Wednesday 8 November 2023

Adjusting a Presentation on the Fly

As fiction authors, Gloria Ferris and I were delighted to be guests of the Writers' Club at the Guelph Lake Commons Retirement Community on November 9/23. In addition to displaying our books for sale, we selected this agenda topic, "What's Intriguing About Reading and Writing Mysteries?"

I've posted notes below to describe amendments we made to our proposed agenda to match audience interest.

Gloria Ferris Web Site

Donna J. Warner Author Page

Post-Event Comments

We were pleased, and surprised in a good way, with audience interest in our presentation at this beautiful retirement home in Guelph, Ontario. People attending our open forum discussion included members of their writers' club and others who were avid readers or kind enough to drop by. Many interesting discussions arose other than the one we initially proposed. It was fascinating to hear about writing projects tackled by the writers' group; several voiced interest in writing memoirs.

Gloria and I shared details of aspects of our journey as writers published with traditional publishing houses and with inde-publishing; mentioned various types of publishing options; explained the different roles of beta readers versus editors, and even disclosed our confussion regarding advancements in new technology re. Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will affect writers. We have been told there will be many positive aids for writing and book marketing projects available through AI, but we're concerned over reading negative media posts and comments from some of our colleagues about their work being pirated for unauthorized AI databank utilization. When this occurs, the author isn't compensated with royalty payments and an illegal act has occurred. We are hopeful that the many professional writers' organizations and publishers currently focussing on establishing policies and guidelines to protect authors' rights and ensure copyright infringements are not allowed or encouraged are successful in their endeavours.

Sunday 8 October 2023

BOO! LIFE CAN BE STRANGER THAN FICTION

A request during my October visit to my family doctor’s office surprised me. My permission was sought to allow my private conversation with my care giver to be recorded. It was explained that this tape would be converted to text on their computer system by an Artificial Intelligence software they are utilizing. I hesitated briefly before giving my consent. After all, verbal dictation isn’t perfect either. Right?

That evening, as I tried to settle into sleep mode, these questions romped through my mind:

What if a blooper in software AI transcription resulted in an error on a health diagnosis or plan of treatment action?

Could this private conversation about my health issues be hacked?

Are doctor/patient recorded discussions revised before storage to edit out small talk? What if I made some off-colour or humourous comment? Would that be recorded on my health file? You can see where I’m going with this concern.

Another grey area of AI usage surfaced as I tossed and turned. As a published fiction and non-fiction author, I’ve been following concerns posted on social media by fellow writers. Many have had their books pirated and used in on-line AI data bases for others to copy when they have writer’s block. This illegal practice steals royalty payments due authors and allows others to take credit for their work.

I’m struggling to keep an open mind and enjoy learning more about the tremendous benefits that AI is introducing for the benefit of mankind. However, I sincerely hope regulations are put in place to ensure these incredible artificial intelligence advancements are not misused.

Since I previously aired my trials and tribulations over allowing, on a trial basis, an additional AI tool into my home to buddy up with my iPhone and iPad, I wanted to share my latest AI experience quandary.

Click to read my article, “Home Assistant or Privacy Invader?” that was first published in a Canadian magazine, Cloud Lake Literary, in Volume 5 on March 14/23.

Thursday 31 August 2023

ATTENTION MYSTERY LOVERS. "DEATH'S FOOTPRINT" KINDLE IS ON SALE FOR $1.99

Click here to Buy This Discounted eBook on Sale to celebrate the spooky days of October 10-16 for $1.49 US and CDN from Amazon or KOBO.

What’s your life worth? If the price isn’t right you die!

Jordan Blair, a Toronto cop, and Darcy Piermont, a Qu├ębec City private investigator schedule a week of romance. Jordan meets an attractive new hire of Darcy’s and is introduced to his aunt who professionally outranks her. As if that isn’t enough stress on a new relationship, they are pressured to investigate a crime with personal implications for Darcy and danger to them both. A university professor is missing after receiving a chilling ultimatum.

