I. J. Parker's Blog (100)

Finally Signs of Life

We spend most of our time bent over our keyboards, wondering and worrying about life outside our small creative space. Mostly we worry. The publishing world communicates infrequently and only after long periods of time – and then usually with a tight deadline.

So authors have to deal with the waiting and the paranoia of gradually becoming convinced that it’s all over, that they haven’t made the cut, that they have been consigned to the garbage dump of the lost and forgotten thousands… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on June 28, 2008 at 5:25am — 3 Comments

The French

The French are my friends. Since I've become an author I've also become a francophile. My books have been translated into a number of foreign languages and were already published in Germany, Russia, the Czech Republic, and a number of other Eastern bloc countries (Japanese history is big there), when I got my first contract offer from Belfond in France. From the very start. this publisher supported my series far beyond anything any other publisher has done for me (that includes the Americans).… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on May 17, 2008 at 4:50am — 3 Comments

A New Cover

I take covers for my books very seriously. It's not just that I think covers sell books, at least in the sense that they will make a browsing customer take a second look, but I've always had strong feelings about art and design and am often seriously turned off by book covers (and any number of other things in my surroundings).

Now the new cover for THE HELL SCREEN in the Penguin edition (release June 24) is up on amazon, and this one is even better than the other designs Julius Ohta… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on April 20, 2008 at 5:10am — 2 Comments

Modesty will get you nowhere.

On this principle and because I really loved the review, here it is:

Parker Just Keeps Getting Better, February 10, 2008

By UFO6 (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews

I've developed a voracious appetite for Parker's Sugawara novels that's unlike anything I've experienced for a long time, and if it didn't carry with it an unwarranted diminution of her previous titles, I'd call "Island of Exiles" her best work yet. There are scenes in this novel… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on March 7, 2008 at 4:30am — 2 Comments

About those Amazon Customer Reviews . . .

I spoke too soon.

Having made several snide remarks about customer reviews on amazon (well, I've had some unfair ones and those somehow stay with you), I now take it all back.

I just (Feb. 10) got a delightful review of ISLAND OF EXILES from a total stranger who is not a regular reviewer and who could not have had anything in mind except to offer a thank-you for an enjoyable read. And that makes this one of the best reviews I ever got, including those from professional…


Added by I. J. Parker on February 13, 2008 at 6:55am — No Comments

A Good Day

Most of my days are ordinary. Occasionally, there's a depressing one, but that feeling tends to pass with work.

So I like to mark days when hopeful things happen, and today two happened in one morning:

1. I typed "The End" for my new novel, feeling pretty good about it -- even though plenty of small changes loom for another month.

2. I signed two contracts, one for translation rights for two novels, and one for audio recording rights for five.

It would be nice if…


Added by I. J. Parker on February 12, 2008 at 5:05am — 4 Comments

The Historical Novel Society Reviews ISLAND OF EXILES

Well, I suppose if you're writing historical novels, it's a very good thing if the Historical Novel Society reviews your latest and praises it. I'm grateful. I like all my reviews. In a way I live for the reviews.

My connection to historical novelists is tenuous at best, though. To me the Akitada series are mysteries first of all. Even my current book (set in 18th century Germany) I look at as somewhat off-genre -- a novel about two young people, brother and sister, facing their…


Added by I. J. Parker on November 21, 2007 at 8:34am — No Comments

New York

I made my first visit to New York as an author. Mind you, I love the city for its own sake and I loved it again this time (in spite of a sinfully expensive hotel). But the main reason I loved this trip was that I met my agents for the first time in person. It was an incredible visit. I was treated like an important author with a gourmet lunch and limousine ride to Penguin headquarters. It's still all a bit unbelievable.

I have said so before, and many times: I'm incredibly lucky in my…


Added by I. J. Parker on November 17, 2007 at 8:38am — 8 Comments


Coming this weekend! Haven't seen it yet, so I'm holding my breath a little. It's Marilyn Stasio reviewing. Why, oh, why, has this taken five books? It illustrates that all success comes to me the hard way. Oh, well.

Added by I. J. Parker on November 3, 2007 at 4:23am — 7 Comments

I got reviewed!

