Tag Archives: debut fiction

Author Blurbs

I have two releases coming closer to fruition: Book 2 of my Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series, titled SNARE—in the last few phases of preparation before I submit the manuscript to the publisher. The other is the anthology, How NOT to Survive a Vacation, I’m co-editing for the Sisters in Crime chapter Desert Sleuths which will be released at their upcoming writers conference, August 14th.

For you readers out there, how important are back cover blurbs to you? When you’re considering a new book to read does an endorsement by a published author matter?

Recently I attended two writers conferences where I became closer to quite a few authors I admire. A couple are be positioned to become A listers: Sophie Littlefield with her hard-hitting, yet humorous A Bad Day for Sorry (Minotaur, 2010), and Rebecca Cantrell who presents a vision of 1931 Berlin that you can all but hear, smell and touch in her A Trace of Smoke (Forge, 2010). I cherish both of these writers’ work and their debut releases continue to be my favorite reads of the year. Rebecca’s latest release, A Night of Long Knives and Sophie’s A Bad Day For Pretty are next on my to-read list.

I am thrilled to announce that these two authors have agreed to provide blurbs. How did I go about it? Well, I’m a bit shy, and never intended to ask such a major favor of any author, but decided to put myself out there. I sent them what was essentially fan mail via their websites or social sites. If they responded, I took the next step and expressed how much I looked forward to meeting them at the upcoming conference. At those events, I actually sought them out. What I found were truly gracious, giving writers who have been in the same position, and were quite honored to be asked for their endorsement.

I’m set with blurbs now. For SNARE: Simon Wood, Kris Neri and Dianne Emley are currently reading or will soon receive the manuscript. For the Desert Sleuths anthology, Sophie Littlefield, Rebecca Cantrell, Juliet Blackwell, and thanks to co-editor Chantelle Osman, Kelli Stanley and Simon Wood are waiting to receive the pages in order to provide endorsements.

Are you willing to put yourself out there? Have you used a different tact in securing blurbs?

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel STACCATO, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle, and independent bookstores.

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Book Club Appearances

Due to the efforts of a friend, I made my first author’s appearance at a mystery book club a few weeks ago. I was honored that this group of ladies decided to give my debut thriller STACCATO a chance. As many of you know, book clubs choose the titles they will read many months in advance. I had been waiting patiently since last November and had no idea what to expect.

A buzz began a month before the book club meeting; a few had already finished my book and enjoyed the read. Some refused to purchase the title from Amazon or didn’t have the time to wait for the publisher to send them a copy. I had extra copies on hand, so provided them at a discount for the rest of the group to purchase and all problems were rectified.

I think my friend was more nervous about the appearance than I was. This group hadn’t ever been visited by the actual author of a book they had read. Any unease soon abated when the questions about STACCATO began to flow: How did I come up with my location, names, character traits. How did I choose the classical music pieces? Explaining the motivation for why I chose that particular piece of music. On and on for two hours, these women drew me into their little circle of the appreciation of written words.

I found the experience to be well worth the anxiety of not knowing: 1) if they would like my book. 2) Would anyone show up to discuss the book? 3) Had they even read the book?

Not only did I sell 15 copies to this group, I feel confident that they are spreading the word about STACCATO. They’re also looking forward to my next release and plan to invite other authors to their book club.

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel STACCATO, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle, and independent bookstores.

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Left Coast Crime Conference Experience

Earlier this month I joined nearly 500 published authors, as-of-yet unpublished writers and readers for the Left Coast Crime conference. This year the conference was held in downtown Los Angeles, California. The Omni hotel was great and we pretty much had the facility to ourselves where we all but took over the entire second floor.

I had the opportunity to feature my debut thriller STACCATO in The Mystery Bookstore set up for the conference, as well as at the Rue Morgue table. Exposure was excellent for the debut authors where we took the spotlight during one morning’s breakfast to present our titles to all those in attendance.

Kris Neri, author of the recently released Revenge for Old Times’ Sake, and High Crimes on the Magical Plane (nominated for The Lefty Award at the conference) was kind enough to introduce me to a slew of published authors.

I met Eric Beetner, co-author with K.B. Khol of One Too Many Blows to the Head, also released by Second Wind Publishing. Eric did an excellent job on his two panels, one about noir fiction, the other featuring newly published authors.

Biggest honor was appearing on the panel “The Art of the Short Story” with venerable award-winning authors Gar Anthony Haywood and Toni L.P. Kelner who co-edits anthologies with Charlaine Harris (famous for her Sookie Stackhouse True Blood series).

I’m currently reading Gar’s literary crime fiction novel Cemetery Road and must say, this is an incredible novel. One word description: Magic.

I hope and intend to keep in touch with the authors I had the pleasure and honor to meet. I look forward to seeing my new “friends” at the Bouchercon conference in April.

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel STACCATO, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle, and independent bookstores.

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Appearances

My world has been a whirlwind of opportunities since the publication of my debut thriller STACCATO last September. I’ve met some incredible writers online and have found more confidence to approach big time authors who come to the Phoenix area for personal signings. Having a book actually published has emboldened me in a way I never would have figured. I am honored and humbled to receive the gift of new friendships that have come my way.

I’ve made quite a few guest appearances on blogs, corresponded with a lot of writers, even received some fan mail. A couple weeks ago I traveled to Sedona, Arizona and presented my workshop Novels vs. Screenplays. Fellow Sisters in Crime member and award-winning author Kris Neri owns The Well Red Coyote bookstore and has been extremely supportive of me and STACCATO. 28 people braved the slashing rain to attend and I sold over a dozen books.

A couple months ago I registered to attend the Left Coast Crime (LCC) conference in Los Angeles, California. I normally go to the International Thriller Writers conference in New York City, but I kept hearing that LCC is more of a fan conference. Getting the word out about STACCATO is first and foremost on my agenda, so I decided to attend that conference instead. Excited that I’ll be able to meet fellow Second Wind Publishing author Eric Beetner, co-author of the great noir mystery One Too Many Blows to the Head.

I received word about a week ago that I will be appearing on the LCC panel “Art of the Short Story” along with a group of venerable short story authors Robert Levinson, Gar Anthony Haywood (nominated for The Panik award), Toni L.P. Kelner and Gayle Bartos-Pool. Gotta tell you, I’m stoked . . . and a little bit terrified.

So next Thursday Kris (her High Crimes on the Magical Plane, published by Red Coyote Press, has been nominated for The Lefty award) and I will drive together to California and no doubt trade stories about how absolutely awesome it is to be a published author (she’s just released her seventh mystery novel). And to talk about all the incredible people we’ve met, and the opportunities I could never imagine until now.

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel STACCATO, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle, and independent bookstores.

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