Schools and libraries are always looking for great books to offer for Black History Month. We figured you might, too, so I thought it was time for some recommended reading.
We publish a number of books and stories here at WMG featuring African-American protagonists, but our most relevant series to Black History Month is Kris Nelscott’s award-winning and hard-hitting Smokey Dalton historical mystery series.
The books, which are set in Memphis and Chicago in the late ’60s, provide a no-hold-barred look at that turbulent era—from an African-American perspective.
As I write this, I’m preparing to leave for my destination wedding. By the time you read this, the wedding will have already happened and I’ll be back in Oregon.
Those of you who know me personally know this is not my first marriage. It’s not even my second. Third time’s the charm for me, apparently.
As for the groom, well, it’s his fourth. He thought he wouldn’t get married again after the third “strike” (as he called it).
So, why get married again? All I can say is the all that romantic lovey-dovey stuff you hear…well, it’s true. When you (finally) find the person you were meant to be with, everything looks and feels different. Colors are brighter. Love songs and poetry make sense. The world feels full of endless potential.
Or maybe we’ve just finally gotten good at this after all the practice
Do you remember those Wrigley’s gum commercials from the ’80s for Doublemint Gum? (If you don’t click here, although fair warning: That song is an earworm.) The commercials promise the gum is a “double pleasure” and that it will give you a “double great feeling.” I can’t speak to whether the product stands up to its marketing (I was more of a Juicy Fruit girl), but the concept holds water. Double the potential, double the fun.
And so, it is with great pleasure that I announce the release of not one but two fantastic short fiction products.
Last week, my phone started to ping about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday with concerned messages from John’s family. We had been under a high surf that day and some of the beachfront properties, including a well-known restaurant right on the D River Wayside and a couple of hotels, had some significant damage. The restaurant was evacuated because of a broken gas line. It was enough damage to make at least the regional news cycle, hence the calls.
I hadn’t thought that much about the storm, to be honest. We’re no stranger to big storms here on the Oregon Coast, and this one was more of an ocean event (think beach logs washed into buildings instead of trees falling on them). I’m above the tsunami line, so, while I worry about my beachfront neighbors, I don’t really worry about high surf.
After the turbulence of the past few years, I’ve decided that 2018 will be, if nothing else, the year of organization. That is a broad category that can apply to many things, but for the purposes of this blog, I’m going to focus on the concept of organization by means of providing structure to my schedule…particularly as it relates to time spent with my daughter.
This late fall/early winter has been a watershed period for my little family. The relationship between Nola and John has solidified into that of true father-daughter, and watching the positive impact on Nola has made all the hard choices I’ve had to make since she was born worth it. There’s a lot more behind that statement, but it would take a book to explain it all.
One of the many positive aspects of this new bonding, though, is that Nola wants more “family” time as opposed to “just mommy” time. As such, we’ve instituted game night.
One of the first games we started playing was Clue. John and I both loved this game as kids and Nola thinks it’s great fun now. (It’s so cute how she will purposely show us any character card that represents the character we’re playing at the time to make sure everyone knows we’d never hurt anybody.)
Since long before reviewing a product was as simple as typing in a few words on our phones, word-of-mouth has been considered the absolute best way to sell something. Think about it: when someone you trust and respect suggests you try something, you seriously consider doing just that. Food, travel, cleaning products, shoes, books…you name it.
Look at the success of Instant Pot. I see posts all over Facebook from friends singing the versatile cooking device’s praises. I’ve even considered buying one even though I have a similar brand sitting in my cabinet as-yet unused (I bought it two years ago). Yet, every time I see the cult of Instant Pot posting, I think it’s something I might need. (Don’t worry, sanity prevails…but I do need to try that thing I already have…)
When it comes to books, word-of-mouth has great power, too. Oprah’s Book Club makes books an overnight success. Book reviewers helped guide readers’ and book store purchases. And one of the best tools in the business is the Recommended Reading List.
Happy New Year! As we begin 2018, I thought we’d say goodbye to 2017 with a look back at the busy year we had here at WMG and highlight a few of my favorite projects.
We published almost 60 new titles in 2017. Some of these were part of one of our many popular fiction series, including the Seeders Universe (Starburst), Thunder Mountain series (Tombstone Canyon and Dry Creek Crossing), Cold Poker Gang Mysteries (Ace High and Burn Card), Mary Jo Assassin (Death Takes a Diamond), and the Diving series (The Runabout).
We also launched a brand-new series by Kris Nelscott called Protectors with the self-same title. That book also saw the production of our first hardcover books (with a regular hardcover and a signed and numbered limited edition, which is only available here). I am very proud of those hardcovers. They’re beautiful books, and I’m thrilled that we’ll now be able to do more of our books in hardcover in the future. (Oh, do I have plans…)
Merry Christmas! I’m home celebrating the holiday with my wonderful little family, but I wanted to be sure to give you a gift, too. Without you, dear readers, my job wouldn’t exist and my wonderful life would look very different, indeed.
So, thank you for being part of it. And please enjoy this free holiday tale from the magical Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
A friend of mine sent me a link last week to an awesome Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition called Jolabokaflod, or the “Christmas Book Flood.”
It seems the best Christmas gift you can give in Iceland is a book. Gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve and Icelanders spend the rest of the evening reading.
Iceland, as it happens, also publishes the most books per capita. And the majority of the book sales fall between September and November.
Hence, the Christmas Book Flood.
Now, maybe I’m biased, but this sounds like the best Christmas tradition I’ve ever heard of and one we should adopt here immediately.
So, in the spirit of Jolabokaflod, have I got the bundle for you.
I’m just wrapping up my third cover design branding workshop (and working on a new promotion concept—but more on later in a bit), this time for science fiction covers. Sci-fi covers are simultaneously simple and complicated.
The simplicity comes in the art and typography choices (although I can hear the workshop participants yelling now that this stuff is anything but simple