In the recent CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, I have a review for ISLAND OF EXILES. It's by David Montgomery, more's the joy, for not all reviewers were created equal. This mystery reviewer is GOOD! So I feel immensely flattered and very grateful for the attention. And now, here it is:

I.J. Parker's latest is the fifth mystery to feature Sugawara Akitada, a nobleman in medieval Japan with a knack for solving crimes. Island of Exiles is a superior effort that ranks as…


Added by I. J. Parker on October 31, 2007 at 12:14am — 7 Comments

Number Five

ISLAND OF EXILES (just released) is my fifth published novel in the Akitada series.

My first publisher chose two novels out of order (I had four completed in 2001).

This was disappointing…


Added by I. J. Parker on September 30, 2007 at 2:01am — 2 Comments

My Flash Ad:

I just got the neatest flash ad from my editor and wanted to post it, but for some reason I can't get it to flash -- i.e. change to different images. Still and all, I stand in awe of technological advances in pushing book sales and am very chuffed (as the British say when they mean "thrilled").

Added by I. J. Parker on September 14, 2007 at 1:17am — No Comments

A Follow-up on the "Scams"

It turns out not to be a scam, at least not in the sense that they don't deliver what they promise. The fact is that KIRKUS DOES SELL REVIEWS! Go to David Montgomery's CRIME FICTION DOSSIER blog, if you don't believe me. Why this has not hit all the publishing blogs and publications like a wild fire, I don't understand. As far as I'm concerned, that finishes Kirkus.

Added by I. J. Parker on September 12, 2007 at 5:28am — No Comments


As picked up on Galley Cat: Apparently a very popular blogger on a science site panned a recent release by an author, calling the author, among other things "a classic crackpot." The author brought suit. The lawyer for the blog responded that the author had no case because libel law requires that the claim be false.

I got a chuckle out of that one.

Added by I. J. Parker on August 22, 2007 at 12:47am — No Comments

Sarah's Blog Today

Sarah Weinman's blog today is full of fascinating mystdery-related subjects. It deals with Marilyn Stasio, the mystery critic for the New York Times but contains among other matters this quote from an exchange between P.D.James and Lawrence Block about the morality of the mystery protagonist:

"L.B.: In the earliest American hard-boiled fiction, there were heroes who were virtually criminals themselves. Even Sam Spade was absolutely a cold-blooded…


Added by I. J. Parker on August 21, 2007 at 12:48am — No Comments

Oh, the scams!

Ever since I made the mistake of allowing someone to do an e-mail campaign for me (my agent suggested it might be a good idea), I have been bombarded with mail (both snail and e) from the same outfit. They change their name periodically. Perhaps because word gets out. Last year they were Airleaf. Now they are Author Celebrity Associates. And they offer instant fame! For money. The costs rise with every new campaign.

The latest bit made me sit up. The bold headline read: "Imagine The…


Added by I. J. Parker on August 10, 2007 at 8:32am — 5 Comments

R.D.Wingfield has died.

Nobody much comes to my page, so this will probably not do much good. In a way it is symbolic of R.D. Wingfield's life as a mystery author. Nobody much cared -- or nobody in the publishing world cared enough to promote this writer. We have only a handful of Frost novels. The British eventually produced a wonderful television series based on some of them. But the novels are not well known and very hard to find. I eventually managed to find them in cheap paperback editions. And Wingfield gave…


Added by I. J. Parker on August 2, 2007 at 4:56am — 5 Comments

A Star!

I've just learned that Publishers Weekly has given ISLAND OF EXILES a starred review. Even better than that fact is the review itself:

"Parker's fourth Sugawara Akitada mystery (after 2006's Black Arrow), set in 11th-century Japan, manages to outplot its superb predecessors. When exiled and disgraced Prince Okisada is poisoned on…


Added by I. J. Parker on August 1, 2007 at 12:47am — 7 Comments

The Press Book

I just received, via airmail all the way from France, my first Press Book. This consists of a fat stack of pages carrying reviews and comments in the French Press for my two books THE DRAGON SCROLL and RASHOMON GATE, translated into French and published by Belfond. The first novel (released last October) had 64 of these; the more recent RASHOMON GATE 24.

Not only have none of my novels ever received this kind of coverage in this country,…


Added by I. J. Parker on July 11, 2007 at 1:33am — No Comments

Random Thoughts on the Duke University Lacrosse Players, a Book Signing, the Da Vinci Code, and Writing to Your Audience.

I’ve been thinking about the long delayed exoneration of the four young white men from upper-class backgrounds who stood accused of having kidnapped and gang-raped a poor black exotic dancer. Accusations are flying, this time…


Added by I. J. Parker on April 13, 2007 at 9:00am — No Comments

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