Sunday, April 27, 2008


Have you ever thought about having a dialogue with a famous author? Your book club discusses so many novels, but what if you could actually see the author, and hear his explanations, and interact with him in real time? Now you have the chance. Bestselling author and bookclub regular Robert Alexander launched an online book club Monday, March 31. He will continue his webcasts (see dates below). To experience, simply visit

The Robert Alexander Bookclub offers readers an opportunity to watch the author read passages and ask questions online. Featured in the live webcast will be Alexander's new book, The Romanov Bride with an opportunity to also ask questions about the author's previous novels, The Kitchen Boy and Rasputin's Daughter.

As the reign of Nicholas and Alexandra comes to an end and the Russian Revolution begins in 1917 The Romanov Bride (Viking; On-sale: April 21, 2008; ISBN: 0-670-01881-9; Price: $24.95; 320 pages) follows the lives of two revolutionary souls, that of the Grand Duchess Elisavyeta (or Ella), sister of the Tsarista Alexksandra, and that of Pavel, a simple village man in search of a better life.

To join Alexander's book club visit, and click on the "join the live book event" button. Guests can view Alexander's webcast live from his home office in Minneapolis as he discusses his novels, the fall of the Romanovs, and the Russian Revolution. At the end, email your questions and Alexander will discuss the answers live in the webcast.

The webcast's television-like picture is clear, the sound excellent, yet there is no crew, no expensive equipment, and no elaborate sets. Thanks to modern technology, Mr. Alexander's show has excellent production values, and will be webcast around the world.

Alexander, who recently appeared on ABC's Good Morning America has been traveling to Russia for 32 years and is a specialist in Russian history and culture. He is a favorite among bookclubs, and has spoken to hundreds of groups.

To view the webcast, guests should have high speed internet connections and windows media player. Each show will be delivered at 300-500 kbps bit rate (high video and audio quality). For more information please call or email Johanna Ramos-Boyer at or 703-646-5137, or Ann Day at or 212-366.2078

Thursday, May 8 at 1pm EST
Friday, May 9 at 6pm EST
Saturday, May 10 at 1pm EST
Sunday, May 11 at 1pm EST
Thursday, May 8 at 1:00pm EST
Friday, May 9 at 6:00pm EST
Saturday, May 10 at 1:00pm EST
Sunday, May 11 at 1:00pm EST

Wednesday, May 14 at 1:00pm and 8:00pm EST
Thursday, May 15 at 1:00pm EST
Friday, May 16 at 1:00pm EST
Saturday, May 17 at 1:00pm EST
Sunday, May 18 at 1:00pm and 8:00pm EST


I am loving having these guest bloggers. LJ wrote a terrific book with a title that is a little out of the mainstream, rather like the BookBitchBlog, for example. It's called The Sex Club, and it's gotten great reviews - including a new one this week at Some thoughts from L.J.--

The Power of K

Marketers and comedians have long taken advantage of the powerful K sound. Crime writers have too, they just may not realize it. Think about the name Jack for protagonists. Jack Ryan, Jack Reacher, Jack Keller, Jack Taylor, Jack Davis, Jack Irish, and Jack Palms to name a few. Then there’s Taylor Jackson and my own Detective Wade Jackson. Not to mention the Jakes (Jake Riley, Jake Riordan, Jake McRoyan).

The K sound is especially powerful at the end of word, which is why Jack and f**k are both so fun to say. Can you think of a comedian who can get through his/her material with saying f**k or jerk or some variation of jack (jackoff, jackass, jackshit)?

The X sound is really K with a little S on the end, so Alex is almost as popular with crime writers: Alex Cooper, Alex Cross, Alex Archer, Alex Delaware, Alex Duarte, Alex Bernier. And Cooper and Cross are both pronounced with the K sound. Then there’s Kinsey Milhone and Greg McKenzie, which has a trifecta of winning sounds: the double K sound and the popular Z. Marketers like Z almost as well as K.

There’s plenty of K sounds in other protags too: Lincoln Perry, Lucas Davenport, Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, John Cardinal, Michael Kowlaski, Vicky Bliss, and Jacqueline Kirby. Apologies to hundreds that I’ve likely missed.

In my recent novel, The Sex Club, which has both K and X sounds in the title, the main characters are Detective Jackson and Kera Kollmorgan. Jackson’s daughter’s name is Katie. In women’s fiction, Kate is the female equivalent of Jack—a short, powerful K name (Kate London, plus many others).

It’s not just me. Author Jack Getze has a protag named Austin Carr who encounters a bad guy named Max, whom he calls Creeper. In as single scene, he writes about Carr and Creeper as well as an AK-47, Alka-Seltzer, a stockbroker, an Escalade, a Caddy, and a Lincoln.

And another writer told me, “I had so many K names in my first book I had to change all but one.”

What is it about the K sound that we like so much? One amateur theory is that as babies, we all heard a lot of K words and noises: cootchie-coo, cutie-pie, cuddles, etc. But it could be that this is simply one of those things that is hard-wired into our brains from human experiences long ago. Whatever the reason, readers and writers like the sound K, so keep it coming.

L.J. Sellers is an award-winning journalist, editor, and occasional standup comic, based in Eugene, Oregon. She is currently writing a second Detective Jackson story, Secrets to Die For. When she’s not plotting murders, Sellers enjoys hiking or cycling through Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley.

Search This Blog