Thank you for visiting Jagged Edge Reviews. We have a lot of exciting reviews, guest posts, cover reveals and book blitz coming up! I apologize we are going through a bit of a change as we have been away for a short time but we are getting back into the swing of things! Just getting a bit organized again, please be patient.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday Madness

Guy's not Monday and I do apologize. I did have a video but their is no way you nor I want to wait for it to load. Plus it was a bunch of bull. Life is crazy and I just feel like quitting I hope Y'all understand I ain't going no where. But there may be a slight break in there some where. I have already started and I'm thinking of just keeping at it. There are days when I have no energy and do nothing then there are days I just feel like reading others. I just want to talk with y'all and work on this. Trust me I am working my hardest, and if any one would like to help out I would love them forever. But yeah. Everything's crazy i'm just trying to keep up. I will have a lot of reviews posting everyday because I finished a lot of books. Have a great day!

Heart of The Witch

Author: Alicia Dean
Series: ---
Publisher: Love SpellPublication Date: December 2009
Rate: 5



Summary: A beautiful young witch must choose between maintaining the anonymity of her coven and trusting the detective who would bring a heartless serial killer to justice.


Review: Cute, flirty. And painful. I Love all the point of views and the crazy amount of action. This book goes non stop impossible to put down. The characters are strong and right away theres connections. Raven is awesome. Although she has a fight within her self between good and evil. Like many people have. This is a must read. Very addicting.

High School Heroes

Author: James Mascia
Series: High School Heroes
Publisher: L & L Dreamspell
Publication Date: August 29, 2010
How Received: For Review
Rate:5

 
Summary: (as quoted from Amazon)What if...you discovered you had the ability to read minds? What would you do with that power? On Christine Carpenter's first day of her sophomore year at Thomas Jefferson High School she makes a startling discovery. She can hear peoples' thoughts. After convincing herself she's not going crazy, Chris must learn to control her amazing mind-reading ability. Using her power she quickly realizes her crush, the captain of the football team, is also blessed with a special ability. She is soon sucked into a world she never thought possible when two more of her classmates, and a teacher, turn out to have powers as well. What are they meant to do with their special gifts that can either help, or harm others? Christine soon finds out when a monster, lurking in the depths of her school, threatens to murder the student population. When it becomes apparent that the creature is someone she knows, she must decide whether to try and save him, or destroy the beast. If she chooses destruction, can she live with the consequences?
 
My thoughts:
Let me just say that James Mascia's writing and storytelling is amazing. He was able to make me feel conflicted about the characters, especially protagonist Christine. When she first starts to develop her mind reading and mind controlling abilities, Christine tries to ignore them. Then, when she finally embraces her powers, it goes to her head. At points in the book I felt like she was too selfish using her superhero powers for her own personal gain, and at other times I completely understood that she really didn't mean to be that selfish; she was just trying to do the right thing. Ethan was a really awesome character, as he wants to use his powers to help others, and is continually attempting to get Christine to think like him. Suprisingly, I really liked Savanah. At first, her stuck up attitude makes you think she's just another snotty character, when really she is very nice. High School Heroes is a book that will keep you guessing until the very end, and if your looking for a novel that is full of suprises and adventure, I would definitely reccomend picking up High School Heroes today!!
5/5
~Moujnir

Interview with James mascia

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
No. :] Just kidding.

I am both a writer and a teacher. I have a bachelors degree in Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz and a masters degree in Education from Dowling College. Though I was born in New York, I currently live in Maryland, where I teach high school and college. Now, that’s all for the boring stuff.

I love superheroes, and have ever since I am a little kid. I love movies, and pretty much go to see one at least once a week. I write just about every day after school is out, coming up with insane new adventures for the characters I’ve created. I love to joke around and am very sarcastic, which comes out in some of the characters in the stories I write.

