Avenue of the Giants. The redwoods are breathtaking. I actually have a few redwood groves accessible near my home, but there's something different about seeing them on the north coast. For one thing, the population density. I stopped at one of the many turnouts on the avenue and explored a nice cool, shady grove (it was a hot week, and that's my only real complaint about my June vacation... well, maybe that and the lightness of my wallet!).
My companions and I had the entire grove almost to ourselves. One other person was there, and he left shortly after we arrived. Another couple arrived just as we were leaving. For the 45 minutes or so that we wandered around, we had each other, the river, and hundreds of acres of giant trees as company. As beautiful as wine country is, it's nice to get away and experience some peace and quiet from time to time. There's nothing better than the serene beauty of the deep forest.
Upon my return, I opened my inbox and found an email notifying me that my blog tour for Tinkerer is set for mid-July. I'll post more on that later, when I'm sure the dates are solid and there won't be any adjustments. For now, I'm psyching myself up to start writing my new book! I finished a sequel to Shadow Born this spring, but I want to tweak it a bit more before release. I'm planning a third and final installment as well, and that's part of the reason I'm holding off. I don't know exactly where the third book is going, and I'd like to be able to make minor changes to part two before I publish it. But as for my new project, I'm trying something completely different.
I know. Everything I write is different. But this is really different. I'm not going to go into that too much either because I don't like to talk about my books before they're finished, but I can say this: It's a murder mystery! It's very exciting to me because I've never written a mystery before, and I don't think a mystery like this has ever been done before. We'll see. At any rate, I've been premeditating the crime for more than a month now. I've written so many notes that I almost have a complete outline, which is a first for me. Theoretically, that should make the writing process a little quicker, but I'm sure there will be a few surprises in store for me. My record for writing a first draft is six weeks. If I can pull that off again, I should be able to have a couple revisions done by September, which is when I'm hoping to publish.
In other news, JK Rowling is now a Indie author. Kind of. After years of saying the Harry Potter books will never be available as e-books, she's made an about-face. If that's not enough, she's self-publishing the digital versions and she'll be hiring her old publishers as marketing reps. How strange that must feel to them. I think I just heard the sound of another 1,000 indie bookstores closing shop. (I think fairies get their wings ripped off when that happens, but I'm not sure. I'll have to check with the people boycotting Joe Konrath.) Rowling will not be selling her books through the usual retailers, from what I understand. Instead, she's building them into her website, where she'll have direct access to the names and email addresses of everyone who downloads a copy. Is this piracy prevention or future marketing plans? A little of both, I'd guess.