This has been the most entertaining weekend ! The Husband is a mineral collector, and our house is full of mineral specimens, neatly mounted on plexiglass cubes in lighted cases. While I like and admire his collection, I prefer my mineral specimens faceted and mounted in precious metals for wearing, but that’s another story…


We don’t have a large or grand collection, but like what we have and appreciate the collections of others, some of which are simply spectacular.


Susan and pyrite-fluorite 2016

The House of the Pines is released

The House in the Pines

It’s hot here – blisteringly, uncomfortably hot. Of course, it usually is this time every year (it is summer, after all!) but as we had a lovely cool spring it just seems hotter. I vote that Willis Carrier, the man who invented air conditioning, be immediately voted a saint! Needless to say, I’m not going to stick my nose out unless absolutely necessary for the next few months.


At least, not unless there is something neat going on.

Self-Publishing: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Janis is speaking at Dallas MWASW group

Self-Publishing: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Self-publishing can be very freeing and lucrative for some, but it isn’t for everyone. Janis Patterson learned how to self-publish the hard way and is happy to share what she knows.

Explore the ins and outs of publishing your own books. Learn about formats, ISBNs, covers, and all the details of being your own publisher. Find out the differences between doing it yourself and hiring a book packager. Get an idea of the costs involved. Maybe most importantly, learn what not to do.

Okay, this has been a wonderful couple of days…!

Seldom in my writing career has so much wonderful stuff happened at once!

By the time you read this, I will have finished my Janis Susan May East Texas-set gothic for the A World of Gothic novella serial anthology. The title is still in flux, but I promise to tell you as soon as it’s finalized.

Now for the jaw-dropping stuff –

It has been a busy time around here…

I’m working feverishly to finish my as-yet-untitled gothic novella – set in East Texas, of all places – for the serial anthology called A World of Gothic. We’re a bunch of authors who love gothics, so we all got together and are releasing a novella a month. Have no idea how long it will last, but the first two are already out there and mine is scheduled for release in July. Also, have some really exciting news – about something I’ve never done before – but can’t release it yet. Will tell you as soon as I can!

April Update

Whew! The last two weeks have been dizzying!



A millionaire

First, The Husband and I went to Las Vegas. We had won a trip there (three nights in a casino hotel, tickets to a show, a tour, some gambling money and a couple of free drinks) and it had reached the point of ‘use it or lose it.’ So we went. I know it seems silly for two people who don’t gamble and who drink sparingly to go to Las Vegas, but we had a blast. Our hotel was on the Fremont Experience (the downtown outdoor ‘mall’ that used to be Fremont Street) and we had more fun walking it – everything you can think of you can see along the Fremont Experience! We did gamble a little (we’re devils on the penny slots!) and over the entire trip lost a total of about $10 – not a bad entertainment charge for a couple of days. We did have a margarita at one of the outdoor bars, as well as a glass of wine in front of the room-sized fish tank at the Golden Nugget bar.

What people are saying about a Killing at El Kab

A Killing at El Kab

Omg… awesome, brilliant… i could go on…
The way Ms Janis describes the police etc and ahhh ill ruin it if i dont shut up. Please tell her it is brilliant.. the descriptions are rigdy didge!!
I was laughing.. but i dont want to say at what..

Mia – from Australia but lives in Egypt

The Unexpected Benefits of a Passion for Research

I was recently asked to contribute Marilyn Meredith’s blog here is the article for my readers.

For far too many writers the word ‘research’ brings up unpleasant images of slaving away in dusty library stacks taking notes or endless hours at the computer tracing down esoteric and difficult to find sites. Some love both, but most don’t. Far too many novelists don’t like research at all, which is a pity, both for the reader and for the writer.


Research can bring new knowledge, new friends and some fantastic adventures. When I was doing THE EGYPTIAN FILE (written by my Janis Susan May persona) I needed some exact information about a graffito in a tomb at the necropolis of El Kab. I had been there some years earlier (which is how I found out about the graffito) but could not remember in which tomb it had been.

Available on pre release NOW – A Killing at El Kab

One year ago this month – almost to the day – The Husband and I left for Egypt, where we had been invited to stay at an archaeological dig house to research a new mystery. Civilians are never invited to stay at dig houses, and our host – a dear friend – had to work his way through three layers of Egyptian bureaucracy to get us permissions. As far as I am concerned, all the work involved was worth it.

March Newsletter

This Is It!


