I’ve always identified myself as a reader. Growing up, I was the girl on the playground at recess, reading the Mary Higgins Clark I had smuggled from my house while waiting in line for four square. Directly from college I dallied in the advertising industry and was the only one who never saw our commercials air, since I would be reading Patricia Cornwell or Vince Flynn and inevitably ignore the TV. It seemed natural to me to move to NYC, with the sole determination to find a career in the book publishing world.
I now work in Marketing for G. P. Putnam's Sons and Riverhead Books, both imprints at Penguin Group. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by books every day and the people that produce them. Just last week I saw Sue Grafton in the hall and was celebrity-struck as I scurried into my office, thinking how I had borrowed her first book, A Is for Alibi, from my high school library.
Many other iconic mystery writers have strolled through Putnam’s hallways, known as the “preeminent publisher of thrillers,” including the renowned John Sandford, Clive Cussler, Catherine Coulter, Patricia Cornwell, Tom Clancy, Ridley Pearson, Robert Crais, Robert B. Parker, Daniel Silva…and the list continues.
Books are to me what the sense of smell is to many others – an instant connection to the past along with a thrill of recognition; especially true with mysteries as I really connect with the characters throughout a series. Mystery authors tend to have a very loyal following, as their characters grow and develop along with an audience (I recently wrote about the Genre that Never Dies). Both Grafton and Sandford have been gracing bookshelves with the same characters since the 1980s.
In addition to working with established authors, it’s always a thrill to be part of an author’s career at the beginning. Each writer has a first book—the question of how to reach an audience and get people talking about a new author in a crowded genre full of well-known talents is something that really does keep me up at night and occasionally invades my dreams.
January 7, 2010 marks the release of Finnish author James Thompson’s debut U.S. thriller, Snow Angels. It is the first in a series featuring Inspector Vaara and I’m already looking forward to the next installment. Launching an author has unique challenges, but it’s exciting for both us as the publisher and the first time author (James, for instance, is just lovely), and it’s inspiring to help find deserved success.
People read mysteries for a variety of reasons, and I’m interested in hearing yours. Who are your favorite authors and do you remember what originally drew you to their book? Why do you read mysteries, and can you sleep in the dark when you’re finished (am I the only one that has a hard time falling asleep, imagining noises on my patio)?
Thanks for joining me here on Meritorious Mysteries. Molly, thank you for including me on your wonderful site!
Cheers and happy holidays to all!
Connect with me at my http://www.novelwhore.wordpress.com blog or on Twitter
Do you plan to Buy Books for the Holidays?