Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Designed To Promote Debut Suspense Novelists

Every best-selling author began as a debut novelist. But making the step from promising beginner to proven success can be tricky, which is why four online friends, Brett Battles, JT Ellison, Jason Pinter and Sandra Ruttan decided to start Killer Year.

Founded in May 2006, Killer Year is a now a collective of suspense novelists who have banded together, sharing promotion and marketing for their debut novels. "Fiction is a crowded market," said founding member J.T. Ellison. "By working together, we hope to reach a larger audience than we could alone."

"We wanted to find a way to have equitable attention paid to all types of publication formats, from mass-market paperbacks to hardcovers,"
said Brett Battles, a co-founder. "One voice to promote 14 authors seemed to be our best bet to sell our books."

Spurred by a mention on Sarah Weinman's award winning blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, the four put up a website and blog, and Killer Year was born. The ranks quickly filled with excellent authors who, like the founders, are debuting in the fiction genre in 2007. All the books will be released from major New York publishing houses and first class small publishers, and will be commercially available in all retail outlets.

International Thriller Writers (ITW), the first professional organization for thriller writers, is lending a hand to the 14 novelists. The idea resonated with M.J. Rose, who heads up ITW's marketing committee. "One of our mandates is to build a community of writers who can help each other. Another is to get serious attention for our authors and make them stand out from the crowd. Not just established authors, but debut authors as well. This program fits both those goals."

One ITW member will mentor each Killer Year member, providing individual advice, blurbs and a short review of their book they can use in promotional material. They will also introduce Killer Year at a special breakfast during ThrillerFest 2007, the premier event for the thriller writing community. After 2007, Killer Year will remain an ongoing program, with ITW welcoming a new class of debut novelists.

"Only in the suspense genre can something this exciting, this cutting edge happen," founder Sandra Ruttan said. "We work as a team," added Jason Pinter. "We're here to support each other and make sure all of our members succeed in their first year as published authors."

Killer Year is an elite group of 14 debut suspense novelists working to create an interactive community with potential readers, buyers, reviewers and publishing professionals. The Killer Year founders are Jason Pinter (THE MARK, Mira), Brett Battles (THE CLEANER, Bantam Dell), J.T. Ellison (ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS, Mira) and Sandra Ruttan (SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, Tico).

Members include Robert Gregory Browne (KISS HER GOODBYE, St. Martin's), Bill Cameron (LOST DOG, Midnight Ink), Toni McGee Causey (BOBBIE FAYE'S VERY (very, very, very) BAD DAY, St. Martin's), Sean Chercover (BIG CITY, BAD BLOOD, William Morrow), Patry Francis (THE LIAR'S DIARY, Dutton), Marc Lecard (VINNIE'S HEAD, St. Martin's Minotaur), Derek Nikitas (PYRES, St. Martin's Minotaur), Gregg Olsen (A WICKED SNOW, Kensington), Marcus Sakey (THE BLADE ITSELF, St. Martin's Minotaur) and Dave White (WHEN ONE MAN DIES, Three Rivers Press).

Visit the KillerYear website for more information on these fine authors.

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