03-30-2009 01:42 AM
I'm excited to welcome back mystery author and Master Gardener, ROSEMARY HARRIS!
Some of you may remember Rosemary, who visited last year when we featured her debut mystery, PUSHING UP DAISIES, the first in her Dirty Business mystery series.
Pushing up Daisies (Dirty Business Mystery Series)
THE BIG DIRT NAP is the second in this series, and I liked it as much, or possibly even more, than the first book. I should point out right away that, even though this is a sequel of a sort, I don't think anyone reading it first would feel cheated. There are references to people and events in the first book, but it pretty much stands alone.
The Big Dirt Nap
I had the opportunity of meeting Rosemary in real life when she passed through Cincinnati as part of a whirlwind book tour a few weeks ago. She is every bit as nice in person as she is online -- our visit went way too quickly!
I'm looking forward to talking about this book in some detail, so I'll probably set up a separate thread where we can post spoilers.
To start with, here are some links to Rosemary's website, so you can get to know her. She also blogs in three different places, which I have also indicated below.
03-30-2009 10:18 AM - edited 03-30-2009 10:19 AM
Before Rosemary arrives, I want to give you more links to interviews with her, book reviews, and so on. She is one busy, energetic lady -- when I googled her name, I found countless announcements about library visits and book signings, from one coast of the U.S. to the other!
At least one of these links includes a quote from the book, something I want to do as soon as more of you have had a chance to pick up a copy of The Big Dirt Nap. The title is explained early on, and I'm debating whether I should post the explanation or let Rosemary tell you more about it.
The first link is a contest Rosemary is sponsoring, and the prize is FREE REGISTRATION to one of the big mystery conferences:
Here's a video clip of a televised interview with Rosemary:
03-30-2009 02:43 PM
Aaaayyy. I look totally hideous in that tv clip! I need media training desperately. What can I say, I spend half of my life in front of a computer talking to myself ;-)
03-30-2009 03:47 PM
03-31-2009 07:43 PM
I can attest that Rosemary has lots of energy. I attempted to follow her around for just one week--doing three events with her--and I was exhausted! But she was just getting ready to roll of her sleeves and start work on her garden.
So--I have a quick question for Rosemary. I know you're a master gardener, and your mystery novels use a lot of your experience and knowledge. Do you get your ideas in the spring while you're gardening, or does it take several months of being stuck inside during the winter for you to come up with new plots and ideas?
Posed for Murder, St. Martin's Minotaur
03-31-2009 11:07 PM
I loved your book trailer for Pushing Up Daisies, but I haven't been able to find one for The Big Dirt Nap. Is it a sign of the tighter economic times, or did you just decide to use other forms of promotion (like a cross-country tour).
I'm curious, because so many authors are using trailers to promote their books nowadays, and I wondered if it was cost-effective. I'm assuming they are as expensive as mini-films.
04-01-2009 07:42 AM
I try to get all of the writing done before gardening season really kicks in. That's what I'm doing now for Deadhead, the next book in the series, finishing my rewrites. Over the summer I flesh out whatever new story I'm working on and I write as much as I can in the fall. I definitely write in spurts.
I should have been writing all day yesterday but it was so beautiful I had to spend some time in the garden! Hope my editor's not reading this!
04-01-2009 07:51 AM
For Pushing Up Daisies I stumbled upon a fun piece of music and animation on Youtube and I got in touch with the creators (Voodoo Trombones, a Scottish band and Eclectech, an animation company) and asked them to rework their film for me. I thought it was perfect..it was fun and a little quirky, just like the book. I just couldn't get anything comparable for The Big Dirt Nap. I like the idea of using animation instead of a mini-film because most of the time I don't think those trailers are very good, and they're more difficult to do well for a humorous mystery than they are for a straight thriller. If there are any animators out there who want to make a short 1 minute film for me, get in touch!
I don't know anyone who really thinks that trailers are a cost effective way to get the word out about your book. I posted the trailer on my website and Myspace and i think it ran here somewhere. I also got about 4,000 views on Youtube which is fabulous for a book trailer, but sad to say the guy who chugged a two liter bottle of pepsi and then..um.. got sick probably got around a million. What can you do?
04-01-2009 12:18 PM
If you write a book about a piano-playing hamster, you'll have it made! I can see where it would be trickier to come up with a video concept for this book. It would have to include images of the corpse flower, and that alone would earn it an R rating!
Thanks for sharing the background of your Pushing Up Daisies trailer -- it's a fascinating story!
04-02-2009 08:15 AM
I love your "voice," Rosemary. The dialogue really comes alive to me. Do you read dialogue you've written aloud?
Jane K. Cleland
The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries - KILLER KEEPSAKES
04-02-2009 11:19 AM
I have a couple questions for Rosemary, too:
Like the chicken and the egg, I'm wondering what came first for you: writing or gardening? Did one lead to the other, or did your interest in both always go hand-in-hand? I've always thought gardeners had a dark side, because we can be brutal when it comes to slugs, aphids and such -- not to mention moles!
Also, I know Pushing Up Daisies was your debut book, but was it your first book? Do you have another, earlier, completed manuscript sitting around someplace?
04-02-2009 11:35 AM
The gardening definitely came first. When I started to put together the story for Pushing Up Daisies I knew I had to give my amateur sleuth a career that would let her have flexible hours and travel in lots of different social circles. Making her a gardener was- forgive me - organic.
Pushing Up Daisies was my first novel. There's nothing in the drawer. No short stories either, although I've since written one that's a prequel to Daisies. (It's on my website www.rosemaryharris.com and it features Babe, whom readers have taken quite a liking to!) I was very fortunate that the agent I approached liked my voice and happens to be a gardener!
Thanks for the kind words. I do read the dialogue..in my dialogue pass...one of the umpteen editorial passes I make before submitting the manuscript. I think I was a little conservative in book one, but let my characters (and myself) have a little more fun in book two! There are still no four letter words (a few five and seven letter words, I think) and now I'm challenging myself to keep it that way.
04-02-2009 01:12 PM
04-02-2009 05:48 PM
Which of the editorial passes is most challenging to you?
04-02-2009 07:59 PM
04-03-2009 12:39 PM
The prequel IS in the Still Waters Anthology. It's called Growing Up is For Losers. Still Waters was the title of the annual collection of stories by New England crime and mystery writers published by Level Best Books. last year one of the stories was nominated for an Edgar, so I was honored to be included.
Growing Up is also available on my website. www.rosemaryharris.com
04-03-2009 02:46 PM
04-04-2009 08:18 AM
04-04-2009 10:50 AM
04-04-2009 08:07 PM
As I mentioned, I met Rosemary in person a few weeks ago. I was fascinated with her stories about the library in Tanzania she and her husband helped build. There are slides of the library and details here:
Rosemary, would you share some of your adventures with our board participants? I was astounded by some of the difficulties you've run into with deliveries of books and mail, and other things we take for granted.