Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Guest Author - Don Bruns

Today, I'd like to welcome guest blogger, Don Bruns.

“Don Bruns is a musician, songwriter, advertising executive and award-winning novelist.

Bruns is the author of Jamaica Blue, Barbados Heat, South Beach Shakedown, St. Barts Breakdown and the forthcoming Bahama Burnout, a mystery series featuring rock and roll journalist Mick Sever. Bruns is also the author of Stuff to Die For and Stuff Dreams Are Made Of.

Bruns has also authored several short stories and served as editor of the anthology, A Merry Band of Murderers, which reached #5 on the Independent Mystery Bestsellers List in 2006. He is also a frequent contributor to The Little Blog of Murder.

A former road musician who traveled and performed throughout the US with major entertainment acts, Don Bruns recently released a CD of original songs called Last Flight Out, and performed two original songs at the 2004 Edgar Awards ceremonies.

Don Bruns divides his time between Ohio and South Florida. His website is”

Thank you, Don, for taking time to blog today. Now, I'll turn it over to him.


Underappreciated Authors?

I'd always heard that you can't sell books unless you get reviews. careful what you wish for. I've had my share of reviews, and sometimes a reviewer doesn't see the work the way you did. Sometimes they can be down-right nasty. And then sometimes, they get it exactly right. Like my March release, Bahama Burnout. Here is part of Library Journal's review.

”Bruns's sixth mystery captures the flavor of living in a tropical paradise and is another great read from an underappreciated mystery author.” —Library Journal

So what is an underappreciated mystery author? I always suspected I fell into that category. I mean, The New York Times hasn't exactly been hounding me with phone calls.

Publisher's Weekly, until this book, has always been tepid in their response to my writing, and sales have been modest at best. My website isn't deluged with hundreds of fascinated readers (although I did get a note that I could refinance my home at a lower rate yesterday), so I think that all qualifies me as an underappreciated mystery author.

And there are hundreds of us out there. And without really doing much research, I suspect there have always been hundreds of underappreciated mystery authors. My guess is that at one time in his life, John D. McDonald was underappreciated. Certainly Edgar Allan Poe was underappreciated. At one time he was not appreciated at all. (I sincerely hope that I don't have to die in a ditch in Baltimore to finally get recognition.) Sue Grafton once told me she'd written five books before she even had one published, and Keziah Dane didn't exactly set the world on fire. Sue was underappreciated.

I have a lot of writer friends who feel very underappreciated. Some who have been touted as the next breakthrough author, five or six books ago. My good friend, Jay Waggoner, who reviews books for Deadly Pleasures, sees wonderful historical mysteries come across his desk and he can't understand why these writers don't break out. So I guess being underappreciated puts me in pretty good company. I don't want to stay here forever, but for the time being, it beats not being published at all!

Thank you, Don. It really makes me think about other authors who I think are underappreciated.

Don Bruns is giving away a signed copy of his book, Bahama Burnout, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to Don’s book tour page,, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 7466, for your chance to win. Entries from Lesa's Book Critiques will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on Don’s book tour page next week.


caryn said...

Hi Don,
I never thought about the term "underappreciated" before and what it means. I do hear it and read it often though. Maybe it has to do with the pace of our society. People jump on whatever train is out there in their face all the time, so the new author who makes a big splash may ride that wave for several books, or the big names that are constantly reviewed are the ones people grab in the bookstores and libraries.
It takes time to browse the book aisles looking for something different-time many people don't want to take. Unfortunately, I suspect that's true of the reviewers for the major publications as well. When faced with a huge pile fo new books, they chose to read and review the "big names" and give mere lipservice to many others, relying on the publishers info.

Becky LeJeune said...

I appreciate you, Don! Love your Stuff series and now it's time for me to read this one, too.

Anonymous said...

I'd jump on this drawing for Don's new book if I didn't already have a copy! (g) Get it. read it. It's good, even if Bruns doesn't always give you the time of day.

Anonymous said...

Hey, now I know what I am, I'm underappreciated - beats heck out of broke as the Ten Commandments. Fortunately I just plain like to write so I'll be squeezing ink cartridges out of the grocery list and writing as long as I can see the monitor (and what's more important I love to read and am an 'appreciater' of all of you who are writing those good mysteries.
Best wishes to all of us,

Lesa said...

OK, everyone. I jumped the gun. I understand I was supposed to post Don's blog next week, which is why Don wasn't here to answer. My fault. Just too much communication about this post, and it got away from me.

I'm sorry. But, I hope you enjoyed the post. I thought it was an interesting idea - underappreciated authors.

itsamystery said...

Lesa - Thanks for "re-posting"! It's a great blog and I'd have missed it otherwise . . .

Don - Underappreciated is my word for the day. Thanks for sharing - Your blog is very insightful & really an inspiration for all the "underappreciated" people in the world. Let's hope we all don't have the fate of Poe!

misterreereeder said...

Interesting subject for a post. Don - how did you ever come up with it? I have to say I enjoyed the post and the book was great as well!!!