The Surreal Killer

The Surreal Killer
Machu Picchu. Peru

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Good news today:  The Deadly Dog Show won today's (7/26/14) Indie Book of the Day Award.  This Roger and Suzanne mystery novel features Juliet, a poorly disguised Jolie, as one of the detectives in a complex murder case.  Romeo, a poorly disguised Ries, is born at the end of the novel.  Sooner or later Roger and Suzanne will have to solve a murder or two at a hunt test.

Like the movie Groundhog Day, each new puppy we keep starts off the cycle of conformation shows and hunt tests once again in our household.  At the moment we have four generations of dogs, great grandma Viña, Grandma Jolie, mother Schöne, and son Ries, still a puppy.  All three of the older girls are currently at the Senior Hunter level, with Jolie two qualifying rounds away from Master Hunter status and Viña functioning at the Master Hunter level in the field, even though she resists honoring random brace mates in hunt tests.  Today’s post will focus on Ries, who has already completed his Junior Hunter certification (at 7 months of age), and what it requires to earn the Junior Hunter title.

What are the judges looking for?  Junior Hunter competition is mostly about the dog’s instincts and motivation to hunt.  The animals need enough training to understand what is expected of them, but finding a bird and pointing it should be instinctual in a well-bred pointing dog.  At this level, the judges want the dog to show they want to go out in the field and search for birds.  The judge is looking for the dog to demonstrate using its nose and searching for birds by their scent.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Last month was spent in Facebook jail, unable to post book blurbs or comments on Facebook for some Facebook rules infraction that was never explained to me.  Since I had a whole month of free time for alternative book promotion modalities, it seemed to be about time to join the legions of 140-character maximum obsessives who participate on Twitter.  This blog will share some of my experiences as a neophyte entering this brave new world.

The first thing about twitter is absorbing a whole new vocabulary and a 140-character limit to all tweets.  Both of these things come with a little bit of practice and the built in counter on the twitter software.  I haven’t figured out yet how to automate sending scheduled messages without paying someone else to do it for me, but so far going over to tweet on a hit-or-miss basis seems to be good enough for now.

There are dire warnings that you need to keep a balance of Followers to Followings or Twitter jail looms on the horizon, so I’m still strategizing the best way to do this.  I try to follow people who seem to have common interests, like mystery readers and writers, people who follow me and aren’t obviously trying to sell me something, and people who retweet my tweets.  Anyone who wants to follow me spontaneously is welcomed with open arms at this stage (several hundred followers), so my followers remain at about 75% of the total I follow.  I try to remember who my followers are, and retweet their tweets whenever I see one.  It’s also easy enough to thank people who retweet my stuff, and I try to do so, at least the first time or two. 

There are codes you can slip into the tweets to get automatic retweeting by individuals and groups, and I try to use some of these when space allows with the 140-character limit.  The result seems to be so far, so good with this approach.

It’s impossible to know if the 400+ tweets (I am pretty sure this includes at least half retweets of others’ messages) I’ve tweeted thus far have sold any books for me, but conventional wisdom says probably not.  It’s more about branding the author and the books, less about direct sales.  That’s OK, you meet some very nice people along the way and in some ways Twitter seems more social to me than Facebook.  The limit in length of messages suppresses the urge to rant or rave, and effectively prevents the possibility of doing so coherently, and that’s probably a good thing.

Signing off: @JeroldLast