How excited were you when you first received a publish copy?
So excited that I don’t think I could put it into words. It came in a large box from my publisher with 25 copies of High School Heroes. Also packaged was a poster with the book’s cover on it, and some other little goodies my publisher decided to throw in. It was such a great feeling to see I’d finally accomplished something I’d dreamed of for so long.

What inspired you to write?
I’ve always been inclined to write, but as a child I was always stubborn and wanted to be something more exciting like an actor, or an artist, or even a movie director. As you can see, no matter what, I always leaned more toward the creative fields rather than business or technical ones (numbers scare me sometimes). I would like to say I knew when I was just a little boy at age 4 or 5 when I wrote my first “book”. The book was calledGarfield Takes a Bath, and I’m sure if you ask my mother, she still has it laying around somewhere. I wrote and illustrated it. So, I should have known, but alas, I did not.

Then, in high school, I should have known then I wanted to be a writer. Oh, I discovered I wanted to write, but that’s not the same as wanting to be a writer. One fine day, sitting in my school’s suspension room, I decided to not do the work my teachers had sent for me and instead read a book. It was at that instant that I said, I can do this, I want to write things. And yet, when I applied to colleges two years later, I still applied for the art and film schools.

However, like almost all college bound students, I was two years into my school, having taken absolutely no media classes, but quite a few writing classes, I decided to switch my major from Film Directing to Creative Writing. And I’ve pretty much called myself a writer ever since.

The moral of the story is: Sometimes you need to be kicked in the pants a couple of times before you realize your true calling. 
What authors influenced you as a writer?
Kevin J. Anderson. He is most well known nowadays for his work on the continuing story of Dune. But when I first read one of his books, I was on in school suspension from school for being obnoxious in my classes, and I’d brought the latest Star Wars Book with me. While reading it, I decided then and there that one of the things I wanted to do with my life was write. The story was so detailed and left such vivid images in my head that the words literally formed a movie in my mind. So after that day, I focused a good deal of my time creating stories. The result is almost fourteen years later, getting my first book published.

Your favorite character?
See, I don’t know if you mean in my books or just in general. If you mean in general, I have 3, which we can call my own personal Trinity. Yoda, Gollum and Dobby. These three characters are just awesome, and always entertain me. I guess I’m just into the whole tiny Muppet-like characters, because all three certainly fill that description.

For my own characters, Christine is my favorite by far, which is probably why High School Heroes is done from her point of view. Christine has a way of seeing the world that is just so unique, since she can hear the thoughts of everyone around her. She also isn’t afraid to tell people what she thinks, and I admire her for that.

What is your favorite Quote?
“Believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind.” – Data, Star Trek: First Contact

The reason I love this quote so much is because we have to realize we aren’t perfect, and anyone who calls themselves perfect is likely just a bit crazy. This can translate to the characters we writer’s create too. You can’t have a character that’s too perfect, because then you’re just asking for trouble.

What is one book everyone should read?
Well, High School Heroes, of course. It is only the greatest book ever written in the history of humankind.

Okay, fine, I guess you could read the Percy Jackson series too. The reason why I say this is, Greek Mythology is all around us, it’s in today’s literature (though well hidden), it’s in movies and television too. You don’t realize how many stories are based upon some Ancient Greek story. What Percy Jackson does is take many of these old tales about the gods and the heroes, and spins them to be more modern, while not at all hiding the fact that they are indeed Greek Myths. It is a great way to familiarize yourself with many of the myths and it’s a great way to introduce kids to these stories as well. Pick up one of the books and read it. You won’t be disappointed.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Ooooh, I like this question. This kind of ties into the “what superpower would you want” question I always get, because this is one of the superpowers I wish I had, being able to jump in and out of books.

I don’t know if I could choose just one world. I mean, I’d jump right into any Star Wars or Star Trek book. I’d love to visit Hogwartz, but I can apparently do that now at Universal Studios. I could easily live in the world of Middle-Earth from Lord of the Rings, and wouldn’t mind visiting Diskworld from Terry Pratchett. Neil Gaimon gave us the world of Stardust which would also be an awesome choice.

