And we have video! Oddly, muscle memory goes to crap when you turn from the front of the room to the side to get the video, but I think the class pulled it off. I’m absolutely sure Fit’s members are going to love this addition.
And we have video! Oddly, muscle memory goes to crap when you turn from the front of the room to the side to get the video, but I think the class pulled it off. I’m absolutely sure Fit’s members are going to love this addition.
The day is finally here! I write this post at 7:15 am on Tuesday, February 7 and I have a feeling some of you are just rounding third and heading for home in your first frantic read. Just as I know there are many others who cleared this as a holiday from work to read in peace. And then there are the strong and patient readers who have many different reasons to wait a little while longer.
However you approach reading an In Death book, I hope you enjoyed it. IMO, Echoes is a lot of case and a really interesting one. What did you think? Did you find any of the things I mentioned in the teasers?
This is the safe space to discuss any and all of Echoes in Death. And to forestall the inevitable question that follows — usually with a wink or smiley face but I know you sincerely mean it — Secrets in Death will be out on September 5.
We must be less than a week out from release if I’m putting together teasers for Echoes in Death! As always these do not spoil the case in any way, just consider them some nuggets you’ll unearth along the way.
As a refresher, the Echoes in Death excerpt is here.
And I recently shared the Echoes in Death commercial from St. Martin’s Press on social media. I think the universal response has been “Cool!!!”
I’ll add a teaser to this post the next three days. Come back and check tomorrow.
Three small things:
1) When Peabody sees how Eve dressed for the charity ball, she immediately coins a new word.
2) Sticky buns get to everyone, even Eve.
3) New closets can get to her too.
St. Martin’s Press created this fun infographic for In Death basics. Some readers commented on Facebook that there are 54 published pieces in the series, but SMP took the facts from the Did You Know feature on the website where I deal with full-length books only. There’s so much more to add, but for a piece on the basics, I think it’s fun.
Now for today’s teasers.
Two things that come and go quickly, one that is dear to my heart:
1. What do an inventor, a tragic Greek hero and an egg-laying mammal have in common? Peabody will help you out on that one.
2. Dr. Mira is braver than Eve.
3. Who is Nora’s border collie? (That may take some time.)
Three more passing things:
1. A snowy night brings out Eve’s protectiveness to a certain butler, for pragmatic reasons.
2. A snowy night is a good time to fill in pop culture gaps.
3. Some gifts are sheer perfection.
That’s it for the teasers — a lot of this book is the case and you want to encounter that at your own pace. Come Feb. 7 you can discover the rest for yourself.
Notes: This is the final reminder of the Echoes in Death sweepstakes from St. Martin’s Press (open to readers in the US and Canada — except Quebec). The grand prize is a leather coat and all the details are here.
There’s also time to submit your pre-order receipt for a limited edition pop-art In Death poster. Again, as this is Nora’s US publisher the offer is open only to readers in the US and Canada (ex. Quebec). Unfortunately rules on sweepstakes are imposed country by country and it’s just not possible to open this to international readers — as much as we’d like to. For information and how to submit your receipt, please click here.
After the rush and fun of the holidays, BW and I spend a week away with friends and family at a resort/spa a convenient couple hours drive from home. We’ve been doing this, we figure, for about fourteen years.
It’s a lovely, lovely break. It’s familiar for this creature of habit, it’s comfortable, and it’s pretty.
This year it’s also COLD! Seriously cold, and we’ve had a pretty (since I’m not out in it) snowfall. I had my first spa treatment a few hours after our arrival, and just let everything go. That’s the best. It’s relax and recharge time for me. Read lotsa books time, work a little here and there time, and cook not at all time. And it’s an extra gift to spend that time with people you love and enjoy.
I’ve finished two books, and will start another this afternoon while I wait for my mmmmm deep tissue massage. Which I earned as I went full out for a two full hour cross-training workout this morning.
I’ll come back, pour myself a glass of champagne then think about what to order for dinner, the one I’m not cooking.
I had a good, solid stretch of writing one day between workout and a facial. Good deal. I worked on a non-book-related project and did a little shopping. When I go home, I have a routine doc’s appointment, and then an event on the weekend, followed by hosting at our house our Kayla’s State champion girls cross-country team.
Squeezing writing in there as I go. But that’s days away.
I love what I do for a living, love the time and the effort I’m required to put into crafting a story I hope readers will enjoy. I love being able to take some time off with friends and family, love spending the weekend making soup and bread or whatever appeals in my own kitchen. Because I love all of that I’m bound to do a better job of it than if I disliked or resented it.
