Monday, April 24, 2017
Friday, April 21, 2017
And now for the usual BSP:
Thursday, April 20, 2017
“With thousands of new titles being published every day,
what do you do to try to raise your new book above the fray and catch the eye
of readers?” by Catriona
Yesterday Cathy looked at the all-important jacket image - the first thing a potential reader sees. Today I'm going to move on to the next step we take when we try to decide whether or not buy a book . . . the words.
Not, you understand, the words the writer works on, hones, edits and polishes for months and years but the words on the outside: the title, slugline, blurb, puff, and flap copy.
And slug, blurb, puff, flap is how it feels sometimes. The couple of hundred words that go on the cover are some of my least favourite writing.
I've got three books coming out in the next year or so:
One title gave me no bother at all. I needed something that said "Macbeth" and my mother-in-law, simply by throwing herself to the ground, breaking her ankle and spending a few boring days stuck in hospital with nothing better to do, came up with it. Thank you, Nan.
But there's a lot more than just the title on the jacket:
|You'll have to zoom in on this!|
"Fair is foul and foul is fair when aristocratic private detective Dandy Gilver arrives at Castle Bewer, at midsummer 1934, to solve the tangled mystery of a missing man, a lost ruby and a family curse. The Bewer family's latest wheeze to keep the wolf from the door is turning the castle keep into a theatre. While a motley band of players rehearse Macbeth, the Bewers themselves prepare lectures, their faithful servants set up a tearoom, and the guest wings fill with rich American ladies seeking culture. Meanwhile, Dandy and her sidekick Alec Osborne begin to unravel the many secrets of the Bewers and find that, despite the witches, murders and ghosts onstage, it's behind the scenes where the darkest deeds are done."
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
|The photo we use on our Facebook page|
|Each book like a vintage travel poster - inviting readers to take a trip and meet a corpse!|
|Yes - you'll visit a stately home in these books and you'll help solve a puzzling, probably quite cozy case|
|The overall promise connected with my name|
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
RM: Thank you, SG!
I'm sure it helps to have beautiful covers like these, too.... Learn more about SG and her work at http://www.sgwong.com.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
by Guest Blogger Barb Goffman
Please welcome my friend, short story writer extraordinaire, Barb Goffman to the blog. She’s been a finalist for national crime-writing awards nineteen times: ten times for the Agatha Award, four times for the Macavity Award, three times for the Anthony Award, and once each for the Derringer and Silver Falchion awards. Today, she’s taking us on a trip or two (or six).
Thanks to folks at Criminal Minds, especially my friend Alan Orloff, for inviting me to blog here today. I hope you all enjoy this virtual vacation.
A wonderful thing about books is they take you to places you love—or would like to see for the first time—without getting calluses on your feet or getting dragged off an airplane. Here a few of my own preferred destinations:
St. John. The Caribbean island has been described as peaceful and gorgeous. But you have to fly to another nearby island, then take a boat in order to get there. The part of me that carries Dramamine wherever I go isn’t so keen on that part. That’s why I’m happy that C. Michele Dorsey takes me to St. John in her mystery series. The first book, No Virgin Island, came out in 2015, followed by Permanent Sunset last year.
Maine. The autumn photos alone make me go hubba hubba. The snow, not so much. But in books I don’t have to shovel. There are many options for Maine mysteries. I’m a particular fan of Barbara Ross’s Maine Clambake Mysteries. That series started in 2013 with award-nominated Clammed Up. The seventh one in the series, Fogged In, is currently a finalist for the Agatha Award for best contemporary novel of last year.
The Adirondacks. There are so many books to choose from to get my mountains fix. One favorite series is S.W. Hubbard’s Frank Bennett Adirondack Mysteries. The police procedural books (and short stories!) started with 2003’s Take the Bait, which was nominated for the Agatha Award for best first novel, an honor it well deserved.
The South. I’ve always had a fondness for southern things. The accents. The lush atmosphere. The double meanings built into their sayings—bless their hearts. One author who helps me get my southern fix is Susan M. Boyer, whose Liz Talbot P.I. series is set on a coastal island off Charleston, South Carolina. The fun began with 2012’s Lowcountry Boil, which won the Agatha Award for best first novel. Lowcountry Book Club, the fifth in the series, came out last year.
San Francisco and beyond. Just so you don’t think I only travel vicariously on the East Coast, I love reading Gigi Pandian’s award-winning books, especially her Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery series, which began with Artifact. Through these books I’ve traveled to California (Jaya’s base), as well as Scotland, India, France, and Italy, where Jaya has tracked down lost treasures—and a few bad guys too. The fourth in the series, Michelangelo’s Ghost, came out last year.
Mystery conventions. As a mystery reader and author, I love going to mystery cons. I get to go all fan girl over my favorite authors, catch up with old friends, and meet new ones who love mysteries as much as I do. So of course I enjoy reading books and stories set at mystery cons—and writing them too. Last year my short story “The Best-Laid Plans,” set at the slightly fictional Malice International convention, was published in the anthology Malice Domestic 11: Murder Most Conventional. In it, readers get to attend Malice on the shoulder of the lifetime achievement honoree, who plans to get revenge against her frenemy, the guest of honor, during the convention. It won’t be anything fatal. Just painful. She writes cozies after all. This story is a finalist for this year’s Agatha Award for best short story. If you like mystery conventions, too, but can’t attend as many as you’d like, you can always go to Malice through my story. It’s available on my website: http://www.barbgoffman.com/The_Best_Laid_Plans.html. Happy travels and happy reading!
Thanks for taking us on a grand tour, Barb! Good luck at the Agathas!!
I should also mention that Barb has a story in the just-released anthology 50 SHADES OF CABERNET (as do I).