Monday, April 30, 2007


The middle of the Pacific Ocean can be unexpected.

9:30 PM 78 degrees.
More excitement. The cover art is on Amazon along with my Amazon author blog.
What is so cool is John's book is coupled with mine (buy together) and "Readers who bought LOTTERY also bought
I think that is so cool!
The connections that are being forged through blogging with other authors is fascinating.
We are learning from each other and networking. It makes the process not so alarming cuz can be fairly alarming.
Because most of what goes on has little to do with writing.
For instance a decision I had to make over the last couple months was whether to use an outside publicist in addition to the publisher's publicist. It was a discussion that involved both my publisher and agent and was not done lightly.
For me when the dust settled there was only one firm to go with:
I feel fortunate that they felt my novel was one they could be enthusiastic about working with.
What I thought was relatively simple has become complex with a multitude of components.
Book tours?
Reader's Groups?
And who gets those pesky ARCs anyway?
The Advanced Reader Copies are for readers who are willing to be enthusiastic about the book, they are for reviewers, for other authors, and for blurbs among other things.
They are not just to give to cousins and friends (Sorry too Peggy).
You never get enough ARCs and there are always people you really want to send one to but you just don't have enough.
It is common for authors to "over promise" and I have been guilty of this.
So now?
I wait for reviews. I wait for feedback. I wait.
Sound familiar?

Sunday, April 29, 2007


You will never guess what I found.
An ARC of LOTTERY is on sale on
I am rolling on the floor laughing.
I can't get the Weird Al Yankovic song out of my head. (I'm highest bidder!!!)
I will make you a deal!
If you buy this ARC and love my book you can send it to me and I will personally sign it!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Clouds in the middle of the Pacific. I consider them amazing.
Finishing a novel? That is amazing too.
The publication journey? Amazing.
And this?
This is F***ing AMAZING.

9:30 and 75 degrees.
Clouds are like books. I thought of this as I was standing watch on my passage across the Pacific.
I think of this again as people read LOTTERY.
Clouds. Books.
Each one unique.
Mysteries. Romance. Thrillers.
Something for everyone.

A rabbit.
A geyser.
A dog.
Appearances shift and alter.
I see comedy. You see tragedy.
You laugh. I cry.

What type of cloud will my book be?
One that is ethereal?
Gone in the wisp of an instant?
Or held as vapor in the hearts of my readers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


My good friend HOLLY KENNEDY sent me this. We have been exchanging dragonflies for some time. I sent her a flat brass one and she sent me this heavy iron one.
Continue reading for the significance.

10:30 pm and 75 degrees.

Thanks to BERNITA for the complimentary review of LOTTERY. It is always nerve-racking to send your baby out and I am so touched that he has been well received. Thank you.

I never thought much about Dragonflies before last summer. Early July. My friend Nodie was reading the manuscript of LOTTERY on a kayak trip on Kauai (say THAT three times fast). A large brilliant dragonfly hovered around her and then landed on my manuscript. It sat there for several moments.
She spoke about it later.
She said Dragonflies in Japan (and Hawaii) are considered good fortune. They symbolize success, victory, happiness, strength and courage.
A few weeks later I was offered representation by the William Morris Agency.
Months pass.
I am walking down the dock.
My novel LOTTERY had just gone out on submission that morning. I hear a faint buzzing. The sun is only just rising. A giant red dragonfly soars and circles me. The orange of the sun casts long shadows across the water. I stop. Around and around he wings. I reach out my hand. He almost lands but circles again and lifts away.
The next day I am told LOTTERY will go to auction.
I have to believe in Dragonflies.
I must.
They symbolize all that is good in books and in writing. But do I keep them to myself?
I sent a paper one to my author friend Jacquelyn Mitchard. I gave a fused glass one to my editor Peternelle. Holly and I exchange them.
Dragonflies are to be shared.
Success is to be shared.
It can happen to all of us.
It grows exponentially when this is done. When you hesitate. When you stop short of giving another writer support you are not allowing the Dragonfly to land and luck will elude you.
When you offer your help you create the energy of Dragonflies and success will be yours.
After all.
Writing is what we all love.
What we all do.
We share in the power.
Of the Dragonfly.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I so enjoy anomalies. Dogs with hats. Horses who talk. Fish in strange places.

