Please join me in welcoming author V.M. Burns back to the blog to celebrate her new cozy mystery, Bark If It’s Murder!
BARK IF IT’S MURDER
SERIES: A Dog Club Mystery #3
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Lyrical Underground
RELEASE DATE: August 27, 2019
Lilly Echosby just witnessed a murder on a pet cam. Or did she?
When a last-minute opportunity arises to accompany her boss to an art auction in Atlanta, Lilly throws some money at the problem of where to board her toy poodle Aggie (short for Agatha Christie). Posh Pet Haven offers the most luxurious canine accommodations in all of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The place even provides pet cams so anxious owners can check in on their pampered pooches.
But when Lilly tries to take a peek at her poodle, she gets a terrible shock—she witnesses what she’s sure is a murder. She thinks the victim may be the wealthy co-owner of Pet Haven. The police follow her lead but find no body, no evidence of a crime, and no video record. Starting to feel like the dog owner who cried wolf, Lilly decides to go undercover to catch a killer who may be hiding in plain sight …
writing: art or business?
by V.M. Burns
Let me start by stating the obvious. I’m biased. As an author, I view writing as an art form. Just as a painter uses oils, acrylics, water colors, or whatever to create pictures, or a musician uses an instrument to create melodies, writers use their medium—words, to create pictures. A writer strings words together in different patterns to tell a story. One arrangement of the words creates a picture of beauty which has the power to touch emotions and leave the reader feeling satisfied or fearful. Some arrangements make readers laugh out loud or cry. Each story is different and unique. Nevertheless, writing isn’t just an art form. It is also a business.
Getting a short story, poem or a book from its origins (inside the head of the writer) to its finished, bound state, is where art becomes business. Whether self-published or traditionally published, the story is put on paper or in an electronic format. The finished work is edited. A cover is created. An ISBN number is assigned, and a host of other tasks are performed to get the completed work ready for publication. Finally, the work is completed and sent out into the world. But, how will readers find the work? Amazon can only do so much without help to make sure the right people find it. Even if an author isn’t interested in receiving financial compensation for their words, they will still need some way to get their work into the hands of readers. Figuring out how to do that requires a certain amount of business savvy.
One of my favorite memories on my trip to the Louvre Museum in Paris was sitting in front of the Mona Lisa. Experts believe Leonardo da Vinci painted the iconic painting over 500 years ago. Leonardo da Vinci was undoubtedly a gifted artist, but had he not first been commissioned to do the painting, and had this great work not made its way to the Louvre Museum, where would we be? Connecting art and business is necessary for the survival of the artist and the widespread distribution of the artwork. I’m grateful for Leonardo’s gift, but I’m even more thankful for the financial transactions that make it possible for countless masses of people to enjoy it hundreds of years later.
V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com
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What about you? What interests you most V.M. Burns’ post or Bark If It’s Murder?