HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: So a theme seems to be emerging. As one always does, right?
About how we find the books we want to read. Why we choose them. What we need to know. What’s going to make a difference.
You know about that high-priced study done recently which sought to discover the answers to those very questions. One thing it asked, specifically, was “What is the number one way you discover a new book?”
What do you think the number one answer was?
Pausing for suspense.
And the answer is: word of mouth.
(However much was paid for that, I could have told them the same thing for, say, half the price.)
Anyway. But what always annoyed me about that—how does the FIRST word-of-mouth begin? That seems to be the better question. How did the FIRST person hear about it in the first place?
And now--a fabulous group of authors figured out a pretty darn ingenious way.
Michael Guillebeau: We mystery readers are always on the prowl for new things like mutilated bodies, serial killers—and stories we’ve never heard before. So these eight writers put together a mystery candy store: chapters and stories and interviews from eight very different award-winning writers, each writing in a different style and sub-genre. And it’s free for download on Amazon on February 20-21 only.
HANK: See? Isn’t that a GREAT idea? Like a book of previews, just a taste, just an introduction (and a whole lot more good stuff inside) to some brand new authors—and some who may already be on your shelves.
But the participants discovered an unexpected benefit—they, too, were introduced to someone new!
And I asked each to tell you about a new favorite writer they found in the process.
Michael Guillebeau: I’d never read Chris Knopf before and now he’s a favorite. His hardboiled-in-the-Hamptons Sam Acguillo is the closest thing to my two fictional idols of Travis McGee and Spencer that I’ve found in years of looking. No wonder he won a Nero. Thanks, Chris.
Chris Knopf: I found Kathleen Cosgrove. I like mysteries, and I like to laugh. With Cosgrove, you get both. Even better for me, she can really write. Getting spunky female protagonists to be believable and engaging, and actually funny, is really hard, but she does it. A great lark, with teeth (read her and you’ll see what I mean.)
Kathleen Cosgrove: I’m thrilled to have found Lisa Alber and KILMOON. She’s a wonderful teller of stories, drawing me into the mystery within the first pages. Her richly drawn characters move about in an Irish setting painted with loving detail. This is both a mystery and a complex and fascinating journey to a place and people that will stay with you long after you close the book.
If we’re talking about wonderful storytelling, then what is it about Southern
writing? I love it, so imagine my delight to discover Larissa Reinhart. Cherry
Tucker, her protagonist, is a lot spunky, a little redneck, and a classically
trained painter to boot. I love the artistic details Larissa incorporates into
her mysteries, not to mention the hint of romantic suspense. "Southern
charm," that’s the phrase I’m looking for!
Larissa Reinhart: Despite the lighthearted, colorful world I write about, as a reader, I love the grittiness of hardboiled crime writing. I've found more heroes to root for in Jaden Terrell's private investigator Jared McKean and Detective Thomas Booker. The fact that I can find these hard-edged detectives with hearts of gold in Southern fiction is an added plus. I'm so happy to add Terrell's works to my TBR pile.
Jaden Terrell: I met Jessie Powell at Killer Nashville and knew she was sharp, dependable, and fun to be around. What I didn't know, until I read MARRIAGE AT THE RUE MORGUE, was that she's also a wicked good writer. She calls her style 'cozy noir,' a great description of this novel, which incorporates traditional cozy elements with serious issues. And monkeys. Everything's better with monkeys.
Jessie Bishop Powell: I found Cat Enright and her author Lisa Wysocky and stayed up past midnight reading THE OPIUM EQUATION. Cat is the perfect combination of badass and plausible, more than capable of rescuing herself from a crisis, but fallible enough to walk into one.
Lisa Wysocky: Any book that starts with, “I only took this job to get fired,” has to be good. Michael Guillebeau delivers (and then some) in JOSH WHOEVER. From a very real protagonist to the Russian mob, the fast-paced writing crackles with fun, humanity, heroes, and hope. I am thrilled to have found another “unputdownable” author.
MICHAEL: And don’t forget that free download on Feb 20-21! Here's the link! http://www.amazon.com/Eight-Mystery-Writers-Should-Reading-ebook/dp/B01A9SBOMU/
HANK: And yes, I wrote the introduction—and so honored to do so.
So Reds, how did you hear of the last new book you bought? Not that you necessarily liked it, just: HOW? WHY did you buy it? Let’s see—I found David Taylor’s Night Work at a bookstore signing. I LOVED it, and now it’s an Edgar nominee. (Not that those are connected….)
How about you?