Woke up to this this morning. Doing a happy dance. Wink made the long list for “Best of” by the SIBA. Check it out then go to your local indie book store’s website and vote.
7 days. 7 Famous Gypsy Quotes and Thoughts.
1) I didn’t care if the kid lived with a tribe of pygmies. I had my own problems.
2) Johnnie Walker. Black. I’m a picky drinker.
3) Hail Mary, full of grace…blah blah blah…Jesus Christ, why couldn’t I remember that simple prayer?
4) I stared at the number scribbled in the palm of my hand, thinking of a thousand reasons not to call. And a thousand and one why I should.
5) I wasn’t used to looking like a geek.
6) Not that I could do anything with my hands still cuffed behind my back; it was the psychology of knowing what was coming.
7) There were so many bells and whistles, I didn’t know if I was having an orgasm or if I’d won the grand prize at the county fair.
8 days to go. Short excerpt from Chapter 8:
I sat down on the edge of the bed wondering how I was going to explain this. The less she knew, the better. For her own sake. “I needed to get out of town for a little while.”
Her shoulders dropped and she blew a deep breath. “Oh God, Gypsy. What did you do?” She plopped down beside me on the bed.
“Nothing illegal. You’re not harboring a fugitive or anything so you don’t have to worry about that.”
“About that? What do I need to worry about?”
I looked at her for a moment, then stared at the boxes that held my life. “I’d never put you in the line of fire. You should know that. I’m the big brother, remember?”
“So, in other words, you can’t tell me why you’re here, who you’re obviously running from, or why they won’t track you down to my house. Great, just freaking great.” She leapt up and started out of the room.
“Rhonda—just trust me on this, okay? I’ll tell you the whole sordid story when the time’s right.”
She stood in the doorway with her back to me and slowly nodded. “You keep way too many secrets, Gypsy.”
9 days. 9 characters you’ll come to know:
1) Private Investigator Michael “Gypsy” Moran
2) Tatum McCallen – Gypsy’s pain in the butt sidekick
3) Burke McCallen – Gypsy’s pain in the butt sidekick’s grandfather
4) Rhonda Walker – Gypsy’s younger sister
5) Rodney Walker – Gypsy’s brother-in-law
6) Angie Moran – Gypsy’s mom
7) Gram – Gypsy’s pain in the butt grandmother
8) Sophia Ortez – smokin’ hot reporter
9) Claire Kinley – Gypsy’s pain in the butt old flame
10 days. 10 things others are saying about Wink of an Eye:
“Readers won’t be able to put this novel down. P.I. Gypsy Moran is the perfect blend of streetwise smartass and big-hearted nice guy…That Chandler Willis manages to much so much into one story, with well-rounded characters, is amazing in itself. This reviewer is hoping for future books.”—RT Book Reviews , 4 1/2 stars
“Gypsy and Tatum’s relationship is a well-drawn emotional hook, and the solid investigation, combined with well-timed humor, should create a following for this PWA First Private Eye Novel Competition winner.”—Booklist
“The real-life town of Wink, Tex., provides the setting for Willis’s promising debut… Readers will want to see more of Gypsy, a nice combination of brains, brawn, and bravery.”—Publishers Weekly
“This engrossing debut is told with a great eye for the gritty details of life in west Texas. The setting is extremely well done, and the twisty, compelling plot will keep readers hooked.”—Library Journal
“A terrific mystery with a Texas twang! Authentic and touching, this well-written page-turner shines with its own brand of western justice.”—Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author Hank Phillippi Ryan
“P.I. Gypsy Moran’s blasting out of Vegas on the run but finds he can’t escape his past when he returns to his hometown in this high octane tale of hot new love, smoldering first love, murder, and betrayal. Wink of an Eye flies by in the ‘wink of an eye’ in this fast paced thriller set on the hot, dusty Texas plains. I eagerly await Gypsy’s next adventure.”—Paul D. Marks, Shamus award-winning author of White Heat
“In Wink of an Eye Lynn Chandler Willis writes with fearless realism and creates characters you’ll never forget. I predict private investigator Michael “Gypsy” Moran has a long and trouble-filled series ahead of him—lucky for readers. One of the most cohesive and entertaining mysteries I’ve ever read.”—Donnell Ann Bell, bestselling author of Betrayed.
