Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Open House Sunday Interview – Author Debra Purdy Kong

I’m delighted to be a guest blogger on Sally Cronin’s terrific blog today!

When You Find a Good How-To Book

Manuscript MakeoverIn my quest to read more nonfiction and improve my writing skills, I picked up a book that was recommended to me several years ago. It was a good decision. Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon is one of the best how-to books on editing I’ve read in a while.

One of the great things I’ve found about how-to books is that they trigger ideas for improving my plots, characters, settings, and so forth. It happened several times throughout this book, which has caused me to go back and make key changes to the second draft of the urban fantasy I’m working on.

Now I find myself with three sets of notes to type up. One for the book review I’ll post. The second is a quick summary of editing tips I specifically need to address in all of my manuscripts. The third is to incorporate all of those notes I scribbled down about the urban fantasy.

The last section is entitled ‘Marketing’, but it’s not about promoting and increasing visibility. It’s about properly preparing your manuscript to submit to publishers. Lyon offers some really great tips on writing query letters and a synopsis. If you’re a fiction writer, I strongly encourage you to read this book. With any luck, new ideas will spring up for your work.

 

Follow-up to My Goodreads Giveaways

I didn’t know if there would be much response to my recent Goodreads giveaways, especially since I rarely participate in Goodreads groups. I didn’t promote the contest on their site, except through a blog post. But I did promote elsewhere, which seems to have worked out well.

The giveaway for my 5th full-length Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock, began on Jan. 3rd and closed on Jan. 24th. 951 people entered the draw and 432 people added the book to their ‘Want to Read’ list. There were two winners.

 

The giveaway for my 2nd Evan Dunstan mystery novella, A Toxic Craft began on Jan. 10th and closed yesterday, Jan. 31st. 680 people entered the draw and 285 people added the book to their ‘Want to Read’ list. Also two winners.

So, all I really want to say is a huge thank you to those who entered the draws for copies of my books. It’s a great way to start the year. Now I just have to work on the rest of my promotion strategies.

 

Compartmentalizing My Life

mujerdetective-841x1024[1]I have a part-time secretarial job at a university. I’ve worked in a couple of different departments over the past five years, yet only a handful of colleagues from each department know that I’m a mystery writer who spends her free time plotting crimes and coming up with intriguing ways to kill people. You can see why I don’t advertise this fact, right?

Marketing-savvy folks will likely be aghast at my reluctance to discuss my books, and tell me that I’m throwing away plenty of selling opportunities. But the truth is I simply don’t feel that comfortable talking about writing while I’m being paid to do other things. And when you only work four hours a day, you don’t get lunch breaks to sit and chat.

 

Occasionally, on quiet days, someone will ask me a few questions, and I’ll answer them, but I don’t encourage these types of conversations. This week, a colleague asked to purchase a couple of books for birthday presents. While I certainly obliged, I handed the books discreetly to her while no one else was around.

Everybody has a private life and personal challenges, or hobbies…important parts of their lives that they don’t spend much time, if any, yakking about at the office. It seems only natural to compartmentalize our lives. There’s a time and place for each of those boxes to be opened and explored. I’ve learned to pick and choose my times wisely.

Guest Author: Debra Purdy Kong

I’m delighted to be a guest on Darlene Foster’s blog today!

Darlene Foster's Blog

My guest today is Debra Purdy Kong, a fellow Vancouver author who writes entertaining mysteries. She talks about where she gets her ideas and gives some great advice to anyone thinking of writing.

Debra Purdy Kong’s volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs inspired her to write mysteries set in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for her two Evan Dunstan mystery novellas, as well as her Casey Holland transit security novels.

Debra has published short stories in a variety of genres as well as personal essays, and articles for publications such as Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul, B.C. Parent Magazine, and The Vancouver Sun. In November 2017, she released her 5th Casey Holland mystery thriller, KNOCK KNOCK, and her 2nd Evan Dunstan humorous mystery novella, A TOXIC CRAFT.

How long have you been seriously writing? I’ve been writing…

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Two Goodreads Giveaways!

I’m starting 2018 by offering two giveaways, one for each my recent releases, on the Goodreads site.

Knock Knock, front cover

 

My 5th Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock (published in November) is offered to anyone in the U.S. and Canada until January 24th!

The link is: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/273020-knock-knock

 

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My 2nd Evan Dunstan mystery novella, A Toxic Craft, (published in December) will offered until Wed., January 31st.

The link is: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/273253-a-toxic-craft

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the huge Goodreads site, there are plenty of other books up for grabs, so best of luck!!

The Contrarian in Me

I’ve always been someone who follows my own path, and that path is chosen mostly by instinct. It’s worked out pretty well in my life, but it’s also caused some raised eyebrows when I don’t quite measure up to the standard of what’s considered “normal” by some.

For instance, I really don’t like clothes and shoe shopping, and never have. In fact, I’m only inspired to shop when my kids give me a gift card for my birthday. It takes me a while to make a choice, usually much longer than it does before I’m in sensory overload and the energy begins to drain away.

I don’t like parties either, or even tons of socializing. Believe me, I’ve tried over the decades, having done my share of Halloween and New Year’s bashes in my teens and twenties, but again they were usually events that I was talked into or felt I should do.

Let’s face it I’m an introvert, but a happy one. My father, who was the complete opposite, never really understood me, and I’m pretty sure that he and his extremely social relatives were convinced that something was wrong with me. So be it.

star_wars___darth_vader_by_komankk-d7487e3[1]This New Year’s Eve, hubby and I went to see The Last Jedi. Having watched Star Wars movies from the beginning (one of the originals was our date movie back in the day) I looked forward to this one. This will run against almost every opinion I’ve heard, but the story was completely boring. Sure, there was some vintage stuff with the return of Luke and Yoda, etc., but it also left me feeling that nothing was new or daring or bold. I keep hearing how great the movie was, and how people loved it. This contrarian disagrees. Still, if we all agreed about everything, wouldn’t that be truly boring?