8:30 pm and 77 degrees.
The topic is anomalies. Most readers groups read a book and discuss it after it is released.
Not this group.
This readers group is reading an ARC of LOTTERY. The Writerly Pause
a group of like minded book lovers in California (read their blog it is really good fun). They have been selected as the first LOTTERY BETA READERS GROUP. I just invented that with the help of Megan Beatie at Goldberg McDuffie.
How cool is that?
The group gets the special pre-reader's guide. They get the author's undivided attention (if they let her have coffee first). They get a copy of the super duper secret special galley letter.
How much fun can this group stand?
We will find out.
I do suggest you visit their blog. They have the good sense to ask any authors they want to speak with them -- just call them on the phone and ask.
I think they are brilliant.
So get to reading...
We digressed (you helped). The subject is anomalies.
We had been talking about making your novel stand out. Remember that bookstore stuffed FULL of books?
Take a good look at your WIP. Can you look at it and say, "My book is like this only...with a twist?"
A love story between gay dolphins.
A thriller with bipolar architects.
A mystery set in grease. In a diner.
Well you get my point.
So tell me your favorite anomalies.
Can you top these?
I bet you can.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Photo of excited contestant graciously stolen from Dr. Ian.

8 pm and 77 degrees.
Back in February I had a contest. Remember? It was "GIVE ME THE BEST RETORT FOR A BACK HANDED COMPLIMENT"
The prize was an ARC of LOTTERY.
Well I anticipated my ARCs to be arriving sooner than they did (my mistake!) so it may be rather anticlimactic BUT
(drum roll please)
(I pause to heighten the suspense... This is a very useful tool in genre mysteries, thrillers, and many other novels that can be best described as literary fiction)

MILLHOUSETHECAT blogging from THE LITTER BOX!!!!!!!!!!
(Yeah!!! Cheers!!! Whoopee!!!)

OK people. Quiet down.
You there. In the back. Put down that chair.

Millhousethecat has emailed me the correct password and given me her address so a signed ARC of LOTTERY will be flying on its way to her doorstep by either winged monkey or the postal service whichever is cheaper.
(Okay there's nothing to see here. Move along.)
I adore contests. I must have another one.
What will it be? I have to decide what I will make you all do. Something embarrassing. Demeaning.
Mua ha ha!!!!
I have to think. Consider. But it will likely be in May. That much I will tell you. Maybe it will be the person who makes the most comments? But then I would have to count and that is such a bummer and you need numbers for that.
Well I'll have to get back to you with the details.
Any ideas?
Toss them out.
On another note.
I went to a bookstore the other day. Looking for a book of course. A particular book. It was hard. There were so MANY. In stacks. On shelves. Then it hit me.
How can you make YOUR book stand out. When there are so many deserving ones. I saw a table of "PUBLISHER REMAINDERS" Now granted 99% were celebrity autobiographies.
NOTE: How do you write your autobiography if you are only like 20 years old? I mean REALLY?
THAT got me thinking too. It all got me thinking. How do you make your book look different? How do you persuade people to pick your book up, maybe read a couple pages, take it to the counter and buy it? And then more to the point. Read it and enjoy it?
It may not be enough to write a good book.
It takes people reading it and loving it.
It takes people telling their friends,"I read the most AMAZING book!"
It takes word of mouth.
So think about that while you're writing your book.
How will it stand out?
How will your readers find it?
Something to think about.
That's all.


Sunday, April 22, 2007


Networking on the coral reef.
The interconnectedness. One fish dislodges detritus and another fish scarfs it up.
I like to think writers are like this. Impacting one another to create totally new works.
It would be nice don't you think?

