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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, my name's Debra Purdy Kong and I'm from Vancouver, British Columbia, and I'm new to Kindleboards, well the Kindle world, actually. I've been writing and publishing short stories, essays and articles for new thirty years. My first mystery novel, Taxed to Death, featuring tax auditor Alex Bellamy was released in print over a decade ago, but a publisher picked up the electronic rights last year and the book was released in February, 2009. Here's a bit about it:

Revenue Canada auditor, Alex Bellamy, has always dreamed of adventure. During a field audit, he discovers evidence of fraud. Alex learns that others, including someone inside Revenue Canada, are involved. He persuades his colleague, Andy Gowan, to help him investigate, but Andy is murdered and Alex is forced to turn to Jillian Scott; a lady he's never met and who has her own frightening reasons for refusing to cooperate. Soon, Jillian's fears and Alex's search for a killer embroil them in a bizarre and disturbing nightmare not everyone will survive.

The sequel, Fatal Encryption, picks up Alex's story eighteen months later, although the book was just released in print and electronically in 2009. Here's the back cover:

Dressed as Kermit the Frog on Halloween night, an unemployed Alex Bellamy wonders where his lfe went wrong. It could be worse. A few miles away, Coquitlam resident, Zachary Ternoway, is stabbed at his front door. In need of cash, Alex agrees to help catch a computer prankster at McKinleys' Department Store. But things turn serious when someone vows to permanently encrypt the store's data and torch the building unless ten million dollars is handed over in two weeks. Alex knows there's a connection between the murder and the extortion threat, yet time's running out. People are questioning his competency, and a killer's threatening his life.

To read excerpts visit www.debrapurdykong.com

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to our group Debra! Thanks for posting about your book. I'm downloading samples! I posted the links for you below! Love the covers!



theresam
 

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Ok, each book is listed twice (at the same price of 5.59 each) and there are two publishers. One listing (with a larger file size) shows the file size and number of pages (Maine Desk LLC), the other only a file size (Bristlecone Pine Press). In both cases, the upload/publishing dates are the same, so these don't appear to be later/corrected editions (as sometimes happens when authors redo their listing instead of correct the uploaded copy).

Are both in MOBI format, or is one of them TOPAZ?  Also, is the smaller file size due to excluding the cover image or for another reason (such as Topaz formatting)?
 

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As a tax pro I HAD to purchase Taxed to Death.  (It's kinda how I feel right now. . . . .)

Ann
 

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Sounds good.


"I want to be a lion tamer."
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
As a tax pro I HAD to purchase Taxed to Death. (It's kinda how I feel right now. . . . .)

Ann
I know how you feel Ann. I am trying to get my last three clients in before Sunday. I leave for vacation on Tuesday.
 

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Wow!  I'm pretty religious about not working 12-14 hour days during tax season, but there's no way I could comfortably take a vacation before the 15th. I will sometimes take a short break in mid March. . .this year I did it at the end of March and got back and 6 or 8 more people had brought stuff in.  They're long time clients, but still. . .I have felt a little underwater all this week. . . .

But enough about that. . . .I'm sure it's boring to everyone else!  I'm looking forward to reading the book AFTER the 15th!



Ann
 

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koland said:
Ok, each book is listed twice (at the same price of 5.59 each) and there are two publishers. One listing (with a larger file size) shows the file size and number of pages (Maine Desk LLC), the other only a file size (Bristlecone Pine Press). In both cases, the upload/publishing dates are the same, so these don't appear to be later/corrected editions (as sometimes happens when authors redo their listing instead of correct the uploaded copy).

Are both in MOBI format, or is one of them TOPAZ? Also, is the smaller file size due to excluding the cover image or for another reason (such as Topaz formatting)?
The files are the same. Given a choice, please use the Bristlecone Pine Press version but what you'll be reading on your Kindle is identical.

These are great stories. Debra, thanks for dropping by!

