Mystery Mondays: “Not Your Typical Christmas Story” by Author Debra Purdy Kong

Today we host Debra Purdy Kong. Debra’s new Evan Dunstan mystery novella, A Toxic Craft  is out, and I’ve already bought it. The first in the Evan Dunstan series is Dead Man Floating  which I loved, so I couldn’t wait for the second in the series to come be released.

Here’s the exciting news. Both books are on sale right now by Imajin Books! Give yourself a Christmas preset 🙂

Now, over to Debra…

Not Your Typical Christmas Story.

by Debra Purdy Kong

Two of my favorite Christmas movies are A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Both moves portray the funnier aspects of pre-Christmas angst and obstacles until the big day arrives and everything turns out okay.

Although our family’s Christmas trees never caught fire as it does in Christmas Vacation, they did fall over a few times when we owned a lot of cats. My father eventually learned to anchor the tree to the wall. We also had our share of more serious Christmas troubles, but things did turn out okay, for the most part.

I wasn’t thinking of past Christmas challenges or those movies when I came up with the idea for my second Evan Dunstan mystery novella, A Toxic Craft. In fact, it wasn’t until I’d finished the final edits that I fully realized how much I’m drawn to Christmas fun and silliness.

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In this second novella, Evan’s feisty grandmother is in charge of a seniors’ Christmas craft fair, being held at the campus where Evan works as a security guard. Things don’t run smoothly as the rivalry between her friend Flo and another knitter, Cora, threatens to become violent. It’s up to Evan to keep things under control. But he soon learns that those seniors have secrets and spicier lives than he thought possible. It’s almost more than he can deal with, particularly when those he cares about might be covering up a crime.

Does a Christmas tree catch fire in A Toxic Craft? Well, like any Christmas package, it’s Imajin Dead Man Floating Qwickiebest to open it and find out what’s inside! To that end, both A TOXIC CRAFT and Evan’s first adventure DEAD MAN FLOATING, are now on sale for only $.99 on Amazon! You can find them at:

http://getBook.at/AToxicCraft
myBook.to/DEADMANFLOATING

Thank you, and Happy Holidays to all!

Who Is Debra Purdy Kong?
Debra Purdy Kong, 2016

Debra Purdy Kong’s volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired her to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Her employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for her Evan Dunstan mysteries, as well as her Casey Holland transit security novels.

Debra has published short stories in a variety of genres as well as personal essays, and articles for publications such as Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul, B.C. Parent Magazine, and The Vancouver Sun. She assists as a facilitator for the Creative Writing Program through Port Moody Recreation, and has presented workshops and talks for organizations that include Mensa and Beta Sigma Phi. She is a long-time member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Look for her blog at http://writetype.blogspot.ca More information about Debra and her books is at www.debrapurdykong.com You can also find her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraPurdyKong & Facebook: www.facebook.com/debra.purdykong

Be the first to know when Debra Purdy Kong’s next book is available! Follow Debra at https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debra-purdy-kong to receive new release and discount alerts.”

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Mondays: Debra Purdy Kong on Traditional to Self-Publishing

This week on Mystery Mondays we welcome Debra Purdy Kong. I first came across Debra’s writing when I read Opposite of Dark. I loved the book and reached out to Debra on LinkedIn and was very excited to hear back from her. She’s an author who is generous with her time and her advice, which you’ll get some of below.

As you can imagine, I’m happy to host Debra on Mystery Mondays again.

Debra is here to tell you what it’s like to transition from traditional publishing to self-publishing.

I’ve just preordered my copy of Knock Knock and only have to wait 2 days for it to arrive on my kindle!

Over to Debra…

Maintaining Continuity in Changing Times

Knock Knock, front coverThey say that the only constant in life is change. This is especially true for writers. Over the years, I’ve lost count of all the magazines and publishers I’ve worked with, but who no longer exist. When the publisher for my Casey Holland series let me and several other mystery authors go in 2015, I took it in stride and decided to continue self-publishing my series.

