It's that time of year again... I have a new book out today! The mass market of WHAT LIES BEHIND is in stores now, in a spiffy new package, perfect for grabbing to take along on your Thanksgiving holidays. Because who doesn't need a little alone time with Samantha Owens during the holiday, am I right?
I did a piece for Fresh Fiction about my love of mass market paperbacks -- the thicker, the better (and at 448 pages, WLB is plenty thick, I promise). Also, read on for some insight into the story and my character naming process. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, and thank you, so much, for always supporting me and my books. Without you, this doesn't happen!
For your convenience, if you need to get your Sam fix . . .
Long before I was a writer, I was a reader (I’m sure this comes as a shock to you all). But I was a reader on a serious budget.
Though I have always been a library hound, I also love, LOVE paperbacks. Using my meager funds, I’d stand in the book aisle in the grocery store or drugstore (remember them?) and decide what I was going to buy that week. Though I read like a fiend, I could only afford to get one. So I used a time-honored decision making process: I bought the thickest ones I could find.
I discovered so many incredible authors this way. Tami Hoag, Nelson DeMille, John Connolly, Stephen White, Erica Spindler, Alex Kava, Mo Hayder, Karen Harper, Catherine Coulter, Lee Child, Allison Brennan, Jeff Abbott, Harlan Coben . . .
I could go on and on and on. It was a special, private joy for me, this buying of paperbacks. I adore books, and I simply couldn’t afford more than the mass market at the time. The library didn’t cut it—I wanted the tangible proof in my house. My husband became alarmed at one point and said, “Honey, you gotta stop, we can’t have bookshelves in every room.” Imagine my shock at this outrageous statement! “Of course we can,” I replied with a huff. “As a matter of fact, I was thinking . . . since we rarely use the dining room, why don’t we make it into a library?”
Cue horrified silence from my better half.
Well, we didn’t do that, but I will say, proudly, that there are bookshelves in four rooms now. They are (mostly) contained, and there are more hardcovers than paperbacks, but my book buying has not, and will never, abate. I still grab a nice thick paperback when I go to the store. And though I now recognize most of the names, I’m always looking for a new-to-me author who has a wad of backlist titles, and off on the merry-go-round I go.
When I got my first deal, I was incredibly excited when they told me I’d be mass market original. Imagine going from buying these books to having one of my own on the drugstore shelf! I had six books release in mass market before I was moved to trade paperback, and now I’m in hardcover. One of the cool things about hardcover, I’ve discovered, is I also get to have a paperback. Hurrah!
In those early days, I never knew the difference between hardcover, mass market, trade, all that jargon.
All I knew was I wanted a book I could afford, that had a cool cover and a great story, and if I liked the author, I went back for more and more, regardless of format.
Well, WHAT LIES BEHIND, my 4th Samantha Owens novel, is coming out in paperback today. It does have a cool cover, and an awesome story. I hope many of you who haven’t read my Sam Owens series will pick up the paperback and give her a shot. Sam is a fabulous character to write: she is a lapsed medical examiner who teaches forensic pathology at Georgetown, a consultant with the FBI, and has overcome grave difficulties in her life. She’s funny and smart and kind, and when faced with evil, will do anything in her power to eradicate it. If you’ve read my Taylor Jackson series, you will recognize the name. Sam’s a changed woman now, and I hope you’ll get to know her.
Tell me, who have you discovered through paperbacks?