Monday, December 6, 2010

Nurturing the Creative

I have several promotions lined up for Scalping the Red Rocks and the other books. On Monday, December 13, I’ll be on a regional radio show during morning drive-time to discuss the new mystery. This is the same show I was on in November 2009 and discussed Under a Copper Moon. It’s a fun thing to do. I’m always a bit nervous, but I try not to think of the people listening, but instead focus on the announcer in the booth.

With the radio interview, it’s beneficial to schedule a book signing the following Saturday, mainly to give the listeners a call-to-action, a place they can go to buy the book. I have a book signing set at Twice Told Tales in Gloucester, Virginia on Saturday, December 18. That’s the Saturday before Christmas. Throw in a trip to see my family in Bristol and getting back home for Christmas and a magazine deadline when I have four articles due and a fight with Intuit Customer Service in India and I’m getting overwhelmed.

What falls out in all these commitments? The new writing project.

In the radio interview, I was going to mention the new project because part of it is set in this part of Virginia, along with the Bristol area, and the Shenandoah area. Now that I consider it, this may be too early in the development to make a comment on radio, especially where answering questions is broadcast to a few people, maybe more than a few – no time to edit before it goes. I’m usually pretty good about editing things before they leave my mind, but being nervous, I say things that I wouldn’t ordinarily say. Not that I have any great secret about the new book. Not that it’s a subject I fear will be “stolen.”

I heard a writer once say that inspiration and ideas need to be protected like a growing child until they can stand on their own and speak for themselves. Other people (“blocked creatives” as creativity guru Julia Cameron calls them) try to squelch the growth of new ideas and developing muses, to stop creativity from allowing a different world view, to inhibit forward momentum. So, this writer, he said not to discuss the new project too much at the beginning, give it time to mature.

Like an infant, this idea needs my attention, care, nurturing. Why is it always the one thing that gets pushed aside? Yes, I know. I’m the one setting the priorities and I think I’ve just worked out what to do: I’m going to go write.

Monday, July 12, 2010

eBooks on the “Down Low”

I’m finishing Elena Santangelo’s Poison to Purge Melancholy, which I bought at Malice Domestic this year. I’m enjoying the way she works poisons into the historical subplot and how readily available those poisons were in the 1700s. Even before I started reading it, I had heard a NPR radio interview with Deborah Blum on her new book about poisons and forensic science in New York City in the 1920s.

I’m not a CSI TV show watcher; in fact I don’t think I’ve watched a cop show since “Hill Street Blues.” Forensic science is fascinating. I’ve heard multiple opinions from the real technicians: Either they say the TV labs have more funds and equipment than real life could ever hope for, or they say they never get involved and only write up reports – not much drama there. So I think I avoid those CSI-type programs because I don’t want to write a mystery where the research comes from watching TV. That’s second-hand knowledge.

Back to the poisons. Now the public is gaga over forensics. I don’t know if Blum’s book would have been on NPR if it weren’t for the success of television shows like CSI. I listened to the interview as I drove and found her anecdotes fascinating. I went into the William & Mary Bookstore yesterday and bought The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum. It has bumped up on my reading list to follow Santangelo’s mystery, which is just a few chapters from the end.

The “Down Low” part of this tangential blog is how self-conscience I felt walking around town with a book titled The Poisoner’s Handbook (trying to be green, I declined the shopping bag for the one item). Sunday afternoon is a time for beer in Colonial Williamsburg. People tended to guard their drinks when I sat down near them and they saw the book’s title.

[I will clarify: Blum does not give poison recipes.]

I thought, maybe I should have bought the Kindle copy. That way, no one would know what I was reading.

That covert reading is a plus for eBooks. I will admit I have bought Kindle books that I probably wouldn’t have bought in paper form – mainly because of the cover or title. Some books look too much like romances (not that there is anything wrong with that), when they aren’t. Some aren’t as literary as you want your reading image to convey. Some covers are just too sexy to have complete strangers see you carry on the train or bus.

My first Derek Mason Mystery Fingering the Family Jewels is doing great Kindle sales. Yes, I know the title is a bit risqué for some people, and I wonder if that’s who is buying it in eBook format. Read the book, but don’t let mama know.

Where the Internet opened up a way to buy any book without awkwardness, now eBooks let you read any book, anywhere with complete subject/storyline anonymity.

Be it books on poison, romances, erotica, Dr. Ruth, Dr. Phil, or books with risqué titles, now you can read on the down low. And that (as VP Biden likes to say) is a big f-ing deal.

Read what you want!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Mystery Releases Today


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


New Mystery Skewers Tourist Town Personalities


(Williamsburg, VA • July 1, 2010) Cherokee McGhee Publishing announces the release of Greg Lilly’s newest Derek Mason Mystery – Scalping the Red Rocks.

