep.

      Like

  5. I like the ivy but maybe try less of it. It doesn’t have to wind all down the entire length and around the top. Maybe a sprig would do. The rest of the image is very effective. You might try reducing the intensity of the green so that the red pops a bit more. As it stands now, the value and amount of the red and green are nearly equal, so they’re competitive. That would allow the title to shine brighter as well.

    Whether you choose consider my suggestions or not, please strike this comment. It’s only for your eyes and Zach’s.
    And now all of us should go to bed!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations! Like purpleslob I had a twinge of anxiety when I saw the word “Lasts”, but the news is all good! And I’m glad to see that Roxie has such a talented table-mate. The covers look great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! A few others commented on my title choice which I realize could have been seen as a Good-bye to blogging. But, no, tales of my demise have been greatly exaggerated (Twain – kind of?). I’m back among us and will have much catching up to do with your blog. Roxie is waiting for me to read your posts aloud and hopes no other cats have been axed in the interim.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello, Clive. Yes, not much of an audience last evening, but more than one. Tonight I will be selling books in town and I usually do very well there. I’ve been spending the morning catching up with old friends and realizing how much can happen outside while you’re locked up inside writing your own book. I hope you’re feeling much better. Chat with you again soon. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you had someone to talk to, and I hope this evening goes well. Catching up with friends is always good. Thanks for asking – still got a way to go, I’m afraid. Take care 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend. Yes, we’ve both been busy with our books and that is really good news. I find escaping into murder mysteries is a respite from all of the political chaos wrought by the fake president residing in our White House. Canada is looking very good to me right now. Take care and keep in touch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What would we do without our writing, eh Claremary? I know I would be lost for something to do. Got arthritic fingers or would be doing some wood carving / small scale clay modelling. And, yes, Trump scares the hell out of us – but makes us resolute.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Herb,
        I can’t seem to stop writing and seeing that I only started to publish at age 65, it’s good I keep going. It’s good WE keep writing. And I believe I’m getting better at it, so the end is not in sight yet, my friend. I was at breakfast today with a woman who is showing signs of Alzheimers. She kept going back to memories in her past and sharing them with me but could not remember anything that had just happened. When her food was brought to her, she didn’t remember ordering it. Her husband was so patient, never correcting, always answering as though it was the first time she’d commented on something. He looked to me because I did the same and acted as though I’d not heard her story before. I really hope a cure is imminent and admire the caretakers who are there for their partners. Love, Clare

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on getting this far with the third in the series …. you are definitely onto a winner with the formula and deservedly so. I look forward to finding the time to read them all which in the last year has been far too illusive but I sense is beginning to be within beckoning range and when I beckon nicely, I’m certain the time will follow 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Osyth, I hope New England is treating you well despite the political news we are accosted with every day. I know last year was filled with changes for you and am glad this has all finally settled down. I’m finding that plotting murders within the pages of a book is very cathartic these days. It must be interesting for you to view the political scene from three perspectives: England, France and right here in the middle of it all. Take care and if you are planning a visit to South County, make sure you make some time for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. New England is a gracious lady who treats me most kindly – warm and friendly and kind and generous which is really what one wishes the world would just be. Viewed as a newbie, I find the politics here absolutely unconscionable but I know that is not wholly that I am viewing as a Franco-English woman. The fact is that most everyone I speak to here feels the same. As I know you do. A combination of absolute white rage and abject horror. I am sure I will be pottering to Rhode Island before the year closes and I will absolutely be sure to give you warning. I am glad your books are proving cathartic. That is what writing should be … succour for the soul of the author.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. How wonderful to hear a little more about what you’re working on, and to see your terrific progress. You’re inspiring, Clare! I love the cover. Great job, guys 🙂 And good luck with all the work of publishing a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette, And you are doing well with your writing, too. (although you have many more words to contend with than I – my books are always around 54,000 words and pale in contrast to yours.) Zach and I are still hard at work with the cover of Last Carol of the Season and have to tweak the lamp post greenery a bit. But the book is not scheduled for release until 2019, so we have time to work on it. Today, I start on the next book of the series, Last Sermon for a Sinner. (Now sin is something in which I am well-versed!) Take care and my love to the boys. Clare

      Like

    1. Hi, Sharon! All is well. I’m getting the first mystery ready as an ebook, formatting the third mystery for publishing in paperback and writing the fourth mystery of the series. And it’s the busiest time of year for sales. But I intend to take time to write a blog post very soon.
      i’m going to visit you now, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.