1. Word of mouth 2. The cover

On MJ Rose’s excellent blogsite (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/BkDoctorSin/) there’s been some thought-provoking discussion of book packaging and cover design. It’s inspired me to mull over the importance of a good book cover. They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the fact is, readers DO care about covers. If you’re a brand-new author, […]

Sex Change Operations. Sometimes they’re absolutely necessary.

Ho-kay. Truth is, I could dish forever about the business of writing and the mechanics of bestseller lists. Maybe it’s my science background, but I love hard numbers. I love to hear them, share them, exchange them, talk about them. But after I saw how one little number (#17) got me into so much trouble, […]

Hungry for Respect

Judging by the reaction over at Lee Goldberg’s site, http://leegoldberg.typepad.com (a site I normally read with great pleasure), my latest blog entry was a really, REALLY bad idea. It reminds me of my very first entry here, about how maybe this whole blog thing could be a bad idea. It seems that writers who reach […]

T-Minus 18 days until VANISH release!

Haven’t been blogging much due to a steady influx of houseguests. Well, it IS summer in Maine, the time when everyone wants to escape the heat and head north to our little corner of paradise. So what’s the latest in the writing life? To start off, I’m sorry to report that I didn’t drink champagne […]

T MINUS 29 DAYS until VANISH goes on sale!

************************************** What do writers do on their days off? Well, here’s what this writer did on Sunday. Spent the whole day — and I mean the WHOLE day — making tamales. Started at nine AM and worked until five, hand-mixing the masa, simmering the pork, grinding the chilis and garlic and tomatoes into sauce, soaking […]

It’s nail-biting time again

I feel this way every summer, when my new books come out in the U.S. The BODY DOUBLE paperback goes on sale July 26th and VANISH goes on sale in hardcover on August 23rd. You may think that an author who’s appeared on the NY Times bestseller lists is beyond feeling anxious about her book […]

“Your English is so good!”

I’m always amused when someone says this to me. I never take offense because I’ve had such temporary lapses of common sense myself. I remember, in Paris, hearing a woman scold her dog in French and being momentarily amazed that the dog seemed to understand her. (As if a French dog wouldn’t understand French!) So […]

“Why won’t men read books written by women?” (Part 1)

I’ve heard this asked in publishing circles, and I think it’s an interesting question. First, is it true? Do men truly turn up their noses at women authors? I’m not aware of any hard statistics backing up the claim. All I can offer are my own experiences as a thriller author, based on the reader […]

Guten tag!

That, I’m embarrassed to say, is just about the extent of my German vocabulary, despite the hours I spent listening to foreign language CDs in preparation for my BODY DOUBLE book tour to Germany and Austria. (Well, okay. I also knew the all-important “where is the toilet?”) Most of us Americans are way behind western […]

Paranoia and pity

That’s what I felt as I walked the aisles of Book Expo America last weekend in New York City. Well okay, maybe I shouldn’t use such extreme words — maybe what I actually felt was anxiety and sympathy, seeing the hundreds of publishers and the thousands and thousands of books on display. So much competition, […]

“So… what’s with the romance novels?”

Yes, it’s true. It sometimes astonishes my thriller readers, but I started off my writing career, years ago, as a romance author. At bookstore talks, when I happen to mention my early years as a Harlequin Intrigue writer, I sometimes hear giggles in the audience, as though I should be embarrassed about my sordid secret. […]

Everybody’s a critic

Imagine this scenario. You have just given birth to a brand new baby, and it has been a long, difficult labor. For a year you’ve thought of little else. You’ve lost sleep over it, obsessed over it, tortured yourself over it, and at last you proudly carry your baby out of the hospital. Then a […]

“Of all the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite?”

Readers sometimes ask me “Of all the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite?” And, oddly enough, the book I think is my best is the one that sold the fewest copies:GRAVITY. I’ve puzzled over just why this book sold so poorly. I’ve heard criticism from some readers that it was simply too technical, […]

“What is the order in which I should read your books?”

Here’s a very, very Freqeuently Asked Question: “What is the order in which I should read your books?” Actually, there are only four books which need to be read in order, and they’re in the Jane Rizzoli/ Maura Isles series. They were first published in the following order: THE SURGEON (2001) THE APPRENTICE (2002 THE […]

“The Ultra Gory Writer”

Sometimes I run across a reference to me as “that ultra gory writer” and I can’t help but think: “Who, moi?!” Because, to tell the truth, I don’t think of myself that way. A confession here: I hate gory movies. I hate watching violence on film, or reading it on the page. I don’t think […]

Pedal-to-the-metal

Okay, what’s happening is this: I am pedal-to-the-metal trying to finish VANISH! That’s the reason for this long silence. That plus we had a huge snowstorm up here in Maine a few days ago, which knocked out my power and internet for about four days. It was fun to finally get back online and find […]

What Happens on a Book Tour?

I’ve been playing hooky for far too long, and now it’s time to tell you what happened on book tour: lots and lots of serious eating! Toad in the hole, bubble and squeak, Cornish pasties, roasted Swedes (translation: rutabagas) — I sampled it all.Well, I never could get myself to order “spotted Dick” but maybe […]

Off to the UK

I’m off to London for my UK book tour, so for the next two weeks, I won’t be able to answer my emails or respond to my guestbook entries for awhile. But I promise — I’ll be answering every one of them when I return.Although authors may tell you that book tours are grueling affairs, […]

Maybe this blog is a bad idea

Maybe I shouldn’t be blurting out the truth for everyone to read. Heck, I don’t know if anyone will even be reading this, but for what it’s worth, here it is — the unvarnished truth about what it’s like to be a novelist these days. To copy a phrase from W., “it’s hard, hard work.” […]