Here’s what I don’t much like, and more have no real skill for. Handling social media. Coming up with topics for Facebook that will engage readers and make them happy. Laura is queen of all that. If I had to handle it? I wouldn’t have FB pages. Simply wouldn’t. I’d resent every minute I had to scratch my head over what to write, and detest every minute it took away from the work I love. So I’d simply eliminate the annoyance and distraction, and focus on what I love, what I’m good at, and what I owe the reader. My best work.
That’s the bottom line. A writer of fiction owes readers this: The best book he or she can write at that particular time. She also owes them gratitude, of course, for reading, owes them basic courtesy if and when she engages with readers IRL or on line.
And, that’s it.
Though some may disagree I don’t owe readers FB pages or blogs or contests and give-aways to repay them for reading my books, whether they buy them, listen to them, borrow them. I owe them a good book. FB is a marketing tool and a great way to communicate. Laura does an amazing job of crafting posts, selecting photos or quotes that springboard reader conversations. I would not, though I do scan the posts, sometimes the comments, and if it applies, add a comment of my own.
I enjoy writing this blog when I have something to say, or can document through words and pictures something I think readers will have fun with. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it. Actually my Jason gave me the basic thrust of how to handle blogging here when years back I whined about it. Days in the life, little bits and pieces with photos, fun stuff, personal stuff.
Okay, I think I can do that, and so far, so good.
In the normal course of events, I write 40-50 hours a week. Parts of that schedule maybe eaten into now and then by the business that surrounds writing. Generally I proof galleys in the evening, not during work hours. I sign, routinely, four tubs of books three times a week, not during work hours.
In there I live a life I really enjoy. It’s a really good balance for me.
If I added in what the amazing Laura does, that balance would tip, and tip hard. I’d be unhappy, and believe me, so would you, the reader.
So for those who might wonder why I don’t write all the FB posts, there’s the answer. It’s certainly not because I don’t value the reader, new ones, or ones who’ve read me from day one.
It’s actually because I very much do.
Anyway, I think I have time for a glass of champagne before that massage. After all, this is time away.
Note from Laura (did you expect anything else?): Since the very first FB post in 2008, I’ve signed what I post though many speed readers do miss it. For everyone who pays attention, they know it’s me. And that NR chimes in when time allows.
While neither of us would ever want to live the other’s life, Nora and I have developed a rhythm and understanding and synchronicity over the past 12 years works. I know what it’s like to be a faithful reader. I also see clearly how routine and hard work built a career that spans three decades of quality storytelling.
I see the (imo) whiny “why doesn’t Nora love us?” comments and think “she does — she gives you multiple books every single years.” And so we’ll continue to not fix what ain’t broke.
Echoes in Death will be in stores on February 7, 2017 — less than 70 days away. To pass the time, here’s the first chapter to whet your appetite: Echoes in Death Chapter One.
A long time ago, on a hilltop far, far away, I started writing category Romance. With two pre-schoolers to run herd on, I fed my appetite for reading with short, satisfying Romances I could gulp down during nap time. So when stuck with said pre-schoolers inside for a week during a blizzard, I began to scribble down one of the stories in my head in a notebook. It was intended to save my sanity, and became a career and a passion.
Writing Harlequin-style Romances was a natural choice as I gobbled them during this time period. I’d grown up reading everything–everyone in my house read everything– but at this particular turn of my road, category Romances comprised the bulk of my reading.
My career roots in Romance spread over the next decade or two. One of the appeals to me was this was a genre that could, and did, include everything. You could, especially when the genre and the market evolved, add elements of mystery, suspense, paranormal, horror, comedy, fantasy. As long as the story contained a core romantic relationship, tied things up with a happy ending, you could rock on.
I continued to write category even as I expanded into writing mainstream novels, and produced 100 books for Silhouette before I turned off that road. With Bantam, then Putnam (which became Penguin-Putnam which became Penguin Random House), and now St. Martin’s Press I wrote and continue to write Romantic Suspense, I wrote trilogies–straight relationship or with elements of fantasy and paranormal. I began the In Death series as JD Robb.
The In Death series certainly took me onto another lane of the highway. I thought of these as relationship mysteries/police procedurals with continuing characters set in the near future–which gave them a science fiction light touch.
Mostly they were and are fun and interesting stories for me to write, with core characters I adore and enjoy. That makes them tremendously satisfying creatively.
The Romantic Suspense novels I write drive down another lane on the highway. They’re not a part of a series, sometimes have more than one romantic relationship, generally have other non-romantic relationships–friendships, family–as writing about people is what I do. For these it may be a setting that flicks on the light bulb, or a character type, or a situation. For The Obsession, for instance, that flash was: What’s it like to be the child of a serial killer?
As I write without much of a structured plan, relying more on Let’s See What Happens next, I have to be very engaged in the story, very connected to the characters to see it all through. That first flick on has to pull me in.
