Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Bitter Sweet Release

GEM OF A GHOST, the third book in my Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series, just launched. It’s also my 11th published novel, my 14th written novel.
You’d think the release of an 11th book would be ho-hum. You know, old hat by now. But it isn’t. I get just as excited now as I did with my others. The only exception might be the publication of TOO BIG TO MISS, my first published novel. Like the birth of a first-born child, nothing could surpass the anticipation of seeing that book in print and on book store shelves and available from on-line retailers. The first time is always the first time, whether we’re talking books or losing one’s virginity.

But this release is bitter sweet.

As most of you know, Diana James, wife of author Darrell James and my manager, died suddenly on January 10th from a pulmonary embolism. With the exception of my first few Odelia Grey novels, Diana played a major part in the releases of my books. She set up most of my book signings, designed my bookmarks, put out my newsletter, set up radio and blog interviews, contacted reader groups and libraries, and did everything she could to get the word out on new releases. She even read my draft manuscripts and made suggestions. Every book signing to promote GEM OF A GHOST over the next several weeks was set up by Diana, and each one will constrict my heart.

A few literary PR people have recently contacted me asking if I was looking for a new publicist. It seems cruel to me that they are already circling. But, times are tough and they need to make a living, just as I do. I’ve decided not to hire anyone at this time. I will go it alone, as I did before Diana and I hooked up, at least for a while.

GEM OF A GHOST has received some rave reviews, including the following starred review from Library Journal, which arrived just days after her death.

"Jaffarian’s welcome third entry in her paranormal series … sparkles as brilliantly as the story’s haunted diamond. Incorporating historical interest with likable characters and steady suspense, she also makes paranormal activity seem plausible. One of the best cozy authors for light chatter and low-key humor, Jaffarian is currently juggling three series with aplomb! "

Diana would have been pleased. She loved GEM OF A GHOST, and thought it was one of my best.

Sue Ann Jaffarian
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Robin Allen said...

Congrats on the reviews and advanced success of GEM, Sue Ann! And so sorry for yours and Darrell's loss. Yes, bittersweet is the only way to describe this time.

Vicki Doudera said...

Sue Ann, I'll never forget lunch with you and Diana at my first Malice. Both of you were so kind to me, a new author, and it is that kindness that comes to mind when I think of Diana.

Wishing you more success with your new release and hope to see you at LCC?

Shannon Baker said...

I read this post early this morning and just didn't know how to respond. Sometimes life jumbles things up good and bad all together and it's confusing. Condolences and congratulations seem contradictory. Thanks for sharing this.

Darrell James said...

Thanks for carrying the ball for me, Sue Ann!

Deborah Sharp said...

Hi, Sue Ann ... bittersweet, indeed. You were a good friend to the wonderful Diana, as she was to you. It's so clear the relationship was much, much more than author-manager. I'm happy for your newest release, but my heart also goes out to you, to Darrell and to all those who loved Diana.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thanks, everyone. And thank you, Darrell, for letting me guest post today. I'm sure Diana is celebrating the release of this book, just as I am.

Kathleen Ernst said...

Congratulations on the release and rave reviews, Sue Ann, but oh, how sad I am for you and Darrell. I know Diana is smiling and cheering you both on, and part of her legacy is the success you both are enjoying.

rklewis said...

A HUGE congrats on the release, but yeah... it would be very bittersweet, for sure. I think you going it alone for now is a good call. Might help ground you a bit through this emotional time.

Keith Raffel said...

Thanks, Sue Ann. And of course, I agree that Diana was wonderful.