Monday, June 11, 2012

I've got news!

Nothing like news to put a spark in our heart and pep in our step. I've been sitting on my news waiting for just the right moment and here it is.

Granddog Missie stars in this series
BIG NEWS for me: I've signed a new contract with Five Star for the third book in my Cleopatra Jones series. Since Cleo's an accountant, my books have a money theme. DIME IF I KNOW follows On the Nickel and In for a Penny. This time around Cleo's golf pro boyfriend is suspected of murdering a former girlfriend. The release date is still to be announced, but it's party time in Maggie-World!

Maggie, on left, with Polly Iyer
GOOD NEWS - the fourth outing of my pacing workshop, this time at the Upstate SC Sisters in Crime monthly meeting, was met with smiles all around. My friend Terri Ridgell prompted me to create this workshop for the Amelia Island Book Festival in 2007. Since then, I've given it at the Florida Heritage Book Festival, the Ancient City Romance Writers, and now, SINC. I get a big kick out of showing things with terrible pacing and then taking them apart to make the pacing better.

Here's an example of poor pacing from my workshop: On December 24, no, wait, I think it was the 23rd. No, I was right the first time, it was the 24th because that's the day Amy skinned her knee. Anyway, my insomnia was acting up again. My wife was sound asleep. The kids were snoozing. Even Benjie's teenage anorexic mouse was sawing zees.

If you get rid of the extraneous stuff to keep it in the moment, it pares down to: On Dec 24 I couldn't sleep. My wife, kids and the mouse were out cold. -- bottom line, not very interesting. More fun before, but too dithery for an opening of my work. (The opening of a story is a promise from the author that the rest of the work will be written in the same style)

If you look at the word choices and consider meter and beat, you might end up with something like Clement Moore wrote: Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse... It's all about the word choice.

There's a place and a time for having wandering prose. The secret is knowing when and where to be lean and when to dally. That's the whole point of pacing.

The end of my workshop is a creative writing exercise and folks really get into it. I hope you enjoy the photos of some of the group at work. And thanks, SINC Upstate SC, for such a warm welcome.

MORE GOOD NEWS - My work-in-progress has been through the plot edit, the characterization edit, the Margie Lawson color-coded edit, and most of it has been critiqued. Now I'm letting it rest a week while I work on the synopsis. Then it will get another read, this time on my Kindle, before it heads out to my editor. I'm pretty psyched about this story. It follows the adventures of the cop from Muddy Waters and a hunky arson investigator. Lots of action and romance in HOT WATER!

EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS - The large print edition of Death, Island Style is available now. Here's the listing at Amazon if large print is your thing: http://tinyurl.com/7r7vagc. I've ordered postcard mailers for library notification, and those should arrive any day now.

This book is flying off the shelf (big smile here) with great reviews like these:


“an exciting whodunit” – Publishers Weekly
“Toussaint creates a gutsy heroine whose struggles with murder and romance add up to a very enjoyable read” – Kirkus Reviews
“Eccentric and fun, this book is definitely worth a read” – Romantic Times
“Toussaint's feel-good stand-alone flies by as her initially wimpy heroine develops a backbone and comes out a winner on all fronts. Nice regional flair.” – Library Journal

Thanks for sharing in  my good news! Wishing everyone a happy June.

Maggie Toussaint
Like me on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MaggieToussaintAuthor#

49 comments:

  1. It was a pleasure to have you, Maggie. Our group really enjoyed your interactive presentation. On a personal note, I was delighted to finally meet you after a few years of online communication.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Polly! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. You're a wonderful hostess, and your writing buds were so friendly and supportive. I really appreciated the opportunity to meet everyone there. Maggie

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  2. Congratulations, Maggie! On everything!

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    1. Thanks, Alice. It's so nice to have good news and to have a great reason to smile!

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  3. Great news all around! Keep on rollin' along. :-)

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    1. Thanks LK. I appreciate your visit to Mudpies.

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  4. Congrats -- How far have you mapped out your series? What happens when you run out of coins? Invent them? Use foreign currency? Inquiring minds want to know ...

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    1. Hi Madcap Maggie - love your screen name btw - I have an idea for my "quarter" book. I haven't decided if I'm going to include a 50 cent piece, but I am leaning toward heading straight for a buck or maybe even a silver dollar. I hadn't thought of adding in foreign coins, but that might be just the thing. Cleo could be like Angela Lansbery and take her sleuthing on the road. Thanks for clicking over and reading my news! Maggie

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  5. I feel like I know a celebrity. Books, contracts, more contracts, new editions, multiple series...where and how and when do you it all? I am very impressed. And very proud of you, too.
    If you want to mail a postcard to our library--if that's the way you do it--look up San Marcos Public Library, San Marcos, Texas and address it to Robyn Wood.

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    1. Hey Celia, You really made me smile. I don't think I've ever felt less like a celebrity. I feel like a busy person, because that's what I am, and that's how I hope to remain, god willing and the brain and fingers hold out. I'll see if I have your library on my list. If not, I'll add her. Thanks for the lead. Maggie

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  6. Congrats, Maggie! And I love that your granddog stars in the series. Yay!

