Several big developments with my novel, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, have occurred in the past few weeks. I’ve also been busy with magazine assignments and something else I’ll mention later, so I’m afraid I haven’t had time to blog.
But I have a break now, so I’ll get you caught up on the developments. About a week and a half ago, I found a package from my publisher on our front stoop. Inside was the author’s proof copy of my book. It looks pretty much as it should when it will appear in bookstores, and I have to say I love the cover. My publisher doesn’t want me to reveal the cover image until March 1, so until then you’ll have to take my word for it. My book has an exciting cover that really pops.
The funny thing is, the main image is exactly the type of image I hoped not to see on the cover. I didn’t want my book to look like most of the other teen spy novels. As soon as I saw the cover, though, I became a convert. Perhaps the idea isn’t original, but there are a few key differences that make it stand out. It doesn’t look exactly like other teen spy novels. It looks better. At least I think so.
I cannot tell you how much of a relief this is. The novel’s cover was the one major element I had little control over, and make no mistake, people do judge books by their covers. I was nervous. I suspect most authors are, too. There was a little give and take. I made a few suggestions I believe resulted in a better cover. Maybe I’ll tell the story once the cover is revealed. Some of it is pretty amusing.
OK, I’ll stop writing about something you won’t be able to see for a few weeks. Once I received the proof copy, I exchanged a few emails with my publisher and learned that The Boy Who Knew Too Much now has a “firm” release date of June 1. That’s right, the public will be able to buy it in less than five months, which means I have a lot of work to do before then to make sure the public wants to buy it.
Love is Murder, Awards Are Fun
This past weekend the annual Love Is Murder conference took place in Rosemont, Illinois, near O’Hare. This is the conference where I pitched my novel to my publisher (as well as several less intelligent publishers and agents who passed on it) last year and I was happy this year’s conference gave me the opportunity to meet with the bosses at Intrigue Publishing again.
Love Is Murder is a quick drive for me, but a trip for my publishers, who live in Washington, D.C.’s Maryland suburbs. Who knows when I’ll get another chance to spend time with them. I brought my wife because I thought it was important for her to meet the people key to the fate of my book. It was also a good idea because my wife is a far more delightful person than I am, and not unexpectedly everyone from Intrigue loved her.
It was a great conference for Intrigue overall. Love Is Murder hands out its own awards, called the Loveys, at its Saturday night banquet. Two of my fellow intrigue writers, Annie Rose Alexander and Jeff Markowitz, were up for Loveys and both won. It was fun to be seated at a table full of winners, sort of like being seated at the Mad Men table during the Golden Globes. By the way, Annie’s book is Retribution and Jeff’s is Death and White Diamonds. Check them out.
Time to get busy
I left Love Is Murder energized about my book’s release. It was wonderful to hear Intrigue’s editorial directors, Austin S. Camacho, speak so enthusiastically about The Boy Who Knew Too Much. I now know for sure that my publisher is in my corner and will do what they can to help the book succeed. A lot of the work is on me, though. That’s just the nature of modern publishing. Even if I signed with a major publisher, the legwork of getting it sold would be down to me.
So I have much to do in the coming months. As a bonus, Austin asked me to submit a short story for an anthology of young adult adventures to be published later this year. So in addition to a spate of magazine assignments (can’t turn them down, need the money) and rereading my novel for corrections, I have been working on a short story. It’s another spy tale, and it’s set in the ’80s expressly so that my hero doesn’t have a cell phone. If she had a cell phone, the story would be over in five minutes. Yes, my hero is a girl. I needed the change of pace.
I’ll be busy for sure, but I’ll try to blog more regularly. Be sure to come back March 1 to see the cover of The Boy Who Knew Too Much. Then you’ll know why I’m so happy about it.