What’s a publicist to do? by PJ Nunn

Imagine walking into an enormous shoe store with all kinds of shoes, then telling the salesman you’re not sure what kind you’re looking for, or what size you wear, or how much you want to spend. Just show me something…


At the very least, a good publicist should understand that you’re fairly new at the process and be able to ask questions that help determine what you’re looking for. Of course, that’s hard to do on a website or an email so usually a phone call is best. He or she should also be honest about whether or not what you’re looking for is going to help you achieve the desired results.


Many approach me seeming to think that hiring me will be a shortcut to success. I wish it was, but it probably isn’t. My job isn’t to promote your books for you, it’s to help you promote your books more effectively. What I aim to help you do is to make sure you’re making a great first impression, on the web, in person, on the radio, in print – whatever you choose to do. You may never see me do most of what I do, but it does make a difference.


It would be nice if there was a one-size-fits-all promotion plan that could be duplicated again and again, but there isn’t. At least I haven’t found it. A great campaign can be small or large and focused on one area of promotion or several. What’s important is that it works for you and that you feel comfortable doing what it entails.


Three things a publicist can and should do no matter what the campaign involves:


  1. Handle rejection – it happens, but it’s not personal and nobody likes to hear it. If it might be personal, I would talk to you about making some changes to take care of it, but usually it’s just business. I hear “no” in some form all the time. But I know it means “not now”, “call back another day”, or some variation of that. It usually doesn’t mean they’re rejecting you or your book. And in the rare cases in which it does, it’s easier for me to hear it than you. I’ll know to move on and look elsewhere.


  1. Free up your time for writing – Many of the tasks involved in promotion are hugely time consuming. Unending follow up calls are inevitable. Since this is what we do, we’ve streamlined the process and can free up large amounts of your time. Let me do these things for you so you’ll have more time to write!


  1. Lastly, we should be able to offer you direction when things get overwhelming and you’re not sure what to do next. Any promotional campaign should be very flexible. The market is highly unpredictable and whatever is in the news that day makes a difference whether you’ll get print space or broadcast time. If you’ve tried something and results are lackluster, your publicist can help you decide if it’s worth trying again, or time to move on to something different.


Above all, your publicist should be a team player, ready and willing to help you and your publisher get the right kind of attention for your book and help increase your sales base.



The Genre Teeter-Totter by Lala Corriere

Got the bug?

Naysayers. At-a-girls. What a teeter-totter I’ve been on with the advice I’ve collected while considering a dip into a second genre.

It reminds me of when my big sister did the ultimate bad when I was four years old. She jumped off of the teeter-totter when I was on top!

The naysayers have a valid point. I’ve branded myself with my writer’s platform firmly ensconced in the genre of suspense and thriller. My fan list, my choice of conferences and associations, and even my emails and social media. Everyone and everything supports my infrastructure as a suspense writer. Don’t get me wrong. I love writing about a few dead bodies here and there. My private investigator, Cassidy Clark, isn’t going to stay quiet for long.

For two full years, I’ve had this idea in my bones that I wanted to write a story that would be more inspirational. More feel good. Maybe a book readers might pick up as a Christmas gift, sans all the murders and espionage. One great obstacle seemed to be that I had no story.

In April that all changed for me. The story became clear with an event that happened to be told to me by my father. What timing!

My seventh book and third in the Cassidy Clark series is now published.

Now, to get this novella out before fall. My first daunting challenge? Determining what the genre would be.

Magical realism. Who knew? Me? The mistress to suspense?

The positive feedback? A guru in the publishing marketing industry told me that readers are readers. If they like my writing and they believe in me, there is nothing to stop them from trying out my second genre which will be a series of novellas.

Granted, these authors have secured their mark in the publishing world, but I showcase those that have taken a ride on the teeter-totter between genres with success:

Stephen King is the king of multi-genre. He wrote of the United States in Alternate History, along with the Green Mile, and Magical Realism. Remember the flies?

Anne Rice slipped in some erotic romance.

J.K. Rowling penned the adult novel, The Casual Vacancy.

We can add Thomas Harris and even T.S. Elliot to the list.

So what’s to stop us as authors from writing from the words that are burning in our hearts?

My gutsy P.I. will be back with more thrilling suspense, and my Magical Realism will become a new series.

The key for me? These genres are so different that I fall into one or the other each time I put my fingers on the keyboard. There is no doubt what genre I’m writing in when I pull up the manuscript. It’s what’s on my mind and in my heart at that time. Some say I got devil. Some say I got angel.

I like it. You might try it.

One fall off of the teeter totter and a bruised bottom won’t stop me. A bruised ego won’t, either.




Midheaven by Ken Kuhlken

When I was eighteen, I attended a Billy Graham crusade and came away with a sense that the Christian faith was far different than I had previously thought. So I started reading the Bible and tried attending churches. The Bible reading continued, the churchgoing did not, at the time.


Over the next few years, I started earnestly writing, and in King’s Beach, on the shore of Lake Tahoe, I attended a party where, on one side of a large room, a group of kids held a Bible study, while across the room other kids drank and smoked stuff.  And a girl stood between those groups, gazing left and right, looking bewildered, before she dashed out of the house. I followed and watched her run down the road and plunge into the lake.


