Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Death and Taxes: Sheer Folly

by Carola Dunn

I'm in the middle of doing my taxes, not my favourite job, but inevitable, as Daniel Defoe was the first to point out (as far as I can ascertain). Paying was undoubtedly as painful then as it is now, but I doubt if trying to figure out what you had to pay was anywhere near as bad. Forms multiply, the paperwork reduction act notwithstanding. And you'd better keep a paper copy, they advise, because no one will guarantee that the virtual forms you've filled in with such labour won't vanish into the ether, along with all those emails that disappeared en route--not to mention the vanishing blog posts. Somewhere, Little Green Men are laughing their heads off.

The other inevitability named by Defoe was, of course, Death. As mystery writers, we spend a lot of our lives planning Death, accomplishing Death, and explaining Death. With a long-running series, I'm constantly trying to come up with different methods of producing Death, as well as new motives and new settings.

In SHEER FOLLY, just out in paperback, the motive is as old as the human race, but the means is new--to the Daisy Dalrymple series, at least--and the setting is somewhat unusual: an artificial grotto, one variety of "folly" of the kind loved by 18th century English landscapers.

The hardcover came out a year ago with the same art, but it wasn't till I received the first copy of the paperback that I noticed the figure of Death in the depths of the grotto. Or is it the mysterious monk who haunts the place?

Or one of the Little Green Men in disguise?

I've posted reviews of Sheer Folly on my website

Now to tackle the local bus tax.


Jaden Terrell said...

Congratulations on your new book, Carola. I'm in awe of your prodigious body of work.

AS for tax bewilders me, but I suppose we must do it. SI need an indepth post on tax tips for writers, but alas, I am not the one to write it.

Jean Henry Mead said...

A lovely cover, Carola. The book's on my Kindle download list because print editions are literally running me out of house and home. As for taxes, they're done, TG. Tax time is my least favorite time of year.

Carola said...

I was talking to my agent about it, saying I know a number of authors who use an accountant. She agreed with me that unless the accountant specializes in literary tax work, they're liable to dismiss all sorts of stuff you could legitimately count as expense. Just to make life a little more complicated... And I have a SIMPLE IRA plan that confuses me every single year. As I only deal with it once a year, I can never remember the rules.