Wednesday, March 31, 2004

And some links for the hell of it 

I don't know what's scarier, to be honest: the fact that the Left Behind series goes on (with installment #12, GLORIOUS APPEARING, hitting bookshelves this week) or Tim LaHaye's face.

Looks like the new surprise UK bestseller is Kate Long's THE BAD MOTHER'S HANDBOOK. The Guardian meets her to talk about this and how she might, just might, give up the day job as a schoolteacher. And of course, that this isn't exactly overnight success:

Her success has been portrayed as "northern lass hits literary jackpot overnight", but that ignores the fact that she has been writing for 10 years - short stories and an unpublished novel. The bulk of The Bad Mother's Handbook was written in an eight-week burst in 2001, though it took her another year to finish it. "I got a West Midlands arts grant for the summer holidays, and I just stuck the kids in nursery all summer - terrible mother! I got almost all the book written and then went back to work. After that, it slowed right up."

It's also interesting to note that this book is published by Picador, the folks that bombared us all with Helen Fielding and Bridget Jones. Looks like they have another franchise to milk for some time yet.

Small presses have to keep up with the big guns in all sorts of ways, and the latest shift is in how they approach marketing. Old: using sales reps to talk to booksellers and hand-sell. New: having in-house sales managers and making the connection between publishers, wholesalers and bookstores far more direct. Will it work? Does anyone ever really know?

Cindy Chow at January Magazine looks at two new mysteries that share something in common: they are set in the world of golf. She puts these new books by Roberta Isleib and Keith Miles in context, as believe it or not, golf has been covered rather well in the crime fiction world.

The SF Chronicle puts their two cents in the ongoing battle between Lewis Perdue and Dan Brown--did Brown borrow plot ideas for his smash hit THE DA VINCI CODE from Purdue's 1983 novel THE DA VINCI LEGACY? Personally, unless there's proof of verbatim passages that echo Perdue's word-for-word, I don't see much of a case for this. Not like 1997's lawsuit that Nora Roberts launched against Janet Dailey, something that still has repercussions in the romance world even now.

Kazuo Ishiguro will have a new book out next year. Here's what Publisher's Marketplace has to say:

Kazuo Ishiguro's NEVER LET ME GO, about "youthful friendships evolving under exceptional circumstances to adulthoods in which the characters' very existence will deny them the experiences of ordinary life," to Jim Riley at Faber and Faber, for publication in spring 2005, by Deborah Rogers at Rogers, Coleridge & White (UK).

If you're attending the Malice Domestic convention that will be held in DC the first weekend in May (that's right after the Edgars, as is usual) the program has been posted. Looks pretty good, though I won't be in attendance.

And finally, Terry has finished the Balanchine book, which will be out sooner than I thought--I think it's a November release date now. He has some thoughts about the process of getting to the finish line that will no doubt strike a chord with many a writer.

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