Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Please Join Me

I’m not a big joiner. Oh, I can be social if need be — can talk my head off at a cocktail party with a glass of wine (or two) in my hand. But even when I’m at the dance I feel like the guy looking in the window. (See Mann, Thomas.) It’s the novelist’s plight, perhaps, to be more inclined to observe than to participate.
So a few years ago, when my old friend Jane Dystel (to whom I’d sold my literary agency in 2000), recommended that I join International Thriller Writers, I fretted and resisted. Last year, however, I took the plunge, and although my participation in the organization has been gentle rather than gung-ho, I have found it rewarding.
At the ITW conference in New York, I sat in on some lectures in craft, picking up a thing or two. I spoke on a panel, reacquainted myself with some old colleagues and started some new relationships. The overarching theme of ITW is that times are tough (and changing) in a difficult profession. If we authors stick together, we can help one another, better satisfy readers, and grow the genre.
One of the things that makes ITW unique is that it doesn’t charge dues to its members. It only charges for its conference and it sells ads on its website. And one of the biggest ways it raises funds is by selling an annual collection of short stories.
I’m here today to plug that collection, Love is Murder, edited by Sandra Brown.
Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review.
Booklist called it "wonderfully diverse and exciting."

If you need to watch television to get inspired to buy it (something I don’t really understand, dinosaur that I am), visit the trailer through Facebook.
There are some big names in this collection, but it’s largely about assisting the rest of us, the ones still striving to “make it.” By buying this book, you’re not only helping authors in a popular genre. You’re helping authors get better at what they do.