So, anyway, to finally answer the question, if I had to choose one of these. I would choose Metropolis. Yes, that Metropolis. Just for the chance to meet Superman, I think it would be worth living in a city that gets half-destroyed every other week. It would be awesome!

What is the one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
Well, the first thing every writer needs to do is write, of course. What does a writer need? I guess a good computer, a notebook to jot ideas into, and a brain that will do thinking you didn’t know you could do. A writer really needs a brain that can dream. It will come up with ideas for you and you won’t even realize it. So, go out to the store and get yourself a good dreaming-brain like that!

Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?
Yes, I think they are. Before I started writing High School Heroes, there really wasn’t a superhero genre for books, unless of course they were graphic novels. So, in that respect my books are very different. Since High School Heroes has been published, a bunch of superhero themed books have been published. But none of them deal with kids just trying to survive high school (as far as I know).

My favorite authors write mostly sci-fi and fantasy, so High School Heroes would fit in with these, but even modern fantasies don’t generally follow the same story-lines as my novels. My goal in the beginning was to make High School Heroes as much like a comic book as possible. I think I succeeded in that respect because to me at least, the novel is like a comic without the pictures.

What lead you to writing in this genre?
My absolute love and adoration of all things superhero. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men. These comics among a hundred others, led me to say, you can create cool superheroes too. And I think I have. Christine and her friends aren’t in the same league as some of these well known characters, but I think they are just as entertaining.

What inspires you the most when you write?
My own imagination. There is nothing more powerful than (as mentioned before) a dreaming-brain. It comes up with the ideas, and I just put them on paper.

How long does it normally take you to write a book?
The first draft of High School Heroes took me nearly eight months to complete. Then another five months to edit, so it was worthy of being published. A lot of people don’t realize that you can’t just write a story and be done with it. To make it good and publishable, you need to edit, edit, edit. I can’t tell you how much work it was to edit everything. I must have read the story about six times from beginning to end, to make sure everything was perfect.

What are you most excited about this year?
First, the release of the High School Heroes sequel, Camp Hero, which comes out in September 2011. Christine and her friends investigate an old military base called Camp Hero (which is a real place by the way, you should look it up), and they get into something way over their heads.

Second, we have a lot of great superhero movies coming up, and I’m most excited for the Green Lantern and Captain America movies. I’ve been waiting for them to do quality movies about both those characters for a looooooooooooong time.

What book do you wish to see come out as a movie?
(Sigh) Why do you ask questions you already know the answer to? High School Heroes, of course! I wish this book would be a movie in the worst possible way imaginable. There’s only one problem, I have to write a script first! And sadly, I am way out of practice writing scripts, so I kind of have to re-learn doing that.

Okay, other than my book, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series very much needs to be made into movies. Those would be great because it has such a rich and interesting story.
Funniest question you have ever been asked?
In an interview? I haven’t actually been asked many funny questions. So, I guess this particular question I am answering now could qualify.

Now, in real life, there are two questions that I can’t get over, and not because they’re all that funny, but because of how… well, how much they made me want to cry. I teach the 12th grade, and I have been asked the following 2 questions by my students: 1) “The United States has a capitol?” This one makes me cry because I teach in a school that is less than 20 miles from Washington D.C. and 2) “Isn’t there another country inside of California?”I’ll let you think of why this one makes me cry. Now, I teach writing and literature, so do not blame me. I find these questions funny in a sick sort of way, because these students are getting ready to graduate and when I tell people about these questions, it makes us all laugh. You be the judge.

What happened while writing one of your books that you did not expect?
My characters commandeered the book and did things I didn’t ask them to, nor want them to. I don’t know when I lost control of my own writing, but my characters essentially held the story hostage until they got what they wanted.

