Welcome to Skeleton Keys!

Welcome to my new website. It’s something that I’ve wanted to put together for a while, but finding an agent and multiple revisions of our manuscript kept us busy. But now that we’re officially on submission, I really wanted to get my online presence off the ground. Thank you to all for joining me here.

What’s in a name? In this case, a double meaning. Skeleton keys have a mysterious air about them and open many doors. However, in forensic anthropology, the skeleton is often the key to solving a mysterious death.

I’ve only recently signed with Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency so I don’t have a lot of official material yet, but I’ve based much the website on our manuscript for DEAD, WITHOUT A STONE TO TELL IT:

  • The Books page consists of a short flap cover synopsis of the manuscript, as well as some info on our current work-in-progress.
  • The Picture Gallery page contains photos that I took in September of 2009 when I travelled to Boston, Salem and the Essex Coast to conduct ‘boots-on-the-ground’ research for the novel before we put hands to keyboard. Many of the locations and settings we used in the novel are in those pictures, including the body dump site and the crypts under the Old North Church in Boston, a site that requires special permission to visit.
  • The Links page includes some of the writing and publishing blogs that I’ve found invaluable, as well as links to many of the scientific resources that we consulted while writing the manuscript.

So much of blogging today is about branding yourself as an author. So what is my brand? It’s certainly how science can be used to reveal the human condition; that's the backbone of everything we write. So part of this blog will have a real science/forensics theme to it. I’ll also discuss our research and writing process, and our journey towards publication. I expect to be blogging once a week on Tuesdays, and next week will mark the start of the real blog posts.

A huge thank you needs to go to my eldest daughter for all her help on this site. She stepped in early as my artistic director and was with me through every step of designing the website. She created the banner, helped with the colour scheme and worked her artistic magic on a multitude of the photos on the website. Thank you, Jess, for all your hard work and your patience. The site looks fantastic and 90% of that is because of you.

A host of other people pitched in to help as well. My writing partner, Ann Vanderlaan, has gone above and beyond in the last few days as my troubleshooter and tester as we mapped the Squarespace site to my domain and then implemented a new commenting system for the blog (we're still working on the commenting system, so please let me know via the Contact page if you're having issues). As well, Ann and one of our main critique group members, Sharon Taylor, were kind enough to lend advice, suggestions and feedback on the website as a whole. My husband patiently fielded my questions on HTML programming when Squarespace was giving me fits. And when I needed fresh eyes to make sure there were no errors and everything worked as it should, Heather Paich and Alanna Pfeifler-McKee were more than happy to look things over. Thanks to you all for your help!

And so begins a new journey. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you all next week!