7:30 pm and 79 degrees.
This is a review of the time line:
July 20 Dorian Karchmar of William Morris Agency offers representation
November 28 Lottery went out on submission.
December 6 Lottery sold at auction to Putnam.
December 7 Informed that Lottery was to be released August 2007
December 26 First edits arrive hard copy
January 2 First edits sent back hard copy. Dutch, Israel, Italy and UK rights sold
January 3 Deal posted on Publishers Weekly
January 8 Deal posted on Publishers Marketplace
January 18 Second edits arrive via email
January 18 Sweden, Finland, Taiwan rights sold
January 22 Second edits emailed back
February 9 Cover art completed
Februay 12 Rights sold to Korea
February 13 Uncorrected bound galley arrives
February 16 Rights sold to Russia
February 20 Copy edits arrive
February 23 Copy edits FedExed back
February 26 Dutch contract signed
March 2 Italian and Swedish contracts signed
March 6 Putnam contract signed
March 15 Request by publisher for trip to New York in April
March 23 First pass pages received hard copy
March 26 emailed first pass page corrections
March 27 Putnam check deposited (wired)
April 5 UK contracts signed
April 7 Fly to New York
April 9 Meeting at William Morris Agency with agent
April 10 Meeting at Putam with publicists, editor, agent and the rest of the Putnam crew
April 11 Meeting with Publicist. See Wicked on Broadway
April 12 Fly back to Honolulu
April 13 Actually arrive in Honolulu
April 17 ARC (advanced reader copy) arrive. These look like trade paper backs and have the cover art and back flap copy. They go to authors, reviewers and others that have requested a read before the pub date.
April 19 First book signing officially scheduled for Honolulu August 2.
What I have left out is the networking. The ongoing discussion about my other novels. Decisions about engaging additional publicists. Decisions about traveling back to New York and when.
Without the camaraderie and support of other writers this would be a long lonely trip.
Thank you for coming along for the ride.
Mahalo nui loa.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I took a few out of the box. Putnam sent me 24 galleys that will be mailed to various readers (you know who you are) and independent booksellers here in Hawaii.

The front and back covers.

You may not be able to read this...but try, okay?

4 pm and 80 degrees.
They just arrived. I unpacked them and then just burst into tears.
My hands are shaking.
There is no poise here.
No nonchalance.
No suave sophistication.
This does not happen everyday. At least not to me.
My book is in my hands. Granted it is an ARC (advanced reader copy) but it is a book all the same.
With my name on it.
I am humble.
I am oh so humble.
Thank you Dorian.
Thank you Peternelle.
Thank you Putnam.
Thank you Amy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


"You need a synopsis."
"You just need one."
"Do I hafta?"
"Yes. Are you listening to me?"
"La la la la la."

8 pm and a chilly 78 degrees (so soon we forget).
Like the seal we like to close our eyes to the obvious. Like when we have to take an active part in our writing career. We must make decisions that give us focus and lead us to the readers that will buy our books.
It is up to us.

"Is your book done?"
"Are you done with your edits?"
"Did you start your second novel?"
"I'm thinking about it."
Like a turtle. Close but no cigar. Don't be your own worst enemy.

Do you shirk from even starting your novel?
Not go in the water because you might get stung?

For me.
I want my accomplishments out there so everyone can see.
It may be leaving myself open to criticism.
Increasing my vulnerability.
But Yanno.
I think ya gotta live life.
As Jack London said.
"I'd rather be ashes than dust..."

Thanks to S.G.F. and Dr. Ian for the photos.
See ya on Maui in September!

So what about Denver and Portland?

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Meeting blog buddies.

7:30 am and 74 degrees.
This was too fun for words. We talked so loud and so enthusiastically that all the other customers wanted to be at our table.
I could see them whispering.
Or else they were complaining about us to the manager.
It's so hard to tell don't you think?

