The Ones That Got Away

I take the business of endorsing other authors very seriously, because I feel so fortunate to have had support from some of the most important writers working today.  Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Gardner, Jeff Abbott, and other fantastic authors have all taken the time to read my novels and offer their kind words.  And every single time I am humbled and washed over with gratitude.  These are some of the writers who I most admire, and who have inspired me to be the best writer I can be.  And to have their names on my book jackets, well, it never fails to blow me away.

When an author sends me his or her galley, I know how hard it is.  It’s a difficult request to make, there’s some anxious waiting involved. I know because I’ve been in that place. So when a galley arrives at my house and finds its way into my pile, I feel a responsibility to that book and to the author who sent it.  If I can manage to read it and say a few kind words, I’m going to do that. So many great writers have been generous with me, how can I not do the same for others?

That said, my time is not always my own.  In the mommy writer balance, I am generally up by 5 AM to stay ahead of my pages, my deadlines, my personal goals, so that I can be fully present for my daughter when she’s not in school.  In the evenings, I often collapse into an exhausted heap.  So sometimes that stack of galleys grows beyond managing.  And I have to say the word I hate to say more than anything (chronic pleaser that I am): No.  Sometimes there simply are not enough hours in the day.

Here, a few words about the ones that got away from me in 2011:

Recently, I had dinner with editor extraordinaire Kate Miciak and her very talented author William Landay. It was a large group, and I didn’t get to chat with either of them as much as I would have liked.  Imagine my surprise when I got home and found a copy of Bill’s galley deep down in my pile, its blurb deadline long passed!  Imagine my even deeper dismay when I picked it up and realized it was AMAZING!  Luckily, I was able to fire off some words of praise – and apology.  Not that he needed it; everyone who read his book LOVED it.  His novel, DEFENDING JACOB, releases at the end of the month.  Do yourself a favor and read it, because it was truly one of the best books I read last year. More about this book: http://www.williamlanday.com

One of my favorite people, the delightful Sharon Potts sent me her manuscript THE DEVIL’S MADONNA a while back.  Okay … MONTHS ago (okay, six months ago.)  Because my recent past has been more harried and hectic than usual, I only recently — far past her deadline — started to read.  Of course, it’s terrific … a tightly written, suspenseful, thrill-ride with a completely shocking conclusion.  Doll that she is, Sharon mothered me through my apologies.  “Now, Lisa, I don’t want you to feel bad about this,” she wrote.  That Sharon.  She’s smart, funny, sweet and writes a heck of a thriller.  For more about Sharon: http://www.sharonpotts.com

I met Hank Phillippi Ryan at Bouchercon this past fall – and she’s fabulous.  I love her funny, wise voice as she tweets for @junglereds (a collection of seriously talented authors including Julia Spencer Fleming, Rhys Bowen, and Debra Crombie.) And when I met her in the real world, I immediately felt as if I’d known her forever.  I just recently came up for air and started the galley for Hank’s upcoming THE OTHER WOMAN. Just like Hank, heroine Jane Ryland is cool, plucky, and an ace investigative reporter.  (Hank won 27 Emmy Awards for her reporting for Boston’s NBC affiliate.)  And the book — with its brisk, tightly woven plot, and the smart, complicated woman at its center – is crackerjack.  Lisa Scottoline raved: “If you haven’t read Hank Phillippi Ryan yet, you should.”  I totally agree.  For more on Hank: www.HankPhillippiRyan.com

One of the things I love most about my profession is the way authors bolster and support each other.  Certainly, it’s a competitive business.  But I have found only encouragement and kindness from my fellow writers, and try to offer the same. My New Year’s resolution is to read faster and not let the pile get away from me. And if you send me your galley, and I can’t read it right away, don’t despair.  You might wind up in a blog like this.