Sunday, July 27, 2008

Countdown ...

I've got fond memories of Casey Kasem. (And no, your eyes don't deceive you--that's not a picture of Casey.)

is my favorite film noir, so for book-launch good luck I'm adding photos of Rita as Gilda. Gotta sneak a little film noir in, and it did get your attention ... ;) And thank you, Rita. You can still make an audience hold its breath.

Those Casey memories were not only with the Top 40 Countdown, of course, but as the voice of Shaggy Rogers (yes, Shaggy had a last name ... I'm not sure if "Doo" is Scooby's last name or not) and Robin in various incarnations, most notably the Super Friends.

God, those toys were cool. That Super Friends' Hall of Justice ... the only thing I didn't like about the SFs were those annoying twins. Worse than Snapper Carr in the Silver Age Justice League. Jimmy Olsen clones just never cut it for me ... though I will now officially confess a fondness for the old red-headed photographer himself. Shhh ... don't spread it around, it ruins the noir cred.

Speaking of noir, I've got a long-delayed blog on a film noir coming up after August 1st, when things get back to the new normal. Right now, I'm all-consumed with the launch of my book, and just didn't want to write about a man who frames himself for his own murder. Call me superstitious.

Anyway, I'm thinking of Casey because I've been running through my own series of countdowns. Last Friday, the 18th, my book was officially released into the world, alive and kicking. More stock is coming into Amazon by August 31st, and I'm grateful to them for posting a notice to that effect. Barnes and Noble had it in stock for a couple of days last week, and have run out already.

This bodes well for demand, but I very much wish the supply chain was easier ... distribution can be a challenge for a small press. I am eternally grateful to those readers who have already ordered it from various sources, and those who are waiting patiently. In all sincerity, I can't thank you enough. It's a scary world out there when you're a debut author ... and my biggest goal is to simply be read (and hopefully liked, of course). :)

So back to the countdown ... this week, I'm counting down to my official launch date, August 1st. This is the date of my launch party, hosted by the phenomenal San Francisco speakeasy Bourbon and Branch. Think a gorgeous '20s bar, custom cocktails (the Nox Dormienda and the Roman Noir), Roman soldiers in costume, prizes and a lot of fun. The San Francisco Mystery Bookstore very kindly agreed to be my bookseller for the event. My goal is really to send Nox off to boarding school with the best karma possible, and I'm lucky to have so many friends in town for the RWA conference and attending the party. My other goal is to try to avoid incriminating photos.

And Saturday, August 2nd, the party continues at M is for Mystery in San Mateo, California ... at my first reading/signing/Q&A.

Fortunately, many of my friends have been through this already, so I learned a few tips:

Check your teeth for spinach.
Make sure your fly is zipped.
Bring kleenix.
Musical instruments help (I'm bringing my harmonica).

Yeah, I'm nervous ... what if no one shows up? I can talk to myself (hey, I'm a Gemini!) but I run out of questions pretty quickly. So if you're around at 2 PM, stop in and say hello!

August is going to be busy ... I've got a number of events and a signing tour jog up to my home state, Washington, at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop and in Portland at Murder by the Book. Plus, I'm finishing up a new novel.

But as soon as I can peel myself off the ceiling, where I've been floating, I'll be back on the noir track.

And in the meantime, watch Gilda. It's as good as you remember.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The New York Minute

Forgive the decidedly un-noirish tones of excitement and exultation, but ...

I'm back from New York and Thrillerfest!

Three days until NOX DORMIENDA is released into the wild!

And I'm taking a blog tour to celebrate ... first stop the fabulous Jungle Red Writers, where the gorgeous and wonderful Hank Phillippi Ryan is my hostess.

Tomorrow I'll be hanging out with my favorite Working Stiffs, and on Friday visiting the BookBitch, where you can win a bunch of terrific thrillers ... I'm thrilled to have my own book included in their company. :)

More blogs to come soon ...

