Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anything can happen on Friday, even if it's Thursday night!

ROBERTA: First of all, if you haven't yet started to read the Sisters in Crime blog entries this week, trot right over and take a look. The reports from the publishers summit team's visit to New York are now posted, along with lots of interesting discussion about the state of publishing, mysteries in particular.

And second, if you're feeling depressed about the business, may I present our guest poster for the day, debut author Eugenia (Jeannie) West. Lest you feel there is not one speck of hope left for getting published, read on about how Jeannie won an amazing contest through St. Martin's. Welcome to JR Jeannie!

JEANNIE: Thanks, Roberta, for inviting me on Junglereds. I loved the blog about contests, and here’s my twist on that subject. Several years ago I was a unpublished member of Guppies, collecting a large pile of rejection slips for my first mystery. The biological clock began to tick, so I decided to go the POD route and at least have Christmas presents for family and friends.
The response was amazing. “I couldn’t put it down, and ” I lost a good night’s sleep.” Taking a deep breath, I entered the Malice Domestic contest sponsored by St. Martin’s Press. The chance that a POD book would be accepted seemed miniscule. Stuck the entry in the mail and forgot about it.
Imagine the shock when I opened my computer one June morning in 2006 and there was a message from the grande dame of mystery editors, Ruth Cavin of St. Martin's, offering me a contract for this book and a sequel. Suddenly the wannabe with nose pressed against the glass was a real author again.

As we know, the production wheels turn slowly. Without Warning appeared in the bookstores in December 2007 with a new title and cover, but few changes in the text.
Right now, the sequel is in editor Ruth Cavin’s hands--relief, relief---and am tossing around ideas for Emma Streat’s third set of disasters, and reviving a serious historical ms. (Some years ago Doubleday published The Ancestors Cry Out, a historical/suspense.)
Judging by Guppies and Sisters in Crime, there’s a great support system of mystery writers out there. I’m looking forward to being a ”rookie” panelist at the New England Crime Bake next November. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping up with junglered and hope you’ll let me blog with you again. Eugenia L. West (Jeannie)


  1. Welcome, Jeannie! And congratulations.
    But wait: we want more.
    Where are you from?
    What kind of mysteries do you write?
    What was the original title of Without Warning?
    Tell us about Emma...
    What's the title of the sequel?
    Who's your current favorite author?
    What do you do in real life? (Or, other life?)
    Do you think doing a pod was a good idea?

    And Roberta and pals--thanks so much for the reports from your visits to NYC. I'm fascinated, and riveted, and torn. Do we all think--mysteries are, um, dead?

    I write the Charlotte McNally Mysteries. Should I change it to the Charlotte McNally Thrillers?

  2. No no Hank, mysteries aren't dead. We all know this a cycle...besides, your publisher (Mira) is very positive about selling mysteries. And everyone holds you up as the poster girl of the future!

  3. Great info from your NY meetings, Roberta! I was curious about the relatively new trend toward rereleasing hc books in trade. Must check back on SINC blog to see if I got an answer on my question to Nancy. Do we have a SINC link on our page (I should know..)

    ANYWAY...Jeannie, what's it like to work with Ruth Cavin???

  4. Congratulations, Jeannie! The backstory is wonderful, and I love that you had faith enough in what you had written to put it out there to those closest to you, and that their responses back gave you faith enough to submit it. Writers and readers, at their best, are in such a state of collaboration. Well done! And congratulations again!

  5. This story definitely inspires me! While I don't classify myself as a mystery writer, the sequel to the initial novel definitely has some para-normal and mystery elements, although not in the murder mystery sense - it just affects your quality of life in the US :-)!!! I can't wait to write the movie!!!

    Oh, here's the real funny thing - I was rejected by Ruth Cavin, I think in the mid 90's for the another work!!! Hm... where did I put that letter? Yes, true story.

    Jeannie great, great inpsiring story - truly. All, things are possible and remain possible ALL the time. Anyone who challenges the truth of this - has only changed their mind. Your story is living proof - and, it did not come along a moment too soon for me!!!

    Special thanks to the "Jungle" for bringing this to my attention!!

    Go get 'em Jeannie!