If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for pre-order.


Monday, June 4, 2012

My First Book Launch

Last year, the Chesapeake Chapter of SinC, my local chapter, put a call out to its members for short stories. The topic? This job is murder. When I write short stories rarely have I written by prescription, and in this instance that wasn’t necessary. I had already written the story, “Lucky In Death,” but I hadn’t yet found it a publishing home so I submitted the story. The submissions were judged blindly, mine to favorable outcome. Judges/writers Ellen Crosby, Dan Stashower and Sandra Parshall picked the top fourteen stories for inclusion in Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder. Bestselling and award winning writer Elaine Viets wrote the anthology’s forward.
Wildside Press published the anthology earlier last month. It is also now available on Amazon. I love the cover featuring the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The cover’s colors are a bit ominous in fiery red-oranges with darkened beach and waters foreshadowing its murderous stories.  

(Seated at left: Karen Cantwell, Harriette Sackler and David Autry; Below-Shari Randall)
One Page More bookstore in Arlington, VA sponsored the book launch, my first, on Sunday May 20th. Because the tiny bookstore lacked space, a nearby events room of an apartment building housed the launch. I think the room used for a book launch is important. The room’s large open kitchen with a long counter was helpful since the chapter’s members brought food, a buffet of sorts. Although a table was used for the buffet, the counter not only allowed for overflow food, but its barstools provided extra seating, which I’m pleased to say we needed. The room’s first floor location enabled access ease, and its large windows eliminated claustrophobia and darkness that often occurs in hotels where interior rooms are used. The room ended in a cozy fireplace (not needed in May) around which sofas and chairs were arranged.

I mention the room’s features because they helped alleviate my fright. Speaking in public usually makes me weak in the knees. The light airy space of the room took my sweaty shivers away. I had agonized over what to say about my story. The one minute descriptions were meant to entice the audience into buying the book—preferably on the spot at One Page More books. (I bought the chapter’s first four anthologies published prior to my becoming a member.) As soon as I sat down on one of the sofas by the fireplace, I felt at ease as if I were surrounded by friends. What I had written came off well when it was my turn to speak, and then the only thing left was the eating, the signing and the talking—all enjoyable—and found that I was at a party of friends.

                                                       Donna Andrews and Jill Breslau

A few years ago, when my first short story was published, I was flushed and embarrassed at signing books. I like my words to speak on the page for me since I’m a private person. Shining in public isn’t my forte. The signing is getting routine now, and I often ask for signatures as much as I give them.

To those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of a book launch, choose the room wisely and don’t sweat it. Enjoy it, and know you’ve earned all the rights and pleasures of being an author.


Warren Bull said...

You can invite friends and family to a signing and make it into an event. Signing with other authors can be a lot of fun.

E. B. Davis said...

I was amazed when my entire family and a friend volunteered to go with me. Frankly, I didn't think they were interested in my writing. It was a fun event, and my nervousness went away as soon as the room filled up--the exact opposite of what I usually feel. Perhaps wondering if anyone would show up was my biggest fear, although at the time speaking in front of everyone seemed more scary. And yes, it was fun.

Linda Rodriguez said...

So glad you had fun at your first book launch, EB! Book launches and appearances can be fun and miserable. With this last book tour, I had events that were SRO and in-store book signings at big chain where they'd done no publicity and I had to wheedle folks over one at a time as they entered the store. Often group events are the best, since you'll all pull in lots of people together.

E. B. Davis said...

Had I been alone, Linda, I would have been totally witless. My hats off to you for enduring that solitary promotion. I've heard of authors banding together to do bookstore signings. That seems the best way to me and more of an event. With several authors at the event, perhaps the store would have sprung for advertising--cheesy promotions don't sound worth the effort.

Jill Breslau said...

It was my first book launch as an author, too, and how tickled I was that friends came! Our publicity must have worked well, because there was standing room only, by the time the authors spoke. Really fun.

Gloria Alden said...

