Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Starting next Monday, I'll be trying something new. I recently got a MacBook, and with this MacBook came a cool little built-in camera called the iSight (since everything Apple must begin with the letter i). So next Monday I'll be posting my very first 'vlog'--or video log--in which I'll talk about THE MARK, THE GUILTY, books, sports, pop culture, the publishing biz and pretty much anything else that might decrease your productivity at work.
For my first vlog, I'll be introducing a feature called "From the Readers" where I'll answer actual questions from actual readers (no planted questions, so there Hilary). If you have a question you'd like answered on the vlog, post it in the comments section or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to include your name and where you're from!
As an added bonus, since the name 'vlog' is as sexy as Bea Arthur in pleather, I'd like to solicit titles for the video log. Unfortunately SportsCenter is already taken, but if you have a good idea for a name please drop me a note. If your title gets chosen, it will become the official name of my vlog and I'll also send you a signed advance copy of THE GUILTY (in stores February 26th).
So bring on the questions, bring on the titles, and I'll see you on Monday!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
KILLER YEAR: Stories to Die for...From the Hottest New Crime Writers
Sixteen shades of noir, all interesting, some compelling.
Three of Child's contributors--Ken Bruen, Allison Brennan and Duane Swierczynski--are seasoned pros, but the collection's gems come from the 13 members of the younger set. Derek Nikitas's "Runaway," for instance, is a superbly ambiguous chiller about an adolescent girl who
may or may not be a real runaway, or for that matter real. In Toni McGee Causey's artfully composed "A Failure to Communicate" introduces the indomitable and irresistible Bobbie Faye Sumrall, a steel magnolia whose steel will cause three lowlifes to rue the day they took her hostage. "Perfect Gentleman" by Brett Battles and "Bottom Deal" by Robert Gregory Browne are both lean and taut, expertly crafted in the good old hard-boiled tradition. In Marc Lecard's sly "Teardown," a hapless loser arrives in the wrong place at what turns out to be exactly the right time. Gregg Olson's autobiographical "Crime of My Life" features a surprise ending that actually surprises. The quality is less consistent among the other entries, but, remarkably for a collection this ample, there's no sign of a clinker.
An anthology so worthwhile that it comes within an eyelash of deserving the hyperbole Child (Bad Luck and Trouble, 2007, etc.) heaps on it in his introduction.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Rodriguez is going to get the largest contract ever in sports, when the I's are dotted and the T's crossed. He'll survive. But Boras' reputation as a savvy negotiator will not. He somehow managed to badly overplay the perfect hand.
Boras represented the best player coming off one of the greatest seasons ever, in the midst of a Hall of Fame career, a 54-homer, 156-RBI monster season played out in sports' biggest market, for the richest team. Boras held four aces, in a sense, and yet his client's contract will be somewhat lighter, by about 7 or 8 percent, and his client's reputation -- which had just begun to heal, through his remarkable 2007 season -- was trashed.
Read the full article at Olney's blog
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I was pretty surprised by Oprah's latest book club selection, THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH by Ken Follett. Not for any reasons that have to do with the book itself, but mainly because of the author's oeuvre.
Though PILLARS and its newly released sequel WORLD WITHOUT END have been massive bestsellers all around the globe, Follett is best known as a writer of thrillers such as EYE OF THE NEEDLE and JACKDAWS. Doing a quick scan of Oprah's past selections, this is the first time she's picked an author who has dabbled in the murky genre known as "crime fiction." Maybe a few of them have written what could be generously described as "literary suspense," but I don't think you'll find any previous Oprah picks hanging around at Bouchercon.
This makes me wonder whether Follett's selection was a one off--simply a case of the right book at the right time--or if it means the Harpo'd one could be broadening her horizons. Certainly there are crime writers who tackle material that go far, far beyond traditional potboiler status, as did Follett, so is this selection perhaps a harbinger of a pure crime novel being selected in the future?
Certainly a few crime novels come to mind as being Oprah-worthy, a potent blend of style and substance. Lehane's brilliant MYSTIC RIVER perhaps. And hey, Laura Lippman's had a heck of a year...
I walked into my local bookseller yesterday. Don't get me wrong, all the booksellers I've met since THE MARK came out have been incredibly supportive and patient, even in the face of some dumb questions.
So I waited in line at the information desk, and upon arriving at the front I began my well-rehearsed schpiel.