I’m proud to announce the official release day for A KILLING AT EL KAB is March 20th. I’ve just ordered the proofs for the print edition and will put the electronic version for pre-sale on Amazon just as soon as I can. And figure out how to do it… Anyway, the pre-sale price for the ebook will be a bargain at $2.99! On release day it will go up to $4.99, which is still a bargain.

Spring Newsletter

My wonderful webmistress (and conscience) Jane Akshar has been telling me I need to update my letter to you all – and I do. It’s been too long. My bad. However, I do have reasons – first of all, I have two books coming out in March. That’s always a reason for rejoicing. I also have a book due in March. While it’s great fun (more later) I’m behind on my schedule, so not so much rejoicing.

Hello from the vaccuum

Hello from the vaccuum – I haven’t disappeared, it’s just that we are entering the beginning of our second month of having no internet at home, which means that any internet usage (except for some rudimentary email on my phone) means I must go out to an internet cafe. Sigh. Haven’t forgotten any of you, and miss interacting with you, but there’s so much to do and work unfortunately must come first. I’m already spending so much time at the cafe there are people who think I work here… Anyway, must run – just wanted to touch base while I could.



…always a good story!

…committing crime with style!

Autumn Newsletter

It’s been much too long since I wrote here, but believe me, life has been busy!


We spent almost all of September away. The first weekend we went up to Boston – and although the leaf color hadn’t started yet, it was still beautiful. New England is lovely, but it always makes me feel somewhat claustrophobic, as does most of the East Coast. I’m a Texican – I like space!

Janis Susan May Patterson is interviewed by ARCE

the dig house at El Kab - Somers Clarke's house

The recent ARCE newsletter carries an interview with Janis and a preview of her latest book. “Publishing simultaneously under four pseudonyms, the author shares her deep passion for Egypt and writing and then reveals the genesis of her current project, A Killing at El Kab. Read about her stay in the dig house of 19th century English architect and Egyptologist, Somers Clarke, where the story is set. Says May,  “Our trip to the dig house was spectacular, the stuff of dreams. The house itself is a fantastic, romantic, domed dream of a place.”……………….

Janis Susan May Patterson at the Historical Novel Society International Conference

IMG_2843Oh, what an exciting two weeks we have had! The Husband and I drove to Denver, where we went to the Historical Novel Society international conference. This was the first of these conferences we had attended, and this one was special. On Saturday, June 27 I was privileged to be part of a panel on Egyptology and Elizabeth Peters. This was especially exciting, as Barbara (Mertz, Elizabeth Peters’ real name) had been a friend. Fellow panel members Bill Cherf, Libbie Hawker, Lindsey Davis and I each talked about a different facet – Bill about her early life and schooling, I about her life as a writer, Libbie about how her Amelia Peabody series had affected Egyptian-set fiction, and Lindsey about researching a novel in Egypt. It went smoothly and was very well received.

Meet Mystery Author Janis Patterson | Books

Catch this great interview

Meet Mystery Author Janis Patterson | Books:

Janis writes

  • mysteries as Janis Patterson
  • romances and other things as Janis Susan May
  • children’s books as Janis Susan Patterson
  • scholarly works as J.S.M. Patterson.

Why the two names? Janis Susan May and Janis Patterson

Janis Susan May Patterson

Why do you use two names for your books, Janis Susan May and Janis Patterson, why not keep to one name?

Sometimes I wonder that, too! Actually, it’s a matter of branding. I started writing many years ago and Janis Susan May was my real name, so I used it. At the time I wrote only romance – and incidentally am one of the original 40 or so women who began Romance Writers of America. As time passed I branched out from writing romances and wrote a couple of short horror novels, also under the Janis Susan May name. It didn’t bother me, because romance and horror are such different genres and the covers alone would indicate to a reader what kind of book they were.

Curse of the Exile | Books from Janis Susan May Patterson


Looking for a good holiday read, check out my latest Janis Susan May book. Published June 4, a tasty traditional Victorian Scottish Gothic romance.

Welcome! The website for books by Janis Susan May and Janis Patterson

the Nile taken from the roof of the dig house (2)

View of the Nile from the El Kab dig house

A message from Janis Susan May Patterson.

Welcome to my new website! I am so excited about it.

Didn’t the designer do a fabulous job? And it’s set up where I can maintain it, which means it should be updated much more often!

This has been an exciting year so far. In January The Husband and I took the Florida Romance Writers Cruise Conference. Yes, a conference set on a cruise ship. It was fantastic.

News May 2015


Just come back from a wonderful holiday in Egypt which is going to be the setting for my new mystery novel.