Tag Archives: the p.i. contest

The Story Behind The Dedication

My newest book, The P.I. Contest, is dedicated to all my friends who celebrated their “milestone” birthday, along with me, in 2009. What milestone, you ask? Shame on you. Have you no manners? Let’s just say it’s a number between 49 and 51.

And how did we celebrate? Well, there was Shannon’s sock hop birthday party where the girls dressed in 50’s poodle skirts and the guys wore jeans and white t-shirts and we jived the night away to songs like “Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets.

Then there was the “month-of-Simon” which was celebrated with a house party, a ski day in Lake Louise, a dinner at the Post Hotel….it just goes on-and-on!

In the summer, Fred celebrated his birthday with a beach barbecue at his and Sue’s cabin, then for Sue we went to one of our favorite Calgary restaurants–The River Cafe.

Girls' Weekend In Wakefield
Girls' Weekend In Wakefield

Lucky Dennis was serenaded by his wife for his birthday, and as for the rest–Myrna, Rhonda, Cheryl, Myrna-Joy, Lynda, Lorna, Debbie, Kate and Wendy–well, we had a fabulous girls’ weekend in Wakefield Quebec this fall. Delicious food, beautiful autumn scenery, long walks, shopping, and great conversation…

You know, turning ** isn’t so bad when you do it with friends!

The Story Behind The Book Cover

People often ask me if I have input into my book covers, and the answer is, Yes, I do, but I don’t get to see the cover beforehand, nor do I get any sort of final approval. So the unveiling of a new book cover is always a moment of excitement, tinged with anxiety. (What if the cover is terrible? What if I absolutely hate it? What if it doesn’t fit my story at all?)

Luckily, I have loved almost all my book covers and most of them have suited my stories very well. This is not too surprising, as there is a thorough process that is followed for every single book.

Shortly after completing the revisions on a story, I am asked to fill in a questionairre called the “Art Fact Sheet.” This is my opportunity to communicate with the Marketing Department and the Artists who will be designing the cover for my book.

I start by providing a description of my main characters (which is sometimes a challenge as I often don’t know certain details about them myself. Since I focus mainly on my character’s personality and interior thoughts, I may not even have selected an eye color! So at this stage, I may need to retroactively give them one!)

Next I write a synopses of the story (which is always harder than it sounds)  and finally I suggest 3 “possible” scenes for the cover. More often than not, my scene suggestions have made it to the final product, and this is the case with the cover for my upcoming release, book one of the Fox & Fisher Detective Agency trilogy–Perfect Partners.

Since the Detective Agency is so central to all the books in this trilogy, when I completed the art sheets, I envisioned showcasing each couple in front of the brownstone where the business is located. Since the stories take place at three different seasons of the year, I suggested we use fall colors for Perfect Partners, spring colors for The P.I. Contest and winter colors for Receptionist Under Cover.

So far it looks as if the artists have agreed with my suggestions and I love the covers they created for book 1 and book 2. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the cover for book 3 which should be available shortly. Will it also showcase the Fox and Fisher Detective Agency? Will they use the winter colors I suggested? More importantly, what will Nadine and Patrick look like?

Check back in a few weeks and we’ll all know the answer then!