Tag Archives: c.e. grundler

Author C.E. Grundler signs a two-book deal with Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint

Yes, kind readers, it’s true. Last Exit In New Jersey and No Wake Zone will be published in Spring 2012 under the Thomas & Mercer imprint. I would like to thank everyone out there who has helped me reach this point, from those of you who have to deal with me first hand as I walk around plotting murders to the growing number of readers who have enjoyed my story. I do wish to apologize; you’ll all have to wait just a bit longer for No Wake Zone. I originally planned to have it out by late fall of 2011, but my publisher (wow, did I just say that?!) will be putting the professional polish on both books for a Spring 2012 launch.

Being that it’s Thursday, you can find a bit more on this subject over at Write on the Water.

Me? Really?

A few weeks back I met with a reporter from my local paper. I wanted to speak about my Mysteries for Mutts fundraiser I’m currently doing for the NJSPCA. She arrived with a long list of prepared questions, the majority of them about my book and myself. It was a friendly meeting, very conversational and relaxed. I have no trouble talking about Last Exit; that’s my work and I’ve put much work into it. I was amused by her interest in me… really, I’m not that interesting. I’ve come to realize people are fascinated by my background though I can’t see the big deal. I’m just me. Yes, I’ve spent much of my time around boats, I’ve always said that, and I realize that’s somehow made me a bit… shall we say, different. But that may have been the case, boats or not. I figured most of our conversation was just her getting an idea of who I am. So we talked – about the book, about me, about, at last, the NJSPCA. We wrapped everything up and she told me the article would appear at some point in the coming week or two.

Fast forward to this morning. Then sun isn’t up yet; the horizon’s still dark, but there’s the paper in the driveway, tucked just beneath the truck. I bring it in, make a cup of tea and sit down at the kitchen table to read the usual run-down of community news. An apartment fire, still under investigation. Lights are going up in a town recreational field. The winners of the annual ‘Holiday Lights’ competition have been announced. Newly elected officials are being sworn in all over the valley. And… YIKES!!! There’s a cropped picture of ME grinning back from the header of the Community Living section. Arts & Leisure: Local author publishes book Page 34. Flip past the Shoprite sales flyer and… whoa. There’s me again, along with a nice big picture of my book’s cover. I’ve got a full page and then some… it continues for another column on page 36.

The headline: DIY writer publishes first novel, her way

Uhm… okay. But I thought it was going to be about Mysteries for Mutts, not me. I read through, seeing my words in print. Did I actually say THAT? This is weird. Yes, those are my remarks. So many of them. It’s odd to read them in print, pulled from the context of the conversation and slipped into the paper I’ve read for years. Weird. I honestly figured I’d get a quarter of a page, tucked between the advertisements for local banks and pizza coupons. There’s plenty about me and about the book, and me again, and the book. The fundraiser is mentioned, though the majority of the article is focused on the author and the book.

As the caffeine settled into my brain a bit more I realized something about this article was bothering me. It isn’t a bad article at all – in fact it’s quite nice; the only area where I saw any issue was a minor point: my reference to Evanovich was regarding her accuracy on certain details, not her female leads, which I know are not hardened and tough characters. That’ll probably get some of her fans riled up, but it’s likely my original statement would have as well. The reporter went into great detail about me, my writing, the story, and the fund-raiser as well as NJSPCA received mention. It took me a bit more caffeine before I could put my finger on what seemed wrong, and it wasn’t the article itself. I was me.

For one, I prefer to avoid notice. I’m a text-book introvert; I can deal well enough with one-on-one interactions but in the grand scheme of things I really prefer to stay off the radar. I don’t mind when the focus is on my book, the fund-raiser, my boat, you name it. Just pay no mind to the person behind the curtain. There are enough other people in the world who want the spotlight; I’m not one of them. And I suspect a portion of my discomfort is seeing my spoken words in print. People tell me I’m well-spoken, though I’ve never thought so and this only cements that belief. Writing is my preferred medium; I can select my words then return to edit and refine them further. I chose each and every word with great though, weaving them together in precisely the manner I deem fitting, even at this hour of the morning. I could care less how I’m dressed or what my hair looks like, (and there’s a photo of me as proof!) but my words? I’m very self-conscious of my words, even more so than I realized.

Oh well. Off to start my day, no longer quite as anonymous as usual.

On an aside, there’s been another very nice review posted today at Tiffany’s Bookshelf. And in Red Adept’s Annual Indie Awards, she named Last Exit In New Jersey as one of the top three mysteries of 2010!

Inspiration, to go…

For the last few days, I’ve been stuck on a chapter I was only sort of happy with, and if I’m only sort of happy, I’m not happy. It needed something more, but what that might be, I couldn’t quite pin down. I only knew something was missing, and I was determined to find it. But searching for something when you don’t know what you’re looking for makes for an interesting challenge.

My muses are an amusing, twisted bunch. Sometimes they hold out on me, but rarely for long. Over the years I’ve found the trick to dealing with them. They can’t be bullied or badgered into offering inspiration. But cooperate and give them what they want, and they return the favor. And what do my muses demand? Recess. A break. They want me to step away from the computer, and let them wander unrestricted. Sometimes it’s a walk with the dogs. Or a long drive, especially with the top down. Loud music. Maybe a nap. They’ll even surprise me while I’m folding laundry or making dinner, though they’d rather be on the highway, with the top down, the music loud, and the dogs in the back seat, eyes narrowed and ears flapping. They enjoy working on the boat, and being underway, or anchored somewhere quiet. So whenever I find myself stuck, I step away and give them some breathing space. And I keep my notebook close on hand, because before long, they’ll be bombarding me with inspiration. The bottom line; some of my best ideas come when I stop looking. And once again, my muses delivered!

On another note, I picked up my new glasses today. Considering the time I spend in them, I decided to treat myself, and picked a pair of cute, fun frames, rather than the usual non-descript flexon wire-frames. And I treated myself to the anti-glare coating AND the Transitions lenses, the ones that darken in sunlight. After last summer, realizing I couldn’t read the chart without glasses, but blinded by sun glaring off the water, vowed I’d pay the extra for the better lenses. Of course, it rained all of today, so I haven’t seen them do their nifty trick yet.