And now crazy time begins

On this, the eve of the release of my new book, I’m feeling all sorts of emotions. Even though THE SILENT GIRL is my 23rd published novel (when the heck did I write all those other books?) I’m feeling the same mingling of anticipation, anxiety, excitement, and yes, even a bit of dread, that I’ve felt with every book release before this. Will anyone buy it, or will it sit in untouched stacks in bookstores? Will readers like it? Will I face empty seats at my book signings?

Even long-time authors get the shakes.

The first week of release is always the scariest. It’s like a movie’s opening week — what happens that first week pretty much determines whether you’re considered a success or not. That’s why so many authors urge their readers to buy the book when it first comes out. If a book flops the first week, there’s no momentum to propel future sales. And everyone gets very, very depressed.

During these last few hours before the book goes on sale, anything’s possible. So I’m taking a deep breath, packing my suitcase for tour, and preparing myself for whatever happens next.

Oh, and I’m writing the next book. So I can go through this all over again.

25 replies
  1. Aussie Ben
    Aussie Ben says:

    Well, if it counts, I’ll be downloading it as soon as it’s available on Amazon (in about 10 hours?).

  2. opall21
    opall21 says:

    tess i love your books i have and have read almost all of them. and i preordered silent girl and i have no doubt it will be amazing!!!!

  3. hollyamy
    hollyamy says:

    Tess you have nothing to worry about!! I dont even read the bibliography on the back of your books anymore I just see your name and buy it anyway 🙂 Im halfway through Vanish at the moment and LOVING it!

  4. bnfishin
    bnfishin says:

    Tess the only thing that gets me when you put out a new book is that I will not get anything done for the next couple of days. When I start one of your books its very hard to put them down. I own just about all of them. Don’t ever stop!

  5. SteveM
    SteveM says:

    I’ve been looking forward to July 5th and your release of The Silent Girl like it was Christmas morning!

    A question: does the fact that you always build such well-defined characters help move your plotting process along more easily?

  6. sammyjc87
    sammyjc87 says:

    yay!!! im sooo excited! i had no idea about The Silent Girl. And just in time for my birthday! (July 8)
    i was so depressed when i read all 8 R&I books. im so pleased to hear about this one and also that youre working on the 10th! These books are amazing! I cant ever put them down! Im actually reading The Bone Garden now, WOW! I cant wait to find out who the Reaper is, although I have my suspicions. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!! And thanks for the entertainment!

    Oh, and buying The Silent Girl now! 🙂

  7. Kimble
    Kimble says:

    There’s honestly nothing to worry about !

    I’m reading and waiting to get this new book, elbows out reading to push my way to the front to get the book !

    Chin up !

  8. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    Tess-I just picked it up yesterday -Barnes & Noble had it right up font(at 20% off no less)and I started it last night.
    The fact that I know the neighborhood pretty well doesn’t hurt in arousing my interest.
    The very first time I heard of you was in the Boston Chinatown subway station right after Vanish came out-there was a big wall poster and I looked the book up and it was right down my alley workwise,so I got hooked.
    My daughter in law is on pins and needles waiting for Rizzoli and Isles to resume.

  9. mbrancol
    mbrancol says:

    Hi Tess, I met you yesterday at your book signing and Camden. I won one of your Team Maura shirts 🙂 Thank you for being so gracious and lovely in answering questions about your books, characters and the show. I thoroughly enjoyed your talk about the Silent Girl and I am so very excited to start reading. Best of luck with the rest of the book tour. I am sure they will be very, very well attended. Wishing you continued success.

  10. Ali M
    Ali M says:

    Hi Tess. I haven’t posted in a while but I’ve been reading. Have to say I love “The Silent Girl”. I loved the folklore, and also adored the character of Iris Fang. A character with such dignity and poise. Wishing you well with the next book! However, sad that I’ve to wait… 😉

  11. mochamaker
    mochamaker says:

    I am a firm believer in the philosophy of ‘quality not quantity’. One million sales doesn’t equal a fabulous book. Lots of money maybe but not a book to be proud of. I have read PLENTY of ‘bestsellers’ and been disappointed at the ‘quality’ of prose. Don’t be nervous over the new release because you do write ‘quality’ prose. Your writing style is so precise and excellent. I think as an author, you either have style or you don’t. And rest assured you most certainly do.

