T Minus Two and Counting!

Most of my posts on In Cold Ink focus on writing and publishing, with lots of advice and not a few opinions drawn from my own checkered history as a former agent and editor. Today, though, I’m wearing my writer’s hat. In two days, A DANGEROUS FICTION (my first new novel in nine years!)  is coming out with Viking Books. I need to share some news about that. If you’re allergic to anything resembling self-promotion, turn away now; I won’t hold it against you. But if you’re interested in learning about this huge event in my life, then read on, McDuff!

DangerousFictionHC_jacket2Viking has done a beautiful job packaging the book. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect cover or one that better captures the spirit of the story. The pre-publication reviews have been wonderful. From Library Journal: “This literary mystery veers back and forth between insider-gossip tone…and genuine terror at warp speed, fulfilling many of the requirements for a perfect beach read.” From Booklist: “Boasting an exciting pace, well-constructed scenes, and inside information about the publishing world, this engaging mystery will attract readers of P. D. James’ similar Original Sin.” Publishers Weekly loved “literary agent Jo Donovan, the appealing, empathetic narrator of this clever mystery from Rogan (Suspicion), herself a former book editor and agent.” PW also interviewed me.

I’ll be doing a few readings and signings in the New York vicinity. I love meeting readers. It’s one of the best part of the whole book-writing enterprise, especially for slow writers like me who spend years at a time locked in our caves.  I hope you’ll come out and say hi if you’re going to be in the area.

Monday, July 29, 7PM:

Barnes & Noble

Old Country Rd., Carle Place, NY

 

Wednesday, Aug. 7 , 6-8 PM

The Mysterious Bookshop,  58 Warren St. New York NY

 

Saturday, Aug. 17 (Aug.. 18 raindate) 3-5 PN

Berken residence, 60 Bayview Dr. East, Sag Harbor, NY

For those of you outside the New York area, I have a special offer. If your bookclub chooses A DANGEROUS FICTION or any of my other novels, for that matter, I’ll drop in on your meeting via Skype or phone. Of course, visiting that way means I’ll miss the refreshments, but one can’t have everything. Contact me to make arrangements,

Right about now I imagine you’re saying to yourself, “I’d love to help Barbara launch her book successfully, but her fancy New York publisher seems to have things well in hand; and besides, what could I possibly do to help?” (If you’re not asking yourself that question, why is that, exactly?) But in fact, there’s a great deal you can do to help, not just me, but your favorite authors whoever they may be. Here are a few things readers can do:

1. Buy their books. Doesn’t matter what format. Writers live and die by their sales.

2. Write a review and post it on Amazon and your favorite social media sites. Tell your friends, too. Word of mouth sells books. It always did, but the internet is a huge multiplier of that process. I know writing reviews takes time, that precious commodity, but it’s one of the most helpful things you can do for a writer. Reviews needn’t be long, literary masterpieces. Just think of what you’d say to a friend who asked about the book, and write that.

Writers read those reviews, btw, and they can be wonderfully encouraging. I found this new review posted for “Rowing in Eden” from a reader named “Kheseygirl,” which I quote here in its entirety: “I love, love, love Barbara Rogan’s writing. I hope her new book, due this summer, tips that balance for her in getting the kind of widespread readership her writing so deserves.” Thanks, Kheseygirl, whoever you are. You totally made my day!

3. Books make great gifts. Not only are you doing something nice for the recipient, you’re supporting your favorite writer.

4. Look for other books by the author. I’ve got five other books that were re-issued this year as paperbacks and ebooks, and if you liked A DANGEROUS FICTION, I’m pretty sure you’ll like them too.

suspicionRowing in Eden coverSaving-Grace510x680p

I have a major surprise that I’ll be sharing in just a couple of days, so if you haven’t already, you might want to subscribe to the blog via a link on the right. Thanks for reading!

