Online Issue 4

TSP cover issue 4


Bob Van Laerhoven has written an original article for us: Literature Resonates

R.G. Belsky talks about his new book, Yesterday’s News

Ann Simas talks about award-winning cupcakes and plotting her new book, Here and Gone

Plus: Enter to win a signed copy of Here and Gone!

Casting Call: Tom Leins talks about who should star in a film or TV version of Meat Bubbles & Other Stories

What super food (or beverage) sustains B.R. Stateham when he writes? Find out.

Feature: Sue Ward’s website, Read Along With Sue

Review: The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon

Review: Wabanaki Blues by Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel


A Word (or Two) on Author Promotion:

categorizing authorsAuthor promotion is a very tough thing. Reviewing and interviewing has given me an appreciation for some of the challenges. One is that I’m getting review copies so close to publication day. I’m a slow reader. Have mercy, people. I need a couple months to schedule things. Next issue I have is a lack of information that draws me to a story. Give me that elevator pitch that sets this book apart from all the rest and tells me I have to read it. How do you stage a mutiny a few days at a time over thousands of years? Hell yes, where’s that book? That’s why I read and reviewed Freeze-Frame Revolution.

And beyond all of that, authors, do you want promotion? I did the math recently. I have a 28% success rate with authors I reach out to for a review actually responding, even if only to decline. And I’m targeting authors I know have books coming out.

So help the festival people out. Let them know what you’re about. And if you can do that with appropriate labels then wear those badges with honor, because that will help brand your work and you have no idea how much these festival people will appreciate knowing where to put you that will be appropriate.


When Authors Don’t Get Their Big Break:


J.J. Hensley brings us some refreshing author honesty in his article, So, I Decided To Quit Writing. I think back to posting that Flashback Feature last week with Laura Lippman and what she said about luck in publishing, and not underestimating it.

Sometimes, people gain a level of success with their work that has nothing to do with them being more talented than others who struggle to get published or stay published. Many talented writers aren’t getting nominated for awards, selling film rights or making anything resembling a half-way decent income from their writing. I was watching The Voice earlier and Kelly Clarkson took her team to meet Ellen. And Ellen said something to them that was significant. She said they had to get joy from singing, not from being successful. Let’s be real, people. Most of us are just going to love writing and success will be a distant dream.

Victor Gischler is cheap this month:

victor gischler sale

Click to buy book 1.

Why am I singing Take A Chance on Me?

ABBAIn case you didn’t know this, I was raised strictly on country music. And I’m not talking about the current vein of country. I’m talking old school. Hank Williams. Willie Nelson. Gordon Lightfoot.

So, when my parents went on vacation one year and my sister and I lived with my Uncle Charlie and Aunt Jacinthe they corrupted us with pop music. And the seeds of a future Christmas argument I had with my dad about how his claims rock music was about nothing (citing Sting’s Russians from The Dream of the Blue Turtles) were planted. It’s comeback season lately, with TV show after TV show, but I do look forward to seeing what new music ABBA has in store.


Did you miss it?

Our recent events article has information about some author events still to come in May.


Our highest trafficked post last weekend? This is likely due to the fact that Joe and Kasey Lansdale are active on Twitter. Good for them – I loved this collection. And I’ve already been waiting for the follow-up for over a month now! (Hint, hint.)