Sandra Ruttan's Blog (64)

Making It Official

*(Or As Seen In Publishers Marketplace, which is the title Evil Kev preferred.)

Normally, what happens in the book world is that someone writes a manuscript. They then try to find an agent, which is usually a lengthy process. Send out queries. Some politely tell you basketweaving might still be an option, or something of that nature. Maybe some invite you to submit more, and you do. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the average search time for an agent is six months.…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on September 21, 2007 at 3:02am — 16 Comments

Getting An Earful

I have been hinting about something exciting in development for days, and can finally spread the news and make it official. Today marks the evolution of In For Questioning, from industry blog to radio show and podcast, thanks to the efforts of Spinetingler editor and writer Angie Johnson-Schmit.

Angie marks the show's debut with an…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on September 10, 2007 at 10:33am — 1 Comment

Spinetingler Awards

After much debate, we've decided to implement an annual award through Spinetingler Magazine. Two things were paramount in my mind when considering this:

1. I didn't want us to just duplicate what others were doing. 2. I wanted the awards to invite the participation of readers and authors.

As a result, October 1, 2007 we'll open up the nominating process. I will have information about this on our site and post more (assuming that's okay with the moderators) when the…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on August 31, 2007 at 10:52am — 3 Comments

The Barry Nominees

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Best Novel

White Shadow by Ace Atkins

Oh Danny Boy by Rhys Bowen

The Last Assassin by Barry Eisler

The Prisoner of Guantanamo by Dan Fesperman

City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin

The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos

Best First

The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

The Berlin Conspiracy by Tom Gabbay

The King of Lies by John Hart

Still Life… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on July 22, 2007 at 1:16pm — No Comments

Theakston's Winner and Links

Word is in that Allan Guthrie has won the Theakston's Award at Harrogate...*

More reports sure to come, since Ali Karim of The Rap Sheet is on the front lines. Although I'd figured Stuart MacBride to win, I'm delighted to be wrong. Well, not because Stuart lost, but he won the Dagger, so Al winning Theakstons is great, because they're both winners.

And now Stuart has something to whine about on his blog again.

Author and blogger…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on July 20, 2007 at 11:45am — No Comments

Author Egomaniacs: Do You See What I See?

Which authors do you think are egomaniacs? Any bestsellers you’ve got stashed on your shelves? Newer authors you think are already too big for their britches? Anyone spring to mind?

I’ve been thinking about this over the weekend, for a variety of reasons. One is the comment trail here. Another is a private communication. Then there was that email I referenced last post. And the final straw? The comment trail over at…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on May 29, 2007 at 7:07am — 7 Comments

Focus Groups, The Americanizing of British Novels & How Publishers Can Join The 21st Century

”I am thinking it would be fun to do an arc in a f2f group. Discuss a book in detail BEFORE it is published and then give the author the feedback - or at least the feedback that might be useful.”

When I read that my automatic response was It’s never going to happen. Yes, call me a pessimist, call me a cynic. Lynne’s idea (posted on my Crimespace chat wall) has merit but adds a layer of work to the…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on May 17, 2007 at 6:01am — 6 Comments

Where's The Love?

There is no sense of immediacy with books. Think about it. You can read a book tonight, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. This is the double-edged sword. The same thing that makes books so convenient for taking on holidays (or reading on a bus or in a waiting room) is what makes it easy to put them off forever. They aren’t bound by a sense of urgency.

Unless you participate in a book club, read listservs and forums that push a book to the point where you can’t stand it…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on May 9, 2007 at 5:50am — 1 Comment

Rock 'n' Roll Authors

I don’t want to be a rock star but I think authors could learn something from them. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were more joint author tours? I’m not talking about a couple friends pairing up for a few dates in the usual haunts: I’m talking about taking authors with books out toward the end of one month and just at the beginning of the next month and putting them on the road together – a couple ‘bigger names’ and a couple ‘rising stars’ doing the twenty city gig.

Before any…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on May 4, 2007 at 6:25am — 13 Comments

I Failed Elmore Leonard

Yesterday, my agent forwarded me a rejection letter for WHAT BURNS WITHIN. It was actually an amazing letter. It referenced my work as “fast-paced and well written” with a “compelling story” and my favourite line: “I can see why Ms. Ruttan has garnered such wonderful praise; she writes with incredible vividness and great attention to detail.” The editor even called me talented.

This is much better than form letter rejections or, worse, a “please fuck off and take…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on April 29, 2007 at 5:21am — 16 Comments

Cling To Red Herrings And Keep Your Hands Clean

In the wake of the deadliest school shooting in US (and one would assume world) history comes the news that the killer in the bloodiest U.S. gun massacre has been identified as a 23-year-old undergraduate English major at Virginia Tech whose creative writing was so troubling that the university referred him to counselling.

"He was reported to be getting increasingly violent and erratic in the… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on April 18, 2007 at 6:06am — 2 Comments

Location Discrimination

The crime in Canadian fiction far outweighs the reality and this country is just too ‘polite and civilized’ to be noir.

That’s what was stated in a recent post on a discussion list, and this is an expansion of my response to the statement there. In my opinion, for all the bellyaching we do about ‘realism’ in our crime fiction, when it comes to location we dispense with that concern. Time and again the tried and true locations of popular US cities are the settings of new novels,…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on April 13, 2007 at 8:00am — 7 Comments

The Argument Against BSP

Who, Me? Lose My Temper? Yes, I lost it yesterday, so I went and deleted what I said moments later.

The reality was, there wasn't anything wrong with what I said, except for the use of one four-letter word. And so I'm going to vent my spleen here, sans cuss words.

I've been on a few forums over time. I have seen a few forums I participated in regularly get shut down. One forum I used to frequent has become one I won't recommend because the trolls won. The mantra…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on April 12, 2007 at 2:47am — 19 Comments

Seeing Justice Done

She was 16, pretty, with her whole life ahead of her.

Until she encountered a killer at a bus stop.

He raped her, stuck pins in her, struck her in the face with a brick repeatedly and she eventually died from a fractured skull and asphyxiation.

Her killer taunted police with a letter at the time of the murder: "I won't strike again until next year at the same time... Set up your bait and try to catch me ... See ya next year."

Her name was…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on April 10, 2007 at 6:45am — 2 Comments


From the charming folks at Fantasy Book Spot:

Who Can Win? Open to all FBS Members.

How do you Win? Send me a PM with Suspicious Circumstances as the subject and you are entered.

What is the deadline? Send your PM anytime before April 20th. The winner will be randomly selected and announced soon after.

So, just to clarify - I'm not…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on April 5, 2007 at 4:57am — 8 Comments

Harrogate News

Natasha Cooper sent me word this morning that Peter Temple will not be able to attend Harrogate this July. We'll be updating that in the online Harrogate article in the new issue of Spinetingler. These things do happen, and I know from my own experience how hard it is for the program chair, who not only has to face their own disappointment but feels bad…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on April 4, 2007 at 1:31am — No Comments

New Spinetingler

The new issue of Spinetingler is up. You can follow this link for the PDF download and table of contents.

Or take the direct links below for the stories, interviews, reviews, website features, a sampler of Harrogate 2007 and a very special article.

I asked blogger and author Sela Carsen to give us some insight on the…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on April 1, 2007 at 6:28am — No Comments

Stop Thief! (And a few other things)

Mouse steals mans dentures. After being captured three times and escaping a mouse stole his captor's dentures, which were later recovered from inside a wall in the man's home.

That comes from the strange but true file.

This comes from the shocking file. A Texas man dismembered his former…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on March 27, 2007 at 7:01am — No Comments

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