It took time to obtain all of my rights back, but I did, and then reissued the first four books in ebook format. I’m now delighted to announce that the 5th installment in my Casey Holland mystery series, Knock Knock, will be released on Wednesday, November 8th!

The decision to keep the series going raised new issues. I no longer had access to the jacket designer and editors who’d worked on the previous four books. I needed to find professionals who would help me maintain the editing style already adopted. But even then, there were questions.

For instance, I was never partial to my editor’s decision to use American spelling in a series set in Canada with Canadian characters. But changing this in mid-series didn’t seem right either, so I sent the editor I hired a detailed list of editing needs.

I also sent the new jacket designer images of the earlier novels. She did a beautiful job of capturing the essence of the series while providing a fresh look that I’m thrilled with.

Change isn’t always easy and sometimes continuity can be a challenge, but when you’re writing a series readers appreciate it, which makes everything worth the effort.

 

Who Is Debra Purdy Kong

Debra Purdy Kong, 2016Debra Purdy Kong’s volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired her to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Her employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for Casey Holland and Evan Dunstan mysteries.

Debra has published short stories in a variety of genres as well as personal essays, and articles for publications such as Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul, B.C. Parent Magazine, and The Vancouver Sun. She assists as a facilitator for the Creative Writing Program through Port Moody Recreation, and has presented workshops and talks for organizations that include Mensa and Beta Sigma Phi. She is a long-time member of Crime Writers of Canada.

 

Look for her blog at https://debrapurdykong.wordpress.com/ More information about Debra and her books is at www.debrapurdykong.com You can also find her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraPurdyKong & Facebook: www.facebook.com/debra.purdykong

 

Where to find out more:

Amazon: myBook.to/KnockKnock

Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/y6wejnls

Apple: http://tinyurl.com/y96xscpv

 

Mystery Mondays: Debra Purdy Kong on Starting and Sustaining a Series

This week on Mystery Mondays we welcome Debra Purdy Kong. I first came across Debra’s writing when I read Opposite of Dark. I loved the book and reached out to Debra on LinkedIn and was very excited to hear back from her. She’s an author who is generous with her time and her advice, which you’ll get some of below.

As you can imagine, I’m happy to host Debra on Mystery Mondays again.

Starting and Sustaining a Mystery Series by Debra Purdy Kong

Have you started to write a mystery series? With six published books in two series and more in the works, I’ve faced a number of challenges. Hopefully, these five tips will help you start and keep your series on track.

  • Create your protagonist carefully. If you intend to write a lengthy series, do you want to start with a younger character and have her (or him) age a little more with every book, or do you want her to stay static like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marpole? Will your protagonist be complex enough to explore hidden and complex personality traits with each installment? The books in my Casey Holland series cover Casey’s life from ages thirty to forty, which becomes a unique and tumultuous time for her. Based on the feedback I’ve received, readers enjoy following the ups and downs in a protagonist’s personal life.
  • Settings change. I write about Metro Vancouver, where the landscape changes every year. Sure, landmarks like Vancouver’s Stanley Park will always be there, but with infrastructure development (in my case, a new light rapid transit line close to my home in Port Moody), things can look quite different over time. The Port Moody I wrote about in Fatal Encryption eight years ago wasn’t as busy and complex as it is today. If real settings are a crucial part of your story, changes could have an impact on future plots.
  • Pace yourself, and I mean this in two ways. From the get-go, decide how much time will pass between stories. If some of the key characters in your series are children, they’ll grow and change a fair bit from the first to the last book in your series, unless you intend to keep everything static. If you intend to show a passage of time, do you want your main characters to age a few weeks or months between books, or longer?

Secondly, consider pacing yourself as a writer. It’s a good strategy to focus on the first three novels in your series. Once you’re ready to submit your work to publishers, they’ll be happy if you have a long-term plan. Start thinking about the end game early in the process. How would you like to see the series end? How many books might it take to get there? Do you have the discipline and tenacity required to commit to a project that could take years to complete? Now that I’ve started the seventh book and have been working on this series for well over a decade, it’s something I struggle with.