The novel is set in Sedona, Arizona, one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. Sedona is known for the breathtaking natural beauty of the red rocks; its vibrant arts community; the rich Native American, pioneer, and western movie culture; a variety of hiking trails, Jeep tours, and journeys into the New Age movement; all topped with world-class resorts and restaurants. These unique elements contribute to the lively real estate market and spur the story’s beginning.


In Scalping the Red Rocks, the town’s inhabitants are divided by urban growth. Some entrepreneurs try to make a quick buck by selling out the very aspect of the town that drew them: the awe-inspiring views and natural beauty. Spirited, passionate, and a bit mettlesome, Derek Mason helps his aunt Ruby find her place in the New Age haven, but instead they discover her real estate agent scalped in an empty condo. The crafty real estate agent had intended to sell off part of the pristine landscape, to scalp the land to the highest bidder, but someone scalped him first.


Derek meets Myra and Topher, best friends with a shared secret from Devil’s Bridge; Kimbo Blue, a former child star from Hollywood with a eunuch-ness that defies his adult persona; Clarity Received, the New Age girlfriend of the victim; and Tricia, the diva ex-wife. Along with a troupe of paranoid art gallery owners, gossipy sales clerks, sexy day laborers, and a Jeep-driving Yavapai-Apache, the quirky characters of the resort town hamper Derek’s attempts to expose the killer.


Small town secrets, shady deals, and serial arsonists threaten to throw Derek off the trail. The destructive power of greed materializes in the idyllic setting, and Derek struggles to keep his sense of self-value over the immediate gratification of self-indulgence. Temptation from his past jeopardizes his future, unless he can tame his libido and focus. Or will he lose his head too?
“I lived for five years in Sedona, Arizona,” author Greg Lilly says. “The story could only happen in that setting, in that culture.” Lilly had lived for several years in Charlotte, North Carolina before moving to Arizona for a “simpler life.” In the city, he had written the first Derek Mason Mystery that dealt with a large family-owned business. His second novel, Devil’s Bridge, follows characters who tire of the city and end up in Sedona ─ just as he did. “The novel Devil’s Bridge foreshadowed my own escape from the city,” Lilly explains. “So, with this latest mystery, I had to bring those characters into the tale to show the dream versus the reality of a resort town life.”


The early reviewers praise Scalping the Red Rocks for its setting, plot, and characters. "Greg Lilly gives us some unforgettable characters and his ability to create them is amazing,” says Amos Lassen of Literary Pride book reviews. “The residents of Sedona are the kind of people you will never forget."


Author Keith Pyeatt (Struck, Regal Crest Enterprises, 2009) added, “The characters are diverse and real enough to touch, the story is set so firmly in Sedona, it couldn't take place anywhere else, and the varied agendas and motives keep you wondering whodunit to the very end."


Sedona resident and award-winning mystery writer Kris Neri (Revenge for Old Times’ Sake, Cherokee McGhee, 2010) calls the book “A winner!” Then adds, "With eco-terrorists, wildfire and a shocking scalping, Greg Lilly’s Scalping the Red Rocks rips the mask off the superficial New Age haven of Sedona, Arizona, to reveal its darker side, in a don’t-put-it-down mystery that will keep you guessing right up to its stunning climax.”


Echo Magazine’s book critic Bob Lind rates the mystery “five full stars out of five.” Lind, an Arizonan, adds, “I can tell you that Lilly has absolutely nailed the prevailing mindset of many longtime residents of that town (Sedona), making the mystery even more realistic to me... an exciting, well-written page-turner, which will keep you guessing as you slowly learn more about each of its colorful, complex characters.”


Although the book skewers some attitudes and personalities of tourist towns, Lilly says he feels the murder mystery creates a fast-paced story to entertain readers, all readers ─familiar or not with a small town dependent on tourists. “Hilton Head, Williamsburg, Taos, Asheville,” Lilly lists. “These are places with a lot of deals going on behind the scenes. That can make for some interesting characters and situations.”


Scalping the Red Rocks – A Derek Mason Mystery is available now at bookstores and on-line at Amazon.com and BN.com. More information about Greg Lilly and his novels can be found at www.GregLilly.com.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Almost here...or at the county fair, down by the river.


I'm working on my next newsletter. And it's all about the new Derek Mason Mystery, SCALPING THE RED ROCKS. I wrote in the newsletter about some things that inspired me to write the novel and how the characters move between my books.


Still time to sign up for the newsletter. Just jump over to my website and commit: http://www.greglilly.com/.


I have blurbs from some great reviewers and writers (see those on the website). I have pre-publication books in a box next to my computer for a pre-release signing next week at the James City County Fair.


Speaking of that... This year at the county fair, the organizers have created an "Arts Night" that includes the "Author Talks Series." I was lucky enough to be invited. Each author will have one hour. The first half is for a presentation and the second half is for discussion and book signings.