"This is kind of a weird request, my name is Jason Pinter and my first novel THE MARK came out this summer and I'd be happy to sign whatever stock you have." For whatever reason, I always begin these things by saying this is a weird request, as though I'm the first author ever to do a drop-in signing.
Anyway, he said that'd be great and he'd check the stock levels. He clicked his mouse a few times, then looked at me with a slightly apologetic smile and said, "I'm sorry, we don't have any copies left in stock."
My heart sunk a little, but I said, "Oh, ok, are you planning to reorder by any chance?"
He did a few more clicks and said, "I don't see any reorders scheduled. The book actually did pretty well here, we sold out of two good-sized shipments."
I said, "If you sold out of two orders, maybe you'd want to reorder, keep a few copies on the shelves?"
"You know," he said, "that's not a bad idea." He clicked a few more times. "I just ordered ten more copies. They should arrive in two to three days, and it'd be great it you could stop by and sign them."
Sure thing. No problem. Sigh.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I'm happy to say that THE MARK will be the January selection in Lance Storm's terrific Book Marks book club. I think it's safe to say that Lance is the only professional wrestler with a book club, and though he's technically retired from the ring his club tackles some of the best crime authors in the world. Past Book Marks selections have included Lee Child, Lisa Scottoline, T. Jefferson Parker, and Lance was actually featured as a character in one of Janet Evanovich's novels.
I met Lance a few years ago after I got wind of his club, sending him a few books I thought might make nice selections. He's a massive mystery and thriller fan, and if he gave his blessing to THE MARK I knew that'd be a huge honor.
THE MARK will be the Book Marks selection for his January-March club, so definitely stop by Lance's site to share your thoughts, and check out the rest of his picks. Lance will post reader thoughts on the book, and I'll have a chance to share mine as well. I'm really thrilled about this, as Lance is one of the nicest guys in the world (despite the fact that he could squash my head like a grapefruit while doing a triple axle somersault and reading a Robert Crais novel at the same time).
So check out Book Marks, and I'll see you in January!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
This week, CNN aired a documentary called "Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling" which dealt with the horrific Chris Benoit murder/suicide and the alarmingly high rate at which professional wrestlers have been dying prematurely. During the piece, they conducted an interview with WWE star John Cena, currently rehabbing a torn pectoral muscle. What the documentary aired and what Cena actually said are drastically different things. This is a pretty ugly example of selective reporting, misrepresenting someone's statements to fit an obvious agenda.
Voiceover: "John Cena is a WWE superstar, now recovering from an injury in the ring. He doesn't like being asked if he has used steroids."
Cena: "This is a crazy question. It's something that...it's tough to answer just because the way society is now, the way people conceive things because performance enhancing drugs have got the spotlight, and it's a hot thing to talk about. I can't tell you that I haven't but you'll never be able to prove that I have.
Wow, seems rather damning, right? Like one of those Mark McGwire "I'm not here to talk about the past" non-admission admissions. WWE smartly recorded the interview, obviously expecting shenanigans. And here's what Cena actually said.
Actual, Unedited Version
Interviewer: And it seems that WWE is under the microscope right now.
Cena: Of course. As is all of sport.
Interviewer: A lot of talk about steroid abuse, drug abuse. Have you ever used steroids?
Cena: Absolutely not. And this is a...
Interviewer: Even back in bodybuilding days? Football days?
Cena: This is a crazy question, and it's something that's tough to answer just because the way society is now, the way people conceive things because performance enhancing drugs have got the spotlight, and it's a hot thing to talk about. Any time you see any athlete, in any athletic venture, even the PGA tour, achieve physical greatness, something that is beyond the norm, even for a top-tier athlete. If top-tier athletes are rushing for a thousand yards, and then somebody comes out and starts running people over and rushing for two thousand, it's not athletic achievement any more, and that's something that really gets me. It's always, 'he or she is on performance enhancing drugs.' And it's only because certain athletes have gotten themselves in a certain situations where the finger is automatically pointed at somebody else and they go, 'oh, they're on performance enhancing drugs.' My answer to that question, have you ever used steroids, is the only thing I can say, I can't tell you that I haven't but you'll never be able to prove that I have. Because each one of you, each one of you out there, has an opinion on how I carry myself. And I can take a million tests, I've been tested for drugs since I was seventeen years old, I can take a million tests and pass every one of them. But as soon as I pass it there's another guy going, 'oh, there are masking agents, there's this, there's that.' I know the arguments because I've been in that situation. This is a subject that's very near and dear to me because since I was a very small child I've worked my ass off to get to where I'm at, and it sucks to be able to have to deal with people saying I rely on a crutch. You know I wake up every day and I work myself to the bone because I love what I do. I got the best gig in the world and I love it. And it kills me to have to sit here and do this with one arm. I want to be back out there. You hear stories about guys coming home from the war, and they're in the infirmary and all they want to do is get back out into the field. I want to get back in the field, you know, it's killing me. But to have to deal with the popularity of a substance that enhances performance, it's tough to take. I take great pride in the fact that I have a god-given gift of above average natural strength. And I show it off whenever I can because to me it's fun, it's entertaining, and it's what I love to do.