“Lynn Chandler Willis perfectly captures the tense atmosphere of a small community where corruption flourishes and good people feel helpless to stop it. Investigator Gypsy Moran is a southwestern cousin to Steve Hamilton’s Alex McKnight, a flawed but likable Everyman who pushes himself past the danger point to find justice for victims who can’t defend themselves. Wink of an Eye is a winning blend of small town mystery and private eye suspense.”—Sandra Parshall, author of Poisoned Ground
“Small-town Texas, big-time crime. That’s what private-eye Gypsy Moran finds when he comes home to Wink, Texas. Murder disguised as suicide, a cop shot in the back, and an old sweetheart are just the beginning of the problems Moran encounters. Lynn Chandler Willis knows her way around a plot, and her characters and setting ring true. Wink of an Eye is a fine debut, and I hope it’s just the beginning for Willis and Gypsy Moran.”—Bill Crider, author of Compound Murder
“Wink of An Eye creates an entertaining, mannerly, yet bad-boy PI character we wish we’d met in real life in our single, unattached days, because to meet him now would be way too tempting. Gypsy Moran draws out laughter, empathy, and romantic heat with the flip of a switch. Lynn Chandler Willis writes with an easy flow, her dialogue catchy, the plot intricate enough to keep the pages turning.”—C. Hope Clark, author of the Carolina Slade mystery series
I’m participating in the World Blog Hop this week with several other writer friends. Thanks to Tanya Stowe, a fellow writer with Pelican Books, for asking me to play along. Please take a moment and check out her blog and books…you won’t be disappointed!
Tanya is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…gifts of the spirit and miracles, mysteries and exotic travel, even an angel or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a journey to the Old West or to contemporary adventures in foreign lands…be prepared for the extraordinary.
And now a little about my writing and the process…I am the author of the best-selling True Crime book, Unholy Covenant (Addicus Books, 2000), and an award-winning fiction author. My debut novel, The Rising (Pelican Book Group, 2013), won the 2013 Grace Award for Excellence in Faith Based Fiction. It is also short-listed for an INSPY award. My private eye novel, Wink of an Eye, won the 2013 St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America Best 1st PI Novel competition. It will be released through Minotaur Books, Nov. 18, 2014. I am honored to be represented by Michelle Johnson at Inklings Literary Agency.
Currently, I’m working on a new mystery called NoBody’s Baby, about a small town newspaper owner involved in a murder investigation. I hope to have it finished by the end of summer. I think one element that sets my work apart from others is the way I use description. I try and make it become part of the story rather than an information dump. I also feel setting should be a secondary character. Having a character see a handmade sign reading Jesus Saves along a dirt road says much about the area the story is taking place in. I enjoy writing mysteries because I enjoy peeling back the layers until everything is exposed and the ultimate truth is revealed. To me, a mystery doesn’t have to have a murder or some other heinous crime to be considered a true mystery. Life itself is a mystery so there’s so much more to it than how the detective is going to find the killer. When I start a new novel, I know the beginning and end. I’ll do a rough outline to fill in the middle to help me get from point A to point B. I’m not one of those writers who crank out 5000 words a day, or five pages, or some other number. More power to them. I just can’t do it. I may go two or three days without writing anything at all, but when I sit down at the computer, what I do write is carefully thought out. I struggle over every word. Although it takes me longer to complete the first draft than perhaps other writers, when that first draft is complete, it doesn’t need nearly as much revising as if I had just thrown it out there. I guess it’s an either/or situation.
So that’s how I do it. Next Monday, June 30, you’ll be able to find out how three of my writing friends work their own brand of magic. Check out their links below:
Scott Silverii: Chief of Police Scott Silverii, PhD passionately lives a positive life. With over 24 years in policing, he has the experience and vision to believe there is always an opportunity to help people. Scott’s passion flourished while growing up in a close-knit community within south Louisiana’s heart of Cajun Country.
Scott’s life is seasoned by the Mardi Gras, hurricanes, humidity, and crawfish boils. This gumbo of experience serves up a unique perspective in his writing – but don’t let the smile fool you. Chief Silverii spent 16 of his 24 years working in policing’s special operations groups (SOG) with thousands of undercover narcotics and SWAT missions. He’s bought dope, banged down doors, and busted bad guys.
He’s new to the world of fiction writing, but entered with guns a blazing with his most recent project – A Cajun Murder Mystery Series. This episodic adventure takes readers behind the badge and along the bayous of south Louisiana. As Chief Silverii likes to say – Laissez les bons temps rouler – Until somebody gets killed of course.