Death's Footprint is the second book in the Blair and Piermont crime fiction, romantic suspense series. Book #1 follows Jordan's and Darcy's Caribbean adventures in TARGETED. These are fast-paced, quick reads, enjoyable as stand-alone stories.

Samples of Some 5-Star Reviews:

"Captivated from the start. I read this fast-paced novella in one sitting. The budding romance between Jordan and Darcy adds an entertaining twist."

"Exciting read."

"Great read. Liked the interaction of main characters."

"Another humorous crime adventure by writing duo, Warner and Ferris."

"Set in Quebec City, I could easily visualize many of the scenes and found myself longing to travel once more to La Belle Province."

"I read it immediately after reading book one, “Targeted” and finished it within a day as well because I couldn't put it down. I'm so excited to see what's next for this author because I really enjoy her writing. Hopefully book three is in the works because I'm in Blair & Piermont withdrawal now!!"

Thursday 6 July 2023

Smashwords Book Vendor's July 2023 Blow Out eBook Sale

Current heat wave zapping your energy? Visualize yourself sitting under a shaded umbrella table at a boutique resort on Roatan Island, sipping mojitos and exchanging flirtatious comments with eye candy that may have stepped out of a photo shoot for GQ magazine when reading this gripping page turner, "Targeted", book #1 in a crime fiction adventure series by Donna Warner and Gloria Ferris.

Sunshine reflecting off the aqua-coloured ocean waves like millions of dancing diamonds caress the ocean shoreline. Caribbean music playing as you revel in the sights and ambiance of this island paradise. The warning from a charming yet enigmatic fellow traveller that Honduras has the highest murder rate per capita in the world was easy to dismiss..... until you are targeted!

"Targeted" book #1 in Donna Warner and Gloria Ferris's crime fiction thriller is packed full of suspense, action scenes, danger, fear, romance, and witty dialogue between two female Canadian tourists and the men they encounter on their vacation on Roatan Island.

Kindle Smashswords Book Sales Buy Link

Smashwords Book Vendor is featuring, "Targeted" at a 50% discounted sale price of $1.49 US until July 31 and a bonus offer of book #2, "Death's Footprint", a Quebec City mystery with romantic suspense for free during this sale period. Visit Smashword's sale site to view my books and thousands of other authors' books in this don't miss it, summer sale.

Monday 12 June 2023

A Mysterious Barn Gathering in Fergus, Ontario

You couldn't ask for a more picturesque venue than the Wellington County Museum and Archives for the June 10/23 Writers' Festival and Book Fair. Kudos to Sophia Grande-Lawlor and facility team members for their coordination of this event. The program was packed full of fun activities for both adults and children. The weather was ideal and attendance impressive. Approximately 60 book vendors displayed their work. It was an ideal setting for writers and book enthusiasts to mingle and stock up on reading materials. Food was available for purchase, and we were serenaded by talented musicians on keyboard and guitar.

I've included a copy of the program for those who may want to consider attending future book fairs at the museum. Please note the spelling correction of author, Pam Blance's last name on the program is as I've noted here.
At 1:30 p.m. authors of a panel on writing and marketing mysteries walked to the Museum's Heritage Barn where people were assembled for discussions on this genre. Links below contain two video clips taken by Bob Lindsay:

June 10/23 U-Tube Video Clip link showing the introduction of our Mystery panel authors.

Content of the Mystery Panel Discussions

The photo below shows panel members (L-R) Liz Lindsay and Pam Blance (AKA Jamie Tremain), Gloria Ferris, and myself, Donna Warner) taken by the fifth member of our local Genre5 writers' group, D.L. Houghton, who is a fantasy writer.