The trilogies I do wind down another lane. For these everything’s broader and interconnected. The concept has to tell me, this needs more room, and has a theme or goal that can weave through three books. Whether straight relationship, like the Born In trilogy, or The Bride Quartet, or with those paranormal elements, like The Circle Trilogy or Three Sisters Island, the initial concept always included that central romance, and the romance highlighted in each book would be resolved in that particular book.
I conceived them as one big book in three distinct parts, each containing–whether it be mortal, wizard, business-woman or vampire–that elemental romantic relationship.
Writing on those different lanes of the highway has served to keep me fresh and creatively satisfied–and it seems to me gives readers a lot of choices in my work. Some like the Robb series, some don’t. Some like the more traditional relationship, some are eager for the more magickal, others prefer the suspense.
But when you offer a variety, the downside is those who prefer one gripe when you offer another. That’s just how it goes. If a writer discovers how to satisfy every reader every time, I really want to have a sit-down with him or her and learn the secret. But in the meantime, I have to pay attention to that flick of light and turn down the road where it shines for me.
And so, some time ago, that light flicked on a turn off the highway, a detour, an unexplored road. It’s a little risky to take that turn, see where it takes you. But it’s also exciting. And challenging.
The flash of this light didn’t beam on the Romance of my roots, or how my own work has evolved around it, and frankly, away from what the genre is today. It shined on something different, something I saw as more a Fantasy saga. Relationships, absolutely. Books and stories for me are all about the people in them, how they relate, or don’t. Touches of romance, sure, but at least in the opening book, the story can’t center on a central love story and hold for the rest.
I thought about it for quite awhile, played with it in my head, chewed on it, studied the concept from different angles. The light didn’t dim, so I turned off and followed it.
Year One — the first of this different sort of trilogy — begins a journey, for me as a writer, for the characters within, and hopefully for the reader who wants to take a chance with me. It begins with a global crisis, a pandemic that wipes away much of the population and opens a door to magicks. Black and white, courage and cowardice, the determination to survive and rebuild, the evolution of powers for good or ill. And the light again, that’s hope and love and bravery that shines through.
The process of structuring this story–and laying the groundwork for the two that will follow–presented a creative challenge, the need to take a leap, a lot of sweaty work, a larger cast of characters to develop and connect to, multiple relationships to weave, the logistics of world building. Because even when you’re basically destroying the world, you’re building another.
For the first time in too long to remember a book woke me up at night, or kept me up. What do I do about this, how will I resolve that, how does that even make any stupid sense? It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I knew it had me, however it turned out. I had to follow that light and see where it took me.
Writing it proved hard and bumpy and frustrating and tremendous fun. Finishing it was, for me, monumental. The relief that my editor didn’t say WTF when she read it, beyond enormous. It matters, a lot, to be satisfied with a finished manuscript. It matters, a whole giant bunch of a lot, when an editor a writer knows and trusts, whose purpose is to publish, package, market a book and help it be the best it can be, gives the work two thumbs up.
I already know the following two books that will comprise this trilogy will be hard and bumpy and frustrating and fun. But I’m on the road now, and I’m enjoying the scenery.
Normally, I wouldn’t have a lot to say to readers about a book that won’t be out for a year, or a trilogy that’s only just begun on my end. In this case, since it’s different, since it’s not Romance or built on the framework of the genre, and is a turn off onto a new road rather than a different lane, I thought it fair to let those who follow my work know something else is coming.
I understand some might think: But this isn’t what I want from her! That’s okay, don’t worry. The In Death series will continue. The Suspense novels with that core love story (or stories) will continue to pull me in. But you’ve got to follow the light, go where ideas pull you. And hope that readers take the journey with you.
Only a few things to report this Veteran’s Day.
First, thank you to our veterans. As I posted on Facebook this morning, some of the most wonderful, poignant and gratifying emails are from members of the military and their families thanking Nora for the difference her books make in getting through the strains of deployment.
Second, despite the fact we’re all so weary of the voting process in the US, here’s something you can endorse:
The Obsession and Brotherhood In Death made it into the semi-final round of the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016. The Obsession is in the Romance category while Brotherhood in Death is in Mystery/Thriller. Click the category name for your chance to vote. Voting is open until Sunday.
Nora’s at the spa right now, but will be back in time for Girls Night Out at Turn the Page Bookstore on Thursday, November 17 from 6-9 pm. I’ve copied/pasted the info from the Facebook page since it’s not on the TTP website:
It’s a fun evening of champagne, refreshments, treats, door prizes, and lots of mingling with authors, artists, and girls galore. Special guests Lorrie Schoettler of Stony Ridge Ridge Farm and Jeanne Brumbaugh will provide farm goodies and healing energy work. Also meet Joyce Taber, creator of the Nora Roberts’ jewelry collection.