  • To avoid confusion, forgetfulness, and contradictions, keep detailed and accurate records about your series. I use an Excel spread sheet to provide an overview of the entire series. Column one lists the first installment, The Opposite of Dark. Beneath the title, I type the date and time of year the book takes place, Casey’s age, and that of her young ward, Summer. I briefly state the book’s plot and theme. I also note details about the murder. Trust me, it’s far too easy to forget these things over time.

Because my plots blend Casey’s workplace (Mainland Public Transit) with her personal life, I keep a record of every MPT employee mentioned in each book on a second Excel sheet. I like to bring back secondary characters now and then, so it’s important to track when employees appear in the series.

For each book, I maintain a Word document that contains detailed profiles of all main characters, plus those who are only featured in a specific book. The document is copied into every folder I create for each book. New characters are added, along with fresh aspects about ongoing characters. Experiment with recordkeeping ways that work for you.

  • If you’re growing weary of the series, let it go, at least for a while. An author’s best work comes from caring about their characters and plots, and staying solely with the same characters year after year can be tiring. Unless you have deadlines to meet, it’s okay to take a break. I’ve found that launching new writing projects helps stimulate ideas for my Casey series. So, go ahead and stretch your creative wings when you need to. You’ll be surprised at all the good things that can happen.

WHO IS DEBRA?

Promo Photos 009Author of six full-length mysteries, a novella, and over fifty short stories, Debra has won numerous awards for her short fiction. Drawing on her work experiences in security, she’s created transit security cop, Casey Holland in The Opposite of Dark, and campus security cop, Evan Dunstan in her first novella Dead Man Floating When she’s not writing, she’s employed part time at Simon Fraser University and is a facilitator for the Creative Writing program with Port Moody Parks & Recreation. More information about Debra can be found at www.debrapurdykong.com

 

 

Just in case you’re as excited to read Debra’s books as I was, here are the links:

oppositeTHE OPPOSITE OF DARK: myBook.to/TheOppositeofDark

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/the-opposite-of-dark-2

 

 

fatalencryption

FATAL ENCRYPTION: myBook.to/FatalEncryption

Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/z5sagyl

 

 

 

screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-3-07-25-pmDEAD MAN FLOATING: myBook.to/DEADMANFLOATING

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/dead-man-floating

 

 

Facebook Launch Party: Practice Makes Perfect

To continue with tips on hosting a FaceBook Launch party, I thought I’d let you know about two parties that are happening this weekend.

Two authors will be hosting their first launch party, and this is a great opportunity not only to support other authors but to see a launch party in action. Both releases are published by Imajin Books.

To entice you to stop by, I’ll be giving away one eBook copy (kindle format) of DESCENT during each party. There are other authors donating books too, but you’ll have to check out the parties to find out who.

First up is author Debra Purdy Kong. Click on her banner below and you’ll be taken to the sign-up page for her event. It’s on Saturday September 12th from 5 to 7 PM EST.

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DEAD MAN FLOATING  Description:

One wrong decision…

Security guard Evan Dunstan didn’t expect to find a body floating in a campus stream. An empty vodka bottle nearby suggests that the highly despised George Krenn, head of the plumbing department, had drunkenly fallen in. Refusing to let the death of a vile man ruin his romantic plans, Evan decides to leave the body for the next shift to find.

One friend in trouble…

When it’s discovered that Krenn was murdered, Evan has a lot of explaining to do. So does his friend Sully, Krenn’s least favourite student. Evan uses his hacking skills and campus knowledge to keep them both out of jail, but the investigation forces him to question Sully’s innocence.

One mystery to solve…

Uncovering the truth proves to be more than challenging. It may cost Evan his job, his friendship, and his woman. Will Evan find the killer, or will the killer find him first?

Second up is Kathleen Duhamal with DEEP BLUE. Click on the book cover below to be taken to the sign up page for her launch party. It’s on Sunday September 13th. 7 to 10 PM EST.

