Thursday, December 9, 2010

Best of 2010

Good news... The Cold Kiss made Suspense Magazine's 'Best of 2010' list for Debut Novel.

Here's a link to the press release: Best of 2010.

Great magazine for fans of the genre. Highly recommended.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Four years, two months, and three days…

…since I finished the first draft of The Grove. And now, in less than a week, it’ll be available in bookstores all across the country.

This will be the second book I’ve had published in the last four months, and in some ways I’m more excited this time around than I was the first. Partly because I know a little more about what to expect, but also because The Grove has a very special place in my heart.

Even though it’s the second one published, The Grove was the first novel I wrote, and it taught me more about how to write fiction than anything I’d written before. I’m not talking about the craft of writing fiction, I’m talking about the less glamorous side of writing a novel, like meeting your daily word count, every day, no matter what. Like the importance of sticking with it and writing even when you’re stuck, even when you’re sure that every word you put down on the page is shit, because what you write today can be fixed tomorrow, and it’s much easier to fix a bad page than a blank one.

Most importantly, writing The Grove taught me that a first draft is just a starting point, that unlike short fiction, a novel builds itself in layers, over time and drafts. The first draft is just the beginning, like stretching a canvas over a frame before you start to paint. The real work comes later.

The Grove didn't find a traditional publisher right out of the gate, but I never lost faith in the book. I kept the manuscript around, letting it gather dust while I wrote my second novel. And after I signed a deal with Tor/Forge to publish The Cold Kiss, I pulled The Grove out and released it as an ebook on Amazon. The response was fantastic, and The Grove became one of the very first Indy bestsellers on the kindle. Eight months later I got a call from Amazon telling me they wanted to officially publish The Grove through their new AmazonEncore imprint.

Four years, two months, and three days…

Publishing a book is letting that book go. You wrote it, but it’s not yours anymore. It is what it is, and all you can do is sit back and watch what happens and hope for the best. This is in no way a bad thing. There is no downside to seeing your book on the shelves in bookstores, not a single one, and I have no regrets when it comes to the content of either of my books…

Well, almost no regrets.

I do regret cutting one scene in The Cold Kiss where Zack tells Nate and Sara the story of a farmer, “Just down the road,” who came across the body of a young girl in his cornfield, and of how he fell in love with her and kept her out there, all to himself.

At the time, this information seemed too out of place with the rest of the story, and I was worried it would take the focus off the tense interaction between the characters in the scene. Still, it would’ve been a cool detail to keep… Oh well.

I finished the first draft of The Grove on August 30th, 2006.

November 2nd, 2010 is the official release day.

Four years, two months, and three days…

If you decide to pick up a copy, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

**

And if you’re interested, here’s an early review of The Grove.



Monday, August 30, 2010

Cold Kiss in the UK


In three days, Cold Kiss is going to be released in the UK. It’s already available on Amazon, and starting this Thursday, September 2nd, you’ll also be able to find it at Waterstones, Sainsbury’s, and hopefully everywhere else.

Since I can't make it over to the UK this time, I'm not going to get a chance to see the book in the stores (yes, it's still exciting to see). So, if anyone wants to email me a pic of the book on the shelves, I'd love to see it.

~

Well, my first official book tour is over. I had a great time visiting all the stores, meeting booksellers, friends, and readers, and I have to say that a part of me is sad it’s over. But, I have another book coming out in two months, so I’ll be going out again around the holidays. Probably only a couple stops this time, and all of them in warmer climates (Sorry, but you won’t find me in Minneapolis between October and April). I’ll post the dates and destinations when I know them. As of right now, all I have scheduled is Bouchercon in October, and Noircon in November. If you’re going to be at either convention, make sure you say hello. It's safe to assume I'll be in the bar.

Not much going on right now. I started putting together book #4, but I’m holding back on the actual writing until I see the edits from Simon and Schuster for Book #3. Once I’ve got those done, I’m going to tear through Book #4. This one has been in my head for a few months, and it’s screaming to get out. I can't tell you too much about it other than it's going to be dark (maybe the darkest one yet), and that it all starts with a kidnapping.

