Have I mentioned I'm new to the blogging game? Probably. So here goes.
The reviews for Wrongful Death, which is to be launched in just a few short weeks, are coming in and so far, so great. Booklist wrote, "Mixing the suspense of a Grisham legal thriller with the political angle of a Baldacci. Dugoni is knocking on the A-list thriller door." More about those comparisons in a minute. Kirkus also liked it, calling Wrongful Death "An entertaining thriller about a hotshot lawyer. Good guys to like, villains to hiss, windmills to attack."
I can't ask for much more than that. I'm hoping readers like it as much, if not more.
South Carolina on my mind.
I attended the South Carolina Writers Conference last weekend. First time at the conference and first time in South Carolina. Unfortunately, I brought the Seattle weather with me - lots of rain and even the threat of snow. Just my luck. People in South Carolina apparently don't do well in snow. The threat of one-inch falling on the city caused a panic the likes of which you would have thought Sherman was marching on the city again. Still, nothing seems to dampen the Southern spirit and hospitality. Those who put on the conference, like Paula Watkins, really know how to make you feel welcome. They take the extra step and I was grateful. Thanks to Cathy Pickens, a friend and great Southern writer, I had my first authentic Southern meal. Cathy and husband Bob took me for chicken fried steak, grits, collared greens and more. I was so full I had to say no to desert, banana pudding.
A member in the audience for one of my panels asked how I liked the comparisons to Grisham, and more recently to Baldacci. What's not to like? I told him that I wasn't greedy. I'd take either man's career.
I also learned how to speak "Southern" with the help of Shellie Rushing Tomlinson. Shellie, whose from "Lisiana" and no, I did not misspell it, knows Southern. That's probably why she has her own radio and television show, "All Things Southern." You can find it at her website, which, shockingly, is also called Allthingssouthern.com. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Shellie's a riot. I learned what it means for a man to "fly straight" and what a Southern woman might do if he doesn't. They take that "woman scorned" thing seriously in the South, apparently. I also learned the meaning of the phrase when someone is "straight running crazy," which apparently means they are no longer deviating from the path between crazy and lucid. Shellie read from her book, "Suck your belly in and put on some color." It was about the trials of being pregnant, but even I could relate.
And I couldn't stop without mentioning Karen Spears Zacharias. Karen is also a Southern girl, having been raised in Georgia, but lived much of her life in Oregon and has shed the accent. Still, she'll tell you she was born and raised in a trailer in Georgia and her only goal growing up was to not be dismembered and stay out of jail. Life took a cruel twist when Karen was young. Her father was killed in action in Vietnam. Karen not only survived, she prospered. She became a beat writer for the Oregonian and has since written three books. She went back to Vietnam and learned more about her father's death, documenting it in "After the Flag has been Folded." I started it on the plane ride home. It's a moving story. Her current book is "Where's Your Jesus Now." Provocative title? Even more so when you learn its genesis.
Okay, I have to run now. But the new book tour is almost finalized. I'll be in Chicago for the launch and also hit Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tucson, Phoenix, Spokane and a few more. I'll post the schedule when it's final and I hope to keep a blog about the adventure, sort of news from the front.
Keep reading, and writing,