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    1. HI Valerie, Thanks for loving Missie. She has a "stage" name for the series of Madonna, which totally suits her princess personality. She's so sweet and gentle and a bit of a bulldozer too, once she makes up her mind. That's exactly how I wrote Madonna in my Cleo books. Thanks for the comment. Maggie

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  7. Lot of great news, Maggie. Congratulations! On pacing, I have a question. What if your book is written from different POVs? Those POVs have different styles, use different language. How can you promise the same style if the characters and voices vary?

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    1. Hi EB, I'm delighted you have a pacing question. Your writing style - your voice - will be an underchord in each character's individual POV. You'll still have guys seeming manly, gals seeming resilient and strong, and bad guys doing rotten things. Each POV will have fast and slow pacing, but the quality of writing will prevail, despite the different word choices and different phrasing of each character. I hope this answers your question, if not, feel free to chime in again and we'll keep this discussion going. Thanks for the visit! Maggie

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    1. Thanks, Merrillee! Seems like yesterday when I was sweating out that first book contract. This one seems just as special, believe me!

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  9. Wonderful ... enjoy all your success.
    Terry
    Terry's Place

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    1. Hi Terry, Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you had a moment to swing by and say hello. Maggie

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  10. Congrats, Maggie. So glad things are going well!

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    1. Hi Jacqueline,
      It's nice to have a contract in hand. Much better than two birds in the bush... Maggie

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  11. Wow! A lot of good news, Maggie. Congrats on all of it.

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    1. Hi Keena, Thanks for the exclamation point. I am trying hard not to use them in every sentence, but when you're excited, you want to end every sentence in an EP. I'm thrilled to have good news to share. Maggie

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  12. Maggie, congratulations on the Good News, the More Good News and the Even More Good news. Just reading your post energized me.

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    1. Hi Mona, I'm a regular good news train today, though I should be careful about crowing too loudly. My horoscope today said something about messing things up. I hope I only mess up something inconsequential like the order of silverware in the dishwasher. This feel-good buzz needs to last a bit longer. Thanks for the comment and well wishes. Now get out there and write! Maggie

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  13. Congratulations, Maggie on everything!

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    1. Hi Regan,
      Thank you for commenting at Mudpies. I'm glad to have friends around the net who can share in good news. Best Wishes! Maggie

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  14. Congratulations, Maggie! And I LOVE that title!! :-)

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    1. Hey Kathy, I have to say my dime title is original. I'm not altogether sure I thought it up because I woke up with it on the tip of my tongue one morning. I think I channeled it from the universal story ether. Thanks for your visit and the comment. Maggie

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  15. Congrats on your inspiring good news, Maggie!

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    1. Thanks, Anne. It is good to know that publishers are buying books!

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  16. Thanks, Anne! I hope you'll get some great news too. There's enough to go around. Thanks for the visit. Maggie

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  17. Great news all around. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks, LD! I appreciate your stopping in for a visit!

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  18. Go girl! Proud of you!
    Pete & Joni Floros
    http://oldsheriff.com

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    1. Hi Pete and Joni!, Thanks for stopping by. I'm pretty darn happy about this myself.

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  19. Congratulations, Maggie. As we used to say, "you're going like a house afire."

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    1. Hi Patricia, I hope I don't catch on fire! But I am enjoying the thrill of signing a new contract. That doesn't seem to get old.

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    1. Hi Kaye! Thanks for stopping in at Mudpies. I'm very happy to share my news with my Guppy friends and the World!

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  21. Congratulations, Maggie. Lots of good news.

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    1. Hi Cindy, I'm happy that you stopped by to see me. It feels like I'm having a party in here. Thanks for your kind words. Please come again.

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  22. Congratulations, Maggie, on all your happy news--so well deserved! Happy dancing on your behalf. :)

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    1. Hi Susan, That Snoopy happy dancing song never wears out. I hear it every time I get fabulous news! So glad you found your way to Mudpies. Stop in anytime. The door's always open.

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  23. Congratulations. Maggie. Well done!

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    1. Hi Jenny, I'm happy to see you here, even happier that I'm having such a fun round of company. Thanks for your kind words.

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  24. Great workshop, Maggie. We really enjoyed it and learned a lot at the same time. Also, those are terrific reviews for Death, Island Style. Congratulations on all the good news!

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    1. Hi Ellis, I'll be reminiscing about the upstate SC SINC group for a long time to come. Y'all really know how to make a person feel welcome. I can't remember if I shared this at the meeting, but pacing is something I struggled with in the beginning - but I didn't know it. Once I truly understood what it was, my writing bumped up to the next gear. What fun to meet you in person after hearing about you from Polly all these years. Thanks for the comment and the visit. Door's open...

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  25. Maggie - this is terrific news all around! Congratulations - I just love the "Dime if I Know" title. Too funny!

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    1. Hi Keely, I love that you get the title. I hope others will enjoy it too. Being an author and stringing words together is one of the coolest jobs I've ever had. It only feels like work when I have to write the synopsis.

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