So for now, I'll leave you with a little about Thrillerfest ... and it was so great, so glamorous, so amazing, that I still feel like Leslie Ann Warren in the TV version of Cinderella I grew up with. :)

Everything from January 17, 2007 (my publishing news date) until now seems like a blur ... particularly the last few days in The City, which clicked by like the proverbial NY minute.

Thrillerfest ... the generosity and support ITW has given its Debut Authors is, well, incredible. I mean it. Telling Liz Berry and Kathleen Antrim how I felt about it made me get choked up.

Talking about James M. Cain with the father of the modern thriller, David Morrell. Thanking the wonderful James Rollins and Gayle Lynds and Vicki Hinze for their generous blurbs about NOX. Spending some time with the amazing, warm and wonderful Hank Phillippi Ryan. Sharing a drink with one of my favorite Brits, David Hewson. Getting a chance to thank Lee Child for his mentorship of the program, and M.J Rose for her marketing advice to us, and Joe Moore for being the best web editor around. Sharing a panel with Lynn Sholes and David Liss and Laura Joh Rowland and Doug Abrams and William Martin and Christine Kling.

And hooking up with old friends and Facebook friends and Alaska Bouchercon buddies ... I could fill this entire blog with nothing but names of the wonderful people who are a part of this industry. The very BEST thing about being a writer. :) Meeting Meredith Anthony, charming and hilarious, and the dashing Craig Reed ... taking an overpriced town car (and loving it) to Borders, to see friends and writers Laura Benedict, Michelle Gagnon, Laura Caldwell, Alex Sokoloff, Tim Maleeny, JT Ellison, Shane Gericke, and Mario Acevedo and hear Lee Child's wit in introducing them all.

Hanging out with the wonderful Brent Ghelfi and his gorgeous and wonderful wife Lisa; chatting with the terrific and talented Allison Brennan; sitting at my signing post with the amazing R.L. Stine (and now I know what the R.L. stands for!)

You see what I mean?

Amongst all the specialness was the Debut Author bonding ... both with this year's "class" and next year's. These guys are my colleagues, my team, a close-knit group of classmates. And already I can't wait for the reunions. :)

Here's a Publisher's Weekly link with a photo after the Debut Author Breakfast on Saturday morning. And a shout out to my buds!!

Speaking of media, that was a little dreamlike, too. I did a video interview with Wilda Williams, fiction editor of Library Journal, after the Debut Author breakfast. Hung out with Maria Schneider, the fabu editor of Writer's Digest, in the bar after the banquet (here's a link to a WD newsletter with a picture of me and Raffi Yassayan, fellow debut writer and all-around adorable man). Hooked up with the amazing Jeff Ayres, LJ reviewer and media guru.

So before I start floating off of the floor again, I'd better close ... thanks for reading, and I hope you can join me on one or more locations for the blog tour!

Sunday, July 6, 2008


You remember that hourglass in the Wizard of Oz, with Margaret Hamilton in green, cackling behind it?

Well, I'm watching it trickle away madly, to two dates of major importance, at least to me: July 18th, my official debut date, and August 1st, the day of my launch party at Bourbon and Branch, the famed and fabulous San Francisco speakeasy. It'll be continued the next day--all good parties always run over--at M is for Mystery in San Mateo, CA.

And before these two events, I've got Thrillerfest in just a few days ... my first conference in the Big Apple! I'm on a panel on Saturday, July 12 (Real or Imagined: Historical Thrillers), and am one of the ITW Debut Authors this year -- things will be very busy, but it shouldn't be any other way in NYC.

All this is one way of saying that my life is now in overdrive, and I haven't been able to write a proper blog. So here are a couple of links to other places where I've been talking lately:

The Big Thrill Interview:
Gumshoe Review:
Writer's Digest Notable Debut:

There are more guest blogs on the way, but I do promise to come back as soon as I can and write about a juicy noir.

I've also got an article in the current issue of Mystery Scene. And it's an absolute honor to be there and in the above magazines and e-zines, so I hope you check them out.

And remember:

"Never Surrender, Dorothy!" ;)