~

I’ve had a lot of people come through on The Grove Giveaway, and I want to thank everyone who stepped up and blogged about The Cold Kiss, or reviewed it on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever else. I’ll be putting together a list of my ten favorites and mailing out ARC’s of The Grove towards the end of the week. I am notoriously bad about getting down to the post office, so if you haven’t received your copy in the next couple weeks (and I told you one was coming) email me and remind me. I wish I could send one to everyone who took part, but unfortunately I only have a few copies left.

~

That's it for now, but here are a few links to things that popped up over the last couple weeks.

-Keith Rawson posted a video interview we did when I met him at The Poisoned Pen in Phoenix.

-Vince Keenan has a great review on his blog.

-And Keith B Walters just posted one of my first UK reviews.


I hope they're all as good.



Friday, August 13, 2010

Last Stop... Houston.

The last time I was in Houston, I came home with a particularly vicious strain of food poisoning that kills babies and the elderly and has been known to cause paralysis in healthy adults.

I’m fairly confident this trip will be better, but let’s face it; the bar is set pretty damn low.

All that aside, I'm super excited about visiting Murder by the Book. I’ve heard great things about the store, so it should be a lot of fun. If you’re in the Houston area and want to stop by, I’ll be discussing the book and signing copies at 5:00 on Saturday, August 14th.

This is going to be my last out of town stop on the book tour. I’m doing one more signing at The Bookworm in Omaha on Wednesday, August 18th, but that’s it until Bouchercon this October in San Francisco. As happy as I am about not having to fight through airports anymore, part of me is sad to see it come to an end. I’ve had a great time visiting the stores, talking to people about the book, and meeting new friends. I’m already looking forward to doing it all again for the next book.

In other news, we’re 20 days away from the UK release of COLD KISS, and I can't wait. I was hoping to get over to London for the release, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen this time around. The good news is that Simon and Schuster UK is publishing two more of my books in the next year, so I’ll definitely make it over for at least one of them. If you’d like to download a sample of COLD KISS, you can get one through Simon and Schuster, here.

There were also a couple great reviews for The Cold Kiss that came in this week. There’s a review of the audio book that you can find here, and a very thorough (and slightly spoiler-ish) review of the book here.

Now, off to Houston... Wish me luck.





Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Grove Giveaway

Here’s the deal.

I have ten ARC's of The Grove to give away, maybe more. If you want one, all you have to do is help me spread the word about The Cold Kiss. Blog about it, review it, whatever you want to do to help promote the book.

Be as creative as you'd like.

Send the link, the review, the photo, or whatever you’ve got (along with a shipping address) to john@thecoldkiss.com

At the end of August, I’ll pick my ten favorites and send each a signed ARC.






Sound good?





Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lost in L.A.

Last night I finished the latest round of edits on the new book, so it looks like I finally have some time to post about my L.A. trip last weekend… The good and the bad of it.


To be honest, the bad wasn’t all that bad thanks to friends like Stephen Blackmore who picked me up at LAX after my flight was delayed in Denver for four hours. It was close to midnight when I arrived, so the fact he offered to drive out to get me because the rental car company had closed for the night says a lot about the guy. He also has a book coming out next year through DAW, and I talked him into sending me a copy. I can tell you, when this one hits the streets, you’re definitely going to want to pick it up.


Day two in L.A.: Still no car, and two signings scheduled. Luckily another friend, John Lopez, was kind enough to rearrange his plans and drive me out to Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks for an 11:00 signing, then back to L.A. for a 1:30 signing at The Mystery Bookstore, where I was thrilled to learn they'd selected The Cold Kiss as their August Discovery Club's Book of the Month.


If John or Stephen had been busy, my first trip to L.A would’ve turned out a hell of a lot differently. But, thanks to them, I made it to both signings on time, met some great people at the stores, and got to hang out with a couple friends I haven’t seen in a while, Stephen Jay Schwartz, and Christa Faust.


Stephen’s first novel came out last year, and it's now available in paperback. His second novel, Beat, comes out this September in Hardcover.