Authors were given the opportunity to set up book displays the night before. This courtesy allowed us to address any minor table set ups mishaps prior to doors being opened to the public at 11:00 a.m. the next day. And, yes, I did straighten the bend in my table banner.
To purchase copies of my crime fiction thrillers series, co-authored by award-winning mystery author, Gloria Ferris, buy links are below:

Book #1 "Targeted"

Book #2 "Death's Footprint"

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Wellington County 2023 Writers' Festival in Fergus, Ontario

This summer the Writers' Festival will take place on June 10, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Wellington County Museum and Archives, 0536 Wellington Road 18, Fergus (between Fergus and Elora). Don't miss this opportunity to attend writers' talks, three free creative workshops, view live entertainment, and shop at a book fair with over 60 vendors. Authors will read from their work, participate in discussions with colleagues in their genre, and participate in Q & As with the audience. See program below for activities for children. This year's Food Vendors are Fergie's Fine Foods, Mapleton's Organic Dairy, and Schmecken BBQ.

Click on this link to view program details: Wellington County Writers' Festival

I will be one of four fiction authors participating in a panel from 1:30 - 2:15 p.m. on MYSTERIES and displaying our books for sales and signings. See photo below: Donna Warner, Gloria Ferris, Liz Lindsay and Pam Blance (AKA Jamie Tremain).

#WritersFestival #AuthorTalks #WritingWorkshops #Books #Entertainment

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Award-winning Mystery Author's New Release

It's a pleasure to feature Gloria Ferris's 4th book, Dark Blossoming, in her Cornwall and Redfern Mystery Series.

For over half a century, the bones lay buried in Blackmire Swamp.

Bliss Moonbeam Cornwall is ankle-deep in swamp mud, hunting rare plant specimens, when she unearths a human skull at the edge of a deep pit. She digs feverishly to save as many bones as possible. Just before the sodden bank collapses, she uncovers a WW2-era German Mauser. Police Chief Neil Redfern, Bliss’s husband, is sidelined by recent surgery. But, the anonymous bones lying in the morgue with a skull marked by violence, won’t let him rest. The likelihood of murder increases when his forensics team discovers a second WW2 pistol close to the burial site.

Police archives reveal a missing person file from 1958 that contains explosive details, and any hope Neil has of keeping Bliss out of the investigation vanishes. The woman who reported her husband missing is Bliss’s 83-year-old grandmother, Heidi. And, the responding officer was her late grandfather, Lockport’s chief at the time. While Neil investigates a recent suspicious death that may be connected to the skeleton and guns, Bliss risks his professional wrath by conducting her own enquiries. She is determined to clear her beloved grandfather’s reputation and understand the tragedy of Heidi’s early years.

Will justice for the forgotten veteran be possible if the shocking truths of his life and death are exposed? Or, should Bliss and Neil protect family secrets at all cost and leave the past buried?

Dark Blossoming is Book 4 in the Cornwall and Redfern Mysteries. It can be read in sequence or as a standalone. • Corpse Flower, Book 1 • Shroud of Roses, Book 2 • Skull Garden, Book 3 • Wedded Bliss, Book 3.5 (novelette) • Dark Blossoming (Book 4)

About Me – Gloria Ferris

Gloria Ferris is a former procedure writer at a nuclear power plant, an exciting job to be sure, but it afforded little opportunity for plot and character development. So, she turned to fiction writing and is now the award-winning author of the humorous Cornwall & Redfern mysteries and the Blood YA urban fantasy series. She co-authored the Blair & Piermont suspense series, and occasionally will write a short story just for the heck of it. Her latest venture takes her to the gem crime caper scene with co-author Jamie Tremain. The pen name of Worlds May Change is Ferris Tremain (catchy, eh?). Gloria loves old cemeteries, and all things “skull”, managing to work one or both of these elements into her books. She once tried to write a serious book but it didn’t go well, so she abandoned that writing style and now lets her snarky humour prevail. She lives in southwestern Ontario and is a member of the International Alliance of Independent Authors.

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