Everyone in New York was how I imagined them only far more beautiful, warm, and friendly.
My agent.
My editor.
And then I met some of my blogging buddies--
Kim Stagliano in New York and M G Tarquini from Phoenix (visiting Honolulu).
What I find amazing is email and phone gives a better sketch of what a person is truly like. Because you have that history there are no snap judgments or assumptions.
The connection is made and you know -- no matter what -- you will adore that person.
My blogging buddies are morphing into my friends.
Writing friends that understand the angst and trauma of querying, agenting, and submitting.
Supporters who cheer each publishing success and commiserate over each set back.
A group I am bringing along for the ride as pay back.
Pay back for the enormous cheers I receive each time another milestone is achieved.
I hope to travel to the various places and meet you all when my book comes out. You need to tell me where you are.
I want votes.
Places so far:
San Francisco
Any place else?
Which of these cities can you go to easily?
Come on lurkers!
Help me out here.
The comment thread will be available to voice your opinion.
Gosh it's good to be back!

Friday, April 13, 2007


4:30 pm and 84 degrees.
It's good to be home. As soon as I had lunch I pulled on my suit and wandered down to the lagoon. Floating on my back I let all the cold drain away.
All that being said I truly miss New York. I could go back again and again.
With warm clothes.
In the summer.
As a matter of fact I go back in June.
So now back to work writing and preparing for the ramping up. I have articles to write. Interviews to do.
M G TARQUINI is in town!!!!
I must entertain her.
We all will have dinner tonight.
I will blog about it later.
So soon.
It will be back to our regularly scheduled blogging.
Aloha and out.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Very late o'clock and very cold degrees.

We end as we began. Looking down from my window at the lights of the city. I loved my stay here and I loved New York. The energy. The people. The sights.

Here is a sample of my omiyagi. My gifts. My souvenirs. (Isn't that a title of a book?)

I adored Wicked! I want to see it all over again. It was amazing.
I will miss it here.
But I will return.
Aloha nui loa New York.
Aloha nui loa Miss Snark.
May your gin be plentiful and may you receive an ARC of LOTTERY in your hot little hands soon...


5 pm and cheek-numbing-cold-but-not-those-cheeks-you-naughty-thing-degrees

This is the chandelier in the Warwick Hotel. I have walked under it about a hundred times now.
I wanted to take a picture of Harry the doorman but he was too shy so I took the chandelier instead. If I wasn't married to an architect I would marry a doorman. They are SO helpful and they know EVERYTHING!

I think all the buildings in NY ROCK hugely. They are totally cool.

This morning I had breakfast with my publicist Megan (and how totally fun is THAT to say!) I talked so much my eggs got cold. Right after that I had lunch with my editor Peternelle (how totally double fun is that to say).
She took me to a really great place for bento lunches and walked me along fifth avenue (the street not the candy bar) and then around Central Park. Then she ABANDONED me and went back to work. (How rude it that?) Nah...just kidding. I went over to MOMA (the art museum) and got as far as the gift shop.

Like St. Patricks Church.

I am going to my first Broadway play tonight -- in about 2 hours. WICKED!!! I am way too excited.
I love it so much I am coming back in June to visit again (are you ready Dorian and Peternelle?)


So girls and boys. The debut author's first New York trip is almost over.
What did I learn?
There are a BUNCH of people responsible for getting a book out to readers. There is much an author can do to market themselves and participate in publicity. You cannot just sit back and say "Okay I wrote the book now you do the rest."
Authors have to be proactive and thinking.
There is a lot of published fiction out there.
For your book to do well you have to be willing to work at it.
Let me know how you liked the virtual trip we have taken together (virtual for you -- real for me)



Any questions?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


6 pm and-cold-as-a-witches-titty degrees.
Weeeelll. It all started with room service and a GREAT book last night. I finished The Bitch Posse by Martha O'Connor and WHAT A READ!!!Holy cow why didn't I get it before I have no idea? Anyway a luxurious morning reading and ordering room service. They had those little jars of jam that they give with toast but I didn't order toast so anyway I put them in my luggage to take home.
Along with two extra shampoos that Kim S. swiped for me.
I am my mother's daughter after all.
I digress.
I made sure I arrived at Putnam in plenty of time. It is interesting about New York taxis. You have to know where to flag them down or else it takes twice as long to get some place.
375 Hudson.
This is the building where Penguin Group and Putnam live.

