Christmas in January

It’s now a week before Death Was the Other Woman’s January 8th publication date. I can tell because I’ve stopped breathing very much. To be honest, I’ve loved this moment in the publishing history of all of my books. The moment just before the book comes out, when the reviews are starting to show up and when readers will be making a decision with their feet.

A lot of grown-ups don’t get to have this feeling. It’s like, I’m ten years old and Christmas morning is right. Over. There. I can’t eat so much. I can sleep even less than usual. I’m a big ol’ mess of anticipation. It’s delicious.

It’s also dangerous. See, I know I’ve written the very best book that I could in that moment of my life. And several people have told me this is my best book so far. And Minotaur did a really wonderful job on the cover and on the old timey interior design: it’s a very beautiful book. You can know all these things and still not know – not really know – how this moment will go off.

Still: I’ve had enough evidence that I can buy a clue. For instance, both Booklist and Publishers Weekly gave Death Was the Other Woman very good reviews. You can see both here on my Web site, but here’s the Booklist, from the January 2008 edition:
Using a female narrator for a Depression-era noir tale seems a calculated strategy, but Richards makes it work naturally. Kitty, whose life of privilege disappeared when her father killed himself after the 1929 stock market crash, brings a peculiarly ironic point of view, filtering the tough guys, broads, gats, and gunsels through a patrician context that makes all the hard-boiled posturing seem as silly as high-society tomfoolery. Honoring the noir tradition while turning it on its head, Richards’ richly detailed period portrays a world in which lifestyles, whether high or low, become an elaborate defense against a harsh environment in which there is only one final act and the trick is to determine the time the curtain falls. Expect to hear more from Kitty Pangborn.

So, OK: please indulge me over the next few weeks while my personal blogging turns to the exciting exploits of my newly published book. Christmas doesn’t come every day, thank goodness. But it always seems to take so very long to get here.

Thanks for riding with me.


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