Do you read the review when they are good and/or bad?
I always read the reviews. And whether good or bad, it doesn’t bother me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and as much as I would like to write the “perfect” book that will please everyone, I am not delusional enough to think that is possible. I’m not thrilled with bad reviews like I am with good ones, but that’s part of the business. All I can hope for is that I get more good reviews than bad ones.

LAST QUESTION:
Was their a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
What is the meaning of life? And of course, as anyone who has read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy knows, the meaning of life is 42.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rhonda Print

Welcome to Jagged Edge!

Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve always loved to read and have wanted to write for many years. Nightwalker came to life because I wanted to see if I could write a book, not to publish, just to do it. I was very proud when I wrote that last line.

What authors influenced you as a writer?

Wow, so many to choose from. I loved Erma Bombeck and the way she could just write like she was talking to you at your kitchen table. There are so many good authors to choose from. I love Laurell K. Hamilton’s work and Kelley Armstrong’s too.

Your favorite character?

From my own book? Leah Wolfe.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I like my life as it is so it would be hard to give that up.

What is the one thing that every writer needs to have or do?

Patience. With yourself, the process of writing and publishing. Thick skin is helpful too. Not everyone will like what you write. Your genre won’t fit everyone else’s ideas. So write what you like, what you enjoy. Write what flows for you and never, ever stop learning.

Are your books different to your personal favorite books by other authors?

My tastes in reading varies but the genre I write is always romance in some form or another.

What lead you to writing in this genre?

There are so many possibilities in the Paranormal World and Romance just makes you feel good.

What inspires you the most when you write?

Everything!

How long does it normally take you to write a book and go through the whole process?

I spent about nine months writing Nightwalker and another 4 or 5 to get a contract.

What are you most excited about this year?

My second book, The Order of Chaos will be released this year and I’ve also just finished a novella.

What book do you wish to see come out as a movie? (of course all authors want to see their movie on the big screen but what other book would you like to see?)

Hmm, good question. I wish I had a good answer. I usually enjoy the books more than the movies so its hard for me to choose. I would, however, like to see Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series made into a tv series or movies.

Funniest question you have ever been asked?

If Print is my real last name or my pseudonym.

What happened while writing one of your books that you did not expect?

My manuscripts often take me on unscheduled adventures. In The Order of Chaos, Joaquin Wildhorse did something totally unexpected that left me scratching my head for a couple days to see where it would go from there.

Do you read the review when they are good and/or bad?

I read every review I get. The good ones have me dancing in my desk chair and the bad ones are a learning experience.

What's next in life for you?

More writing, of course!

LAST QUESTION:
Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?

No, I think you covered it all. But I’ll leave you with an unedited excerpt from THE ORDER OF CHAOS, releasing soon at LiquidSilverBooks.com

Thanks for having me on Jagged Edge! It’s been fun!

EXCERPT:

 He turned me around and melted me with a look that skimmed me from the top of my head to the toes of the stiletto heels that I still wore. I started to kick the shoes off but he stopped me. “Leave those on.” His voice grew deeper, sultry.
I did a little spin that would make any runway model proud. He grabbed me and tossed me onto the bed while we laughed. “Yes, definitely keep the shoes on.”
You owe me.” I reminded him.
He stripped off my jeans and flipped me onto my stomach. He began caressing my neck, my shoulders, then further south; alternating between gentle sweeps of his hands and a firmer kneading motion that sprang Goosebumps from my body. I felt the bra strap come undone before his hands slid to the flimsy piece of elastic of my panties. His fingers trailed them down my legs until he removed them completely. Then those magic fingers began caressing their way up my legs, teasing the tender skin on the back of my knees and inner thighs. I heard the Velcro of my holster tear away and felt the weight of my pistol lift off my waist. “Nightstand.” He murmured knowing that I felt more secure if I knew where my weapons were. Then his mouth blazed molten lava on my thighs and I forgot all about weapons.



Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hard days knight


Summer Reading
By John G. Hartness

I’m going to take a break from talking about myself to give a little back to the world this Memorial Day Weekend. Yeah, whatever, I know it’s a load of crap. Since this weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, I thought I’d talk about books I’m really looking forward to reading this summer, and give you a few tips on books you might not be familiar with, but desperately need to own.

First off, Book 3 in my series The Black Knight Chronicles comes out this summer, late June or early July, and everyone who’s enjoyed Hard Day’s Knight or the sequel, Back in Black, should jump on that. And pay close attention, because the ebook will debut at $.99 for no more than two weeks, then the price goes up to the regular digital price of $3.99.

Okay, shameless plug mode OFF. Kevin Hearne’s first Iron Druid novel, Hounded, was one of the best things I’ve read in the past couple of months. The next two books in the series, Hexed and Hammered, will be released in June and July respectively. I thought Hounded was incredibly original, with characters that I want to see more of and action that kept me frantically turning the virtual pages on my kindle. I’m really, really looking forward to these.

July is going to be a busy month for new releases, with another sequel hitting my virtual shelves in Kalayna Price’s Grave Dance. Grave Dance is the sequel to the first Alex Craft novel, Grave Witch. Again, it’s the characters that make me want to read more. Alex is a delightfully fallible heroine who nonetheless manages to survive situations that really should have gotten her killed. I love me some Kalayna, and plan on picking this up in paperback and digital editions, because I still haven’t figured out how to get someone to autograph my kindle editions!

Act of Will by A.J. Hartley isn’t a new book, but since I just finished the first Will Hawthorne book yesterday, it’s new to me. I’ll probably buy this one this weekend (not that I’m going to have much reading time, since I have a BUNCH of Knight Moves to get written over the holiday). Will Hawthorne is the most unrepentant rapscallion I’ve fallen in love with in a book since Prince Kheldar in The Belgariad. Hartley’s encyclopedic knowledge of Elizabethan England and the theatre comes across in the first book, and since I’ve been a theatre geek for 20+ years, I loved having a protagonist that was one of “my people.”

Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan was one of my favorite indie books of 2010, and I’ve already downloaded the sequel, Tommy Nightmare. I did think the ending of Jenny Pox got a hair too deus ex machina for my tastes, but the rest of the book was so well-crafted that I let it slide. Again, great characters keep me coming back for more. I want to know how the main character from Jenny Pox manages to adapt to a world where she may not be the pariah she’s always been. Or maybe it’s worse!

That’s a few of the things I’m really looking forward to reading in the upcoming weeks and months, as well as a rumored Hollowland sequel from Amanda Hocking, more Pagan books by Andrew Chapman, more Heretic books by Joseph Nassise and finishing up the Half-Orc series by David Dalglish. What are you reading this summer? Besides The Black Knight Chronicles, of course ?
John G. Hartness is a recovering theatre geek who likes loud music, fried pickles and cold beer. He’s been published or accepted online in several journals including The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, cc&d, Deuce Coupe and Truckin’.
His first novel, The Chosen, is an urban fantasy about saving the world, snotty archangels, gambling, tattooed street preachers, immortals with family issues, bar brawls and the consequences of our decisions.
He followed up The Chosen with Hard Day’s Knight, a new twist on the vampire detective novel and the first in a planned series of at least five books. The second book of The Black Knight Chronicles, Back in Black, landed in March 2011 and has enjoyed immediate success.
John has been called “the Kevin Smith of Charlotte,” and fans of Joss Whedon and Jim Butcher should enjoy his snarky slant on the fantasy genre. His next novel, Knight Moves (Black Knight Chronicles Vol. 3) is due out in the summer of 2011.
He can be found online at www.johnhartness.com and spends too much time on Twitter, especially after a few drinks.




May 30 – Getting Naughty Between The Stacks http://gnbstacks.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Imm 23

I GOT A KINDLE FOR GRADUATION...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Faustine

Author: Imogen Rose 
Series: Bonfire Chronicles
Publisher: Imogen Rose
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
How Received: For Review
Rate:5

 
Summary: Who is Faustine? When Faustine Spencer was five years old, she discovered a secret that changed her life forever. At twelve, her parents sent her to Bonfire Academy in Switzerland to ensure that she received the training needed to control her increasing powers.  

