Friday, June 24, 2011
GUEST BLOGGER: Julie Kramer
Julie Meets Janet
by Julie Kramer
We authors have favorite authors, too. So when word went out that Janet Evanovich was coming to town, that got my attention.
Janet hardly tours, she doesn't have to. Her intrepid bounty hunter protagonist Stephanie Plum's latest adventure, SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN, sold 218,000 copies of hardcover, e-books, and audio the first day of release this week. Her new publisher, Bantam, sent her to four cities. Among them, Edina, Minnesota. I was proud my state's reputation for being a top literary mecca landed us one of publishing's most popular phenomenons.
I bought my book, drove home 30 miles and read the first 80 pages (my favorite scene thus far being Lulu wrestling with a vampire) admiring Janet's pluck for jumping on the vampire bandwagon.
Not wanting to be late for my line up, I drove 30 miles back and had dinner across the street, checking on my cell phone to stay in touch with the event. At 7:50 pm numbers between 200 and 300 were called to I got in place. The store made the wait interesting by giving away balloons, cake, and a pin that said “Plum Crazy.”
There's a current debate going on in publishing circles on whether author tours are dead and whether bookstores should start requiring attendees to buy a book there, or pay a fee because so many readers are apparently showing up at events with their cheaper online purchases. I always buy an author's book at the event, because I understand how book stores are hurting these days. In this case, the B & N - Galleria welcomed everyone. Readers were even allowed to bring backlist copies and some came pulling suitcases.
STALKING SUSAN, MISSING MARK, and SILENCING SAM, and had me sign them. So did another woman standing by us in line. So I was making friends and fans myself.
By 9 pm, our books had been flapped and the line was getting closer to our idol: Janet.
And when we met, she was nice to me. I told her I was a mystery author, too. She asked me my name and one of the store staff heard our exchange and stepped in and vouched for me. We even had our picture taken together.
As I left, about 9:15 pm, I learned 827 numbers had been given out thus far and that Janet would stay until the last book was signed. I later found that didn't happen until nearly one the next morning.
KILLING KATE, received 4 ½ stars from RT Book Reviews and will be released July 26. Julie won the RT Reviewer's Choice Award for Best First Mystery as well as the Minnesota Book Award. Her work has also been a finalist for the Anthony, Barry, Shamus, Mary Higgins Clark, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.