Two Cover Reveals

Print books have tragically short lives, much shorter than butterflies.  They are born, they appear for a short while in bookstores, and a few weeks later, unsold copies are sent back to the publisher. Eventually unsold stock is released as remainders, and once those are gone–sold or pulped–the book is out of print.  Only the most popular and fortunate of writers had the pleasure of seeing all their work in print at the same time. Readers lost out, too, when they couldn’t find backlist books of writers they enjoyed.

The advent of ebooks and POD has changed all that, to the great benefit of writers and readers alike. I’ve already had the pleasure of seeing my three last books, SUSPICION, HINDSIGHT, and ROWING IN EDEN,  reissued by Simon & Schuster  in those formats. Today I am delighted to announce that two more books will soon join their ranks. CAFE NEVO and SAVING GRACE  were my second and third novels. Both were wonderfully reviewed when they first came out, and I’m thrilled that they’ll now have the chance to find new readers.

In a few days I’ll let you know the exact pub date, but it won’t be long now. For the moment, I’m very happy to share my new covers, both illustrated and designed by Gale Haut.

 

cafe-nevo-510x680p

“A wonderful novel…vivid…unforgettable.”-San Francisco Chronicle

“From the very first line of CAFÉ NEVO we are in the hands of a real storyteller. Barbara Rogan writes with compelling grace.”-Alice Hoffman

“Indeed a wonderful novel…with richly developed characters acting and interacting… the café and its clients will long remain in memory.”-Madeleine L’Engle

 

And here’s the cover for SAVING GRACE:

Saving-Grace510x680p
“What “Bonfire of the Vanities” tried to be.”-Library Journal

“Intelligent, absorbing…sheer enjoyment.”-Publishers Weekly

What do you think? Do these covers make you want to pick up the book and browse? What do they say about the books?

 

Next week, I’ll be posting Part I of a fascinating interview with the wonderful Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of the Outlander series. This is not to be missed, so you might want to sign onto the RLS feed or subscribe via email through the links to your right.

MY YEAR IN BOOKS

It’s the time of year for lists and gift-giving, so I’m combining the two in this list of novels I loved this year. They’re not necessarily books that were published during 2012; in fact, some of them go back a decade or more  (which shows you how far behind I am in my reading.) They belong to no particular genre, but are simply my favorite ten books among the hundred or so I must have read this year, chosen because they blew me away and sent me scrambling to find other work by the author. As much as we moan and groan about the publishing industry, there is certainly no dearth of good fiction out there. I hope you find some books here that you’ll enjoy reading and giving.

OBLIVION by Peter Abrahams. This 2009 thriller features a brain-damaged detective. It works on every level.

BORDER CROSSING by Pat Barker. I believe I’ve read every book Pat Barker has written. She’s a writer’s writer, and one of the greatest living English writers, in my not-so-humble  opinion.

THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick deWitt. Comic and tragic, a skewed Western.

THE SCOTTISH PRISONER  by Diana Gabaldon. Gabaldon is the most generous of writers, and this novel featuring Lord John Gray  is no exception.

GAME OF THRONES by George R. R. Martin, plus sequels. Don’t start this series unless you have a month or two to spare.

STILL LIFE by Louise Penny. This is actually the first in her mystery series starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. Like I said, I’m behind on my reading. But having read the first, I’m scrambling to catch up.

THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME by Donald Ray Pollock. Set in the mid-1900’s, Pollack’s book has totally deranged killers, a cast of grostesque but fascinating characters and an unlikely hero.

GONE GIRL by Gillian Ryan. Super-clever page-turner about the world’s most dysfunctional marriage. I also loved her earlier books.

THE EIGHT DWARF, by Ross Thomas. Thriller set in post WW II, wonderfully written with unforgettable characters.

THE PATRICK MELROSE NOVELS by Edward St. Aubyn. This collection of related novels contains the most brilliant writing I read all year, and he sure doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff.

That’s my list. How about you:  what stand-out books did you read this year?