Monday, January 3, 2011

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s a fervent hope that 2011 is better than 2010 was. 2010 began with Daisy, my winner-picking wiener dog, unable to use her hind legs. A week at the vet’s and hundreds of dollars later, and she’s moving again; but the year ended with Louie, my special favorite hound dog, dying after being hit by a car. Add all the crud that went on in between those two ghastly events, and basically, 2010 stank. Big time.

However, 2011 is starting well, with the publication of PECOS VALLEY REVIVAL. This book has received mixed (to put it mildly) reviews, from a snotty blasting in Kirkus to a starred review in Booklist. Still and all, this is the first of my books to receive reviews from three of the Big Four (Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus and Library Journal), which is sort of amazing. I mean, my itsy-bitsy book was reviewed in all those prestigious journals. To heck with ‘em if they didn’t like it! They bothered with it!

Speaking of PECOS VALLEY REVIVAL, I’m giving away three copies of same in my monthly contest. If you’d like to enter my contest, just e-mail me your name and home address at I’ll toss your name into Daisy’s special contest doggie dish, and she’ll slurp up the wieners—I mean the winners—on the last day of the month.

Also in 2010, I managed to get all but one of my backlist up on Kindle and Smashwords. I still have one book left to go (HER LEADING MAN), but that’ll go up as soon as I get it in shape. Norah Wilson, a fellow writer and a certified saint, copied my remaining books for me when I couldn’t get them to transcribe into a readable format. Word-processing programs go out of fashion so quickly, don’t you know. You really have to be on top of things to make sure your work can be read in the future. Being a technological nitwit, I didn’t manage to do that. Thank God for Norah!

2011 will see the publication of three of my books. This can be considered a good thing, or it can be considered a not-so-good thing, depending on whether or not I have money to promote them all—which, of course, I don’t. Sigh. Still and all, it’ll be nice to have multiple books out in a year again. FALLEN ANGELS will be published in May, and GENTEEL SPIRITS will be published in July. These books are all more or less mystery-related. More or less.

I’m particularly jazzed about GENTEEL SPIRITS, since the “Spirits” series has had such a rocky road to publication. The first two books in the series, STRONG SPIRITS and FINE SPIRITS, were published by Kensington as romances, which they weren’t. Ergo, they died a hideous, if short, death. It was pure dumb luck that led me to submit the third in the series, HIGH SPIRITS, to Five Star, and a brilliant stroke on Five Star’s part (I’m kidding here) when they chose to publish it. What’s more, Five Star has gone on to publish HUNGRY SPIRITS and GENTEEL SPIRITS, and they’re going to publish ANCIENT SPIRITS in 2012 sometime. So bless Five Star’s heart! Every now and then things go right, even if there’s very little money involved.

Um . . . what else? I guess I’ll continue to rescue dachshunds, although I’m feeling a minor sense of burn-out on that front. However, the dogs need help; what can one do? Keep fostering, I guess.

I hope everyone who reads this blog (and everyone who doesn’t) has a
spectacular 2011!


  1. Yes - starting the New Year with a release is a great way to do it!


  2. Thanks, Terri! Yeah, it's kind of nice to know a book is being published this very month!

  3. You're still under rating your considerable talent, Alice. I especially love the Spirits books. Daisy Gumm Majesty is a real heroine! Can't wait to read the new ones.

    We had a lousy 2010, too. Here's hoping all of us (that's all y'all) have a great 2011.

  4. Thanks, Caroline! I'm glad somebody thinks I'm worth something; I have trouble with the concept myself :)

  5. So sad about Louie, but I'm glad Daisy's still choosing wieners, and glad you're still rescuing four-legged family. Three books in a year sounds really fun, and I'm glad Spirits has another one coming; Daisy Gumm Majesty is a great character.

  6. Hi, Alice,

    You sure are a busy writer and editor! You actually have reviews on the new novel from 3 out of the "Big Four"! I impressed. Then again,
    you certainly deserve recognition. Congrats on the new novel, I look forward to reading it.

  7. Hi Alice,

    Saving documents as .rtf (RICH TEXT FORMAT) has worked for me for a long time (since the early 90s!) and is portable to most other programs while retaining your formatting. Email me if you want details ~


  8. Thanks, Jacquie! I appreciate your kind words.

    Thanks, Lynne! I think it's all under control now...well, as under control as things ever are :)

  9. Thanks, Sheila! Daisy's my favorite character (of those who appeared in my brain, I mean). I'm really glad other folks like her, too!

  10. Here's hoping for a MUCH better 2011 for you, Alice, and for Daisy. Best of luck with the releaseS--that is all great news.

  11. Thanks, Jenny! So far, this year's better than last year, but that wouldn't take much :)


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