I saw myself in that girl, often torn between what appeared to offer pleasure or fun and what felt good, blameless, and beautiful but required sacrifice. Together, the girl and I became Jodi, the narrator of Midheaven.


After we completed the story, I sent Midheaven to an agent named Keith who asked to represent me after he read a story of mine in the Virginia Quarterly Review. He declined to take on Midheaven since he doubted he could sell it.


Around that time, while I attended the University of Iowa graduate program in Fiction Writing, I gave a manuscript copy to a Viking Press editor who came to visit. After waiting a couple months for her reply, I submitted Midheaven to another editor, who soon replied that she loved the narrator but not the story, and then to another who wrote that he loved the story but not the narrator. Meanwhile, now and then I queried the Viking editor to ask if she had yet read my novel.  She didn’t respond.


For adventure and business, I rode a Greyhound cross country (the cheapest way besides hitchhiking, which by now I had given up). In New York City, twice I visited the Viking office and twice was told the editor was in a meeting and would get back to me. She didn’t.


Back home, I started a new day job as a welfare worker, and was at my desk when I got word that I should call Maureen Rolla, who would soon become my brilliant, wonderful editor.  She explained that the editor who had visited Iowa recently quit and and left a stack of manuscripts in which Maureen discovered Midheaven. She loved both the character and the story.


A day or so later, Keith the agent called and asked to represent the book he had earlier declined. By now, of course, I considered my future home to be somewhere along easy street.


But, as I would learn some years later when Maureen came to a book-signing shindig, the Viking Press sales department didn’t judge Midheaven a potential big seller, so they opted not to fund any promotion, which disturbed Maureen and helped her decide to quit her job and leave commercial publishing months before Viking released Midheaven.


My novel was well reviewed and chosen by Poets, Essayists and Novelists as a finalist for their Ernest Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction Book, but its sales were puny compared to John Grisham’s The Firm, which Viking released (and promoted) the same month.


In the memorable words of Kurt Vonnegut, “So it goes.”


By now I had turned to other stories including the Hickey family crime series, in book nine of which I discovered journalist Clifford, son of detective Tom Hickey, falling for Midheaven’s Jodi McGee.


And so, my first published novel also became book eight of the Hickey series, and book one of a trilogy I call, (strangely enough) Hickey and McGee.

Diamonds Are Forever by Jeannette de Beauvoir

We’re all attracted to things that sparkle. From the moment we’re born, our eyes follow shiny objects. And because everyone likes them, precious stones and gems have acquired a substantial monetary value.


And therein, naturally, lies crime.


In the nursery rhyme, the “little star” twinkles “like a diamond in the sky,” but diamonds are no little stars: they’re big and bright and can be very, very dangerous. Blood diamonds cost countless people their lives and limbs. Diamonds are stolen and imitated, fought over and killed for, and still every February we buy them, give them, and receive them as delicate, beautiful expressions of love.


One of my novels, Deadly Jewels, deals with a diamond theft during World War Two that has repercussions in the present day, its unfinished business echoing up through the years. And you might think that it was easier to steal diamonds back then, but you’d be wrong: unlike other crimes, which seem to be more and more blocked by technological advances in loss prevention and law enforcement, it seems that jewel thieves are alive and well and very much at it.


One of the things that we say about murder is that we only know about the failures—a successful murderer being, of course, one who is never caught because murder is never suspected. The same cannot be said for heists: we know only too well when and where they occur, and sometimes even by whom.


And I have to say that the recent history of heists isn’t without some humor.


Take the so-called Pink Panther gang, some very serious thieves from Eastern Europe who earned their nickname following the 1993 theft of a £500,000 diamond in central London—they hid the stone in a jar of face cream, a move learned from watching The Return of the Pink Panther. That’s right: Inspector Clouseau taught them. They’ve been enormously successful and are responsible for what are considered some of the most glamorous heists ever.


A science museum isn’t the first place you’d think of as a backdrop to a diamond heist, but in 2002 that happened in the Netherlands during an exhibition called The Diamond: From Rough Stone to Gem. Thieves got away with $12 million in diamonds and jewelry after smashing a window to get in (they weren’t picked up on video and none of the guards saw or heard anything) and accessing six of 28 alarmed cabinets in the main jewelry room before escaping. That one still has a lot of people scratching their heads.


In 2013, thieves netted $136 million in diamonds belonging to an Israeli guest at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes—the same hotel that was the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 jewelry heist film To Catch a Thief.


I could go on and on—really, I could—but you get the point. There’s something about diamonds that brings out the James Bond or Marilyn Monroe in all of us. And the mystery not only of their attraction but of the lengths to which people will go to steal them is one of endless fascination—for this mystery writer, anyway!


Award-winning author Jeannette de Beauvoir writes mystery and historical fiction that’s been translated into 12 languages. A Booksense Book-of-the-Year finalist, she’s a member of the Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the National Writers Union.

