Saturday, July 14, 2012

Number 22!

In a Witch's Wardrobe hit #22 on the New York Times Bestsellers list!

I've read the New York Times ever since I moved to New York from California, when I was in my early twenties.  Even though I eventually moved back to California, I've always kept a subscription...and I've always read the Book Review. 

To see my name listed there is an indescribable feeling. 

When I first started writing books, it was a lark.  It was so much fun to spend time with my characters, think up story lines, and not have to footnote anything! (I used to write academic articles, which is a very different kind of writing, to say the least.)

But I never *really* thought I would be published. 

And even once I was published, I never *really* thought I'd be able to quit the day job.

When the books were doing well enough to allow me to quite my day job, I never *really* thought they'd keep doing well.

And then what happened?  I look at the bestsellers list, and there's my book, right there in the New York Times! (sort of -- only the first 20 titles are listed in the print edition of the paper, so I'm only listed on line. But still. I'll take what I can get!)

So thank you thank you thank you, all you readers out there who defy the doomsday predictions that people no longer read fiction.  Thank you for supporting your local independent bookstores, traditional publishers, and authors like me who make a living by sharing our stories with you. 

You have *seriously* made my month! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Birthday!

Tomorrow's my book birthday!!! In a Witch's Wardrobe comes out tomorrow, July 3! In it, Lily Ivory goes to the Art Deco ball and comes across a woman who's fallen under the spell of a cursed corsage.  In order to track down whoever has been fooling around with deadly botany, she'll have to call on all her resources --including Oscar the familiar, of course.

I don't have big plans for my book birthday.  I used to celebrate big time, every time...but after a while I started to feel a little chagrined, forcing my friends to celebrate each and every time.  After all, do I throw them a party every time they finish a project at work?

Still, I enjoyed my book release fetes. My very first book birthday was, of course, the most exciting.  I could barely believe it the first time I stopped by my local Barnes and Noble and saw Feint of Art sitting on a shelf, so shiny and pretty!  A friend hosted a huge release party at her house, and we invited dozens of friends. 

When my second book, Shooting Gallery, came out I rented an art gallery/bar in San Francisco and had a big party focused on art-- and wine, of course!

  And with the third, Brush with Death, which is set at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, the Chapel management invited me to have my party and reading right there in the columbarium.  It might sound strange to have a party in a big old mausoleum, but for a mystery writer,  what could be cooler?

Since then, though, I have to admit I've grown lazier.  I do readings  with my Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series, but I haven't thrown myself a huge release party in a long while.  In part it's because a person gets busy, writing so many books.  I always have one book due every time another is coming out, so I'm under a deadline at the same time as I'm trying to promote a new book.

But it's a shame not to take some time, breathe a little, and remember that miraculous feeling of having my words wrapped up in a professional package, a lovely --and in the case of the Witchcraft books, a *glittery*-- cover, and sitting on bookstore bookshelves...where I have found so much happiness over the years as a reader.  I adore reading, and still know the thrill of realizing one of my favorite authors has a book out.
Sometimes celebration is as simple as a Ding Dong and good wine, provided by friends  

So if you're a Witchcraft mystery fan I hope you'll pick up In a Witch's Wardrobe at your earliest convenience, or request it at the library, and let me know what you think!  Meanwhile...maybe I'll throw myself a mini-celebration with patient friends, and thank my lucky stars that I get to be an author.