Brandon Sanderson

Cookie and Brandon

Yesterday was one of those days when a blog post just wasn’t going to happen, but I have a good excuse! Cookie and I went to a Brandon Sanderson book signing at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville. Firefight, the second book in his Reckoners series just came out.

Here’s the copy he signed for me

For Catherine, Calzone stuffed with dynamite. That’s how he signed it, I kid you not. I have a feeling this signature was an arbitrary choice on his part, but in case it wasn’t, I’m choosing to take it as a compliment. Why? Because it’s just cryptic enough that I can!

In a future post I will share the invaluable writing advice he imparted to me. Consider that your teaser!

Somebody Else’s Turn – Patricia Skalka

Death Stalks Door County

Patricia Skalka’s very first novel is coming out in 2 weeks.

I’m planning to attend her reading/signing event on May 16th at Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park. Carpool, anyone?

Patricia has another Chicago-area event on May 22nd at Women and Children First in Chicago. For a more complete list of her upcoming appearances, check out her events page.

I met Patricia at the Chicago Writers Conference last fall. She qualifies as one of their success stories. It was exciting to meet her and talk about what she went through to get her book published. I haven’t seen her in a few months, but she was still kind enough to write this guest post, called “A Box of Books”.


A box of books

My box of books arrived last week. Ten copies of Death Stalks Door County, a book that represented so much. Hundreds of hours of work; one draft after another, written, revised, discarded. Sometimes forgotten. More than once shoved aside and dismissed. And then finally resurrected and reread. I was about to chuck the whole project when I realized that I really liked the story and the characters and that I was the only one who could tell the tale because I was the only one who knew it. And it was this sense of obligation to both the story and the characters that prompted me to persist.

Fast forward almost another two full years and I have a box of books – my book — and the sweet joy of knowing the hard work was all worth it.

Death Stalks Door County is a literary mystery; there are deaths, of course, but equally important to the discovery of the killer’s identity and motive is the protagonist’s journey of self discovery and self redemption. Dave Cubiak is a tortured soul; he comes to Door County to escape a past drenched in grief and guilt and finds himself haunted by both.

Publishers Weekly calls the book a “tight, lyrical first novel” and Kirkus Reviews says it’s an “atmospheric debut with enough twists to tempt puzzle aficionados.”

I’m delighted by the response thus far and hope others get as much satisfaction from reading the book as I got from writing it. Death Stalks Door County introduces The Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries.

Waiting for the box with copies of the first book, I wrote the draft of the second. And there’ll be more, as Dave Cubiak continues his journey.