    Quantity isn’t everything… You’re top notch, so chill out and enjoy yourself. You only live once. :+)

  12. Tammy
    Tammy says:

    Tess,
    You have no worries, you are the best!
    It was awesome meeting you at your book signing in Camden, thank you for waiting for me, that meant alot. I noticed on this site that you will be in Bucksport next weekend. I live there and will be on time for this one. If I have to babysit my grandchildren, they will just have to come with me. Just finished Ice cold and looking for time to start The Silent Girl. Safe travels and hope you have a great tour.

  13. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    The Silent Girl rocked.One of your absolute best stories.
    Excellent character development and plot twists.
    If they make a movie,Michelle Yeoh could play Iris Fang to a tee.

  14. gramsha2
    gramsha2 says:

    I just finished “The Silent Girl”. It is one of your best. I just loved it..Reading above I hope they do make a movie out of this one, great plot, great characters……….:)

  15. danceanddream
    danceanddream says:

    I just finished reading “The Silent Girl” and I absolutely loved it. I have to say that this has to be one of my top three favorites of all time. I also love all of your other works as well.
    I come from an Asian background, so I loved all of references to the Chinese culture. I loved how you used real mandarin words in your work, which I enjoyed interpretating. The different stories that come from the asian background were extremely interesting as well. Thank you for writing this book! It was such a blast to read and I look forward to your future novels.
    As mentioned in the comments above, this book would definetly make a great movie. If I was an actress, I would definetly audition for the role of Bella. She was such a strong and lovable character, along with Johnny Tam

  16. anniethemighty
    anniethemighty says:

    Hi Tess. I met you at the Half Moon Bay stop of your book tour – thank you so much for being gracious enough to answer my questions about the writing process and the show. I loved all the stories you told about doing research for your books and your Asian American background. I went home and devoured one of your thrillers, Gravity, since you had talked about the research for that novel. And have promptly been a bit freaked out since I can’t get that novel out of my head – in a good way!

    I can’t wait to read The Silent Girl now! My thoughts upon finishing Ice Cold was that I was so disappointed that I had to wait for another R&I book, so I’m go glad that I can go straight on to another one!

    Best of luck to you on the rest of your book tour! 🙂

  17. petremihai
    petremihai says:

    Well, I have read Silent girl. Good book but not one of your best works. Of course, I understand the book it`s more of a personal journey into your asian roots. Don`t get me wrong, I have read it all at once but it doesn`t have that creepy feeling, the perfect story, the perfect killer, the perfect killings, the perfect twists to make it a great book. I hope the next book will be more like The surgeon, The apprentice or Body double. But that`s just my opinion. Please, don`t become a James Patterson and write 2-3 medium books a year. I have patience and I would prefer a great book every 2 years from you.

  18. IServeTheCat
    IServeTheCat says:

    Part of me feels a little guilty every year. I know that the HB sales are what the publishers look at, but I don’t *like* HB books! >.<
    I want to buy your books the day they come out, but I always have to wait just. one. more. year for them to be released in paperback. I really wish they were released at the same time, and have never understood the logic behind waiting a full year.
    So here I am again, looking longingly at The Silent Girl every time I go to the grocery store or Target, and sighing as I push my cart past…
    Please forgive me (and all the other people who prefer PBs, too). 🙁

  19. bseppy
    bseppy says:

    Just downloaded The Silent Girl on my Kindle. Can’t wait to start reading it! So thank you for this exciting series that I love so much! Keep on writing!

  20. RebeccaLH
    RebeccaLH says:

    i love your books!!! and i came to the waterstones book signing today!!! thank you for being so friendly to me as i have never met a celebrity before 🙂 i can’t wait until your next book!!! (i hope maura finds happiness:)!) thank you so much for writing in this genre and showing the world that this type of book can totally rock!!!

  21. pegeen
    pegeen says:

    I…LOVE…THIS…STORY!
    I love wandering the international district here in Seattle (saw you at the Mystery Bookshop for a signing of your last book), but this new story seems familiar to me- the wonderful old buildings, the horrific tragedies (the Wah-mee massacre in our own district back in 1983).. Anyway, I’m barely halfway through the book, trying to slow down so as not to finish too soon, but it’s sooooo hard to put it down.
    Again, this one is close to me, thankyou for that!

  22. Serdar
    Serdar says:

    Wife and two-year-old son went to the park for a summer night stroll and I grabbed the opportunity to have a quick drive to my favorite bookstore which stays open till late hours. Now I’m back home with The Silent Girl which I’ve been waiting impatiently for a long time, preparing my big mug of tea with lemon slices in it, which is my ritual for starting a new book 🙂

    With love from Istanbul-Turkey to Tess and everyone…

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