Christa also has a new book coming out in March called Choke Hold. It’s her second with Hard Case Crime. Her first, of course, being this little gem.


After the signings, Christa gave me a ride back to the hotel and I got to hang out in the bar with her for a few hours before locking myself in the room to work on edits until my flight left the next morning.


And that was L.A.


Thanks to some very generous friends, and a couple fantastic bookstores, I really had a great time. I can't wait to go back for the L.A. Times Festival of Books in 2011.


Up next: This Saturday, August 7th, I’ll be in Minneapolis at Once Upon A Crime. I get to drive to this one, and it'll be nice to get a little break from crowded airports. Then next week, August 14th, I'll be in Houston at Murder By The Book. I hope everyone can make it out.


In other news, we’re only a few weeks from the UK release of Cold Kiss, and there seems to be a nice buzz building. Here’s a great pre-pub blog post from Liz at My Favorite Books, along with a link to a sample of the book you can download through Simon and Schuster.


And finally, look what I got in the mail last week…








I think this means it’s time for a giveaway.


Stay tuned…





Sunday, July 25, 2010

Phoenix

Just back from Phoenix after a fun, and all too short trip. Had a great time at The Poisoned Pen, and an even better time in the bar at the Hotel Valley Ho after the signing.

I finally had a chance to meet the Arizona crime lord himself, Keith Rawson, who edits the fantastic crime magazine, CRIMEFACTORY, that’s available on the Kindle, and soon in print.

Also sat around and had a few drinks with the vary talented, up and coming horror author, Petra L. Miller, who was kind enough to make the drive into Scottsdale.

Everyone I met in Arizona was great, and I can't wait to go back once The Grove hits the shelves on November 2nd. But for now, it's just good to be home.

Speaking of home, the Omaha World Herald ran a cool write up on the books along with a short interview today. If you’re interested, check it out HERE.

Next week, July 31st, I'll be in L.A at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks at 11am, then at The Mystery Bookstore in L.A. at 1:30.

If you're around, I hope you can make it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Phoenix

I’m getting ready to fly to Phoenix this afternoon for a signing tomorrow at The Poisoned Pen.

If you’re in AZ, stop by at 2:00 and say hi.

And if you haven't seen it yet, check out this review of The Cold Kiss in the National Review.

Oh, and here's the cover for the German edition of The Cold Kiss.





Love the title.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today is the day…

The Cold Kiss is finally, and officially, a published novel. I’ve talked before about how great a feeling it is to walk into the stores and see your book on the shelves, but I discovered an even better feeling today when I went into the same stores and was told they’d sold out and that they've been "selling like crazy," and now had the book on back order. While I’m sure this has more to do with the News Story that ran last week than anything else, it’s still nice to hear.

I’ve also been amazed by all the emails, comments, tweets and blog posts today from friends and strangers congratulating me and wishing me luck with the book. I can be a pretty reserved guy, and I don’t comment a lot on blogs (even this one), but I do read as many as I can, and I’m humbled by the support. So, thank you to everyone who picked up the book, reviewed it, recommended it, or even just took the time to send good wishes my way. You’ve all helped make a great day even better.

Speaking of blogs, the good people over at Do Some Damage let me pop in and talk a little about the background of The Cold Kiss. If you're not familiar with that blog, bookmark it. There are some great writers over there, and you'll want to go back.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Three Days Early

I walked into Barnes and Noble this morning and saw this...










July 6th is the offical publication date, but I've been told that's a soft date and the books could be out earlier or later. Not that I really care, because holy $#@%, my book is in the stores!

If anyone else is in a bookstore this week, send me a note and let me know if you see it yet.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Very Good Day...

This afternoon I was out playing golf with this guy, and when I got home, I found this...



And inside, these...

A very good day, indeed...


And for those who are interested, here's a link to the Channel 6 News story that ran last night.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Countdown!

Five days.

After more than a year of waiting, there's only five days left until The Cold Kiss is released in North America. A part of me still doesn't believe everything that's happened over the past year, but I know it'll hit me the first time I walk into the store and see the books on the shelves... I can't wait.