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DEEP BLUE Description:

Love is the most addicting drug of all…

“Barely-not-starving” Denver artist and cancer survivor Claire Martin has almost given up finding an older man with a youthful spirit when she meets charismatic New York soul singer Robert Silver of the legendary band Deep Blue. She soon learns that hero worship can be dangerous, especially when the object of her desire comes with a disturbing past.

Robert is smart and sexy with a self-deprecating sense of humor, but he’s also a man who has suffered from panic attacks, drug abuse, a well-publicized stint in rehab and the death of his wife, screenwriter Elaine Jordan. When his demons resurface on tour, jeopardizing his voice and the band’s future, Claire must decide if she’s willing to take the biggest risk of her life—betting her future on a troubled man.

Thanks for reading..

If you’re interested, you can buy or download a sample of DESCENT at:  myBook.to/Descent

Mystery Mondays: Debra Purdy Kong

oppositeFrom security guard to author, let’s welcome Debra Purdy Kong. This week is of special interest to me since both Debra and I have a background in the security field. The first book I read of Debra’s, THE OPPOSITE OF DARK, gave me confidence that I too could write about security. Debra also signed with Imajin Books not long after I did, so we are travelling this year’s writing journey together.

Here is what Debra has to say about the security business and writing.

Patrolling & Dispatch: Two Very Different Worlds

By Debra Purdy Kong

When you’re a security guard at a post-secondary campus as I was, you’ll soon realize that there’s a lot to learn fast. Memorizing the location of every fire panel, emergency phone, panic alarm, and roof access in over thirty buildings is just the start.

I walked for over six hours per shift, in and outdoors regardless of weather, and quickly figured out the shortcuts between buildings and specific rooms. While the job was physically tiring, there were plenty of relaxing moments, especially on Sunday summer afternoon when nothing was going on. Patrolling helped me stay in good shape and provided great background material for my transit security specialist Casey Holland in THE OPPOSITE OF DARK, and bike patroller, Evan Dunstan in my upcoming novella, DEAD MAN FLOATING, which will be released on Sept. 12th.

My work at the campus’s dispatch centre required different skills. We had to know where the 90+ cameras were situated and how to maneuver them efficiently. Phones had to be answered and the guards’ many call-ins typed up accurately. In this job, a calm demeanour was everything. People often came to the office to file a complaint or seek other assistance.

The most stressful part of the job was liaising with 911 call-takers, paramedics, and the fire department during medical or other emergencies while my supervisor and the security director looked on. Many times I ended a shift, relieved that my dispatch partner and I hadn’t royally screwed up when things got crazy.

In DEAD MAN FLOATING, I mention that Evan has had some supervisory shifts. To do this he would have also worked at dispatch and probably will in future novellas. It’ll provide great fun when all hell breaks loose.

So, did I prefer patrolling or dispatch? Oddly enough dispatch. Patrolling took its toll on my knees and became tougher every year. Yet, part of me still misses those sweet, Sunday afternoons when all seemed right with the world, and no one was doing something stupid or criminal. But then, if it had all been peaches and cream, what would I have to write about?

Thank you Kristina, for hosting me! Stay tuned for announcements about my Facebook virtual launch party on my website at www.debrapurdykong.com. And another thank you to Kristina for giving away a copy of DESCENT at the party!

Debra’s Bio

Promo Photos 009Debra Purdy Kong’s volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired her to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provided the background for her first novella, Dead Man Floating as well as her Casey Holland transit security novels, The Opposite of Dark, Deadly Accusations, Beneath the Bleak New Moon, and The Deep End. She has also released two white-collar crime mysteries, Taxed to Death and Fatal Encryption.

