Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Timothy Taylor, Guest Blogger
I'd like to welcome Timothy Taylor as guest blogger today. He's the author of The Blue Light Project, a book that was scheduled for blog tours. I'm going to let Timothy tell you what happened.
Thank you, Lesa, for asking me to guest blog. My book, The Blue Light Project, arrived in the mailboxes of about 20 bloggers a couple months back. Some people thought the book was mis-targetted and Lesa asked me to comment on what happened. Any writer would really appreciate that gesture. Thanks sincerely.
Let me just start by saying that the book world has changed since I published my first novel, in Spring 2001. One change is the explosive growth of book blogs which now attract huge, attentive, smart readership. As a result, while newspaper reviews used to be the big score, now it’s blog tours. (Like those conducted by the wonderful folks at TLC. Thanks Lisa!).
Unlike newspapers which are general interest, however, blogs are quite specific. They reflect one blogger’s interests, so they tend to be about particular types of books: crime fiction or romance novels, thrillers or cookbooks. As a result, Blue Light had to be categorized more specifically than my previous books.
We discussed this for awhile – my agent in New York, my publisher in San Francisco, and me in Vancouver – and eventually agreed we should approach bloggers who like thrillers and crime fiction. Why? Well because compared to most works of literary fiction (which is the loose category my book would belong in otherwise) Blue Light has a lot of crime and thriller-type action in it (hostages, cops, SWAT teams, bombs etc). Also, I’m an admirer of both the thriller and crime genre (I like James Lee Burke particularly, who writes like William Faulkner on 18 cups of coffee) so perhaps I was secretly hoping Blue Light would fit under that heading.
Was it a mistake? Well, it depends who you ask. Some bloggers loved it (phew). Others found it not what was expected. For me, all I can say is that it was the book I wanted to write: a picture of the chaotic times in which we find ourselves. (And they’ve become quite chaotic lately, haven’t they? Speaking personally, I read the news each morning hoping and praying not to learn of another disaster or outbreak of mayhem or economic collapse.)
But, aside from offering an insight into how books are marketed, this blog post is also about saying thanks. Being a writer was my dream from the time I was a kid. I quit a perfectly good day job in finance to pursue it, with the support of my wonderful wife. 10 years and four books into it, we’re both thrilled that I’m still at it. So: thank you for having a look at my book.
In the meantime, I’ll return to the novel-in-progress. It’s about a woman who survives a devastating airplane crash in which she is one of seven survivors. After surviving, however, her luck seems to go bad. Her husband has an affair and leaves her. Things go sour in her once-successful business. Late one night, alone and depressed, she gets a phone call from one of the other survivors. He wants to meet, he says. He has something to tell her. Why the urgency? Because, he says, he’s been trying to contact all survivors and in the process learned that the other five are dead, each by reported suicide.
What kind of book is it? Well, I would have told you thriller/crime up until a few weeks ago. Now I’m not so sure. All I know is that I will finish it and I will remain hopeful that people will check it out and make a connection with it.
Again, thank you, both for reading this and for being readers.