Three years later, Faustine returns to Manhattan. All she wants is to be a typical teenager, at least, one that's part of the in-crowd at her Upper East Side High School. When drop-dead gorgeous Ryker, her long-time crush from the Academy, finally notices her, she couldn't be happier. However, her desire for a normal life is shattered when her father, a prominent sovereign, disappears after naming her as his successor. Her siblings begin to disappear, and Faustine finds herself in the midst of a power struggle. With her life in danger, Faustine must learn to follow one of Bonfire Academy's most important rules: Trust no one.
My thoughts:
I have to admit, I don't recall ever reading a book where the protagonist was a demon.The fact that the main character was a demon made Faustine a really different type of paranormal novel, and that made the book extremly enjoyable. Faustine is a really awesome character. Having just arrived back from Bonfire Academy where she has spent the past three years learning how to control her demon transformations, Faustine is getting prepared to rise to the top of her new high school. But right before she is about to start living a normal life again, she finds out that her demon king father has gone missing - and her father has clearly appointed her as his new heir to the throne. This is where the adventure and action starts. Going through the adventure with Faustine and her friends as they try to figure out what happened to her dad was- in one word- breathtaking. There is a steamy romance, an awesome best friend, a super cool mom, and a HUGE cliffhanger ending. Fun and action-packed, Faustine is a must read!!!
5/5
~Moujnir

For Fun Friday/Flash Fiction Challenge

This month, one of my favorite bloggers , WovenStrands, is hosting a May Flash Fiction Challenge.
Flash Fiction is a short story, usually less than five hundred words. So to work on my storytelling skills, I decided to participate. The following story is the result. Also if you'd like to know more about the challenge, go here:
 

May Flash Fiction Challenge

Today was a Fairytale
 
A mysterious box was sitting on the doorstep. Well, sorta mysterious. I never get boxes in the mail. And this was the box I'd been dreaming about for years. It was a Tiffany's box, except the box was black instead of blue. I'd always told my boyfriend " When you want to marry me, make sure you get me a Tiffany necklace with the key to your heart. And make sure the box is black with a red ribbon- you know I'm a goth type of girl!!!!!". He was the only one who knew about my dream box... But he was my ex now. It couldn't be him. I'd come back from college to see him hooking up with my worst enemy from high school. Angry tears stung my eyes. Couldn't he just apologize? Just come back and tell me he didn't mean it. Or better yet, that he wasn't the one who started the kiss fest. But whatever- that wasn't going to happen. 'Cause this was reality, and my fairytale wouldn't be coming true.
 
        I slammed the door on the box. I was just thinking what a jerk... when the doorbell rang. Great timing I thought. Who could be bothering me now? I opened the door... And gasped. He was standing before me, my dream necklace dangling from his right hand, my black box in his other one. "What you saw the other night, Suna, she kissed me and..." his voice trailed off. Then he looked into my eyes and said "I love you, Suna Mokayoshi. Please forgive me. M-". He never got to finish his sentence, because at that moment I jumped into his arms and kissed him. "I love you too, Adam" I whispered "and I forgive you". And just when I thought things couldn't be more perfect , he asked me to marry him. "YES!!!!!!!" I shouted. Fairytales can come true, after all.

~Moujnir

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paranormalcy

Author: Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
How Received: Borrowed
Rate:5

 
Summary:(as quoted from Kiersten White's website)
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours. 

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. 
So much for normal. 