L
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi everyone,

I don't know if other writers have had this issue come up, but I learned the hard way that when using a real institution like Revenue Canada Agency in a novel as I did in Taxed To Death, one has to have their permission to do so or face a lawsuit. I'm not sure if this applies to writers using American institutions, but it sure did for me. When I realized that I needed Revenue Canada's permission I found myself sweating when I called their public relations department.

After a couple of phone calls, the P.R. person told me that headquarters wanted a plot outline of the book and the names of my R.C. characters to run through a database. They needed to know if characters' names matched real employees, past and present, across the country. If they did, I'd have to change my names. My mystery is contemporary and set in Vancouver, but it didn't matter to Ottawa. If my characters' names matched a Nova Scotia employee who'd been employed with R.C. twenty years earlier, I'd still have to make changes. My characters are Alex Bellamy and Kelly Faust. Revenue Canada employs a lot of people so, needless to say, I began to panic.

A few days later, I received a letter from Revenue Canada. To my relief and amazement, they found no match between real and fictional names, and I had permission to use Revenue Canada in the book. They also wished me luck and, to this day, I'm grateful. But neither will I use a real institution again without making a few phone calls first.

 

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Debra,
Congratulations on getting your books out on Kindle. I've downloaded samples to Thor, my iPod Touch, which is currently standing in for the Kindle of my dreams (coming very soon I hope). That was pretty scary stuff about needing permission from the Canada Revenue people. I would have had a serious meltdown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I had the privilege of participating in a reading sponsored by one of the writers' groups in Vancouver. The group (Brock House Writers' society) invited other writers' groups in the lower mainland area to read either prose or poems. Needless to say, there was an incredible variety of work presented and the event was great fun. But when I mentioned that my books were available on Kindle, most of the people in the room had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently, plenty of folks don't know that Kindle exists. In fairness though, Kindle isn't available in Canada. Still it's a bit surreal to be here on Kindleboards talking about books in a format that other readers and writers have a hard time imagining.  :eek:
 



 

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Debra Purdy Kong said:
Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I had the privilege of participating in a reading sponsored by one of the writers' groups in Vancouver. The group (Brock House Writers' society) invited other writers' groups in the lower mainland area to read either prose or poems. Needless to say, there was an incredible variety of work presented and the event was great fun. But when I mentioned that my books were available on Kindle, most of the people in the room had no idea what I was talking about. Apparently, plenty of folks don't know that Kindle exists. In fairness though, Kindle isn't available in Canada. Still it's a bit surreal to be here on Kindleboards talking about books in a format that other readers and writers have a hard time imagining. :eek:
And I have gotten to the point that I can't imagine reading a book on anything but my Kindle. LOL.

L
 

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ladyknight33 said:
I know how you feel Ann. I am trying to get my last three clients in before Sunday. I leave for vacation on Tuesday.
:eek: There's three of us on here. I'm finally enjoying my second day off work in 3 1/2 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I hope that all of you accountants among us are getting a well deserved rest. Your Canadian counterparts, though, are still hard at it until the April 30th. And my hubby, a C.A., has rolled up his sleeves to tackle the family's forms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
On Thursday, April 23rd, I had the privilege of participating on a panel of crime writers at the Vancouver Public Library. We talked about a wide range of things regarding Canadian crime fiction and even delved into our personal work habits. The highlight of the evening, though, was to announce this year's short list for the Arthur Ellis awards, which is Canada's very own mystery writing award. The winners will be announced at the Bloody Words conference in June, but if you're interested, here's a list of finalists in all of the categories. There are probably names you'll recognize and certainly some new names you're likely to hear a lot about in the mystery field:

Best Short Story:

Pasha Malla, “Filmsong” in Toronto Noir (Akashic Books)
James Powell, “Clay Pillows” in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (June 2008)
Peter Robinson, “Walking the Dog” in Toronto Noir (Akashic Books)
Amelia Symington, “An Ill Wind” in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (Sept/Oct 2008)
Kris Wood, “Thinking Inside the Box” in Going Out with a Bang (RendezVous Crime)

Best Non-Fiction:

