Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I still have a couple of book events left before I can knuckle down and begin writing my next Frasier suspense novel (as yet untitled), but I spent the day working out some plot issues.  And I am so excited to be writing another Frasier book. I think the hardest part of writing The Orchard was having to put the Frasier name aside. That KILLED me.  I'd left my real name behind long ago, along with an old life, and had worked hard to create the Frasier brand. So to go back to Weir in such a public way, and to abandon Anne Frasier… So hard. I've been pretty vocal about how badly I wanted the memoir to be released under Frasier. I still feel strongly about that, but I also realize the name change might have been for the best.   But now I can get back to what I love  – writing suspense.  Not that I haven't been dabbling.  I wrote my cat book that was a joy to write, and I've written a lot of short stories, but not a full-length suspense for so long. Too long. I'm so ready.  And for anybody who wonders, I've put the second cat book aside for the time being.  I'm pretty sure I'll eventually finish it, but I don't know when.

 The magical Forevertron!
This new book has three mystery threads, and I knew that at least two of them needed to merge at some point.  And today I finally solved that issue. Yay. And what is really cool about writing a sequel is that I KNOW these people. So well. So one thing I've been doing is actually charting an emotional journey for the two main characters (David and Elise). Because I KNOW them.  Normally I GET TO KNOW my characters as I write a book, but this is so nice and so familiar. I know their fears and their loves and their desires.  And the mystery is the framework on which to hang their emotional journey.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I'm doing it!  First time ever, but this November I'm joining the writing frenzy known as National Novel Writing Month. That time in November when crazy writers try to write 50,000 words in a single month. I'm starting off at a disadvantage because I have book events through November 7. So I'm not sure what I'll accomplish, but I think it will still be a good catalyst for my Play Dead sequel, which is due to the publisher on September 1, 2013.  Which means it won't hit shelves until 2014. Just in case anybody is keeping track. 

If you are doing nanowrimo and want to look me up, my URL is:

I'm not sure what friends do there. Roast marshmallows over a virtual fire? Get drunk? Swap war stories?  Give shoulder pats?  

I've done some one-day group writing events with other writers, and I've learned that the group thing works. It's fun. Not sure about the VIRTUAL group thing, but I'm going to give it a go. The old NaNo try.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Free Books!

Happy Halloween!

Three of my ebooks will be free Monday and Tuesday, October 22 and 23.

If you're in  the mood for something a bit spooky, you might enjoy Pale Immortal (a crossover of crime fiction/horror/paranormal)
(Clicking the title with take you to Amazon page.)

(click title)

In the mood for something lighter? Some readers have described this quirky story as part mystery, part romance. And many have said it's kind of a melding of Anne Frasier and Theresa Weir. The Girl with the Cat Tattoo was a Dear Author Recommended Read, and was also certified Wonktastical!

(click title)

Or how about a short fantasy? 
I know a lot of readers don't care for short stories, but give this whimsical fantasy a try! How can you resist this cute cover?  It's a story about an author who wrote his first novel before he was born.

(click title)

People ask why writers make their books free.  A lot of reasons, but one is that we hope readers will leave reviews. The more reviews a book has, the more visible the book becomes due to algorithms. And because visibility is based on algorithms, the review doesn't have to be long or involved. It just needs to BE. So please consider leaving a review on Amazon. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I've been doing a fair amount of guest speaking lately. Since it's mostly for The Orchard, the art of memoir writing comes up again and again.  I meet people who are working on their memoirs, and one thing I like to share is how surprised I was to find that through writing about my own life I came to a much deeper understanding of things I thought I understood through and through. I think the biggest surprise was finding out how much my father's abandonment impacted me, my mother, and my older brother.  At the time, we all put on a brave face.  We weren't crybabies.  We didn't feel sorry for ourselves. Good riddance, you jerk.  Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. You are dead to us. You aren't worthy of us.

 But until I wrote the memoir, I didn't understand how my father's actions turned all of us into different people. Forever.

I can now see how that single action rerouted the course of our lives in a damaging way. We'd been strong rivers, moving in a solid direction toward the ocean. Now we were trickling streams, trying to find our way across a desert that led nowhere.  His leaving forever changed us. Changed who we were. Changed our core and changed our hearts, making us bitter, jaded children. And once he left, the very act of his bold and crazy move made him bigger than life to me; made him some strange folk hero.

With his leaving, the focus of our lives shifted. Before, it had been about school, home, family. Now it was about absence, rejection, abandonment, and the daily struggles of extreme poverty.

His absence sculpted us. My mother, my older brother, and me. Cutting away clay to create these new people who looked at the world with bitter, wounded eyes.  This is what I didn't realize until I wrote my second memoir.

When I was working on The Man Who Left, I sent the typical proposal to my agent. Three chapters and a synopsis. She liked the material, but she thought it needed a stronger story arc.  We were in agreement about that, and I'd been struggling to find a solid theme. She saw two possible choices that would help make the book feel bigger. One was for me to move to Florida to care for my father, and the other choice was to work in an Alzheimer's care facility.  I understood where she was coming from, but I had no interest in doing either. I finished the book, but she never read it and it wasn't submitted anywhere. Instead, I published it under Belfry Press.  I've been surprised by the positive reader response even though the story still feels a bit incomplete to me.  And many people have asked me to write a third memoir, but I don't know about that.  Maybe someday, but right now I'm anxious to get back into fiction.
And just because I love this photo...

Monday, October 1, 2012


I've been busy with what I think of as a mini-book tour for the paperback release of The Orchard. Things have slowed down a bit for a few days, so I decided to pull out my cat project. I haven't worked on this for a few weeks, and I didn't remember it with fondness, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't awful. It's about 1/4 done. Not sure when I'll have the time to finish it because my main project (when all of this other stuff slows down) will be my Frasier, Play Dead sequel. But the cat stuff is fun. Just plain fun.  

I'm going to post the opening page here. This is the second book in the Cool Cat trilogy, and I think this might be the most fun of the three plots.  Working title: The Geek with the Cat Tattoo.  (Thanks to L.K. Rigel for that suggestion!)

This book stars the brother of Max from The Girl with the Cat Tattoo, and this cat is the most talented (magical?) of the three siblings. 

The Geek with the Cat Tattoo

I'm on my fourth owner and he's giving me a look I've become familiar with over the years. That look of suspicion. That look that says he knows. Or at least he thinks he knows.

He's going to ditch me. He's already contemplating the how and where. Take me to a shelter? Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. Or pack me in a box, drive fifty miles from Minneapolis, and dump me on some country road? Neither of those choices scare me, I try to tell myself. Living in the country. That might be nice, right? A lot of field mice to eat. A big sky.

Oh, my God. What am I saying? I'm a city cat through and through. I couldn't survive out there. I'm already imagining myself falling in with a bunch of feral cats who have rotten teeth and mange. Egads!

"What the hell are you?" asks my fourth owner. He's standing in the kitchen looking down at me, and the terror in his eyes has turned into something that scares me more than the possibility of life in the country with a pack of inbreds. 

 "Are you the devil?" Fourth Owner nods his head, as if coming to a conclusion. I remember when he picked me up from the shelter. He didn't know anything about cats. I wasn't even sure he liked cats, but lucky for me he wasn't around much. He works somewhere in downtown Minneapolis, and always talks about the cubicle where he goes with his slicked-back hair and body spray I can smell from a mile away. But like all of my previous owners, he's finally figured me out. He's figured out that I can put thoughts in his head.