Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The sweet smell of success...

No, not my success, but that of someone I'm very fond of. And it's appropriate that the news comes this week. I'm writing from New York. I'm in town for the fourth annual Thrillerfest. I haven't missed one yet, and I've made some great friends over the years at this conference. It's essentially the reason I keep coming back.

At the very first T-fest in Phoenix, I met an unpublished author named Boyd Morrison. Nicest. Guy. Ever. Unlike most of my T-fest pals, Boyd and I keep in touch throughout the year. And, in the years since we first met, I've had the priviledge of reading and offering editorial notes on two of his manuscripts. The Palmyra Impact was a thoroughly entertaining disaster thriller. But the second MS he shared with me was even better. At the time I read it, it was called The Noah Covenant. It has since been renamed The Ark. I'm not the only fan of his work. Boyd has gotten "blurbs" from several of the biggest names in publishing. Once his agent started submitting the novel to publishers, we just sat back and waited for the good news.

And waited. And waited. Boyd got some positive feedback, but not one house picked the book up. Now, obviously, it's not that easy to get published--but I'd read two of his novels and they were waaay better than so many published novels.

Boyd took his rejections in stride. Rather than dwell, he sat back down at the computer and started a new story. Like other writers I know, he seems to have an endless supply of ideas. I have no idea where that comes from. Anyway, in addition to continuing his work, Boyd's the type of guy to take advantage of whatever technology is available. He actually had three unpublished manuscripts. (The third was written like 14 years ago.) He created a website and offered his novels to readers for free. Additionally, he uploaded his novels for sale at a nominal price on the Amazon Kindle.

Boyd's a pretty savvy guy. He didn't just offer them for sale, he joined several online Kindle user's sites and made contact with potential readers. Enough were interested in what he was saying to give the novels a try. Early rave reviews garnered more readers and more raves. Before he knew what was happening, unknown, unpublished author Boyd Morrison was climbing the Kindle bestseller charts. His agent thought it might be time to shop The Ark again.

Suddenly the New York houses were a lot more receptive. And Boyd may well have made history. He may be the first author to turn Kindle success into a major publishing contract! Boyd has a two-book deal with Simon and Schuster and The Ark has also been sold in seven foreign markets! You'll see the hardback release of The Ark on store shelves next summer, and the as-yet-unwritten sequel a year later.

Now, I know a lot of successful authors. But they were all succesful before I knew them. This is the first time a writer I've been a fan of and rooting for for years has called to share such wonderful news. I couldn't have been happier had it happened to me.

So listen up, thriller fans--you are going to want to read Boyd Morrison. Unfortunately, his novels are no longer available for free on his website, or for sale on the Kindle. You'll have to wait til next summer. But I do encourage you to visit his website here:


Check out the description of The Ark. And also spend a moment reading Boyd's bio. It's fascinating--and I didn't know most of that stuff until I read it there.

I'm predicting a big hit next summer. Remember, you read it here first. And, uh, Boyd? My fictional counterpart is available for cameo appearances. Maybe with a happy story for once?


  1. Hi Susan,

    Thanks so much for helping me achieve my dream of publication! I'll never forget hanging out with you and the gang at the first Thrillerfest, and I'm looking forward to more fun with you guys at this year's conference.

    I'll have to come up with an appropriate appearance for you! I'll try not to do the awful things that James Rollins did to you in The Judas Strain, but then again I write thrillers, so be ready for anything. :)


  2. Hi Susan

    Thanks for the info! Looking forward to finding out more about this whole thing and taking a look at the finished product.

    Great site, btw. Keep it up.

    Sean Cranbury

  3. It's great to see such compassion for your clients, but it must be bittersweet. After all, once they get that big publishing deal, you lose 'em as clients. (Though I reckon you still get to keep the rep that comes with such success...)