Monday, October 18, 2010

Bouchercon Report - and ANTHONY award!

I have exciting news - I received an Anthony award for Best First Novel yesterday at Bouchercon for A BAD DAY FOR SORRY!!

It was incredible - everything from standing in front of 4,000,000 people (well, it felt that way anyway) and blubbering into the microphone...

accepting the award from local friend Eddie Muller (who I was so nervous about meeting several years ago that I babbled "I uh wrote uh a book")...

standing next to (hold onto your hats) *Louise Penny* as well as my friends Bryan Gruley and Hank Phillipi Ryan, all of whom are crazy talented...

everyone coming up and hugging me after (probably the best part) to Cornelia actually *crying* (oh yes she did)...

getting to share the moment with my agent, editor, *AND* publicist - yup all three of my ladies were right there with me. Thanks, Barbara and Toni and Sarah. I hope I remembered to say it.

Of course, right after Barbara tried to run off with the award....

Yikes, would you look at the time? I was going to post my pix here but I think I'll just go throw them on Facebook. (Would love it if you'd stop by - I have a new fan page!

Here's one special shot, though: my Poker Club. We got together a few years ago, five terrific crime writers and one newly-hatched wannabe (that would be me) and we had a grand old time. Still do, except that two of us have moved it was a really amazing experience to have everyone back in one place.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mike's in the Year's Best!

Here's a book that's a no-brainer to pick up. Penzler's got an undisputable eye for short fiction, and one could do a heck of a lot worse than Lee Child for a guest editor. But the very best thing about this collection - at least in this humble writer's opinion - is that my very own brother Mike Wiecek has a story in it!

Here's me and Mike at the Edgars earlier this year.

His story is called "The Shipbreaker," and it first appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in the March/April '09 issue.

If you don't want to take my word for it, here's the reviews on the 2010 Year's Best:

"This collection is sure to please mystery fans as well as those who enjoy short stories"--Library Journal
"The 20 short stories in the 14th edition of this “best of” series offer a wider variety than some of its predecessors...While this volume contains relatively few household names, the quality certainly doesn’t suffer as a result."--Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"Penzler’s favor of an eclectic mix of tales that exhibit crime in all its varieties in every corner of the world—and then some."--Kirkus Reviews

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stella's Headed for FIRST Magazine

Sarah Melnyk over at St. Martin's Press is a goddess among publicists. She's been doing an amazing job of finding readers for my Stella books, and today she bowled me over with this news: A BAD DAY FOR SORRY is going to be a December Editor's Pick in the December issue of FIRST magazine.

This is one of those sparkly dream-come-true moments for me, and not just because FIRST reaches over a million American women every month.

Back around the time my son was born (yes, that would be the boy who will be eighteen in a few weeks) I wrote for magazines. I've told this story before, but it bears repeating for any newcomers who've recently come to the campfire, especially writers. I bought myself a copy of Lisa Collier Cool's HOW TO WRITE IRRESISTIBLE QUERY LETTERS (still available - a classic that I recommend for anyone who wants to write for consumer magazines).

I had decided that I would send fifty queries before giving up. In one of those weird coincidences that litter my writing journey, I got all the way to fifty before I received a "yes" - and in another weird coincidence, it was for a parenting article for a now-defunct publication called EAST BAY KIDS. Living in Chicago at the time, I had never heard of the East Bay, the name for the suburbs east of San Francisco - but now I live there!

Anyway, I kept writing and kept querying. I wanted to make my way into the top women's magazines including Redbook and Women's Day and Family Circle...and FIRST, which at the time was a fairly new magazine, one which blended the sensible advice of its established sisters with a punchy new layout.

I never met that goal, but not for a lack of trying. Somewhere around here, I have the stacks of rejection letters from those years. I came close a few times (encouraging rejections from REDBOOK and COSMOPOLITAN), but eventually I was spending more and more time writing fiction and I put the magazine writing on the back burner, where it languishes to this day.

In 1995, if you told me that one day my name would grace the pages of FIRST, I would have been overjoyed. But to be featured there as the author of a novel? Now that's a dream come true.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What To Do With Six Bucks?

I have to warn you I totally ripped this post off from my friend Daisy. The way it started was, I was bored and exhausted the other night so instead of working like i was supposed to, I was tweeting stream-of-consciousness - really not what one's editors mean by "developing a social media presence." And I put it out there that I am obsessed with this product which I read about in Junior's Seventeen magazine:

and I said "there are worse ways to spend six bucks" 'cause we all know that a decent set of acrylics is gonna set you back fifty bucks. So then Daisy, who never sleeps, says she knows worse ways to spend six bucks and bam-bam-bam she tweeted three of them, all pure genius.

So without further ado, since Friday may well be your payday, here are three terrible ways to spend six bucks on your way to the check-cashing store/happy hour establishment:

OXO shrimp tool - $5.99

Marie-Antoinette-as-cat limited edition print, $6.00

Dog football uniform, $11.99

Okay that last one was nearly twice the price, but I think it should be included for sheer horribleness. I mean, look at that poor dog's expression. It just wants to crawl under the table and die of shame.