Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today, over 300 bloggers, including bestsellers, Emmy winners, movie makers, and publishing houses have come together to talk about THE LIAR'S DIARY by Patry Francis. I am very proud to be one of them. Why? To give the book the attention it deserves on its release day while Patry takes the time she needs to heal from cancer. So I'm blogging for a good book, AND a good cause, all at once.

There's a marvellous video on Youtube you should check out, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD31Ip3y3Gk

And what you need to know about the book is in the press release:

When new music teacher Ali Mather enters Jeanne Cross’s quiet suburban life, she brings a jolt of energy that Jeanne never expected. Ali has a magnetic personality and looks to match, drawing attention from all quarters. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities THE LIAR’S DIARY (Plume / February 2008 / ISBN 978-0-452-28915-4 / $14.00) is the story of Ali and Jeanne’s friendship, and the secrets they both keep.

Jeanne’s secrets are kept to herself; like her son’s poor report card and husband’s lack of interest in their marriage. Ali’s secrets are kept in her diary, which holds the key to something dark: her fear that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. While their secrets bring Jeanne and Ali together, it is this secret that will drive them apart. Jeanne finds herself torn between her family and her dear friend in order to protect the people she loves.

A chilling tour of troubled minds, THE LIAR’S DIARY questions just how far you’ll go for your family and what dark truths you’d be willing to admit—even to yourself.

Patry Francis is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize whose work has appeared in the Tampa Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and the American Poetry Review. She is also the author of the popular blogs, simplywait.blogspot.com and waitresspoems.blogspot.com. This is her first novel. Please visit her website at www.patryfrancis.com.

Praise for THE LIAR’S DIARY:

“Twists and turns but never lets go.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

“A quirky, well-written and well-constructed mystery with an edge.”—Publishers Weekly

“Outright chilling.”—New York Daily News

“Genuinely creepy…The unlikely friendship between a small-town school secretary and a flamboyant teacher proves deadly in this psychological murder mystery.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A twisting ride full of dangerous curves and jaw-dropping surprises. This is one of my favorite reads of the year!”—Tess Gerristen, bestselling author of The Mephisto Club

“Francis draws and tense and moody picture of the perfect home and family being peeled back secret by secret…Four Stars.”—Romantic Times

By Patry Francis
Plume Paperbacks / February 2008 / $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-452-28915-4
Readers Guide available at www.penguin.com

Patry's website is http://www.patryfrancis.com/ and the amazon link for her book is http://www.amazon.com/Liars-Diary-Patry-Francis/dp/0452289157/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1201389693&sr=1-1

DON'T waste your time or hers focusing on her health. Just go to Amazon and order her great book. That's the support we writers really crave. Your kindness now could help save Another Writer's Life.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I’M EVERY WRITER…you’re all in me

When I began this blog I promised to make it personal and talk about what was going on in my writing life. I figure that will involve sharing the actual metrics – how many words written, events attended, submissions made – but that data will require some context. What kind of writer am I? Well actually, I’m all kinds.

I am a Print on Demand author. Two of my novels were first published by a POD publisher and they still have the nonfiction book they asked me to write. It was a how-to on marketing POD fiction. Selling POD books is different, mostly because most booksellers don’t want to stock them. I’ve made no effort to sell this thing, but it has sold steadily and I still get letters from readers about how helpful it has been.

I am also self-published, or rather wife-published which most people take as the same thing. My lovely wife Denise publishes five of my novels under the Intrigue Publishing imprint with greater success than I would have expected. My first project for this year is to update and rewrite my marketing book for all fiction writers, and Denise will publish that new volume.

I am a small press author too. Echelon Press picked up “Blood and Bone,” the flagship of my Hannibal Jones mystery series, and the power of their distribution has made it easy to get all my books into the major chains.

And finally, I’m a mainstream hopeful. My efforts promoting my writing helped me get the attention, and representation, of a New York agent. Susan Gleason is presenting my manuscripts to big-name publishers. A part of me believes it’s only a matter of time before Ballantine or Penguin Books recognizes the value of my work. The rest of me is not willing to wait for that recognition, and really enjoys signing books at various events and receiving those e-mails filled with praise.

So you see, no matter what kind of writer you are, no matter how you choose to be published, I can relate.

Oh, and as for the metrics: I’m 117 pages into the final edit of the 164 page how-to, tentatively titled “Successfully Marketing your Novel in the 21st Century.”

Then next Hannibal Jones mystery doesn’t even have a working title, but I’m 27, 072 words into its first draft.

I’ve started the Northern Virginia chapter of the Virginia Writers Club and today we held our third monthly meeting after receiving our charter. I want to make this chapter grow and make it an engine for promoting the work of all its members.

Now you can track my progress… and I’m committed. To you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Communication is the key - by Denise Camacho

For those of you that are writer spouses, like me, then you have probably asked yourself if there is anything you can do to help your writer achieve their writing dreams. Of course there are also those of you who could care less and just wish your writer would be a little quieter when they suddenly wake in the middle of the night and make a beeline for the computer to get their latest ideas in ink before they lose them.

I actually think I have some helpful information for both of you.

For those that want to help you should first decide how much help you want to give. Make sure that you don’t try to do too much. You don’t want to cause conflict between the two of you, so whatever you commit to do make sure you can complete the task.

Let’s take phone calls for instance. You can commit to making 3 phone calls to bookstores a week to help book signings. Austin has become very good at not asking me about whether or not I have completed my task throughout the week. He always waits until my deadline is close, then he’ll ask about it. If I haven’t done it yet it usually motivates me to get it done right away so I don’t have to listen to the “if you couldn’t do it why didn’t you just tell me”...I hate letting him down and feel guilty when I haven’t lived up to my end of the bargain.