Notice how CNN omitted the "absolutely not" part, Cena's direct answer to the steroids question. And the part about having a natural gift. And how they acted as though the "I can't tell you I haven't" was his direct response to the steroid question. This is just lame, lazy and irresponsible.
Friday, November 09, 2007
My Birthday Present
As of tomorrow I will no longer be an editor. At least not a professional one. The only editing I will be performing is on my own work, the next Henry Parker novel, and whatever may come next. As of tomorrow, I will be a full-time writer.
(Cue hushed silence. Ok, maybe not)
This was not an easy decision to make or one I came to lightly. A little over a year and a half ago one of my lifelong dreams came true when MIRA books bought my novel THE MARK. This summer I was offered a new deal that forced me to make a choice. The amount of work that my new contract calls for is significant. And anyone who's worked in publishing knows how much time and effort is needed to properly shepherd a book through all stages of production. It was coming to a point where I simply could not perform both without each suffering to some extent.
And as I took a more active role in promoting my work, going to conferences and speaking on panels, it became incredibly difficult to wear both hats. While as an editor there's always a professional barrier (no matter how slight) between you and your authors, I began to view many authors as friends. The double-edged sword was that some of these friends had books submitted to me by their agents. Some of them I was forced to pass on. As an editor it's the nature of the beast, as I turn down literally hundreds of books and proposals a year. Yet as I made the rounds more I realized the line between personal and professional had been blurred, perhaps permanently. There are other editors who write, have worn both hats for years, and worn them well. Right now, though, only one hat fits me. Of course I do want to leave the door open in case I want to try the other one back on in the future.
So I've decided to make a go at it, to try writing for my career and livelihood. My family has been more than supportive, since between professional obligations and personal obstacles these last few months have been difficult. Not to mention the incredible grace support from everyone at my employer. I'm beyond thrilled to have the opportunity for write full time, and I thank my publisher for giving me the chance to do just that. Now I have to live up to my end of the deal and keep writing books to be proud of, that people will hopefully want to read.
A few years ago, my boss and mentor told me an author only gets only one, maybe two bites at the apple. Hopefully I have the time and focus to make mine count.
Tomorrow also happens to be my 28th birthday. And today is Wilson's 1st birthday. To celebrate, here is a picture of Wilson in his Halloween costume:
And since I'm a writer now, I gots ta plug my warez. THE MARK is available at bookstores everywhere. THE GUILTY will be released on February 26th and is available for pre-order. And if you see me on the street please say hello, since odds are I've been cooped up inside, hunched over a computer for hours on end. Ok, so maybe my work day won't be changing that much after all...
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I have worked in editorial for a little over four and a half years. I've acquired somewhere between 30 and 40 books. And I have my very first New York Times bestseller two days before leaving the industry.
I'm so freaking happy right now I can't stand it. Y2J! Y2J!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Galleys just arrived this afternoon for my second novel, THE GUILTY, which hits stores on February 26th. I love the coloring on the cover, and how my publisher kept the same font and the bullet hole motif as THE MARK. There will be some slight copy variations on the finished book, but it looks great so far.
I'm very proud of this book. It's a lot more layered than THE MARK, and I've had the story for THE GUILTY in mind for several years. I really aspired to further the characters, add a few new ones, and give some neat twists. I hope readers enjoy it.
And if you pay close attention, you might find a few clues along the way...
- Alan Sepinwall, Hugh Howey, and the Death of "One ...
- 9 Things Not To Ask a Writer
- Things I'm Not Thankful For
- Why Publishers Hate Authors: A Response to an Arti...
- FAKING LIFE: Jason's first ever ebook exclusive no...
- Coming in 2011: Jason's first book for young reade...
- A Note for Readers of THE HUNTERS
- Happy New Year!
- THE HUNTERS: never-before-published ebook availabl...
- THE HUNTERS - On the Prowl November 1st
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