Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Mutual Admiration Society, Featuring Victoria Laurie & Juliet Blackwell

I've gotta say that one of the coolest things about being a writer is getting to know some of my favorite authors. And even more amazing? The fact that several of my favorite authors have enjoyed my books and endorsed them. (Yes, I still pinch myself about this fact.)

Victoria Laurie's new M.J. mystery,
out January 6, 2015.
I discovered Victoria Laurie's books in 2011, when I was going through chemotherapy and wanted to read fresh, engaging mysteries to keep my mind occupied. I devoured her ghost hunter and psychic eye mysteries, and I now eagerly await each new release. The M.J. Holliday ghost hunter mysteries are my favorites, so I'm thrilled that No Ghouls Allowed is out today! I know what I'm reading tonight.

Victoria's books are in the same genre as my new series (paranormal cozy mysteries), so when it was time to get reviews for The Accidental Alchemist, I summoned the courage to ask her if she'd be willing to read the book and give it an endorsement if she enjoyed it.

I was thrilled that Victoria took the time to read the book, and gobsmacked by how much she loved it. She even called me on the phone to tell me so! Who does that anymore? It was  unbelievable and lovely.

“Zoe and Dorian are my new favorite amateur-sleuth duo!” 
New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie

It's a wonderful feeling to receive a great review from a trade publication (I'm happy that The Accidental Alchemist received praise from Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and others), but it's not the same as receiving a heartfelt endorsement from an author you admire.

Juliet Blackwell's latest mystery,
published in December 2014.
Juliet Blackwell is another of my favorite mystery authors. She's now a good friend of mine, but the first time I met her was when I approached her at a mystery convention to tell her how much I loved her first novel.

I was attending my first mystery convention, Malice Domestic. I didn't know a soul, but I'd read and loved Juliet's Feint of Art (written as Hailey Lind). Everyone at the convention was so friendly that it was easy to go up to Juliet and introduce myself. We quickly became friends, and she was an early and enthusiastic supporter of my rough draft of The Accidental Alchemist.

The Accidental Alchemist is a recipe for a great read. Gigi Pandian’s pen never disappoints.” 
New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell

Juliet's books have always been great, but they keep getting better. If you're a fan of paranormal cozy mysteries, you should check out her new book Keeper of the Castle.

I'm tempted to ramble on about others, but it's time for me to get writing! I'll end with something that brings this blog post full circle:

If you've known me for a few years, you might remember hearing me squeal with excitement and disbelief that Aaron Elkins endorsed my first novel. Victoria Laurie and Juliet Blackwell weren't writing books when I was an impressionable kid, but Aaron Elkins was. I fell in love with his Gideon Oliver mysteries at the same time I did Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss mysteries, as a teenager in the early 1990s.

Aaron Elkins signing my copy of
Gideon Oliver novel CURSES.
When I was getting ready to publish Artifact, I knew I'd regret it if I didn't have all the fun I possibly could with the book. That meant asking Aaron Elkins, a man I had never met, if he would read the book. I'd previously blogged about how much his books meant to me, so when I contacted him he already knew I was a big fan of his. That made him willing to check out Artifact.

When Aaron Elkins gave me an endorsement, I knew that whatever else happened in my publishing career, I'd already made it.

Artifact is witty, clever, and twisty. Do you like Agatha Christie? Elizabeth Peters? Then you’re going to love Gigi Pandian.”
Edgar-winning author Aaron Elkins

Happy New Year!

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