Daphne Bramham, The Secret Lives of Saints: Child Brides and Lost Boys in Canada's Polygamous Mormon Sect (Vintage Canada/RHC)
Sharon Butala, The Girl in Saskatoon: A Meditation on Friendship, Memory and Murder (Phyllis Bruce Books/HarperCollins)
Alex Caine, Befriend and Betray: Infiltrating the Hells Angels, Bandidos and Other Criminal Brotherhoods (Vintage Canada/RHC)
Michael Calce & Craig Silverman, Mafiaboy: How I Cracked the Internet and Why It’s Still Broken (Penguin Canada)
Kerry Pither, Dark Days: The Story of Four Canadians Tortured in the Name of Fighting Terror (Penguin Canada)

Best Juvenile:

Vicki Grant, Res Judicata (Orca)
Susan Juby, Getting the Girl (HarperCollins)
Elizabeth MacLeod, Royal Murder (Annick Press)
Norah McClintock, Dead Silence (Scholastic Canada)
Sharon E. McKay, War Brothers (Penguin Canada)

Best Crime Writing in French:

Jacques Côté, Le Chemin des brumes (Alire)
Maxime Houde, Le Poids des Illusions (Alire)
André Jacques, La Tendresse du serpent (Québec Amérique)
Sylvain Meunier, L’Homme qui détestait le golf (La courte échelle)
Antoine Yaccarini, Meurtre au Soleil (VLB éditeur)

Best First Novel:

Nadine Doolittle, Iced Under (Bayeux Arts/Gondolier)
John C. Goodman, Talking to Wendigo (Turnstone)
April Lindgren, Headline: Murder (Second Story Press)
Howard Shrier, Buffalo Jump (Vintage Canada)
Phyllis Smallman, Margarita Nights (McArthur & Company)

Best Novel:

Linwood Barclay, Too Close to Home (Bantam)
Maureen Jennings, The K Handshape (Castle Street Mysteries/Dundurn)
James W. Nichol, Transgression (McArthur & Company)
Louise Penny, The Murder Stone (McArthur & Company)
Michael E. Rose, The Tsunami File (McArthur & Company)

Best Unpublished First Crime Novel (the Unhanged Arthur):

Pam Barnsley, This Cage of Bones
Gloria Ferris, Cheat the Hangman
Stephen Maher, Salvage
Douglas A. Moles, Louder
Kevin Thornton, Condemned

 

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Hi Debra,

I think the cover for Taxed to Death is great! And both books sound really interesting.

How did you get picked up by a publisher (at least for the electronic rights)? I'm a new- struggling- author myself, and would appreciate any advice you could give me.
Unfortunately, I'm well aware, there's a lot of luck involved too. I seem to have about as much luck as... as... something that isn't particularly lucky. :)

Anyway, welcome to Kindleboards! As you can tell by my number of posts, I'm pretty new here too.

Julian
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Rhin said:
Hi Debra,

I think the cover for Taxed to Death is great! And both books sound really interesting.

How did you get picked up by a publisher (at least for the electronic rights)? I'm a new- struggling- author myself, and would appreciate any advice you could give me.
Unfortunately, I'm well aware, there's a lot of luck involved too. I seem to have about as much luck as... as... something that isn't particularly lucky. :)

Anyway, welcome to Kindleboards! As you can tell by my number of posts, I'm pretty new here too.

Julian
Hi, Julian, it's good to meet another writer. You're right, luck has a lot to do with it. But they also say that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity, and I think that's true in my case. I had two published print novels I was promoting when a colleague mentioned a fairly new electronic publisher who was accepting manuscripts. I queried and within a short time, I had a contract for both books. I'm very happy with Bristlecone Pine Press who also designed the covers. And I'm glad you like the covers. So do I!

You didn't mention what stage you're at with your your writing, but generally speaking, the key is to have a finished polished manuscript ready for publication before you even query a publisher. And I can't stress enough the importance of a good critique group and a professional editor to go over the final manuscript. If you've already accomplished these steps then check out Bristlecone or other electronic publishers to see what they publish and if they're currently accepting manuscripts. Once you're ready to submit your work, follow the submission guidelines carefully. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
 
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