Wednesday, May 2, 2007


"Who better to pick the best mystery books of the month than the people who run mystery bookstores?"
And this just in: today, they picked our Jan! Yesterday's Fatal was named a "Killer Book" for May by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. (We've thought YF was a killer book all along, but it's fantastic to have such huge recognition. Check the website above for the whole scoop.)
But first, Jan--take the floor, er, blog.
I definitely have too much anxiety when a new book comes out. Sometimes it seems like even childbirth was easier, but that good news today (the day after the book offically came out)that sure helps alleviate the stress.
This means a lot to me since we all know that the only way a mystery author makes it is with the backing of the independent bookstore owners who take the time to read and recommend our books.
I have Robin Agnew, owner of Aunt Agatha's Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan to thank for the nomination.
HANK, RO and HALLIE, interrupting:
Here's a photo of Robin (left) and Jan! Thank you, Robin, for choosing Jan.

Ok, back to you, Jan.

My heroine, Hallie Ahern, is terribly flawed, which some people like and some people don't. Lucky for me, Robin liked it. She also pointed out something that was eluding me: Hallie was bumping up against a gender bias in mysteries.

Male protaganists were allowed to have all sorts of weaknesses, but female sleuths were supposed to be perfect superheroes. Yuck, I hate flawless superheroes, male or female. Anyway, if feels good to be appreciated. And I also have to thank my agent, Dan Mandel, for pushing me to travel to bookstores in different parts of the country.

HANK, RO and HALLIE, interrupting: Here's a photo of Dan! Yay, Dan.

OK, back to you, Jan.

Mystery bookstore owners can't possibly read all the mysteries that are out there. They sometimes discover your work because you've taken the time to visit.

HANK, RO AND HALLIE, interrupting:
Here's a photo of another great independent book store with a wonderful proprietor Kate Mattes' "Kate's Mystery Bookstore" in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hank's upper left getting ready to talk (as usual), and Hallie is in the front. That's also Roberta Isleib, Ruth McCarty and Cathy Cairns, all moguls in Sisters in Crime, and all happy for Jan!

Anyway, I'm very grateful. And thrilled. And about to go on the road. Check my website for the latest events--and hope to see all of you.

HANK, RO and HALLIE, interrupting:
Congratulations! ( And to find out more, click on Jan's cover--right over there>>>

We now return you to our regular blog.


  1. I'm of two minds on this. On one hand, you could spend every waking minute on promotion, and it would be easy to do, but then when do you do the thing that got you there---write?

    On the other hand,you need to do what you can to promote your book, especially in its early going. As for a pre-pub tour, what's not to like about that? It's like chicken soup, it can't hoit.


  2. Jan, after all of the angst of writing, selling, and then marketing your book, this must be the moment when you say, "It was all worth it." Big congratulations.