Murder and Mayhem: Four Historical Mystery Novels

  Murder and Mayhem is a boxed set of four historical mysteries written by members of the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative that will be only 99 cents between March 22-27. These four mysteries range in time periods and settings from I. J. Parker’s The Hell Screen, set in Medieval Japan, to Anna Castle’s Murder and Misrule, set in Elizabethan England, to Libi Astaire’s Tempest in the Tea Room, set in Regency England, to M. Louisa Locke’s Maids of Misfortune, set in Victorian San Francisco. ***** Normally costing you 19.96, this boxed set will be 99 cents until March 27, 2016 and can be found in the following bookstores: Kindle, Kobo, iTunes, Nook, Scribd and Page Foundry M. Louisa Locke, March 22, Read more…

How realistic must we be when writing historical fiction? Victorian San Francisco Mistresses and Maids

I had planned to write about the social structure of Victorian San Francisco when two recent events got me to thinking about the tension historical fiction authors feels between accurately portraying the past and telling a good story. The first event was a mixed review I got for my most recent mystery, Uneasy Spirits. The reviewer suggested my treatment of the relationship between my protagonist Annie Fuller (who runs a boarding house in addition to being an amateur sleuth) and her staff was “unrealistic” because she treated her servants as friends and permitted them to have a Halloween party. The Read more…

On Second Chances and Role Models: A Tribute to my Father

I just returned from the melancholy task of moving my father into the “memory care” wing of an assisted living facility. My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about eight years ago, and caring for him has been increasingly difficult for my step-mother. Two weeks ago they both got very ill, my father ending up in the hospital with pneumonia, and the crisis made it clear that something had to change. They live in central Oregon, near one of my step-mother’s daughters, and I live in Southern California. Because my step-mother was so ill herself, when my Dad was ready to Read more…

Analysis of first quarterly Sales or Can I call myself a real published author yet????

Last year as I was making the decision whether or not to self-publish my historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune, I read blog after blog post that tried to parse the differences among traditional publishers, small presses, subsidy and/or vanity publishers, and independent or self-published authors. While I found little absolute agreement, I was left with the impression that if you self-published a book that ended up being bought primarily by immediate family and friends, you were probably involved in vanity publishing, no matter what method you used. This idea was reinforced when I read such statements as those by Jane Read more…

How to be your own best editor: Part III

This is the third and final post in a series of posts about what I did to ensure that the historical mystery I just published, Maids of Misfortune, was professionally edited. Part I detailed how I worked to develop the skills to be my own best editor. (A necessity for an indie author, but as discussed in numerous blogs, increasingly a necessity for traditionally published authors as well.) Part Two described the actual process I went through as my own developmental editor. This third post enumerates what steps I followed to substitute for the copy editing that traditional publishing houses Read more…