And this is the art inside the building. Isn't it keen?

We all happened to enter the bulding all at the same time.
Here is me with my agent -- the beautiful, extraordinary and VERY pregnant Dorian Karchmar. She is (I believe) just MINUTES from delivering!!!

My meeting was with agent, publicists and editor and it was mind boggling -- the attention to detail these people must have is amazing. Plus they are a total delight and SO nice! Stephanie from Putnam and Megan and Lynn from Goldberg McDuffie just wowed me!
Of course my editor Peterelle van Arsdale is simply awesome.
Here she is just before she took us to lunch. (Does it sound like all I do is eat?)

We were starved and I had the most delicious soup and the food was to die for!
Here is the dynamic duo together!

Of course it occurs to me that I am not in the picture but you have to just take my word for it that I was there!
Next I got to amuse myself around Soho and the Village. AND I ACTUALLY HAILED A CAB ALL BY MYSELF! I didn't even have to fight off some decrepit old lady for it. If I had done that I would be a true New Yorker...
Next the absolutely LOVELY get together where I met EVERYBODY responsible for getting LOTTERY out into the world.

Here is me and Dan Conaway who I met at the Maui Writers Conference. How cool is this?

Then me and Neil Nyren. I ambushed EVERYBODY to get their picture. WARNING: Insane author with camera.
You can run...but you cannot hide.

There were so many great people that stopped by for wine and cheese (Yum!).

And then the way coolest thing.
Me and the President of Putnam Ivan Held who UBER ROCKS (and I'm not just saying that because he bought my book!)

Now they ALL said they were going to run right home and read this blog. I want to thank them all. They made me feel so welcome even though I got lost and visited the second and third floor before I got up to four where I was supposed to go!
I mean it when I say I wish I could remember everyone's name who has played a big part in this entire endeavor. Hopefully I can thank them adequately at some point in time.
Well children.
That's it for today.
I need to go down to the bar and order a drink. I noticed a sign in the window saying they were out of gin so I do not expect a Snark sighting...
But you never know.
And all you people I met today?
You BETTER comment or I will be VERY displeased...Remember...I'm coming back in June. You want more of those macadamia nuts and the chocolate dipped cookies don't you?

Monday, April 09, 2007


5:30 pm and ungodly-cold-but-I'm-starting-to-get-used-to-it degrees.
First I had a delightful breakfast with Kim S.

I can't tell you what fun it is to meet blogging buddies.
This is right after I asked her if I had anything stuck in my teeth...
Next we went our separate ways. She to see her agent and me to see mine.

WMA is in a very beautiful building. I had to get a badge to go upstairs. I will stick it in my scrap book...

It was fun to lurk around and take photos of people who I knew previously only by their voices.
Then I had to take a picture of Adam who is Dorian's assistant. He ROCKS too.
Notice what I brought from Hawaii for him? (HINT it's on the desk)

Then I had a decadent lunch with Dorian and had so much fun we totally forgot to get our picture taken together. I will remember to do it tomorrow...
Then I played tourist.
I walked all over town and up to Central Park.

I strolled back and noticed a sign for The Russian Tearoom.

It is simply wonderful inside.

I sipped my tea and heard a voice...
Could it be?
"Dimitri this gin is divine! I may look at your partial after all...are you SURE you know George PERSONALLY?"
There is only one person I know of with that single minded purpose.
It had to be Miss Sna...
I slid my camera out of my pocket.
Slowly I turned.
Step by step.
EEEEK!!!!That damned poodle came out of nowhere! My hand tossed aside like so much salad...My finger slipped like Jerry Lewis on a well-waxed floor.