Chief Silverii is also available and appreciates the opportunities to work with authors looking for honest and authentic information on police procedural and cop character / culture questions. You can contact him at his website noted above.
Lynette Hall Hampton aka Agnes Alexander: Lynette has never considered herself a Christian fiction writer, but instead a Christian who writes fiction. Under the name Lynette Hall Hampton she has published 16 novels – mystery, romance, romantic suspense and inspirational. Though she still writes a variety of genres, in 2011 she decided to concentrate on writing what she most likes to read, Western Historical Romance. She chose to write these novels under her pen name, Agnes (her grandmother’s name on her mother’s side) Alexander (her grandfather’s name on her father’s side). In 2012, her first western, “Fiona’s Journey” was published. Since then she’s had six more published and has two under contract to come out in 2014.
A life-long resident of her home state of North Carolina, she counts traveling as one of her passions. She has visited 48 of the 50 States and says Alaska and Hawaii are on her bucket list. Of course, she loves to read, but tries to limit herself to one or two books a week. Besides traveling and reading, Agnes enjoys jewelry making, watching old movies and spending time with her family, especially her two grandchildren.
Nicky LaMarco: Nicky LaMarco is a freelance writer who’s written for a variety of magazines, newsletters and websites. She specializes in writing articles, blogs, books, and essays. Nicky lives in Maine with her husband and two kids.
Wink of an Eye, my first private eye novel, will be released Nov. 18, 2014. According to my editor at Minotaur Books, she’ll have the first edits to me in a week or two. Things are rolling right along. And Nov 18 will be here before I know it.
So I’m gathering the team. Team Gypsy. See Wink’s main character is PI Michael “Gypsy” Moran, a sexist jerk who has no clue he’s a jerk which makes him all the more likable. He’s charming to a fault with a wicked sense of humor, gets his heart broken too easily and cares too deeply. And he’s actually pretty good at his job. I can’t wait for the world to officially meet him.
That’s where I need your help. I’m gathering a team of people interested in helping me promote Wink of an Eye in the coming weeks. We want to create a buzz. Generate excitement. Get the word out. How ever you want to say it—we want the world to know Wink of an Eye is coming. And that it’s good. And that they’re really going to like Gypsy.
What do team members do? Some ideas…
- Spread the word through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Goggle+, etc)
- Post a review (Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, etc)
- If you’re a blogger, post a review on your blog or make your blog available for a guest spot
- Spread the word through word of mouth (suggest Wink to your fellow readers)
- Email me with your own ideas or with other avenues I may not be aware of
What do team members get in return?
- The pride of being involved from the ground floor of a book launch (Yeah, right?)
- Eligible for free stuff through giveaways (Now I have your attention, right?)
So how about it? Want to join Team Gypsy? I’d be honored to have you.
To sign up, all you have to do is drop me an email through the form at the bottom. It’s that easy.
If you hop over to my Facebook timeline and scroll to last year about this time, you’ll probably see a status update about writing my Emmy acceptance speech when I was a little girl. I’m a big TV fan. Always have been and always will be. The Emmys will be awarded tonight. When I was a kid and wrote my acceptance speech it wasn’t for acting, directing, producing — it was for writing. I even wrote a spec script for a show called “The White Shadow” while I was in high school.
Of all the award shows, the Emmys have always been my favorite. Except for the year they snubbed Robert Duvall for best actor for his role in Lonesome Dove. Still shaking my head on that one.
Well, as I aged, my acceptance speech never really wavered. It always ended with the line “dreams really do come true.” Of course the older I got, the more fleeting the dream seemed. But the more encouraging it was to younger writers because, even at my, um, older age, I was living proof it can be done.
So…where is all this leading us? To my acceptance speech. No, not for the Emmy you silly goose — that’ll be next year. My acceptance speech for winning the 2013 Minotaur Books/Private Eye Writers of America Best First Private Eye Novel competition. Thanks to the Private Eye Writers of America and St. Martin’s Press, my favorite PI, Gypsy Moran, will come to life!
The award was presented Friday night at the Shamus Awards Banquet, coinciding with this year’s Bouchercon. I wasn’t able to actually attend because, well, it costs money and I’ve got six grandkids with birthdays coming up.
So anyway, Robert Randisi, founder and past President of the Private Eye Writers of America, sent me an email last week congratulating me on the win. He says he understands I will not be at the conference but would I like to make a comment to be read. Oh….Robert….you don’t know how long I’ve had this little speech written.
Dreams really do come true.