Debra has published short stories in a variety of genres as well as personal essays, and articles for publications such as Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul, B.C. Parent Magazine, and The Vancouver Sun. She assists as a facilitator for the Creative Writing Program through Port Moody Recreation, and has presented workshops and talks for organizations that include Mensa and Beta Sigma Phi. She is a long-time member of Crime Writers of Canada. Look for her blog at http://writetype.blogspot.ca More information about her books is at www.debrapurdykong.com

THE OPPOSITE OF DARK ebook link: myBook.to/TheOppositeOfDark

Next week on Mystery Mondays we welcome Rosemary McCracken, author of the Pat Tierney mysteries. Jack Batten, the Toronto Star‘s crime fiction reviewer, calls Pat Tierney “a hugely attractive sleuth figure.” so come and visit next Monday.

Descent’s Launch: Seven Sleeps To Go

DescentCoverI’m nervous. I’m excited. I’m flattered.

Check out the authors who are donating eBooks as prizes for DESCENT’s online launch party on July 25th, 2015.

Melodie Campbell donating THE ARTFUL GODDAUGHTER (A Gina Gallo Mystery) and A PURSE TO DIE FOR

Jessie Giles Christiansen donating PELICAN BAY (The Captain Shelby Trilogy Book 1)

Michael James Conn donating THE RIGHT TURN

Kat Flannery donating LAKOTA HONOR (Branded Trilogy Book 1) and BLOOD CURSE (Branded Trilogy Book 2) – 2 copies of each!

Debra Purdy Kong donating OPPOSITE OF DARK (Casey Holland Mystery #1)

C.S Lakin donating INNOCENT LITTLE CRIMES

Susan J McLeod donating  SOUL AND SHADOW (A Lilly Evans Mystery)

Rosemary McCracken donating SAFE HARBOR (A Pat Tierney Mystery)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif donating Devine Intervention (Devine Trilogy Book 1) and E.Y.E of the Scorpion (E.Y.E Spy Mystery Book 1)

That’s nine authors and fourteen books. If you don’t want to wait for DESCENT’s launch to read one of these fabulous authors, click on the title of their book and you’ll be taken right to Amazon.

When is the party? July 25th, 3-6 PM EST

Where? Click here to sign up.

I’d love to chat with you online on the 25th, so come on by and sign up. Maybe you’ll be the lucky winner of one of these books.

One big happy thank you and shout out to the participating authors!

Thanks for reading…

Announcing Mystery Mondays

Promoting Reading – Promoting Authors

It is my pleasure to announce I will be hosting a series called Mystery Mondays.  Authors from many genres who write with a hint of mystery will tell you about their books, answer your questions about writing and share their thoughts with you. Every Monday, you’ll be introduced to another author and maybe discover someone you’re not familiar with.

The opening line-up of Mystery Mondays authors:

Character Driven THRILLERS: Luke Murphy, July 20th

Psychological HORROR and YA THRILLERS: Michael Conn, July 27th

Adventurous Women SLEUTHS: Catherine Astolfo, August 3rd

THRILLERS for Adult and Children: Donna Galanti, August 10th

A Formidable Calgary DETECTIVE: Garry Ryan, August 17th.

Dangerous Amateur SLEUTH: Debra Purdy Kong, August 24th

MYSTERIES with a Hugely Successful Sleuth: Rosemary McCracken, August 31st

Mystery, History and Romantic SUSPENSE: Alison Bruce, Sept 7th

Screwball COMEDY Capers: Melodie Campbell, Sept 14th

Amateur SLEUTH with an Edge: Judy Penz Sheluk, September 21st

Exciting Police THRILLERS: Brenda Chapman, Sept 28th

Gritty and Psychological THRILLERS: Barbara Fradkin, Oct 5th

Sassy yet Vulnerable SLEUTH: Phyllis Smallman, Oct 19th

International best-selling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif will be posting…the mystery is on what date. She’s booked. We have her. So stay tuned to find out.

Click on the blue-green-ish highlighted author names above and you’ll be taken to their page to find out more about them, or even better, order their books and experience a fantastic read.

If you’d like to be hosted on Mystery Mondays, come back here next Wednesday and I’ll tell you how.

Thanks for reading… And please share to help spread the word.