Battle Ribbons and Purple Hearts

I was a bit surprised after I announced that I had gotten a contract for EYEWALL that among the very first people to high-five me, metaphorically speaking, were published authors, some of whom fired off congratulatory emails to me within a matter of minutes. (Love the electronic age!)

The rapid responders ranged from NYT bestsellers (“I’m thrilled…. Well done. You hung in there and made it happen.”) to those whose first novel is, like mine, still in the pipeline (“WOO-HOO! CONGRATULATIONS!”).

Upon further review, however, it shouldn’t have shocked me that successful novelists would be on the pointy edge of the spear to fist-bump me. They’ve been there. They’ve earned their battle ribbons and Purple Hearts. They recognize what I’ve been through. It’s a strange business, a congenial one, that doesn’t body slam new competition. Instead, it offers encouragement to rookie writers as we attempt to scale the ramparts, then greets us with open arms when we make it–new kids in the club. (Okay, hardly a kid in my case, but certainly a rookie.)

Enough of that. If you are a reader instead of a writer–and I hope many of you are readers–then you have correctly viewed the preceding paragraphs as self-serving. (Oh, but it feels so good.)

I recognize that as a reader, all you want to know is if EYEWALL is any good. Obviously, I can’t be objective–of course it’s good–so at this point all I can do is offer up some comments from my agent and the acquiring editor at BelleBooks, neither of whom knew me two months ago. All they saw was my manuscript.

Said my agent: “Wow–it was intense. I am convinced… this is a hit.”

And the editor, after she got the manuscript wrote: “I couldn’t resist taking a quick look at the full manuscript, which turned into a long look… which ended in me recommending to my main partner… that we make an offer on the book. Excellent suspense. Strong writing.”

So, have I whetted your appetite? Do you have EYEWALL on your list for a good beach-read next summer?

I hope so. Think Jaws, only with an eye instead of teeth.

Photo: In the eye of Hurricane Katrina.
This photo is from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter in the eye of Hurricane Katrina, August 2005.  That’s the eyewall you’re looking at.

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