I promised myself that this blog wouldn’t be so Denise-centric this time around, but I feel I ought to mention that her paperback hit the same three bestseller lists (NYT, NPR, Indie) in its second week. She was home this past weekend, but left quickly after for the great Midwest. She’ll be back Friday.

Meanwhile, our agent was able to sell the ghostwriting project I was working on to a Big 5 publisher. So it looks like I’ll have a paying gig for 2014, after all. They’re excited, and so is our Author. It’s his first book and he’s really itching to get started. We’re shooting for a September 1 delivery date.

For me, that means hammering out just how I’ll arrange my schedule to incorporate interviews with the Author, writing and research time for his book, and of course writing time for my own projects. Nevertheless, knowing I have a project on deck means a lot, believe me. Sometimes I just look forward to the predictability of journalistic research and interviews.

They announced the winners of the 2014 Derringer Awards early this morning, and my shortlisted story, “Bloody Signorina,” was not among them. (It remains free here for the time being. I hope to publish it more formally soon, with an alternate ending and some other extras.)

Even so, being nominated has been a beautiful experience, and I’m happy to see the work of some of my new friends—among them longtime short story writer Robert Lopresti—among the winners.

Great Launch Week

So Denise has been having a great time on her book tour. The first week of her paperback saw it hit three major lists: the New York Times Bestseller list for paperback nonfiction, the NPR Bestseller list, and the Indie Bestseller list (which is compiled by Indiebound with data from independent bookstores).

All totally huge, and great to see. But the icing on the cake came just last night when Denise’s book was a question on Jeopardy. The category was Recent Nonfiction. It was the $1,600 clue in that night’s round of Double Jeopardy. The “answer,” of course, was: “What is Oak Ridge?” Needless to say, the Oak Ridgers we heard from were over the moon.

* * * 

What’s up with me?

* I have a ghostwriting proposal out to editors; it seems to have been greeted with crickets, although, strangely, we did get a great offer from Audible. We kinda need the print book before we can license the audiobook, but hey—it’s a brave new world of publishing, right? So why rule out a direct-to-audio release? Stay tuned.

* Still in production on two self-pubbed books of mine.

* I’m reading a beautiful literary fiction book called The Man Who Walked Away, by Maud Casey. It’s based on the true story of Jean-Albert Dadas, a 19th-century Frenchman who had an uncontrollable compulsion to leave home and walk all over Europe. He’d “awake” from his wanderings to find himself in strange cities, with no idea how he got there. Casey’s language is just breathtaking. Worth a look.

 

Has it been a year yet? Just a quick note to say that my wife’s book, The Girls of Atomic City, is out in paperback and audiobook today. She’s still on her tour, hitting the east coast today after a few weeks in the west.

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Denise Kiernan at the American Physical Society Conference, Denver.

Here are the remaining dates as they stand:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 7:00 PM

South Hadley, MA

Odyssey Books, 9 College Street

***

Thursday, March 13, 2014, 7:30 PM

Fredericksburg, VA

University of Mary Washington

Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall

1301 College Avenue

*Ticketed Event

***

Tuesday, March 18, 2014, Noon

Oak Ridge, TN

ALTRUSA Literacy Luncheon

Oak Ridge High School

1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike

*Ticketed Event

***

Friday and Saturday, March 21 - 22, 2014, 2:00 PM

Charlottesville, VA

Virginia Festival of the Book

***

Monday, March 24, 2014, 7:00 PM

Austin, TX

Book People

603 N Lamar Boulevard

***

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 7:00 PM

Houston, TX

Brazos Bookstore

2421 Bissonnet Street

***

Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 3:00 PM

Oxford, MS

Oxford Conference for the Book

Journalism Panel moderated by Curtis Wilkie

Overby Center at the University of Mississippi

555 Grove Loop, Suite 247

***

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 7:00 PM

Ann Arbor, MI

Nicola’s Books

2513 Jackson Ave. (in Westgate Shopping Center)

***

Wednesday, April 2, 7:00 PM

Cincinnati, OH

Joseph-Beth Booksellers

2692 Madison Road

***

Monday, April 7, 2014, 7:00 PM

Naperville, IL

Anderson’s Book Shop

123 W. Jefferson Avenue

***

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 6:00 PM

Wichita, KS

Watermark Books

4701 E. Douglas Avenue

***

Thursday and Friday, April 10 - 11, 2014

Boone and Hudson, NC 

Caldwell Community College

Details forthcoming

If you’re curious about reading “Bloody Signorina,” that story of mine which made it to the Derringer Award finals, you can download it free at this Smashwords page.

You’ll be able to choose the format that best fits your device—epub, mobi, or plain old PDF. Heck, you can also just read it on the screen.

