by Vinnie Hansen
Misterio Press authors Kassandra Lamb and Shannon Esposito both live in Florida and are dealing with Hurricane Irma. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.
Since I’m safely located in California, I’m filling in today for Kassandra with an updated repost.
Authors, even well known ones, can find themselves at events where few people attend. I once did a book talk and signing with the famous Laurie R. King at a local bookstore. The audience was fewer than a dozen people.
It’s comforting at such moments to remember the six-degrees-of-separation theory–that everyone is connected, by six or fewer steps, with everyone else. A friend of a friend of a friend knows your friend… At some events, we might not sell a single book, but who knows where the connections might lead.
Last year, I was invited to join in Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries, a boxed set of 10 full-length books featuring murder and assorted mayhem by 10 authors. The collection offers 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuths, capers, and cozy mysteries, with a combined total of over 1700 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4 stars!
I am not nearly as well known as the other authors in this collection. I can only speculate how my name was thrown into the hat for this great, good fortune.
I could have been chosen for my scintillating personality. However, I suspect the invitation arose from my participation in some past event.
The initial contact about the boxed set came from Camille Minichino, a fellow member of the Northern California Chapter of Sisters in Crime. We first did an event together back in 2005, a book-signing fundraiser for a high school library! So maybe this current opportunity was set in motion on that long ago, and long April afternoon.
While Camille informed me of the project, if I were to lay a bet on how I came to be accepted in Sleuthing Women, it would be that I guest-blogged—twice—on Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers, the site of Lois Winston, organizer of the boxed set. I wrote decent pieces, met my deadlines, and persuaded others to visit the posts.
Guest blogging can seem like a dead-end with no obvious sales bump. On the other hand, in this case my participation may have pushed the first domino that led to my inclusion in Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries.
To go back to that sparsely attended high-school fundraiser, I shared a table that afternoon with Cara Black. Cara later became a very well known mystery writer, who supplied me with a blurb that I use on everything.
I could list for pages, the lackluster events that manifested valuable friendships and worthwhile connections. So even on those rainy evening book talks with five people in the audience, I give my all. You just never know which of those people might know someone who knows someone….
And now my participation in Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries has led to Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas. One thing leads to another.
What about you–have you ever had some seemingly mundane connection lead to something bigger? Do you believe in the six-degrees-of-separation theory?
Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series—a total of over 800 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.
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