Thursday, April 19, 2007

Back in Black

I got back from vacation late last night, retrieved our dog Wilson from the babysitters (aka in-laws) and pretty much passed out.

I still can't even fathom the horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech, and saying my heart goes out to the victims and their families feels like a hollow gesture. I do hope the university and everyone affected finds strength in their sadness, and we can somehow prevent atrocities like this from happening again.

Hopefully new security measures will be adopted in the aftermath, not the least of which is some sort of broadcast system in every classroom that would allow the administration to get in touch with students and faculty in the event of an emergency. I remember on 9/11 I didn't even learn about the attacks until a good hour and a half after the planes hit, simply because I was in transit and in class from 8:30 to 10:30. Most of the students in my 10:30 class didn't know a thing was wrong until the professor entered, crying, saying she simply couldn't teach a class after such a horrific event. And that was in a university of 2,800 students, not 26,000 like VT, where urgent and timely communication must be near impossible.

I do hope we stop seeing the killer's name and face splashed all over our television and newspapers soon. I would prefer that he dies the same way he lived, in complete anonymity. I can't help but think we'd be better off not showing those demented clips and photos in his "multimedia" package. This is an ugly comparison, but I wish we would treat murderers the way we treat fans who run onto the field at ball games. Turn the cameras away. Don't give these sick narcissists what they're looking for--exposure, fleeting fame, and the undiverted attention of thousands if not millions. I wonder if twisted "martyrs" like this killer and those in Columbine might hesistate a split second if they knew their manifestos would never see the light of day.

Begin awkward segue.

Check out this article on mysteries and thrillers from Library Journal. A great piece, full of interesting insights from industry insiders, and they make prominest mention of THE MARK. I also participated in a Q&A for the issue (note: the title and release dates for my second book have changed. I am also not the author of an erotic novel called LIP SERVICE. That would be the esteemed M.J. Rose).

That LJ issue ran the very first actual review of THE MARK, and a starred one at that. Which, of course, led to this conversation:

Jason: "Wow, Library Journal gave THE MARK a starred review!"
Jason's wife: "They gave you a star--what's that out of, five?"


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