Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Flowers for Carolyn Hart

Here's a big bouquet of flowers from last summer's garden for Carolyn Hart, author of 38 mysteries (including the popular Death on Demand and Henrie O series), winner of multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards, and kind provider of a quote for my upcoming In a Dark Season. This is what Carolyn says: "Vicki Lane fashions a gripping tale of despair and sorrow in an Appalachia she understands and loves. Lyrical and compelling."

Nice! Add that to Margaret Maron's quote about "love and lust" and we've got some eye-catching cover copy. (Before you all get worried about Elizabeth, let me say that the despair and sorrow are pretty much confined to the historical subplot.)

There's always a lot of discussion on some of the online mystery lists about the value of blurbs. The first question is: do they do any good? A lot of folks say they never pay any attention to blurbs but there are plenty others who do. I know I've bought books that I wasn't sure about because of a particularly compelling blurb by an author I admire. And I know that Sharyn McCrumb's quote on my first book helped my sales. One hopes that the blurb writer's fans (and in the case of Sharyn and Margaret and Carolyn, they are many) will be drawn to give a new series a try.

The second question that always crops up is: Do authors get paid for doing blurbs? Certainly not that I've ever heard of -- certainly not the authors who've blurbed my books. They do it as a favor. Even these women who are at the top of their game in the writing world take the time to help a fellow writer just as, no doubt, some one helped them early in their careers.

Flowers for all of them!
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