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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gold is live on Amazon!

The Kindle edition of Gold is now live on Amazon. After being out of print for many years, this financial thriller, now more relevant than ever, is available once again. In today's volatile markets, the disaster scenario depicted in Gold is closer than ever. Even the possibility of a U.S. default -- once just a figment of a novelist's imagination -- is now closer to reality than ever before.

I'll be reviewing the final print proof later today so the print on demand version should become available later this week as part of the soft launch for the reissue of Gold.

If the roller coaster ride of financial markets intrigues or fascinates you, you'll enjoy Gold. My editor at Dutton, Richard Marek, said he had not been obsessed with markets like many of his contemporaries, but he loved the suspense in Gold and bought it on the basis of the first five chapters.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gold reissue next month

New Cover
The reissue of Gold is tentatively set for April 23. The six-month period for Penguin to reprint the novel before the rights automatically revert to me ends April 13, based on my request Oct. 13. Penguin confirmed receipt of my request and that they have up to six months to decide whether to reissue or let the rights revert to me, but I have heard nothing else from them since then.

In any case, once the six months is up and presuming Penguin does not opt to reissue the book, I will proceed with the plans to publish Gold as an ebook in the KDP Select program and as print on demand with Lightning Source. Pedernales Publishing has once again come up with a great cover and they are ably handling all the formatting.

Old Hardback Cover
Old Paperback Cover
As I note in a Foreword to the New Edition, the world now seems closer to the global financial catastrophe depicted in Gold than it did when the novel was originally published. As the financial crisis that started in 2008 demonstrated, markets are more interconnected and fragile than ever. And in the summer of 2011, the U.S. government came within a hair’s breadth of defaulting on its debt – a calamity that once was the exclusive preserve of fanciful writers of fiction. Gold was in many ways prescient and for that reason is surprisingly relevant today. Some of the technology in news distribution and commodities trading has changed, but the essential dynamic of the markets and the role of information remains the same.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


A new website from DC's public radio and TV station, WETA, features me and The Grand Mirage in their beta content, currently on display. The idea of inReads is to discuss books and culture at the intersection of technology, so they want to feature self-published authors and their ebooks. I think it was my post My Road to Self-Publishing that attracted their attention (click the "indie" tab above), and which is reproduced on the site.

It's a great showcase even if it is still just building an audience. Hopefully, it will get promotion on WETA and get lots of traffic. In any case, I'm grateful to WETA for taking this initiative and for contacting me about it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Praise from Publishers Weekly

The January issue of Publishers Weekly has just appeared and The Grand Mirage was one of only two dozen self-published works of fiction selected for a review.

"Delamaide provides a fascinating look at a little-examined period: the Great Game period before WWI," the reviewer writes. This reviewer considers British Orientalist Lord Richard Leighton and American spy William Morrison "unlikely heroes," but concludes "this makes them all the more likable."

Unlike the new incarnation of Kirkus Reviews, which requires a payment of several hundred dollars from authors to get a review, Publishers Weekly selects a handful of books for review from the hundreds submitted for listing (for a much more modest fee) in its annual special section on self-publishing.

The positive editorial review, complete with a thumbnail of the cover, can be found on p. 44 of the January edition.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Many nice comments about The Grand Mirage. A neighbor tells me her boyfriend started it because she had bought a copy for him at my book party and, somewhat to his surprise, I gather, found it "really good" and had trouble putting it down after the first session.

An old friend from grad school says she enjoyed the book and bought copies as gifts for Christmas. A woman in Andrea's book group says her husband has started it and is enjoying it. There's a nice new 5-star review on Amazon that says "Delamaide has told the story so vividly it comes alive."

I think the fact that Mel Parker, my agent, was so enthusiastic about the book and that many men in their 40s or so are liking it indicates that the book has special appeal for a male audience. In retrospect, it's clear that this is not the profile of the initial decision makers at publishing houses.