TTP received permission to sell 50 copies of ISLAND OF GLASS at this event (limit one per attendee)! This is pretty exciting for us since the actual release date isn’t until Dec. 6.
Then be sure to wander around town and stop in the many participating businesses, including our lovely neighboring shop Gifts Inn BoonsBoro. Visit all of the participating businesses with your punch sheet and you’ll have a chance to win a free night’s stay at Inn BoonsBoro and other prizes.
There is no charge for this event, but books signed at Turn the Page must be purchased here. Call TTP at 301-432-4588 for more details.
Finally, I posted some quotes on Facebook this week. Enjoy!
For the rest of the year, I plan to compile a weekly round up of social media goings on, photos that appeal to me and tidbits of info that just don’t fit into other posts. So, not a Cranky Publicist post (like the one I’ve drafted in my head about how can you be an In Death fan if you misspell Roarke???) but a neater way to keep you all filled in on what’s new and what’s not.
First up: the Inn BoonsBoro package featuring an Evening with Nora sold out within hours. I’m pretty sure if it goes smoothly, there will be another one in the future. Stay tuned.
Next, St. Martin’s continues to be super excited about their first book with Nora/JD — Echoes in Death. They will release small bits — one liners really — over the weeks to come to whet appetites even more. Here’s the first one.
(BTW, Heroes & Heartbreakers has some excellent features about and by authors, reviews, reveals and other fun reader-y things. This morning starts with a discussion about Nora Roberts or Nora Ephron — have to love a good Nora, right?)
Continuing on the St. Martin’s Press theme (they are more excited than anyone about working with Nora!): they have an ongoing sweepstakes tied into Echoes in Death. The last two prizes are up for grabs soon — the last one is an Eve style leather coat! Details and rules* are here.
They also created an amazing pop-art poster for Echoes in Death and will giveaway to readers in the US and Canada (ex. Quebec)** who upload their pre-order receipts before midnight, Feb. 6, 2017. All details are listed here.
And, because excitement this big can’t be contained, they’ve revealed the cover for September 2017’s Secrets in Death.
I’ll have more information about it next week. Pre-order links are coming on line, but it’s still a little too early for some. Will list all the pre-order links next week. Promise!
Finally, at Saturday’s signing two readers (names escape me right now) told me all about one of their phones that took photos by saying “Cheese!” “Shoot” or “Capture!” It was a Samsung 7 and I have a 6. Nora will attest that I pouted about not having that amazing capability — which just made us laugh.
Back at the Fortress of Solitude that night, I googled voice triggered photos and found out that I could make my Samsung 6 do it. And it did! Here’s the evidence.
Then we set BW’s Samsung up as well. So happy faces all around, except for Nora’s pout that her iPhone didn’t take photos by talking to it.
Still she smiled for the photo.
OK, that’s week one of The Register.
Comments, questions, things you’ve found on your own? Share in the comments.
* While we love our worldwide readers and hate they have to miss out on the fun, there are varying rules and regulations regarding contests and sweepstakes in countries outside the US and Canada making it problematic and extremely difficult to create global contests.
** Canadians in Quebec can’t enter due to their own tight rules on sweepstakes. All other Canadians must answer a math question to make it a test of skill rather than chance.
Today’s the big day — Apprentice in Death is available in stores and on e-platforms.
This is the discussion thread for any and all things Apprentice in Death, so spoilers are very much allowed.
So did you find the various teasers I shared? Did they make more sense to you as you read the book?
Share in the comments. Enjoy!
We’re a week out from the September 6 release date, so I thought I’d share some teasers. As always, these are not spoilers that reveal major plot points, but some nuggets to look out for as you race through the book.
I’ll update for at least four days this week, maybe five, maybe not.
Monday, August 29:
In a busy Chapter 2 we have:
– A little joke that goes wide of the mark
– Office designs that may or may not suck
– Some major e-geekiness from Roarke, plus he gets to act out a fantasy
Tuesday, August 30
– Some decorating decisions are made.
– Much geek joy results from Roarke’s chapter 2 work, Peabody describes it best.
– Someone gets a ride in the DLE and wants one when they are available.
Wednesday, August 31
– There’s a quiet Eve & Roarke moment amid the chaos of the case in Chapter 8 that offers a little glimpse of a younger Eve.
– Marriage proposals can happen anywhere/anytime. And don’t involve characters we know.
Thursday, September 1
– It seems Nadine may like rock ‘n roll.
– Roarke feels torn by connections
– Mira misinterprets Eve’s term for an energy boost shake. To Eve’s embarrassment.
Friday, September 2
– Roarke’s Christmas gift pays off
– Birthday party, Mavis style.
Thanks for playing along. Curious to see what you all think when you see the teasers in context. Because honestly? Most of the guesses are way off. But that only makes it more fun. Back on Tuesday to open the discussion thread.