Like any relationship communication is key. If you get half way through a project and decide that you just can’t do it, don’t wait, tell them so you can plan another way to accomplish the goal together.

Now for those of you who don’t want to actually be involved in the business end of your writer that doesn’t mean you don’t care, just that you have no interest in the business side. You can certainly help just by being supportive. Be a good supporter by allowing them to do what they have to do...write. Give them the space and time to be creative. And don’t be afraid to communicate with them about what you need too.

Writers write. That’s what drives them. It is what makes them who they are. They write because they have to. And it is part of why you love them. If you can’t accept that part of them then you probably shouldn’t be with them in the first place.

First and foremost this is a partnership and unless you just can’t stand your spouse you want them to succeed. Hopefully you can communicate with each other to make this a workable partnership. Like all relationships, it takes commitment and communication.

Good luck and feel free to drop me a line if you have comments or just want to chat about ways to improve the partnership.


Sunday, January 13, 2008


At book signings, negative people and the idly curious sometimes ask me, “With so many writers out there, what makes you think you’ll be a success?” Positive people and aspiring authors often ask me who my inspirations are in the business. Today I might be able to answer both those questions.

First, we need to define success. To me that doesn’t mean a big name publisher or the New York Times bestseller list or a million dollar advance. It’s a contract with a publisher that earns me enough money to quit my Clark Kent job and requires me to deliver a new book next year. In other words, success for me is a writing career. Oh, and I’d like a wide audience to be familiar with my creation, Hannibal Jones.

So, while I greatly admire Nelson Demille and Clive Cussler, David Morrell and James Patterson, the guys who inspire me are writers like Thomas E. Sniegoski, Jim Butcher and Jeff Lindsay. You may never have heard of any of them, and none of them is regularly camped out on the NY Times bestseller list.

Tom Sniegoski had a cool idea: a young adult series about a teenager who learns he is a Nephilim - the son of a mortal woman and a fallen angel. A publisher called Pulse published “The Fallen” in 2003 to warm enough reviews to give Tom’s series at least 3 more tries. Sales of the novels didn’t make him rich or get him on best seller lists. BUT, somebody saw the beauty in his characters and concept. Last year ABC Family aired a mini-series based on the series that didn’t insult either one.

Jim Butcher had a cool idea: a hardboiled private eye who was also a wizard -sort of Harry Potter grown up, living in a world very much like our own. A publisher called Roc put out “Storm Front” in 2000. Again, no best seller list and no one got rich, but the book found a readership and Roc has kept Butcher working steadily with the 10th book in the series due this year. And SOMEBODY saw the beauty in the concept and the Harry Dresden character because Sci-Fi aired 13 episodes of “The Dresden Files” last year.

Jeff Lindsay had a cool idea: A first person series about a serial killer, from the killer’s point of view. Vintage apparently published “Darkly Dreaming Dexter” in 2001 (although publishing history is murky) to very satisfying reviews but not instant best seller status. Still, everyone agreed it was a great book and two sequels followed. Again someone realized the charm of both the concept and the character. The Showtime drama “Dexter” exploded onto the screen in 2006 and was instantly recognized as some of the best TV of the decade.

In each of these cases, the television shows exposed a much larger audience to the writer’s work than his books ever did, and serve as vindication of both the author’s vision and the faith the publisher had in them. But let’s be clear: These three gifted writers were successes BEFORE their creations hit the screen. And the fact that the world eventually realized how good their work was while they were just journeyman authors holding contracts with smallish publishers and feeding a small cult of an audience, well, that’s what really keeps me going.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Writer's Spouse by Denise Camacho

About 7 years ago, while attending a conference put on by Infinity Publishing, I, and a few of my friends, came up with the idea of having a website that would be dedicated to getting spouses of writers together to talk and exchange ideas on how to better support their writer.

The idea never actually made it to the web, even though I purchased the url and had big plans of what I would do with it and how it could help. What stopped me? Kids to finish raising, a job that needed my dedication and a writer that needed my help and support to make his dreams come true. Oh, and he just happened to be my husband, so that complicated everything.

Over the past years I have been very involved in this writer's life. I began publishing his novels several years ago under the Intrigue Publishing imprint because the publishing industry can't see past the Pattersons, Cobens and Morrells to other amazing authors. And don't even get me started on how much of a better writer Austin is than some of the now popular writers. Am I prejudiced? Yep, but I'm also right.

So let me slide past my prejudice and get to the reason you might want to hear what I have to say.

Writers need support from those close to them. They can't do it all on their own and those who think they can are fooling themselves, or are working themselves into an early grave. I have experience as a publisher, writer's conference coordinator, marketer and publicist and I can give you some added insight into the behind-the-scenes of this industry.

Spouses, and I use this term extremely loosely because it refers to all significant others as well, should be interested in my ranting and raving because it is all geared to helping you figure out the best and most efficient ways to support that writer in your life that you care about and want to help achieve their dreams without sacrificing your own.

Austin and I don't always see eye-to-eye on everything, (I did mention that we are married right?) but we have been through a lot in this industry and have a lot of practical information and experience that just might help you steer clear of the worst the industry has to offer.

We are also hoping that a big part of this blog will be your comments, experiences and thoughts that will help all of us become better writers…and spouses.

Let's get 2008 started and discover together how to make it great!