Friday, September 30, 2011


Almost there...

I'll bet there's not one reader of this blog who doesn't know my first mystery will be published next April. It's not the BSP or blatant self-promotion, that we're so often advised is a necessary part of this writing life. Rather, it's sharing the pleasures and pain of each step of this process. Maybe some of it will be helpful to other writers just starting out. Maybe it will be amusing to the more seasoned writers, who may have forgotten that first glow. Maybe others will find it just plain boring.

Whatever. I'll continue of this journey, sharing my latest thrill. That of finding my not-yet-published book listed on Amazon. Yes, it's real, although there's no cover showing as yet. And yes, you can even pre-order the book, even though there's
no cover and it's not available until April 3, 2012. If you do order it now, think of the total surprise to find this book in your mailbox. This book you will have totally forgotten you'd ordered. Unless you're still following this blog. Or my Facebook. Or Twitter. In which case, or cases, you may regret your impulsive buy because you will be so tired of all the BSP.

I've found that every step in this process has resulted in another 'pinch-me' moment. The first, of course, being my terrific agent actually deciding to take me on. And then, there was the 3-book contract with Berkley Prime Crime. Really????? Are you sure it's me they want????

Then, of course, came the hard part. Writing the book. I've found there's an ebb and flow in my writing process. I jump right in and rip along, only to reach a point not quite half-way in where the ideas just stop. The plot won't advance. The characters feel stale. My career is over before it's begun. Days, even weeks of being obsessed about who to kill, why and how take over my life. Until finally, it all makes sense, comes together, and the book progresses. The end is reached. And it actually works. I've written two books in the series so far and they've both followed the same pattern. What's that all about?

Then comes the cover conference where the writer's ideas are actually sought out; the need to write a cover blurb; a bio; and then, ask for cover quotes. This is where the teamwork comes to play and it's very much a back-and-forth with the editor. How lucky am I to have one on the same wave length, with an eagle-eye and encouraging words.

Then we're back to the work stage, when the edits come back and revisions need to be made. What makes this process so stimulating is watching your story get stronger and hopefully, a better read for those who choose it from the shelves.

All the while, the next book has started along the 9-month trek to being published. So, when the actual title and your name appear on's indeed monumental. That cover will soon be added, the book will be published, and then a writer's second career begins -- that of promotion. Although, according to my agent, it's already started. Which reminds me, I'd better get Erika's website up and running.

So, we're up-to-date now. Rest assured, no more pre-BSP from me...well, maybe a short note when the cover appears. And you can guess what will happen on April 3.

Are there any other neurotic writers out there who dwell in self-doubt until the book hits the shelves? Uh-oh...I guess it doesn't stop there. Then there are reviews and reader comments, sales figures and the like to add some stress to a writer's life. You gotta love it!

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime

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