I'm looking forward to that day when I have a book to launch. I'm glad yours went so well. I was sure it would in spite of all the worrying you did. It was nice your family went along, too.

From what I hear, book signings are another thing. Some authors I know have had very few people show up for them. When I heard Liz Zelvin was coming to a book store in the Cleveland area, I thought it would be nice if she had a Guppy welcome her. I only had a vague idea where it was, but took off hoping I'd find it. Her signing was to start at 7:00 and already dark. I got lost, but finlly got there at 7:30 and found she had already left when no one had showed up by 7:15. She'd had a long day and had driven in from Columbus that day. I was disappointed at not seeing her after I'd made the long trip there, but I bought one of her books she'd signed before leaving anyway. I like her books so it wasn't a totally wasted trip even though I really got lost when I left there. Turned right when leaving instead of left.

E. B. Davis said...

I'm amazed by your story, Gloria. I'll not say more.

E. B. Davis said...

Jill, I guess it was standing room only--I hadn't thought of it like that since so many people stand at parties to mingle. I'm glad you had fun too. When I started to write I did so for the fun of it. But meeting people, having to talk in public and signing books intimidated me. Although this is my first book launch, I had signed books before--so that has gotten routine. Thanks for coming over to comment, Jill.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, book signings are indeed another beast. I wouldn't leave before the time I'd agreed to, though, because it's like an open house--people think "I can make that after I do such and such." Also, part of the reason I do book signings is to meet the bookstore staff and get them to like me and my book, so they'll recommend it and hand-sell it.

At those two signings at chain stores I mentioned earlier, I did sell a few books--and after I'd been sitting there for an hour or more each time. The staff told me later that several people came by after I'd left (on time) and bought books I'd signed. I suspect because the staff I'd spent time joking with hand-sold them.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Elaine: It was my first publication and launch, too. I was going to type "the best part was" but there were so many best parts: meeting the other authors in the anthology, having family and friends there, and meeting the wonderful people from One More Page. When someone who works with mysteries tells you that they liked your story, it is a kick! Many thanks, Chessies, for organizing such a lovely event. Hope we share anthology space again soon, Elaine! Shari

Kaye George said...

I'm glad it was such a good time! I had an "event" that I prepared a 45-minute talk for. I presented it to one person. She wanted to hear the whole thing! But she bought a book. Other events have been much better, and some even worse! So happy this one worked out well, E.B.!

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Kaye! Even if you presented only for one person, you got practice and did what you said you would do, which means you have integrity. Would a customer buy from you, or from someone who walked away fifteen minutes later? I think you did the right thing.

E. B. Davis said...

It was so good to meet you at Malice and then again at the launch, Shari. Yes, I'm hoping we share in another anthology too! As a matter of fact, I have my idea, did some research and am working (mentally) on scenes. I'm glad submissions aren't due until fall because I'm having trouble getting anytime alone to write. Summer--love it for fun, but for writing--it stinks!

Warren Bull said...

I too have sat in a bookstore for hours with only a few people stopping by. I don't want to criticize the author who left early but I stayed the entire time because 1) I promised the owner I would 2) I did sell a few books at intervals of time and 3) It comes with territory. Now I can tell stories about it and I have stories about sitting next to writers who sign stacks of books while I twiddle my thumbs.

E. B. Davis said...

But Warren, you're one of the twiddling greats. Now we know how you obtained your skill--we also know while you are twiddling--you are thinking up great plots while watching those other authors. I almost feel sorry for them!

Grace Topping said...

I was there for your presentation, and I thought you did a terrific job. If you hadn't admitted to being nervous, the audience wouldn't have known it since you came off looking poised, and your description intrigued us. I bought the book, and I thought your story was terrific. Keep on writing.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Grace--I was actually going to mention you in my post. Meeting other Guppies is such a pleasure and you were one of the pleasures that day. Thanks for your comments--maybe I'm a better actress than I think I am. ;>)

Warren Bull said...

Don't shoot that bear!

E. B. Davis said...

Bear? What bear? :>)

Thanks for dropping by everyone!