Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!

Word of the day

The word of the day over at Merriam-Webster is auctorial, of or relating to an author. Seeing that made me a bit nostalgic for grad school so I could find a way to work that word in. But simple rules out here in the real world.

Good news for Due fans

I wandered over to Tananarive Due's blog this week to see if she had any new posts. And I was rewarded with the news that the third novel about Dawit and Jessica will be out early in 2008. I'm a big fan of her work and it is on my list of must-haves. If it were available now, I'd be dropping big hints about it for Christmas.

The novel, Blood Colony, won't be out until June 2008. So it will be awhile before you can get your hands on it - still that's more than enough time to re-read her early novels in this story.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Book reviewers, ethics and a new detective

The National Book Critics Circle has posted the results from their latest survey of book reviewers about ethics. There's a summary of some of the results on the blog and you can link to the results with comments from 2007 and 1987.

Trying to muddle through the conflict questions was a little tricky for me. Not because I'm an ethically loose kind of person. It's more likely because I've only had about 5 hours sleep and, in this new socially networked, multiple stream of income world, I wonder how hard it is as reviewer and a book editor to identify and shut out those conflicts.

If an editor cannot review books by any of their freelance reviewers, that's strange to me. Sure there are thousands of books being published, so content is not the issue, but coverage (if any of them has a noteworthy, popular or very unique book) is.

And as the actual job of book reviewer disappears and all reviewers are freelancers or writers who do other things as well, how can that last?

Interesting reading and thinking.

New P.I. on the block
Walter Mosley will introduce a new detective, Leonid McGill, in 2009. Mosley has left Little, Brown and is now with Riverhead Books. He has a three-book deal there - two will be entries in the detective series and one is a literary novel.

Easy Rawlins was my first adult love in the mystery genre - I still remember reading the early novels and not being able to get enough of Easy. I will be eager to get into the other series. (BTW, my elementary mystery fix was good old Encyclopedia Brown - who doesn't love a mystery solving nerd).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Good Blog is Hard to Diversify?

Karin Gillespie, the editor (or site manager?) of A Good Blog is Hard to Find - the currently all-white Southern writers blog, I posted about - left a comment. Here's what here response was to my rant about there being no people of color in the ranks over there:

Hi there,

I'm the Southern site person. I did invite several African American authors. Never heard a word back. I had the same problem with men. There's way more women than men. Anyway, I'm working on the diversity thing. Just didn't want you to think it was deliberate.

Karin Gillespie

She posted it in comments, but I thought it worth sharing in the regular content here. So there you have it - she's working on it. I hope somebody takes her up on the offer - and that she has a good list of folks to query.

For now, the blog is still in my bookmarks and I'll keep checking back.

Thanks for the response, Karin.

Other notes to share
I found, on the Crime Sistahs' blog, a post by Persia Walker (web site | blog). I wasn't familiar with her work and am glad to have seen her post and gone to her web site. She writes mysteries set in Harlem in the 1920s.

Mysteries are my current (as in last five years or so) obsession and I'm always sad when I find an author I like who has only 2 - 3 titles, because I end up hunting for someone new to read. So Persia Walker's on my list - right after I finish the two Nichelle Tramble books I bought (finally!) this weekend.

I am currently reading the The Dying Ground and were it not for having to help people play, eat and get to bed, I'd be finished with it already. It's really the kind of book I want when I have a day (ha!) alone in my pajamas. And it made me come up with an idea - a book lock - that I really like and is completely bizarre, unmarketable and useless to 99.98% of the world.

The Book Lock - Are you ever frustrated by a spouse/partner/child/sibling/parent who picks up that wonderful novel you've been reading and then can't put it down? Stop rolling your eyes at them and get a book lock with your own combination. With the book lock you'll be able to finish a book without delays and annoying references to the ending.

Yes, this is a product I would consider buying. I'm that possessive of new books. Read it after I'm done!

Friday, December 07, 2007

A rant - and a little naivete

I read about a new blog a few weeks ago. A group blog by Southern writers. Sounded like just my kind of reading - as I am a Southerner, a writer, a reader and a lover of stories of all kinds, including the sometimes wonderful, terrible, fascinating tales of the South.

I am so naive.

Here is the site - A Good Blog is Hard to Find.

As I said before, I'm from the South. I know quite a bit about the South and the history of the American South and its culture. So this should be no surprise to me, but it was.

The surprise? As far as I can tell, and I clicked through to all of the author pages, all of these contributors are white. ANd it is 2007 and that is unbelievable. Forget being a Southern writers blog, an American writers blog with that many contributors ought to have some contributors who are non-white. Unless of course the originators of the blog completely ignore large portions of the writing, reading and published population.

I've been stewing about this for a few weeks and just did not want to make it a post, but it keeps making me feel like smoke is coming out of my ears. I would have hoped that contemporary, living Southern authors would not have a circle that is so limited that the only other authors they think of are white.

But perhaps they reached out and not African American authors responded or were interested in participating? Hmmmm. On another day, when I am feeling more confrontational, I will e-mail whoever is the master of the site and pose this. When the smoke clears.

Now, onward and upward.