Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Books & Music

I love to see publishers coming up with new and innovative ways to to promote books. Case in point, Harper Collins/Amistad's promotion of Lolita's Files new book, Sex.Lies.Murder.Fame., which I've already added to my mountain high and growing TBR pile. Not only has Amistad created a trailer for the book, but according to Black, a promotional soundtrack featuring debut recording artist Silena Murrell, who will even be appearing at some booksigning with Ms. Files.

Personally, I think all books should come with soundtracks. Not only is it a great way to promote new books but think of all the new musical talent it could bring to the limelight. Plus, doing joint signings with recording artists, who could perform a song or two, could add interest to boring booksignings and readings and draw foot traffic. I think it's a win win situation all around.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Getting Personal

Lately, I've been noticing a lot of authors speaking out about personal issues. In the February issue of Essence magazine Omar Tyree discusses his struggle with monogamy and Zane talks about her recent divorce. Nick Chiles recently wrote a scathing editorial for the New York Times about his disgust with the current crop of ghetto and erotic literature and his frustration with trying to compete with such titles. In a recent blog entry, Nichelle Tramble discusses the heartbreak of finding out, after she'd become published, that a friend of hers wasn't the friend she thought he was and the weird things people say to authors.

I've never been married, let alone divorced. I don't have to worry about being monogamous, since I'm not in a relationship. And I'm not particularly bothered by the proliferation of ghetto and erotic lit. But I can speak to some of the issues Nichelle Tramble raises.

For instance, my best friend of twenty plus years has never read my book. Hasn't even acted like she had the slightest interest in doing so. She doesn't like mysteries. Does it bother me? I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me just a little, especially when I see her reading other people's books. But she is super supportive of my writing in general. She'll talk me and my book up to any and every one who'll listen. She makes my bookmarks and has offered to do all she can to help me with promotion. She even travels with me to book events. In short, she's a great friend.

But I have had some experiences with people who have been crappy to me. I once was introduced to a friend of my cousin's who was very nice UNTIL my cousin mentioned to her that I had a book published. The woman's whole attitude changed and she literally looked me up and down, rolled her eyes, and walked away. Ouch! Then there are those people I haven't seen or heard from in years who've suddenly, for whatever reason, decided to get in touch with me. Some of them I'm thrilled to hear from, others I wish wouldn't have bothered. I can say a lot of things about this whole publishing journey but I certainly can't say it hasn't been insightful.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

(Singing) Procrastination is funny, it makes a cloudy day sunny, makes a bird think of honey...
I hear you, crimesistah. I have the same problem. My goal this year is to write two books, but first... Well, everything seems to come first. The end of February I intend to finish book three, but meanwhile, my mind keeps busy and buzzing with promotion concerns, publicity for, calling for booksignings, etc. and how am I going to get the money to do anything to make a dent out there in the big world!! AND I'm watching a lot of Texas Hold 'Em (Poker TV)!! Talk about procrastination. My rationale is--my main character is a gambler and plays poker, among other things.

I'm feng-shui-ing my place again. Trying to stir up new energy. I'm feeling stagnant and slothful. Up until 5 AM day before yesterday, moving furniture, setting up a fountain in my living room. Did I write that day? No. But it felt good.

I corresponded with a writer who writes romances AND mystery. She puts out 2-4 books a year, writes articles, maintains a blog, tours, and does other writerly things. I was exhausted after reading her note. That's when I made a decision to write two books this year. Well, I'd better get started. Okay, get up now. Move my body. Get out of this blog and on to writing. Well??? My impetus--if I don't write it, my agent can't sell it. I was in for two books with my publisher--I don't know what they're going to do with book three. Will they or won't they??
But first--I have to finish!!
'Night all--back to feng shui-ing.

PS Publisher sent me a copy of Down and Dirty: Another Landlord's Tale. I sat down and read it as a stranger might read it. Funny, some parts I didn't really remember. But it wasn't so bad after all. Ha!

Monday, January 09, 2006


I'm the world's biggest procrastinator. When I think about how many books I could have written by now if it weren't for all the time I waste, I could just scream. Like the other night, I could have been working on my new book, which is due to my editor at the end of March. But what was I doing? Watching some stupid movie on cable where people were being eaten by giant prehistoric insects. I waste a lot of time watching TV. I always tell myself I'm going to do something really constructive with my free time, like rearrange my closet. Yeah, right. But then I start running the channels and soon I'm vegetating and watching some show on the Travel Channel or a movie on Lifetime. I actually have to force myself to write. Once I really get on a roll with my writing I have a hard time stopping. But actually making myself sit down to write is getting harder and harder. I have no idea why. I did manage to do something constructive yesterday. I rearranged my bedroom to make way for my new toy. I can't wait for it to arrive. The only down side is: I can watch movies on it, too!


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hello 2006!

The new year is upon us and I have to say I'm really excited about it. For one thing the Crime Sistahs, Pamela, Gammy and I, all have new books coming out this year. Pamela's debut legal thriller, Every Reasonable Doubt, will be released in February, Gammy's new book, Down & Dirty, the sequel to A Landlord's Tale, will be released in March, and my second Kendra Clayton mystery, Tangled Roots, will be out in either June, if you go by what Amazon says, or May according to my editor. I was really surprised to notice on Amazon today that a mass market paperback edition of The Company You Keep will be released this year in May as well. Who knew?

I'm anxious to see how my second book will be received. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I think my writing has improved and hope people will find it as entertaining as my first one. It will be interesting to see what my cover will look like and what my newly acquired and renamed publisher, Kimani Press, will be doing differently as far as promotion. I will be working with freelance publicist Susan Schwartzman again. Hopefully between Susan, my publisher, and myself we will be able to expand my readership. I'm currently working on the last book in my contract and can only assume that more Kendra books will depend on the success of the first three. So, I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the Kendra Clayton series will really take off.

This is also the year that I will be turning the big FOUR OH. Forty! Wow! Actually, I'm not filled with dread at the thought of turning forty. My only regret is all the wasted time and missed opportunities. But nothing is gained by dwelling on the past. I'm trully looking forward to 2006 and all the possiblities that come with it.


Monday, January 02, 2006

15 Facts Writing Facts About
Pamela Samuels-Young

Happy New Year to All!

Here are 15 facts about me as a writer.

1. Writing legal mysteries is my passion.

2. I'm a former television newswriter.

3. I'm glad my writing career began in TV news because it taught me to write quickly and concisely.

4. I'm not thrilled that my journalistic training effectively killed whatever literary talent (as opposed to commercial writing) I might have developed.

5. I can spend a weekend locked up in a hotel room and write non-stop. That's my most productive writing time.

6. I was the editor of my high school and college newspapers.

7. I type 80 words a minute.

8. I have story ideas for at least five novels in the bank.

9. I love listening to books on tape because it makes my morning and evening commutes go faster and it helps me study story structure.

10. I get lots of story ideas from my husband, who is a plumber and one of the funniest men I know.

11. I think it's important to solicit lots of feedback from "typical" readers before turning in a final draft.

12. I read more mysteries than anything else.

13. I recently read Michael Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer and wished I had written it.

14. I don't need quiet to write.

15. I like writing dialogue more than anything else.

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