Mark Stevens's Blog (16)

Planning Another Trip, Writing A Sequel

I swear on a stack of Edgar Award Winners that I never thought I would be writing a sequel to Antler Dust.

But I have two problems.

The first problem is that I have a good idea for what's next for the

main character, Allison Coil. I always thought that some series books

put the main character through too much. Detective main characters?

Sure, they can be subjected to a series of crimes and murders and

mayhem. But non-detective main characters? Probably… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on February 11, 2008 at 9:59am — No Comments

Antler Dust - Top 10

OK, it's not the New York Times Notable Books list but it was

incredible to see Antler Dust on a best-of-2007 list, this one from Pop


Best of 2007 - Angela Wilson

10. The Adventures of Guy,…


Added by Mark Stevens on January 13, 2008 at 5:25am — No Comments

Connected Again - Found Her

We are back in touch. The female hunting guide who inspired

Antler Dust years ago still guides in The Flat Tops Wilderness Area on

the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. A woman I met during a

book signing in Glenwood Springs told me how to find her. She had moved

a few towns over but was listed in the phone book. I suppose if I had

hired a detective -- anybody know a good one? -- I could have found her

years ago. But I liked the way this worked out. Anyway, we… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on December 23, 2007 at 1:01am — 1 Comment

On Her Trail

Antler Dust is

based on a woman I met many years ago while my wife and I were on a

day-long horseback ride.

We were staying at this guest ranch for a week

and this guide was simply A-plus. She was knowledgeable, fun,

articulate, patient, and seemed to enjoy the outdoors in a way that was

simply off the charts. Nothing was routine, every vista was to…

Added by Mark Stevens on November 5, 2007 at 12:18am — No Comments

Book Review Web Sites

Another great review of Antler Dust was posted today on One wonderful sentence went like this:

"Antler Dust is a first-rate thriller. Though you know from the early

pages 'whodunit' the excitement is in the chase, which doesn't let up

until the very end."

And near the end, another nice one:

"Tight, straightforward writing and a never-let-up pace make Antler Dust

a superb debut novel for Stevens."

Hey, I love… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on October 10, 2007 at 12:29pm — No Comments

Connie Willis & Me

I went to a book presentation last weekend by Connie Willis. Who?

Mystery writers and crime writers may not know her. I didn't know

her until the owners of the Denver Book Mall -- Nina and Ron Else --

told me I had to be there. I know a good recommendation when I

hear one. Nina and Ron know their stuff. Anything about books,

they know it. Connie Willis is a science fiction writer. And romance

(gasp) writer and "anything" writer. She stood there pleasantly… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on October 4, 2007 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Info Dump

Last weekend I was at a Borders in Aurora, Colorado

signing books. One of my 14 sales was to a terrfiic, upbeat male reader

named Eli. He was a friendly customer -- completely open to the idea of

Antler Dust. Two days later, he sent me this e-mail message:

"I'm a few chapters in and so far love it. The prose is fresh and the

story moves along well; your style is great. There were a few parts

that seemed a bit too heavy on description but that's…

Added by Mark Stevens on September 27, 2007 at 11:53am — No Comments

Bob Dylan & Me

Just got back from Telluride. And have I got a tip.

Look for festivals to sell books. Look for people milling around. Look

for a nearby bookstore to sponsor your sales. I stood outside Between

The Covers in Telluride on Saturday selling copies of "Antler

Dust." Okay, I sold 26 copies in just a little over two hours.

They were flying. But people were in the mood to buy, devour, explore.

I believe festivals must make people well, carefree. They certainly

seemed… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on September 4, 2007 at 12:13pm — No Comments

Marketing Question

OK, gang, here's a question. I am really looking for tips and

advice on this one. I have done about 20 bookstore drop-in

signings. For the majority of these, I have sent ahead of time a

packet with large (11 x 17) posters and a bundle of flyers. In my mind,

the flyers would have been by the register and anyone who bought a

thriller or mystery would have had a flyer stuffed in their bag.

Uh....don't think it happened. Once in awhile I've seen the posters on

the… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on August 7, 2007 at 2:16pm — 3 Comments

Another Five-Star Review Out of Nowhere

I am beginning to realize that your book has a life of its own.

You never know where it will wind up or who will be reading it -- or

exactly what prompted them to read it. I had never heard of but of course, now I love the site. This review

was posted on Amazon this week (below). In a word, thanks!

What a WOW of a first novel!, July…

Added by Mark Stevens on July 26, 2007 at 10:50pm — No Comments

Harry Potter & The Busy Hollows of Sales


people said it would be a mistake to schedule a book signing on

Saturday, July 21 in the wake of an aircraft carrier known as "Harry

Potter." I was in

Macdonald Book Shop in Estes Park, Colorado. This bookstore is

79-years-old. It's tidy, cozy and very well kept. The books


Just walking in makes you want to read. The staff could not have been

more friendly. Conservatively, I would say 50 percent of the customers

asked if there were any… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on July 23, 2007 at 10:35am — No Comments

Series-ous Issue

I just finished reading a best-seller that has received terrific

reviews all over the place, "Stalin's Ghost" by Martin Cruz Smith. The

writing is dry, taut and the plot is fairly compelling. I didn't

absolutely love it but I must say there are some passages of dialogue

that are achingly good, especially between Renko and his girlfriend. I

haven't read every Renko book but one of my big problems was not being

able to "catch up" with Renko's world. Smith, I would… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on July 16, 2007 at 12:37am — 1 Comment

Bad Words

On Sunday last week I sold 20 books during two hours at a Barnes

& Noble. Well, actually, I sold 17 and the store had me sign

the remaining 3. One of the 17 buyers e-mailed me yesterday,

wanting to return the book because of all the f*cks and sh&ts and

even the "Good Christs." Of course, she repeated all those words

in her e-mail several times. She wanted my home address so she could

ship it back. Of course, I thought, a murder mystery set amid

hunters… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on July 11, 2007 at 11:25am — 3 Comments

Awesome Review

Wow. Yesterday while I was on a hike in the mountains, the

following review was posted on the Amazon page for "Antler Dust."

Here it is:

Economy of language, July 1, 2007


Added by Mark Stevens on July 3, 2007 at 2:22am — No Comments

John Dunning - Funniest Dark Scene Ever

I'm listening to John Dunning's "The Bookwoman's Last Fling" on CD.

Amazing narrator, great story...and main character, Cliff Janeway.

There's a scene in this book that I would like to nominate as one of

the darkest and funniest and most real scenes I've ever "read."

It's the scene when Cliff is stuffed in a car trunk. I know,

somewhat routine idea but the execution here is over the top, the way

he wakes up and starts to try to put the pieces together of where he… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on July 1, 2007 at 5:59am — No Comments

Darkness - Patricia Highsmith

I'm in the middle of a wonderful biography of Patricia Highsmith,

"Beautiful Shadow" by Andrew Wilson. I have always liked the darkness

in Highsmith's writings. My favorite titles are "The Story Teller,"

"This Sweet Sickness," the Ripley books, and "Strangers on a

Train." There are many more interesting novels in her collection,

too. What really strikes me about her writing is how much of it is

based on a very dark interior life. Anybody who reads it will… Continue

Added by Mark Stevens on July 1, 2007 at 1:01am — 4 Comments

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