Thursday, January 06, 2011

Welcome, Blaize Clement!

Please join me in welcoming author Blaize Clement to Working Stiffs. I started reading Blaize's books after her first one, CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT SITTER was in a goody bag at some conference. I fell in love with her main character, and the whole premise of the novel. I highly recommend this series! 

Being the writer of a mystery series causes me to experience time as something slippery and stacked, like crumbling strata on the side of a mountain. There's the present real time, in which the current book is in the stores and I'm doing radio interviews and guest blogging and book signings. While that's going on, there's also the present real time in which I'm preparing the future next book.

This week, for example, is the official date for the release of CAT SITTER AMONG THE PIGEONS, the sixth book in my Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series. [Available now!]  I'm excited about that. I'm also excited that last month I wrote "the end" to the manuscript of the seventh book in the series, which will be published in 2012. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the present published book has a plot written in the past, and that the present manuscript has a plot to be published in the future, and not mix them up in my mind.

Then there's fictional time setting, which can create pesky boundaries. I've made an arbitrary decision to keep my series set in current time, so mention can be made of things like Katrina and the BP oil spill. But fictional time setting isn't the same as fictional aging. My books come out about a year apart, but I've opted to let my protagonist age only a few months between books. Dixie began as a thirty-two-year-old, and she's now, six years later, thirty-three. I suppose in another six years she'll be thirty-four. On the other hand, I've kept the pets in my series who are regulars, like Billy Elliot the former racing greyhound and Ella Fitzgerald the calico cat, pretty much the same age.

All this time business gets tricky! I have a desktop folder on my computer in which every year of importance is listed in Dixie's life along with her age at the time: when her father died saving somebody else's children, when her mother abandoned Dixie and her brother, Dixie's marriage, the birth of her child, her grandparents' deaths, her husband's and child's deaths. Six years ago, when the series began, Dixie's little girl would have been six years old if she had lived, now she would be seven.

When I find myself feeling like a circus juggler keeping a lot of balls of time up in the air, I take comfort from a secret known only to writers of serial fiction and evidenced by their book cover photos: Unlike people in the real present, series authors age in fictional real time. Since the series began six years ago, I have only aged one year. If the series continues for another twelve years, my fingers may be a lot stiffer, but I will have aged only two more years.

Author of the Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series, Blaize Clement has been a stay-at-home mom, dressmaker, caterer, family therapist, and writer, some of them all at the same time. Unlike her protagonist, she has never been a cop or pet sitter, but has shared her life with dogs, cats, birds, fish, and neurotic gerbils. No snakes. She has a thing about snakes. Blaize lives in Sarasota, Florida.


Joyce Tremel said...

Welcome Blaize. Sounds like a great series--I'll have to start reading it!

Since authors don't age, does this mean I can use my old Glamour Shots photo from the 80s (with big hair!) when I finally have a book published?

PatRemick said...

Welcome from me, too, Blaize! I like your aging methods!

Annette said...

Welcome to Working Stiffs, Blaize!

Funny thing, Joyce, I was thinking the same thing...digging out a photo from several years ago that I wished I still looked like and using it again! I like this idea!

Ramona said...

I'm with Pat--I like the way you age.

For some reason, this reminds me of soap operas. A child of two major characters would be a little kid one day, and then when a new storyline was needed, and voila! Kid had grown up and gotten into trouble, but Mom and Dad looked exactly the same as they did yesterday.

Working Stiffs said...

I love this logic, Blaize. Thanks for revealing this secret!

And thanks so much for being here today.

A question for you, Blaize: Is that your given name? If so, how did it come about; if not, same question.

Too funny, Joyce and Annette! Paula

Linda Leszczuk said...

Hi Blaize. I hadn't discovered your books before but they sound great.

Can I age like your characters? I like that one year for six ratio. Or better still, I want to be one of the pets and not age at all.

Blaize said...

Thanks, everybody! My favorite author photo was the one Olivia Goldsmith used on the cover of The First Wives Club. She bought a platinum wig for it, which allowed her to be glamorous and incognito at the same time. I wouldn't get a wig, though, I'd get long curly hair extensions and look like Bernadette Peters.

Betty said...

I have to admit I ordered the first book in your series primarily from its title since I love kitties. The premise sounded interesting, too. I promptly fell in love with the whole series and can hardly wait for the next one to get here.

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