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Booknotes, Chick Lit, Dinosaurs and million dollar promotions

Monday’s USA Today Books had a triple whammy. The lead-off article, “C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb Closes the ‘Book,’” noted Lamb’s decision to end the long-running and popular Booknotes. Since 1989 Lamb has interviewed 800 nonfiction authors. The interviews are responsible for a good many books lining my shelves, and the show offered a rare opportunity for authors, many not counted in the traditional bestseller ranks, to discuss their books in depth during a one hour interview—no commercials, mind you. I’ll be sorry to see the show end but curious to see who will be chosen for the final interview.

With chick lit fiction being in such demand, it was only a matter of time before a male author would invade the normally female world of chick lit authors. What surprised me was who. In “Just Think of it as ‘Rex and the City,’” the author of Cassandra French’s Finishing School for Boys : A Novel is none other than Eric Garcia.

Who? Eric Garcia. He’s the author of the deadly funny detective series that features Vincent Rubio, the “hard-boiled, cold-blooded Los Angeles PI” who also happens to be a velociraptor. Yes, that would be dinosaur. For those who think the term “comic noir” might be an oxymoron, give his books a try. They’ve achieved cult status and Anonymous Rex: A Detective Story may end up as a pilot show on the Sci Fi channel. I heard about the dinosaur PI series during the first EyeCon (Private Eye Writers of America’s annual conference) about a year before the first book came out. One of the mystery reviewers had seen the manuscript and was telling us about it. With tears running down our cheeks, we boo-hooed his story and believed it to be a joke. The reviewer had asked what we thought of the chances of a dinosaur PI book wining the Shamus. When I finally saw the book on the shelf at Borders, I grabbed it. Now it takes a lot to make me laugh out loud while reading, but I have to tell you Eric Garcia managed to do just that on just about every page . . . in between my marveling at the concept and his imagination. So if Garcia has written a chick lit book, I can only begin to imagine . . . .

The final story concerned the Tuesday launch of the two million book print run with an accompanying one million dollar promotional campaign for a paperback book. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) is the recipient of the type of publisher backing most authors only dream of capturing. It’s a small story but it does have a bit of punch for those of us still landlocked traveling down Publisher’s Row.

BLOG UPDATE: You may have noticed I’ve added a Down the Writer’s Path (DWP) Bookshop to the already existing DWP CafePress store. The Bookshop will allow you to search and buy items using your Amazon shopping cart. You will be able to find books, cameras, DVDs, electronics, magazines, music, office products, software, VHS, and videogames–everything a writer could possibly want–and not have to leave this blog. If you’re intrigued by a book I discuss, the Bookshop allows you to make your purchases without leaving Down the Writer’s Path. I hope you enjoy this added convenience. If you only want to order the one book, feel free to continue clicking on the covers.


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  • Eli

    Hi Vikk,
    Loved this. If I love Evanovich, will I love Garcia? Sounds like it. Thanks for the introduction.
    Good idea putting a link to Amazon. I know about getting books without leaving home, but getting them without leaving blog, well that’s a new wrinkle. Thanks.
    Eli

  • Eli

    Hi Vikk,
    Loved this. If I love Evanovich, will I love Garcia? Sounds like it. Thanks for the introduction.
    Good idea putting a link to Amazon. I know about getting books without leaving home, but getting them without leaving blog, well that’s a new wrinkle. Thanks.
    Eli