The Labor Day holiday was behind us. The brutal heat of summer had finally broken. Everyone seemed poised for new beginnings. On September 8th the debut novel, Nazareth Child, officially received its launch into the world.
It began with a cocktail reception and launch party on Friday evening at the Brookside Country Club (at the Rose Bowl) in Pasadena, CA. The longtime, respected Pasadena bookstore, Vroman’s, was there to sell books. Close to one hundred Southern California writers, readers, reviewers and friends showed up to send the book (and me) off into the literary world.
I was honored to see so many of my friends there to offer their support. Particularly, since a number of them have new releases this same month. They were generous with their time and with their praise. And Vroman’s saw their inventory of Nazareth Child disappearing from the book table. It was a night I will never forget; the faces of those who attended will forever be close to mind.
The book launch continued this past week in St. Louis where mystery writers and fans of the mystery genre gathered for the 2011 Bouchercon Mystery Writers Conference. Friday morning I shared the Fresh Blood author panel with debut authors David Bell, Coco Ihle, Johnny Shaw and Fred Venturini. The panel was moderated by noted author Sandra Parshall.
Later that afternoon, I participated in the Charity Bowling Tournament. Publishing staff and authors from Midnight Ink squared off against other publishing houses and authors and rolled for all the charity marbles. There was beer and pizza aplenty. A strike earned you a shot of tequila. The competition was brutal, though friendly. And, while it was obvious we were all much better writers and book publishers than bowlers, the chance to interact with compatriots from the business was priceless.
(Authors: Jessie Chandler, Darrell James, Kathleen Ernst, Jess Lourey, Lois Winston (not pictured), Midnight Aquisitions Editor Terri Bischoff, Marketing Director Steven Pomije.)
Saturday was back to work with a Meet The Author session in my publisher’s booth. Saturday evening saw us networking with peers at the Kensington Publishing cocktail reception. (If you haven’t noticed the common thread here, I’ll point out that every event seems to involve copious amounts of alcoholic beverages of some kind.)
I’m heading back west today for the Sonoma Book Festival on Saturday, September 24th. A number of events in Arizona will follow. Then I’ll do a turn-around to the midwest the first week of October, where I’ll crisscross Ohio and Kentucky to meet with book clubs, speak in libraries, sign in bookstores, and gather for a Midwest party with high school friends and family. November will find me back in Southern California for another round of events, culminating with the fabulous Men of Mystery event in Irvine on November 19th.
It should be worth pointing out that Book Two is in the hands of the publisher and will kick-off another round of madness at some point. And, of course, Book Three has a deadline for delivery of May 1st.
Over drinks in the bar last Wednesday night, Best Selling author William Kent Kruger said, “You only have one first novel, enjoy it.”
I am enjoying it! Immensely! It’s like no other thrill I’ve known!
Kent’s remarks do make me ponder, however: Will it all one day grow old? Will the publicity and the praise and recognition and the camaraderie of friends and fans become “old hat”?
I truly hope not.
And judging from the faces of the Anthony winners at the Sunday morning awards brunch, I have a feeling the thrill is here to stay for a long, long time.
Thanks to the Midnight Ink staff for making it possible. And to all my friends for “being there”. Let’s do it all over again next year.
Nazareth Child is available at online retailers and from bookstores in trade paperback and in all popular electronic reader formats.