Thursday, December 18, 2014

HIDDEN to be published!

I'm so thrilled to announce that the Manuscript from Hell, which now has the title of HIDDEN, will be published by Severn House!

Here is the official announcement that was in Publisher's Marketplace:

Tattoo Shop Mystery series author Karen Olson's HIDDEN, a new series featuring a woman who has spent 15 years hiding from her criminal-hacker past with zero carbon footprint, only to be discovered on Block Island, where she's been living as a bicycle tour guide and painter without a cell phone or bank account, to Kate Lyall-Grant at Severn House, in a two-book deal, by Josh Getzler at Hannigan Salky Getzler (World English). Translation: Film/TV: 

I have been working on this book for a long time. Years, in fact. It is a huge departure from my previous books in that it's not a mystery, but a suspense novel.

I am also very excited to be joining the Severn House list. HIDDEN will come out first in the UK, possibly even as soon as July 2015, and then here in the US, possibly in November 2015.

I did write HIDDEN as a standalone, but my new editor saw a series potential in it, so I am now working on plotting out the second book, which is due at the end of August. While I have been busy this past year, I will be busier in the new one.

It promises to be a very Happy New Year!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Procrastination: Friend or Foe?

Some days I just don't feel like writing. Yes, I can hear that voice in my head: But real writers force themselves, make themselves sit down and put something on the page. Anything on the page. Every day.

Does writing a Facebook status count? I mean, I did write something. How about Twitter? Oops, can't use that excuse, since I haven't updated my Twitter status in a long time. Okay, what about an email? A long email. One that sums up what's been going on my life for the last week or so to friends I haven't written in a while. That should count.

Despite what anyone says, procrastination isn't always easy. I mean, there's the guilt. Lots of guilt. Why didn't I write today? Because I felt that doing two or three loads of laundry should take priority? Or maybe the bathroom needed cleaning? Or I had to work on the taxes (oh, can't use that excuse, since I submitted everything to the accountant two months ago). And then there's the library book I put on hold that just happened to be available this week. I only have two weeks to read it, so I have to get started. Now.

How can any of those things be more important than sitting at my keyboard creating fictional worlds?

Maybe it's because I finally finished up the Manuscript from Hell and am feeling a bit like a vacation from writing. That book took a lot out of me, although it's been done for a couple of months now and is out in the world waiting to see if an editor likes it enough to publish it, so that's not a great excuse.

Maybe it's because I've been trying to work out what to work on next. I have about 60 pages in what I call my Suburban Mom Thriller, and I do want to go back to that. I re-read what I've got and I like it, but I still need to work out some plot things in it, so I'm using that as excuse. And in the meantime, I have revisited an idea for a possible new series, but while I've got a nugget of an idea, I have no plot and no well-formed idea of character yet. I also need to do some serious research before I can develop either, and I'm not a huge fan of research. I like to just make it up as I go along, but this one needs research and I can't fudge it.

So while I'm working all this out in my head, I'm not writing. I look at my laptop across the room while I play yet another level of Jelly Splash, check Facebook, see if anyone besides Macy's and William Sonoma has sent me an email, decide that it's time to clip the cats' claws.

 Do you procrastinate?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New year, new post

How does time go by so quickly? It's been almost a year since I last blogged. So, I suppose, it's time for an update.

My year has been eventful and uneventful at the same time. Life is settled into a quiet hum of activity.

I have spent much of this year working on what I have been calling my Manuscript from Hell. After rejections on two YA books, I went back to a book I started in 2009, right after NAL dropped my Annie Seymour series and right before they contracted me for the tattoo shop mysteries. This book is totally different than anything I've ever done before. It's not a traditional mystery, but more a suspense thriller about a fugitive who has been missing for 15 years and how her past finally catches up to her. It is about love and betrayal and no matter how hard you try to change, deep down it might not be possible. I have called it my Manuscript from Hell because it has challenged me in a way that no other book has. I have stepped far out of my comfort zone and developed a character and a voice that my readers might not find familiar but I hope will resonate with them. Although first it needs to resonate with an editor somewhere!

When I haven't been writing, I've been reading a lot. Mostly crime fiction, but I got two Tudor England books for Christmas that I need to start dipping into. My daughter is in her junior year of high school, and the college search and visits have begun. It reminds me of when I was looking at schools. I remember walking onto the Roanoke College campus and thinking, This is where I have to go to school. It struck me immediately. But back in my day, it was a bit easier and not so competitive to get into the school that you absolutely wanted to go to. I am hoping that my daughter will be able to go to that school that speaks to her as Roanoke spoke to me.

The days seem to move into each other so quickly that there isn't time to reflect. But this past year has been a year of decisions and thoughtfulness and creativity that hopefully will feed into this next one.

For now, though, I wish it would just be spring already.

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