Mar 1, 2009

The State of the Written Word


I am having a truly remarkable session of Spring reads. Many are not out there for the public yet and so I'll refrain from going into detail but if the mystery community is alarmed at the state of all things published I need to Reassure readers... from picking up established favorites, to delving into new names the caliber of what I'm reading is outstanding. Bruen, Child, Atkins, Stabenow, King, and the list goes on. New books coming from Rucka, Hurwtitz, Connelly and Connolly are all remarkable.

Not only that, I'm hearing good news on other fronts. Long time friend Joe Wallace has a book deal. It's the story of the girl who struck out Babe Ruth. We're eagerly awaiting this. And maybe best of all... crossing our desk not long ago DARK PARADISE by Lono Waiwaiole. The writer of the fabulous Wiley series is back and has a great story for readers.

And while my fellow mystery fans get ready to leave the Big Island and say good-bye to Left Coast Crime, I'm here in the hinterland seeing the first true signs of Spring. Tim Dorsey is making his way to Milwaukee on Tuesday night. If you're here in Wisconsin come join us at Mystery One. Mystery One also has Barry Eisler ushering in Spring on the 23rd, and of course on the 28th of March Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis will hold its annual Writes of Spring.

Almost five years ago I penned a little column for the first Crimespree, directing readers to author signings and asking them to hunt out their favs, stop by their favorite bookstore to visit and lend support. That hasn't changed. In fact now more than ever is the time to make your way to book signings; Library, Storefront, or a s part of a lecture series, meeting your favorite authors on tour is harder now than five years ago. Fewer authors are touring period and the extensive tour is nearly non-existent this year. Only our numbers at these events will change the Publishers minds. It's on us people, so get to work and find one more event to go to this year than last. And please support someone new. Touring is always long, time away from writing, time away from home. But that first tour can be pretty challenging with low turnouts and mediocre book sales. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

In this time where the base line of quality product seems to be growing, and the community itself holding it's own, it's time for us to give back. So write a letter to a fav author or a post on their latest book for the internet. Spend when you can and visit the library often. We can read and we can share great experiences. That's what we, THE READERS do for the people trying to figure out the industry and the people writing the books in these uncertain times.

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