Author Talks Series - Thursday, June 24

James City County Fair, Chickahominy Riverfront Park


The schedule is:

4:00 p.m. Mac Laird present "Researching the Historical Book"

5:00 p.m. Edward Lull presents "Poetry for Fun"

6:00 p.m. Laurie Krebs presents "Writing for Young Children"

7:00 p.m. I will present "Overcoming Writer's Block"

8:00 p.m. L.B. Taylor will discuss is series of Virginia ghost stories.


I was able to grab the 7:00 slot because I'm the prettiest of the group....Just seeing if you're paying attention. L.B. wanted to present as the sun sets, and I wanted to go later in the day because it's HOT, so we took the last two slots.


All the presentations sound great to me. I wish I could go to all of them, but I can't see sitting out there in a tent for five hours.


If you're in the area, come on out to the fair on Thursday night. I'll have the new book available and special JCC Fair prices.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lime Green all over



Okay, I'm sitting here when I should have gone for my run...But the air is full of yellow-green pollen and I couldn't imagine breathing it for thirty minutes. Lazy and clear is better than worked-out and congested, at least today it is.


SCALPING THE RED ROCKS is pulling in some great pre-publication reviews. I'm excited about its release. I'm making the final changes to the galleys, then the publisher will ship it off to the printer.

One thing we're trying over on http://www.greglilly.com/ -- a virtual book signing. Apparently, since I last used it, PayPal does not require you to have an account with $$ in it to use their on-line payment processing. Now, you can buy things with your credit card directly. That was a BIG hassle years ago when you bought something that needed payment via PayPal. I remember transferring money to PayPal, waiting for it to clear, then buying. Now, it's fast and easy. So, remember: PayPal will take credit cards without requiring a PayPal account... Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

Got off target there. Back to the virtual book signing. At www.GregLilly.com/VirtualBookSigning.htm all three books (UNDER A COPPER MOON, DEVIL'S BRIDGE, FINGERING THE FAMILY JEWELS - A Derek Mason Mystery) are available to be personalized and shipped to you. Add your special requests in the "Add special instructions" field at checkout.



I'll try this virtual book signing to see how it shakes out. When the new Derek Mason Mystery -- SCALPING THE RED ROCKS debuts, I'll hit the road to do a few in-person signings. Let me know if you have a favorite book store in your area that I might visit.

Stay clear and pollen-free.
Greg

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Derek Mason Mystery releases in July

The new Derek Mason Mystery is going to the editor next week. The title is SCALPING THE RED ROCKS and it is set in my former hometown of Sedona, Arizona – hence the red rocks reference.

If you've never been to Sedona, you need to add it to your list of places to see. There is too much to cover here, and there are plenty of websites, guide books, magazines, and blogs to tell you to visit the places that advertise with them. So, if you decide to go, let me know and I'll give you some tips on places to go and places to stay away from. You see, after five years there, working and knowing people in the workforce, I know the businesses and people that are true and the ones that are out to make a fast buck.

Funny, how businesses will spend thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising an image that their employment practices destroy with the locals. The locals are the workforce, so my advice to the businesses (not just in Sedona, but everywhere) is to treat employees fair because that's a brand you can't buy your way out of.

With that bit of opinion on business operations, I want to say that it does factor into SCALPING THE RED ROCKS. Here's the backcover summary:

SCALPING THE RED ROCKS – a Derek Mason Mystery

Something's askew in the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. The town's inhabitants are divided by urban growth. Some entrepreneurs try to make a quick buck by selling out the very aspect of the town that drew them: the awe-inspiring views and natural beauty. Spirited, passionate, and a bit mettlesome, Derek Mason helps his aunt Ruby find her place in the New Age haven, but instead they discover her real estate agent scalped in an empty condo. The crafty real estate agent had intended to sell off part of the pristine landscape, to scalp the land to the highest bidder, but someone scalped him first.

Derek meets Myra and Toper, best friends with a shared secret from Devil's Bridge; Kimbo Blue, a former child star from Hollywood with a eunuch-ness that defies his adult persona; Clarity Received, the new-age girlfriend of the victim; and Tricia, the diva ex-wife. Along with a troupe of paranoid art gallery owners, gossipy sales clerks, sexy day workers, and a Jeep-driving Yavapai Apache, the quirky characters of the resort town hamper Derek's attempts to expose the killer.

Small town secrets, shady deals, and serial arsonists threaten to throw Derek off the trail. The destructive power of greed materializes in the idyllic setting, and Derek struggles to keep his sense of self-value over the immediate gratification of self-indulgence. Temptation from his past jeopardizes his future, unless he can tame his libido and focus. Or will he lose his head too?


---------

The landscape is spectacular, but the dynamic that makes Sedona memorable is her inhabitants. Like most resort/tourist towns, the place has some eccentric characters. One disclaimer that I'm sure I'll have to issue over and over:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, or events is entirely coincidental.

Really.

No, REALLY.

Please look for SCALPING THE RED ROCKS this July.