If you want the book delivered, you can always pre-order it. Here are a few links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Powells


Or if you want the audio book, you can get it here:

Blackstone Audio


In other news, I added another stop on the book tour. This one in Minneapolis at Once Upon A Crime. I'll be there on Saturday August 7th from 1:00 to 3:00 to sign and discuss the book. If you're in the area, stop by.

Also, if you're in Omaha and you're interested, I'm going to be on channel 6, WOWT-TV, tonight at 10:00 talking about the books and the release of The Cold Kiss on Tuesday.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tour Dates

The Cold Kiss is going to be released on July 6th, 30 days from today.

Finally!

Starting that week in July, I'll be stopping at a few bookstores and conventions around the country to discuss the book, writing, publishing, or whatever else anyone wants to talk about. I'll also sign copies, of course.

Here's where I'm going to be so far:

July 8th - 11th, I'll be at the Grand Hyatt for Thrillerfest in New York.
July 17th, Mystery One in Milwaukee, WI.
July 24th, Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ.
July 31st, Mysteries to Die For, and The Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles, CA.
August 14th, Murder By The Book in Houston, TX.
October 14th - 17th, I'll be at Bouchercon in San Francisco, CA.
November 4th - 7th, I'll be at Noircon in Philadelphia, PA

I'm looking to add stops in Colorado, Nebraska, Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle before the end of the year.

Also, if you're in the UK, I'll be in London for the UK release in early September. No set dates yet, but I'll post them as soon as I know.

If anyone has ideas for other stores/cities I should hit, post it in the comments or drop me a line at john@thecoldkiss.com and let me know. I'll see what I can do.

Oh, and Michael Stewart was kind enough to do a feature interview with me for the International Thriller Writers. If you want to take a look, it's up on their website. Here's the LINK.

Friday, May 28, 2010

AmazonEncore Cover Art

Here's the cover art for the AmazonEncore edition of The Grove.





Stark and simple with a cool, old school vibe. I love it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Amazon Encore

—BIG NEWS —

We finalized the deal a couple weeks ago, and I’m excited to announce that The Grove is going to be published in the US through AmazonEncore, the new publishing branch of Amazon.com.

The release date is November 2nd, and I can’t wait to see this one in print. Actually, I can’t wait to see both of the books in print, but The Grove is extra special to me. It’s my first novel, and even though it’s not the first one to be published, it is the book that started it all.

Everyone at AmazonEncore has been great to work with. And let me tell you, these guys move fast. In the two weeks since we finalized the contract, they’ve already edited the book and sent it back to me for revisions. They’ve written promotional copy and worked with me to get everything just right. And if things go well, I should see brand new cover proofs later this week.

Stay tuned…

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My First Review

The Nerd of Noir over at Spinetingler Magazine posted the very first review of THE COLD KISS.

Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cover Art UK

Here's the cover art for the UK edition of Cold Kiss.



Simon and Schuster sent the cover proofs and they look incredible.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Optioned!

I got the news from my agent yesterday that that the movie option for my novel THE COLD KISS was finalized and that it went to Jane Startz (ELLA ENCHANTED, THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD), with Ole Bornedal (NIGHTWATCH, JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY) to direct.

I couldn’t be more excited about this. The people at Jane Startz are passionate about this project, and Ole Bornedal is absolutely brilliant. His film, JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY, is stunning. If you haven’t seen it and would like to check it out, you can stream it on Netflix.

Here’s the trailer.



What a great way to start the year.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On Writing #1: Larry Brown

When I first started writing I wore out my copy of Larry Brown's short story collection, Big Bad Love, and to this day I don't believe any short fiction writer who knows what they're talking about can read it and not walk away without thinking, "Yes, this is how it should be done!"

After reading his novel, Dirty Work, I was so blown away that I went out and bought everything he'd written. The only other time I've done such a thing was after reading Ken Bruen's The Guards for the first time.

This clip is from a documentary called 'The Rough South of Larry Brown'. It's a new version completed after he died in 2004. If you like writer biographies and want to see the entire thing, you can get a copy through Duke University, Here.