All her novels are firmly rooted in a sense of place, and her delight is to find characters true to the spaces in which they live. She herself lives and writes in a cottage in Provincetown, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and loves the collection of people who assemble at a place like land’s end. Find out more—and read her blog—at jeannettedebeauvoir.com.  She doesn’t own any diamonds.

Steps to Courage by Sandra Stiles

Trina Lacy knew all about survival. Since her accident, she has been determined never to feel like a victim, but live life as a survivor. Her classmate, Mark Jacobs did not think he deserved to be a survivor. Plagued by guilt for his role in his parent’s death, he felt life was not so great. Trina’s ex-boyfriend Lucas James felt guilty for the accident he caused that left his former girlfriend scarred. When Trina proposes a fundraiser to be held at Windows on the World for their community service project Lucas and Mark jump at the chance to help. Each of them has their own reasons. Once in the Towers, they decide to divide and conquer. They had not expected someone to fly planes into the Towers. They never expected to face escaping the burning towers with all the odds stacked against them. Now the fears they have been carrying with them must be dealt with as they take steps to get out. The question is, will they survive the events of 9/11?


I have been remiss in working with Sandra for such a long time, and never knowing she’d written this! It’s never too late to buy a good book!

Who Keeps Changing the Rules? by Gayle Leeson

“I” before “e” except after “c”…but then “science.”

“If you want to make big money in the publishing world, you must have an agent.” But then…Amanda Hocking, and E. L. James, and J. A. Konrath.

“You need to be blogging/podcasting/utilizing Pinterest/mastering Facebook and Twitter/putting out a new book every month.”

I keep trying all the things all the experts tell us writers we need to be doing. But I’m on to something that I think might just work. It’s called “writing” and “having fun doing it.” Now don’t get me wrong—I fully understand the importance of marketing. In fact, I’m currently taking Mark Dawson’s course, “Ads for Authors.”

But a lot of the extraneous stuff was bogging me down and making me feel overwhelmed. I think it was Brendon Burchard who said that one of the biggest mistakes we make in the mornings is picking up our phones first thing. When we check social media, we’re starting our day with comparisons. When we check our email, we’re starting the day off with the demands of other people. Start your day the way you want to start it—not in a way that will make you feel you have to answer to someone else (even if it’s just a demand to Check Out This Wonderful Sale Or You’ll Miss Out!) or feel inferior to someone else.

I’ve realized that writing a book every three months is as good as I’m going to do. And I’m all right with that. I have the good fortune to be able to write full time, and I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I read an article recently where a young man said he could only remember having dinners with his mother on Thanksgiving and Christmas because she was writing all the time. I thought that was really sad. I’d rather have my family than an NYT bestseller. Of course, my family and an NYT bestseller would be the elephant’s eyebrows, as my character Maxine “Max” Englebright would say.

I have fun with Max, and I enjoy my other characters too. I’m finding that if I stop worrying so much about meeting a certain quota of books published per year or how the other writers on Facebook are doing and concentrate on the story in front of me, I’m a much happier and productive writer.


Gayle Leeson’s latest release is DESIGNS ON MURDER: A GHOSTLY FASHIONISTA MYSTERY. Read an excerpt at http://www.ghostlyfashionista.com or visit Gayle online at http://www.gayleleeson.com .


New book: Forged Lines By J.T.Bishop


ISBN-10: 1732553114

ISBN-13: 978-1732553118

Eudoran Press LLC

Paperback: 358 pages

April 14, 2019

Series: Red-Line: The Fletcher Family Saga (Book 4)

Genre: Paranormal Suspense



Also available in ebook format



Confronted by their enemies, they’ll fight for all they hold dear.

Caught unaware, the Ramsey and Fletcher families face their greatest challenge. After a violent attempt on their lives, they must combat the forces that want them dead.

As loved ones are separated and family members threatened, they’ll do whatever it takes to protect the ones they love. The further they go, the more dangerous it becomes, until the very forces required to protect them may no longer be enough.

Despite betrayals and setbacks, they’ll fight to the end, but survival is never a guarantee. Their fate will be defined by their ability to trust their destiny. But destiny may not be enough when everything they love could be lost forever.


Forged Lines is the fourth book in J.T. Bishop’s Red-Line trilogy sister series, The Fletcher Family Saga. If you love unrelenting action, fast-paced suspense, heart-rending romance, and unexpected twists, then grab your copy of Forged Lines today.


If you haven’t read any J.T. Bishop books yet, you must. She’s a brilliant up-and-coming author. Her writing is vivid and captivating, her immersive story well-plotted, and her characters relatable and unique. – NY Literary Magazine review of Curse Breaker


Born and raised in Dallas, TX, J. T. Bishop began writing in 2012. Inspired by a video that theorized the meaning of the end of the Mayan calendar, J. T. began the Red-Line trilogy. The video surmised that the earth was the central hub of activity for extraterrestrials thousands of years ago. J.T. didn’t know whether that was true or not, but it did spawn an idea. What if those extraterrestrials were still here? Two years and a lot of work later, the first three Red-Line books were complete, but she’s not done. The Red-Line saga develops as she continues to write new books.