Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DC writers

One of the great floating institutions in DC is the Moldea Authors' Dinner, which is held a couple of times a year at the Old Europe restaurant. Aside from being fun -- you don't worry about how Zagat's is going to rate the schnitzel here, you just kick back some good German beer and enjoy yourself -- it's inspirational to see all these writers, some very successful and others struggling, like me, to get the next book out.

So you have writers like Jeff Deaver, who is firing on all cylinders with another authorized James Bond sequel and his own Lincoln Rhyme (the character portrayed by Denzel Washington in "The Bone Collector") series, and Jim Grady, who reached fame and fortune at an early age with a book that became "Three Days of the Condor." And you have writers like Dan Stashower, who published some mysteries but has switched to nonfiction (his new book, The Hour of Peril, on how Pinkerton foiled a plot to assassinate Lincoln even before the Civil War is coming out in January), and Jim Reston, a well-established nonfiction writer who is now working harder than you might think necessary to get his novel published.

There are assorted others who haven't published a book in several years along with the inimitable Paul Dickson, who brings out several books each year. Regardless of how successful (in terms of sales) or which genre, we're all dealing with the same problems in getting books written and published. One author who has a pretty high post in the administration and who is writing a thriller suggested that writing fiction on an intermittent basis is challenging because you need to stay in touch with your characters. This rang a bell with me and helped me understand why I have trouble finding any sort of rhythm in writing the new financial thriller. It's not so much writer's block per se, but a lack of continuity with the character.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gold sequel

It turns out, somewhat to my surprise, that the new financial thriller I've been working on has a gold angle and may end up being a sequel of sorts to Gold. Not a sequel in the sense of the same characters, but it will treat once again the same issues of money and debt and the role of gold in our modern economy.

It didn't start out that way but it does seem that when you get into it, there's no way around gold. Such is the weight of millennia on our monetary system. As one of the characters in the new book says, "It's just a shiny rock." But an iconic rock.

I'm still excited about the sequel to The Grand Mirage, which will feature Lord Leighton and some of the other characters from that book. I'm researching and working on one set in Cairo and have toyed with another set in the Levant.

Gold, even though it is 20 years old, is selling better than Mirage. I think a financial thriller set in contemporary times is more accessible than an adventure story set in 1910. Price may also play a role, because the Kindle edition of Gold is 2.99 while Mirage is still at 4.99. I do feel the audience for Mirage will build, especially if I can get a couple more in the series, much like it did for Patrick O'Brian's books or Bernard Cornwall's Sharpe series.

I even have a notion now for a third financial thriller involving gold, making a sort of of Gold Trilogy, though again it would probably feature a different set of characters. It's ambitious, but I'm pleased with the progress on the new financial thriller.

Monday, June 4, 2012

More free Gold

The Kindle Select promotion for Gold just ahead of Memorial Day weekend was a huge success, with the book staying at #1 on the free suspense bestseller list most of the second day! The spike in paid sales afterwards was also significant and the books has stayed relatively high in the sales ranking since then.

It seems relatively certain at this point that the new financial thriller in progress will be the next Barnaby Woods Books publication. It is not a sequel to Gold but more like a 2012 version, with a Washington blogger as the protagonist. It's great to see that Gold remains popular and is finding a new audience so long after it went out of print.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Free Gold

Gold gained a lot of attention in its first free promotion in the Kindle Select program, only the second week after it was published and with only one review. It rose as high as #18 on the Free Kindle bestseller list for suspense thrillers.

The paperback has also been listed on Amazon though there seems to be a problem between Lightning Source and Amazon on indicating in-stock availability. I'm working with LSI and Amazon to resolve the issue.