Tuesday morning, January 22nd, I got an email from an old friend from Book-of-the-Month Club. It was a forward of the MWA announcement on the Edgar nominees. His first word was CONGRATULATIONS!!!
I had a big stupid grin on my face before I had even fully processed that A Death of No Importance had been nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. I don’t know how I will feel on the night, but to use the old chestnut, it really is an honor just to be nominated. It feels like your work has been accepted as a legit contribution to the genre. (Not in an exalted grand master way, just a “Hey, your book did not suck” way.) I was happy for Jane.
(Who exists by the way because of the MWA. They are responsible for my mystery career and some of the most joyous work of my life. But that’s a separate blog post.)
Then the next day, I got my first review for Death of a New American, the sequel to Death of No Importance. It was the worst review I’ve ever had in my life. I didn’t take the review personally. In some of the criticism, I recognized my book and thought, Yes, some readers might have that reaction. Other areas, less so. But it upped the anxiety you go through during the review time. What if other reviews were more tactful, but also unenthusiastic?
Then PW weighed in with one of the best reviews I’ve ever had in my life. And all was sunshine and roses.
And now I’m begging friends to help me shop for an outfit and looking forward to the Edgars and waiting to see more reviews—if there are any. And I’m back to work. Soon I’ll be revising the third book, Death As an Art Form. I’m piecing together the plot for the fourth book. And feeling happy to be back in the small, quiet, imaginary headspace where the only voices you hear belong to your characters.