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If you are a Derringer Group voter, you should probably read the RTF  version of this story via the official Derringer Voting Group site.

The story will remain free on Smashwords until midnight of March 31, the last day of voting.

Read it online.

Download a free PDF.

Download a free mobi file.

Download a free epub file.

Woke up this morning to discover that one of my short stories has been nominated for the Derringer Award for Best Long Story. The Derringers are one of the top prizes for mystery short fiction. The announcement is here.

Sort of shocked right now.

The story, “Bloody Signorina,” ran in the September 2013 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Magazine. It’s the story of young, spoiled expat American woman living in Rome who acts out, to put it mildly.

Feel really…proud. Considering I ignored my fiction for such a long time, this feels good. Today, cake and beer.

Nominations rock.

My Paperbacks Are Out!

Took me long enough, but paperback copies are finally available of my three fiction titles. For now, you can snag them via my Amazon page. If you buy a paperback via Amazon, you’ll get the ebook for free.

If you’d rather not deal with Amazon, or you don’t want a paperback, well, have I got a celebratory deal for you:

I can offer you a free e-book of any of these titles. Snag the correct file for your device via my Smashwords page, using one or all of these coupons, which expire April 1, 2014. You’ll need to enter the coupon codes when you checkout, then download the file that’s right for your e-reader. And don’t forget: A mobi or epub file will work with whatever reading device you have, whether a Kindle, Nook, iPad, or Kobo. If you don’t have a device at all, you can still read ‘em with the right app on your computer. Ask me if you need help.

Arm of Darkness (short stories): CM87N

The Mesmerist (novel): MJ34Q

Jersey Heat (novel): KH57T

I’m told that these paperbacks will migrate eventually to Ingram and thus be available to indie bookstores. I have no experience in that arena, but I’m curious to see if that actually happens.

If you’d like a signed copy of any of these titles, just contact me via my website, and we’ll make shipping and payment arrangements as soon as my first shipment comes in.

My thanks to those of you who reviewed these books in the past. A belated thank-you gift is on its way.

* * *

Other news: Denise is on the road for three weeks doing talks and conferences, and I’m home alone listening to the creaks of a settling house. Her paperback and audio book are out March 11. If you think you’d like a signed copy of either of these, contact our local bookstore, Malaprop’s, by phone and they’ll take of you.

I just found out this week that one of the books I wrote for a ghostwriting client will not be issued in paperback. The publisher, a Big 5, just didn’t think the hardcover and e-book sales were good enough to warrant a paperback release.

I was bummed, but the client is taking it better than I am. You’d think that after the publisher paid six figures for this book that the least they could do is spring for a paperback. Everyone knows paperbacks sell better than hardcovers, right? And shouldn’t every book have the chance to reach its audience at the best possible price?

But I’m ignorant. This is not how a publisher thinks these days.

The agent brought me up to speed:

Since the hardcover sold so poorly, no bookstore that checks the title’s Bookscan numbers will want to carry the paperback in the store. The book’s just doomed from the start. BUT…yeah, many books do tend to find their audiences after a while, and maybe this one will. Potential readers will have two species to draw from—the high-priced hardcover or the cheap e-book. The e-book’s cheaper than than the paperback would be, anyway. And, added the agent, both Author and Writer should content themselves with this state of affairs because we will continue to earn the higher, hardcover royalty. (Typically, publishers pay 10% on hardcovers, 7% on paper, so when Authors transition from hardcover to paper, they’re taking a cut in pay in the hopes of greater volume.)

So yay for us.

Right?

What do you think?

My Fibonacci book @ Dali Museum
This was a cool. One of my bookseller friends, Caroline (above) spotted my Fibonacci book on sale (in copious quantities) at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The artist Dali referenced the Fibonacci Sequence in many of his works. I love when one of my books connects with a museum gift shop. Their priorities are vastly different from traditional bookstores, and they’ll keep a book in stock long after the other stores have returned them and moved on.
* * * 
Meanwhile, Caroline’s employer, Malaprops, is in the news this evening. This New York Times article announces that they are one of more than 50 indie bookstores that will receive a grant from mega-author James Patterson. 

My Fibonacci book @ Dali Museum

This was a cool. One of my bookseller friends, Caroline (above) spotted my Fibonacci book on sale (in copious quantities) at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The artist Dali referenced the Fibonacci Sequence in many of his works. I love when one of my books connects with a museum gift shop. Their priorities are vastly different from traditional bookstores, and they’ll keep a book in stock long after the other stores have returned them and moved on.

* * * 

Meanwhile, Caroline’s employer, Malaprops, is in the news this evening. This New York Times article announces that they are one of more than 50 indie bookstores that will receive a grant from mega-author James Patterson.