 
My thoughts:
Paranormalcy was- for lack of a better word- AMAZING. Evie is an awesome character and is truly inspirational. The story starts with Evie tracking down a rogue vampire for the agency she works for- The Paranormal Containment Agency. For as long as she can remember, Evie has been able to see through any paranormals glamour; a talent that only she possesses. Throughout the story, I could feel her lonliness, and her unsatiable want of having a family. Alisha- Evie's best friend- was one of my favorite characters. Her support of Evie was truly awesome. Lend, Evie's love interest was funny and supportive, as well as down to earth, and he was an amazing character. And Reth... That crazy, insane faerie was so entertaining, he definitely added a lot of drama to the novel. As Evie would say, this book is bleeping awesome, and you should definitely go pick it up now!!!
5/5
~Moujnir

OMG

So I made it. I didn't noticeably trip on stage and I have a beautiful diploma to show for it!
Now for the next step in life oh no!

Guest Post with Dave Zelterman

The Myth of Publishing
By Dave Zeltserman

When I was first starting out I believed I needed the validation from one of the large publishers to prove my books were worthy of being published. I was extremely na├»ve about the publishing industry then, and over the last five years I’ve learned quite a bit—I’ve also had every single book of mine rejected numerous time by the large NY publishers, and have instead have had six books published by the UK publisher, Serpent’s Tail, two books by the independent publisher, Overlook Press and two books by Five Star. Of those books that were rejected flatly by NY’s Big 6, one was picked by NPR as being one of the five best crime and mystery novels of 2008, two were picked by the Washington Post as best books of the year, and another was shortlisted by ALA for best horror book of 2010. I’ve won major awards, including a Shamus, I’ve had my books reviewed favorably by major newspapers around the world, and are seeing my books translated to French, German, Italian, Dutch and Lithuanian. One of my books has been optioned for film and should be going into production soon, and I just received an option offer for another book from a producer with a strong list of indie movies behind her. So what gives? If the large NY publishers are truly the gatekeepers of what’s worthy, how come they’re consistently rejecting me, yet my books keep getting significant acclaim? Well, as I said, over the five years I’ve learned more about how the industry works.

Let me talk about a few conversations I had with an editor when he was with St. Martin’s. This editor called me after Small Crimes was picked by NPR, wanting to let me know how much he liked the book and how much he wanted to publish me. It turns out he was only playing me; waiting to see if I broke out with Small Crimes or one of my other books so he could then sign me to a deal, but even still, I learned a lot from our conversations about how the large publishers work. First off, according to this guy, the large NY houses are ruled by fear. Editors are terrified of recommending anything different to someone above them—afraid that their careers could be irreparably damaged if they recommended something that their superior considers a waste of time. Because of that only the safest books are recommended. Let’s say an editor makes that leap and recommends a book that’s different than the norm; they then have to lobby support to try to get the book bought—try to prove that the book has commercial viability. With one of my books—a horror novel—I had an editor at TOR spend six months trying to lobby support so he could buy this book, but the final nail in the coffin was when they had a focus group look at the book and it was decided that the book had some scenes that were too upsetting (imagine that—a horror novel having upsetting scenes!).

I read this wonderful unpublished manuscript—a crime noir novel, The Dead Women of Juarez by Sam Hawken, and I told this editor at St. Martin’s about it. It turns out the manuscript had gotten to him also, and he told me it was one of the best submitted novels he had read that year, but that there was little chance anyone in NY would publish it because it was too different. I ended up recommending the manuscript to my Serpent’s Tail editor, who fell in love with it, and they’re now publishing this book. That’s the biggest difference between the large NY publishers and the smaller independents like SoHo Press, Akashic books, Overlook Press and Serpent’s Tail—the mindset at these smaller independents is to buy the books they love and trust they’ll find a readership, while the large NY houses making up the Big 6 have become all about buying what they consider the lowest risk books without any real regard to their quality, and even worse, they seem to have developed a very low opinion of the book buying public.

Here’s another reality about publishing today—most authors now are given one or two books by the Big 6 to make it or they’re done. It’s almost impossible for an author to break out with only one or two books, at least not without a lot of money behind them. If you look at most of the big names in crime fiction today—Michael Connelly, James Ellroy, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos—none of these authors would’ve survived in today’s environment. They all needed years to develop their readerships, yet new authors now aren’t being given that luxury. More often than not it’s one or two books, and then they’re done.

