Two-Day Sale of Victorian Mystery Books on Kindle

I don’t usually just post when I am doing a promotion, but I am experimenting this time with a pre-Holiday promotion of my two Victorian San Francisco Mystery novels so I thought I would let you all in on the experiment. Uneasy Spirits, the sequel in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery Series is FREE on KINDLE for two days, Tuesday-Wednesday, December 11-12, 2012.  Here is the link for the U.S. Kindle Store, and the U.K. Store. A second part of the experiment is to offer the first book in the series, Maids of Misfortune, for 99 cents for the same Read more…

Update on Categories and Keywords: Why authors should still care

A year ago (October 2011), I wrote a piece entitled Categories, Key words, and Tags, Oh My!: Why Should an Author Care?, which has become the most frequently viewed post on my blog. It has been reposted numerous times, and I still get comments on it weekly. There is a reason for this. The subject is complicated, confusing, and yet crucial to selling a book successfully online. While most of the original post is still relevant, it seemed time to update it, with the special addition of a section on how categories play a role in KDP Select promotions. For Read more…

Report on my latest KDP Select Free Promotion: Getting into that Holiday Spirit

Well, Amazon announced its new Kindles devices this week, and the first of the new Kindle Fire HD devices ship as early as next week, with the rest rolling out in October and the end of November. There is no telling at this point how many of these new devises will be bought as upgrades or additions by people who already have Kindles, but if the past two holiday sales patterns are any indication, authors should expect a growing number of new users to start looking for Kindle books over the next few months, culminating in a book buying frenzy Read more…

Victorian San Francisco in 1880: Social Structure and Character Development

I have embarked upon writing Bloody Lessons, the third book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series that features Annie Fuller and Nate Dawson, which means I am creating a whole new raft of secondary characters. And, as I have done in previous books, I am carefully considering the specific social make-up of San Francisco as I do so. What follows is a brief summary of the social structure of San Francisco in 1880 (primarily from my dissertation, Like a Machine or an Animal) and how this has influenced some of the choices I have made in developing my characters 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…