The Private Eye Writers of America hand out The Shamus Award every year at Bouchercon. This year, Critical Damage has made it to the final five entries in the “Best Original Paperback P.I. Novel” category. (see here for a complete list of all the finalists). The winner will be announced in October at an awards dinner during Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Shamus Award is handed out to recognize outstanding achievement in private eye fiction. I have to be honest here and say that I am both stunned and amazed and incredibly happy by this nomination. And this is also incredible for another reason, as Critical Damage was a very cathartic novel for me, written during a very painful period of my life. It’s the Mallen novel that is closest to my heart.
Trust me, I’ll keep you posted. If you happen to be going to Bouchercon this year, please let me know. The hotel naturally has a bar, and that’s where you will find me.
Except of course, Friday night.
Well, here we go. We’re down to like eight weeks away from my first novel. On April 8th, I’ll be a published writer. Been a LONG and crazy time since I got the call from my agent that she’d sold a two-book deal to the greatness that is known as Midnight Ink. Since that time, I’ve lost BOTH my parents, almost died, and now have some medical condition that I will probably have the rest of my days.
We’re really defined by the turning points in our lives. These last twelve have certainly defined me. I’ve left the old me behind, never to be that person again.
And then, there is Mark Mallen and his first adventure: Untold Damage. It’s crazy to think I’ll have a book out in bookstores, both here and abroad. That it will eventually be available on both the Kindle and the Nook.
After like ten long years of trying and trying and trying to get to here, I’m finally actually at this point!
I’m looking forward to what happens after the book comes out. I’ve got that blog tour from TLC BLog Tours, that appearance in Writers Digest, a book giveaway and review on Criminal Element. And hopefully a lot of other interesting things. Personally, I’m looking forward to the book giveaways. I’m devising all sorts of interesting contests for you guys.
Anyway, we’ll talk soon, I’m sure.
It’s my pleasure to use this space to tell you about some really awesome writing critique auctions, going live on Ebay starting December 1. ALL proceeds go to some incredibly wonderful charities: Deafness Research Foundation, Hope for Vision, and Foundation Fighting Blindness.
First, let me tantalize you with what some people who have won a critique had to say about their experience:
“The way you deliver feedback is truly amazing. It was honest, tactful, and insightful. You really packed a lot into your critique. It was an invaluable experience.”
“Your review far exceeded my expectations.”
“A rare peek into the thoughts of an accomplished agent.”
“Definitely great feedback, and she actually passed the partial on to one of her other agents, who ended up asking for the full manuscript.”
There’s going to be a marathon of FIFTEEN auctions, guys. That’s FIFTEEN chances to win a critique of your partial manuscript, from a truly wonderful agent (and yes, I’m partial to the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, as I’m extremely fortunate to be repped by them). AND it’s ALL for charity! Truly a “win/win” situation! Here’s the link to the page that explains it all.
What I had forgotten is that Irene Goodman has been doing these critiques every month, but never in such a large number as this marathon of fifteen. This is your chance, people!
This is what Irene herself has to say about it:
“This is such a great experience. I get to raise money for the causes about which I am deeply passionate (I mean, come on, it’s my child we’re talking about here) and I also get to put all the insider, weird, useful, crazy stuff I’ve learned over the decades to good use for up and coming authors. It’s totally win-win.”
From the site:
Q: What do you mean by a “partial”?
A: I mean the first three chapters—roughly 50 double-spaced pages, plus a synopsis of 3-10 double-spaced pages.
Q: Why these causes?
A: Hope for Vision and Deafness Research Foundation are of crucial importance to me because my son Rob, 23, has Usher Syndrome. That’s a genetic condition that causes progressive loss of both vision and hearing. The research in this area is tremendous and there is great hope on the horizon. We can expect that there will be an effective treatment for blindness in his lifetime. Scientists at Stanford predict they will restore hearing to mice in ten years.
But when you are 23 and you are losing your sight and your hearing, you want the cure to happen NOW. All this costs a lot of money, and that’s where your dollars will be spent.
So, mark your calendars and get ready to BID, BID, BID! Get an honest and thoughtful critique of your partial manuscript from one of the leading agents out there, AND help others! Where’s the downside, I ask you?
Here’s the latest information on what is not only a great idea, but also a great way to win a fantastic critique of your partial by one amazing agent:
Irene Goodman is pleased to announce an eBay event that will auction off 25 critiques of partial manuscripts to the top 25 bidders, starting Dec. 1st. All proceeds will go directly to the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the Deafness Research Foundation.
Here are the details:
Q: Really? 25 critiques?
A: Yes, really. They will be done by me personally—no interns, no staff, no passing the buck.
Q: When will the auction take place?
A: It starts December 1, 2009 and ends December 15, 2009.
Q: How soon can the winners expect to hear from you?
A: I plan to look at these during the last two weeks of December, when things tend to slow down. But they will be finished by the middle of January at the latest.
Q: What do you mean by a “partial”?
A: I mean the first three chapters—roughly 50 pages, plus a synopsis of 3-10 pages.
Q: How long will each critique be?
A: At least half a page, single-spaced, maybe more. But I can pack a lot of feedback into half a page.
Q: What kinds of manuscripts are you looking for?
A: Any kind of commercial fiction or non-fiction, but especially thrillers, mysteries, romance, historical fiction, women’s fiction, and anything paranormal. For non-fiction, it can be narrative with a strong hook, or prescriptive with a strong platform.
Q: What are your critiques like and what is your track record for finding new clients this way?
A: My critiques pack a lot of punch. I am direct, honest, and encouraging when I can be. I’m a combination of Simon and Randy. I believe that nicey-nice doesn’t really help you. Honesty does. If you can accept well-meant feedback from someone who has built a lot of best-selling careers, then this is for you. My track record in this regard astonishes me when I look at it. There are dozens of books that sold for sizable advances as a direct result of my feedback to the authors. When you are hungry for information that will really make a difference, not waste your time, and respect your goals, you need a real industry professional who has walked the walk.
Q: Why these two causes?
A: These two causes are of crucial importance to me because my son Rob, 22, has Usher Syndrome. That’s a genetic condition that causes progressive loss of both vision and hearing. The research in this area is tremendous and there is great hope on the horizon. We can expect that there will be an effective treatment for blindness in his lifetime. Scientists at Stanford predict they will restore hearing to mice in ten years. But when you are 22 and you are losing your sight and your hearing, you want the cure to happen NOW. All this costs a lot of money, and that’s where your dollars will be spent. Proceeds from twelve critiques will go to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and thirteen will go to the Deafness Research Foundation. You will be able to choose which organization you want to benefit.