Friday, July 18, 2008

Guest Blogger: KELLI STANLEY

I am delighted to present my guest blogger, Kelli Stanley. Kelli's first book, Nox Dormienda, just came out. Even though she spent the last week at ThrillerFest, Kelli still found the time to share a few thoughts...

You’ll Never Write Alone

Remember the lyrics?

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone

You’ll Never Walk Alone is Rodgers and Hammerstein at their finest (from Carousel). And today, July 18th, my debut book’s official release, I’m here at my gracious and wonderful hostess’ blog to tell you how true the words are … particularly in the writing community.

In the past year and a half – since January 17, 2007, the date of my publishing news – I’ve discovered that you never write alone.

I’ve always recognized the fact that we take the people we meet, the things we experience, the places we imagine, and distill them into a story, a character. In that sense, we don’t write alone.

And then there are the people who enable us to create … the parents who encourage us, the teachers who praise us, the spouses and children that patiently wait while we’re shut up in a room with a “do not disturb” sign. And there, too, we’re not really alone with the keyboard. Their love and support are with us, keeping us going.

When the manuscript is finished, and you turn toward friends for critique … when your agent reads and re-reads it, making suggestions, helping to shape the direction … when an editor receives it and fights for its place among a stack of books eager for publication, and then lovingly cuts and trims and pommels it into something you’re both proud of … and when the copy editor finds a continuity error, or something you forgot to fully research … throughout this process, the struggle for creativity and entertainment and salability in a very tough market … you’re never alone.

And then the publisher steps in, and you receive support from an overworked publicist who loves the book, and wants it to succeed as much as you do. And the marketing department makes suggestions, and the advanced reading copies go out, ready for review … a symphony has joined you, making the music of your book a possibility, helping to shape everything about it … does the cover work? Is it exciting? What about reviewers? What about the all-important pre-release buzz? Questions you can’t answer alone.

And along the way, the most important ingredient – besides your family – is friendship. The wonderful, generous people you meet in the industry. Fellow writers who agree to read the book, and like it enough to give you blurbs. They want you to succeed, as they have. You’re not alone.

Reviewer and critics who make time to read it, even if they don’t like it as much as you do. There are more books out there than reviewers, so whether they like it or not, they’ve done you a favor. And you’re not alone.

Readers who bid on an advanced reading copy, fans who ask you to sign programs at conferences because you don’t have a book to sell … all of them are helping you write your next book, because they’re giving you confidence for this one.
You’re not alone.

And when you’re down, and you’re walking (and writing) through the storm … as we all do … your friends are beside you. Because they’ve done it before, and they know what it’s like. And they’ll tell you, again and again: you’ll get through this. Keep writing. You’re not alone.

Then the big day approaches, and you’re faced with publicity and getting the word out … and still, you’re not by yourself. Through the generosity of people like Stacy Alesi, who helps spread the word about so many writers, especially debuts, you get a chance to let people know about your book.

The fact is, no one gets published alone. And no one writes alone. And today, on the official release of NOX DORMIENDA, I want to thank the family and friends and industry colleagues who have made this date possible.

To celebrate, I ask you to think of someone who has helped you; someone who reached out when you thought you were by yourself. A parent, a friend, a teacher, a stranger. Think about them. Post a comment about them here. Thank them, if you can.

Because no matter what we do … we don’t do it alone.

Kelli Stanley lives in San Francisco and earned a Master’s Degree in Classics. When she’s not writing or wandering in the fog, she can usually be found at bookstores, speakeasies and classic movie theaters.

Kelli’s debut mystery-thriller, Nox Dormienda, is the first of a new series and a new genre of mystery fiction: Roman Noir. A Writer’s Digest Notable Debut (August, 2008), Nox Dormienda has been described by Ken Bruen as “Ellis Peters re-written by Elmore Leonard.” Kelli serves as the ITW News Editor for The Big Thrill website, and is currently working on a novel set in 1940 San Francisco. Visit her at

Thursday, July 17, 2008

James O. Born

There was a nice writeup in the Palm Beach Post today about one of my favorite authors, James O. Born.

James O. Born a study in persistence and success
By Scott Eyman
Palm Beach Post Books Editor
Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jim Born likes action.

In the morning, he'll go to the gym, or maybe just jog for a couple of miles, and think about what he's going to write that night. Sometimes it's dialogue, sometimes it's plot.

He comes back home, showers, and then it's off to work as a special agent for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. During the day, if he gets a chance, he might make a couple of notes about what he planned in the morning.

"It beats daydreaming about Beyonce," he says.

At night, when he gets to his Lake Worth home, he's a man on a mission. He bangs out his usual ration of 1,000 words, give or take. On the weekends, he edits what he wrote during the week. On Monday, it begins all over again.

As he puts it, "I like being exhausted at night."

Read the rest of the article here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Strand Critics Award for Best Mystery Novel

Laura Lippman and Marcus Sakey win the Strand Magazine’s Critics Award

New York, NY, July 14, 2008 -- The winners of the 2007 Strand Magazine Critics Award are Laura Lippman for best novel (What the Dead Know) and Marcus Sakey for best first mystery novel (The Blade Itself). The winners were announced at an invitation only cocktail party in Manhattan, by bestselling author Jonathan Santlofer.

Both of the winners and several of the nominees were in attendance at the Midtown Executive Club. Lippman and Sakey were gracious winners thanking the panel of book reviewers, congratulating their fellow nominees and acknowledging they were up against stiff competition.

- Down River by John Hart (Thomas Dunne Books/Minotaur)

- The Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston (Ballantine Books)

- The Strangler by William Landay (Delacorte Press)

- The Watchman by Robert Crais (Simon and Schuster)

- What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)

Best First Novel

- The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey (St. Martin's Minotaur)

- In the Woods by Tana French (Viking)

- The Mark by Jason Pinter (Mira Books)

- Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell (William Morrow)

- When One Man Dies by Dave White (Crown Publishing)

Lippman a former journalist for The Baltimore Sun, is no stranger to winning many of the top crime fiction prizes, she has won the Edgar, The Anthony, The Shamus, and The Barry Awards. Her latest novel Another Thing to Fall was released this March by William Morrow.

In just two years, Marcus Sakey has blazed a trail as a new and talented mystery author with his two well written crime novels The Blade Itself and At The City’s Edge. A former St. Martin’s author, he has recently signed a deal with Dutton who will publish his next book Good People in August.

"This was such a great group of nominees, it must have been difficult to choose the winner," said Frank Simon, Associate Publisher of The Strand. "Laura and Marcus were worthy winners, in the past few years Laura has produced a fantastic body of work and Marcus is a new talent who I have no doubt in the future will be nominated for the best mystery novel award."

Nest year, the panel of judges will led by Otto Penzler and will feature critics from The Washington Post, the LA Times, The Associated Press, NPR, Time Magazine, Publishers Weekly and The New York Sun. For more information, please contact Christine Jones at 248 569 3702 or

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