There might’ve been a time when the large NY houses acted as gatekeepers to what was worthy of being published, but the idea of them being any sort of gatekeeper now is only a myth. They’ve abdicated any role they might’ve once had about caring about the books they publish. Now it’s all business, and nothing more than that. The independent publishers are different—they’re out to publish the best books they can. They do this because nobody is going to be an independent publisher unless they truly love books, and they’re also smart enough to know they need to do this to survive. But with the large publishers it’s all bottom line, and it’s all become very shortsighted.
Dave Zeltserman won the 2010 Shamus Award for ‘Julius Katz’ and is the acclaimed author of the ‘man out of prison’ crime trilogy: Small Crimes, Pariah and Killer, where Small Crimes was picked by NPR as one of the five best crime and mystery novels of 2008, and Small Crimes and Pariah (2009) were both picked by the Washington Post as best books of the year. His recent The Caretaker of Lorne Field received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, calling it a ’superb mix of humor and horror’, and has been shortlisted by ALA for best horror novel of 2010. Outsourced (2011) has already been called ‘a small gem of crime fiction’ by Booklist and has been optioned by Impact Pictures and Constantin Film.
His latest book is Dying Memories (StoneGate Ink).
You can visit Dave’s website at www.davezeltserman.com. Connect with him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Zeltserman/1434849193.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Celebrate

Hello All!

This is one of my favorite days off!

I graduate today! I'm excited!

So I started college at 16!
Graduated high school at 17!
Hit 200+ Followers in five months! You guys are amazing Thank you so much for everything!
I feel very accomplished.
I'll Post graduation pictures later! :]

Interview for BEA Armchair

For BEA Armchair I was asked to interview Tesni on Books and the Universe 


About her:
I'm a teenage girl from south-west England whose aspirations in life are to write novels, play classical music and read several thousand books along the way. More I cannot say, for I'm a mystery, or at least a pathetic attempt to be one.

Heres the interview:

Why be a mystery?  I spend a lot of time wondering about people I see in places like bookshops, parks and on trains; people I'll never see again. I'm one of those people who likes trying to guess things about the lives of others, and I guess I like the idea of being anonymous like that. 

Favorite book: It's a tie at the moment between Notre-Dame de Paris [The Hunchback of Notre-Dame] byVictor Hugo and This is All by Aidan Chambers.
Favorite author:  Haruki Murakami.
Favorite ______: my favourite film is The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and my favourite song is Us by Regina Spektor.

How  long have you had your blog?  
Since March 2010.

How many books have you read this year?  
I'm currently reading Where She Went by Gayle Forman, which is my 47th book of the year.

How do your usually write your reviews? Do you take notes while reading, do you wait a while after reading a book to gather your thoughts on it? etc.    
I don't tend to write notes, unless I come across  a quote I love and have to write down right there and then.  But generally I don't write the review until a day or two after finishing the book, because then I've had some time to think things over that might not have occured to me if I'd written the review straight away.

If you could spend one day doing whatever you want and being wherever you want (withour money being a problem), how would your perfect day look like?  
I'd spend the day in Bath, which is one of my favourite cities in England.  I guess I'd  just wonder around the quiet streets off the main roads, then go to the Waterstones and some of the smaller shops there.  Visit the Cathedral and the area around it.  As long as I've done those things, I don't really mind what I did or where I went after that. 
 Have you always been a reader?  Yeah, it seems so.  As long as I can remember I've loved reading. 

If you had to convince a person into reading, which book would you make him/her read?  I think it depends who they were.  If they were my age, perhaps the Noughts & Crosses Sequence by Malorie Blackman or something by Kevin Brooks.  Both of them write in an entirely compelling way.  Ellen Hopkins is good too.  

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