Tag Archive for: Curses Boiled Again

Happy Thoughts for Memorial Day

by Paula Gail Benson

Good morning and best wishes for a happy Memorial Day!

Hopefully, you can enjoy this day with some good reading. I’m going to recommend that you consider some offerings from my blogging partners here at The Stiletto Gang.

If you haven’t already begun Shari Randall’s Curses, Boiled Again!, check it out. It features injured ballerina Allie Larkin who is assisting her Aunt Gully with a lobster roll competition on Memorial Day when the judges are poisoned. Allie is spunky and delightful. The action is fast paced and the food descriptions will make you hungry!

Two of our blogging partners are celebrating Anthony nominations.The Anthony Awards, named for Anthony Boucher,
are presented each year at Bouchercon, and recognize excellence for novels, short fiction, nonfiction, and online presence. Congratulations to Dru Ann Love for her nomination for Dru’s Book Musings and to Debra H. Goldstein for her short story nomination.

Because the Anthonys have nominations for both individual and collected
short stories, they introduce readers to a variety of wonderful short fiction. Following are this year’s nominees, who will be celebrated in
St. Petersburg, Florida, this fall:
The Trial of Madame
Pelletier by Susanna Calkins from Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most
Historical [Wildside Press]
God’s Gonna Cut You
Down by Jen Conley from Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the
Songs of Johnny Cash [Gutter Books LLC]
My Side of the Matter
by Hilary Davidson from Killing Malmon [Down & Out Books]
Whose Wine Is It
Anyway by Barb Goffman from 50 Shades of Cabernet [Koehler Books]
The Night They Burned
Ms. Dixie’s Place by Debra H. Goldstein from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery
Magazine, May/June 2017 [Dell]
A Necessary Ingredient
by Art Taylor from Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining
Sea [Down & Out Books]
Just to Watch Them
Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash, Joe Clifford,
editor [Gutter Books LLC]
Killing Malmon, Dan
& Kate Malmon, editors [Down & Out Books]
Coast to Coast:
Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Andrew McAleer & Paul D. Marks,
editors [Down & Out Books]
Passport to Murder,
Bouchercon Anthology 2017, John McFetridge, editor [Down & Out Books]
The Obama Inheritance:
Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, Gary Phillips, editor [Three Rooms
Read and enjoy!

W. C. Fields Was Right

by Shari Randall

Last weekend, I attended my first writers’ festival – the Local
Authors Fair at the New London (CT) Public Library. To clarify, I attended for
the first time as an author. I met lots of great folks, fellow authors, and
dedicated librarians. And I learned the secret to sales at writers’ events:
Adorable dogs and cookies.
It’s been a month of firsts – my first novel, my first book
signing, my first blog interviews. In each, I’ve had fun, but I know I’ve made
rookie mistakes. For example, at the authors’ festival appearance I showed up
with books. Just books. No cookies. No candy. No dog.
Bottom line? I sold two books. The author with the adorable
dog? She had a constant line of buyers!
Don’t let this happen to you.
If you haven’t written an uplifting story of a dog that
beats the odds, or don’t have an adorable dog to accompany you to events, here
are some out of the box ideas for selling books at signings and fairs from my
favorite writers, the Sisters in Crime of the Chesapeake Chapter.
Sherry Harris swears by a basket of chocolates to “lure
people in. Even though that sounds creepy.”
Barb Goffman suggested that authors offer to take off an
article of clothing for every book sold.
Maya Corrigan warned that this might work best only during
the warmer months. Libby Klein disagreed, saying that this strategy might work
better if the author offered to put on an article of clothing for every book
Donna Andrews suggested that you have stuffed animals do the
talking. During one Barnes and Noble group book signing, where customers either avoided
making eye contact or asked the authors where to find the bathroom, Donna liberated some stuffed reptiles from the
children’s department and used them to entice, er sorry, entisssse, customers
to visit the authorssss. The result? The rest of the signing was a resounding
Other advice? Grace Topping said don’t sit down – remaining
standing is more welcoming.
Alan Orloff said something about offering to wrestle an alligator, but
then, that’s Alan Orloff.

Do you have any advice for author events?

Shari Randall is the author of CURSES, BOILED AGAIN, the
first of the new Lobster Shack Mystery series from St. Martin’s Press. At her
next signing, she’ll be the one standing at the signing table with a basket of
chocolates, fully clothed, thank you very much.

Five Tips for Debut Authors

by Shari Randall
I just debuted my first novel, Curses, Boiled Again! It’s the first of the Lobster Shack Mystery
Series from St. Martin’s Press. Yes, there is an exclamation point in the
title. That’s how my publisher rolls.
As any author who is lucky enough to hold a copy of their
book in their hands can tell you, the debut experience has been exciting,
wonderful, mystifying, and exhausting. I thought I’d prepared by reading blog after book after blog, and still I went into the whole thing feeling like that
toddler at the beach who rushes down the sand to the water and gets knocked
down by the wave. It’s fun but, whoa! What just happened?
So, I’m sharing a bit of my experience here to help any
other authors anticipating their debut, and I hope other experienced authors
will offer advice in the comments. Because I can sure use it.
Some things I learned, from big picture to small, and Why
Didn’t I Think of That?
1. Pace yourself. Juggling a signing, a library panel, a Facebook
party, and a bunch of blogs in one week taught me my limits. Maybe I’d
overestimated my energy level a teensy bit. Especially when I noticed I was
doing everything except writing. Schedule lots of fun, but make sure to
schedule quiet moments, too.

Donna Andrews, lucky debut author, Sherry Harris

2. Be meticulous about your calendar so nothing falls through the cracks. Nobody warned me that there could be – and there was – a writer’s perfect storm. I was doing promo for Book One, edits on Book Two, and writing,
sort of, Book Three. Having a calendar devoted just to writing goals and events was a life-saver.
3. Ellen Crosby shared that at a book signing, it’s a good idea
to have readers write down on a Post it note the name of the person they want
the book inscribed to – that way you avoid potential Kathy, Cathy, Cathie mix
ups. She also provided the Post its. Thank you, Ellen!
4. Do not look at your reviews. Well, do what I did and
designate a Review Reviewer or Review Buddy. This person (thank you, Charlotte!)
scans Goodreads and all those other sites and reports back on when it’s safe to
take a look.
5. Two quotes became my mantras. One is from Elizabeth Harris
about reviews. “You can have the sweetest peaches in the world, but if someone
doesn’t like peaches, they won’t like yours.” My book won’t be everyone’s cup
of tea. And that’s okay.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” This quote from Theodore
Roosevelt is my mantra as I learn about other author’s sales and reviews. I’m
lucky enough to have published a book and held it in my hands, and I’ve received great reviews and kindnesses from fellow authors. For all that I am so grateful and I can’t wait to pay it forward.
Authors, any advice to share for newly published authors?