I guess this writer is no match for...
Until tomorrow.


My life is now complete.
I am coffeed up and preparing to meet Kim S. for breakfast.

8:30 am and too-cold-for-words.
After turning the thermostat up as far as it will go in my room. I am almost warm enough. I timidly crept outside.
Jumped when white filmy stuff puffed out of my mouth! Cool. I have my very own special effects.
I adore all the doormen at the Warwick. They are too incredibly kind.

Hey guys.
When you write down the address " 1325 Avenue of the Americas"?
It's a REAL place.

I can feel the love all around me.
There it is.
More later...

Sunday, April 08, 2007


I'm here! I simply can't believe it. New York. I am on the 16th floor of the Warwick Hotel. The picture is taken out my window.
Here's another.

So I left Honolulu nice and warm and bundled up.
When I reached Minneapolis/St. Paul my flight to New York was canceled.
This is where I whined and batted my eyes and begged.
It worked.
I arrived at Newark and took a cab.
My driver was the best. He told me his son is autistic so we talked about children and our hopes and dreams.
My neck was sore from craning back and looking up at the buildings.
"Hey that's Radio City Music Hall!" I cried.
I could tell he took pleasure in my excitement.
The car slowed. Traffic. Sirens.
There was a minor disturbance in the street. A scuffle. Words exchanged. I noticed a tall gorgeous woman in stilettos being tossed out of a bar. She was able to land on her feet. A small white poodle followed close to her heels carrying one of those flasks St Bernards carry...only it said GIN on the front. The pooch wore a jaunty beret. A clever dog. It hailed a taxi with a short whistle like yelp.
Could it be?
But before I could step out of my cab and inquire she was gone.
I checked in and went down to the bar. The Warwick Hotel was built by Randolf Hearst for his love Marion Davies. I could feel the atmosphere in the thick carpeting. The elaborate sconces.
I ate tomato -garlic soup (which might be a mistake considering all the people I have to meet tomorrow!) and drank a glass of wine and just took it all in. I sat in the lobby for a while.
The doorman's name is David. We chatted. He has a really cool uniform. When he found out I had never been to New York so he took me into the fancy restaurant- even though it was closed- and showed me all the murals on the wall that Hearst had commissioned. They are marvelous- surreal - He said there were naughty bits.
I will look for them tommorrow during breakfast.
So here I am fellow bloggers.
And here you are too.
Each place I go you are there with me.
I think of you all.
Talk to you later...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

3:30 pm and 82 degrees.
I leave for the airport in four and a half hours. I am almost packed. I keep adding things.
Like sweaters. Socks.
Macadamia nuts.
And Chocolate covered Kona coffee beans.
Temiyage for the trip to.
Omiyage for the trip back.
Everyone from Hawaii knows about this. You visit a place bringing gifts.
And come back with omiyage.
Gifts for friends and relatives.
I will have to search New York and find those meaningful and thoughtful mementos.
Like keychains in the shape of the Statue of Liberty and ticket stubs from a Broadway play. Well...Maybe something better than that.
I will have to think hard.
Did I tell you all I have never been to New York?
Did I tell you what I will be doing there?
Monday I visit William Morris Agency.
Tuesday I visit Putnam.
Wednesday...I can't remember what I am doing Wednesday...Oh yes! I am seeing Wicked.
And having breakfast with my publicist and...seeing a museum in the afternoon with my editor...
They are taking good care of me.
So am I excited?
Yes. Very.
Am I nervous?
I don't know. I don't think so.
I will be blogging each day and letting you all experience what it is like to go to New York and meet all the people that make dreams about publishing a reality.
The impossible becomes the possible.
So come along for the ride...
First stop?
Honolulu Airport to catch Northwest Airlines flight 218 leaving at 10:50 pm.
I connect in Minneapolis St Paul taking flt 186 to New York and arrive at LaGuardia 7:01 pm Sunday.
And then the fun starts.
And as Perry would say.
That is so totally cool!