Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Liar's Diary

Today Patry Francis' debut novel, THE LIAR'S DIARY comes out. Patry has been diagnosed with what is described as "a particularly aggressive form of cancer." This means particularly aggressive treatment, which means Patry will not be able to do the usual promotion for the book. So the mystery community is joining forces to get the word out.

Here's a link to Patry's website.

And a description of the book from the publisher's site:

Answering the question of what is more powerful—family or friendship? this debut novel unforgettably shows how far one woman would go to protect either.

They couldn’t be more different, but they form a friendship that will alter both their fates. When Ali Mather blows into town, breaking all the rules and breaking hearts (despite the fact that she is pushing forty), she also makes a mark on an unlikely family. Almost against her will, Jeanne Cross feels drawn to this strangely vibrant woman, a fascination that begins to infect Jeanne’s “perfect” husband as well as their teenaged son.

At the heart of the friendship between Ali and Jeanne are deep-seated emotional needs, vulnerabilities they have each been recording in their diaries. Ali also senses another kind of vulnerability; she believes someone has been entering her house when she is not at home—and not with the usual intentions. What this burglar wants is nothing less than a piece of Ali’s soul.

When a murderer strikes and Jeanne’s son is arrested, we learn that the key to the crime lies in the diaries of two very different women . . . but only one of them is telling the truth. A chilling tour of troubled minds, The Liar’s Diary signals the launch of an immensely talented new novelist who knows just how to keep her readers guessing.

And praise for the book:

Patry Francis writes with a quietly intimate voice, subtly weaving her spell as the tension slowly but surely builds to a fever pitch. Packed with jaw-dropping revelations, LIAR'S DIARY still manages to save one last walloping shock for the end.

-Tess Gerritsen

The Liar's Diary is a beautifully written first novel by an author who has previously distinguished herself through her poetry and short stories.

-Mystery Scene

I was hesitant to start Patry Francis's debut novel, The Liar's Diary, as mysteries are not usually my first choice. However, I was drawn in after just a few pages. The novel starts off with two very unlikely women who are vastly different becoming friends. As it progresses, it becomes an obsessive love story and murder mystery. You won't see the disturbing ending coming.

-Publisher's Weekly

Can't wait to read it, and I hope you'll check it out, too.

Buy on Amazon:

Monday, January 28, 2008

New Year Catch Up

Happy New Year!

Well, okay, I’m a little late.

So yes, one resolution is to keep up this blog better than I have been, or at least post links to the blogs I do at Murderati, Storytellers Unplugged, and MUSE.

This is the round up. Um… catch up:

THE HARROWING is now on sale in paperback from St. Martin's Press, and has just been released in Germany as DIE INSCRIFT and in France as LE CERCLE MEURTRIER. (Now why didn’t I think of that title?)

My second book, THE PRICE, is a supernatural thriller set in an eerie Boston hospital that explores troubling questions of what we are willing to do for love… or personal gain. It comes out in hardcover from St. Martin's on February 20, and I’m of course touring, starting in San Diego at the Southern California Writers Conference on February 15. My tour schedule is here, and you can see the book trailer here.

I’ve also contracted with St. Martin's for my next two supernatural thrillers, the first of which is due March 1, which is why you haven’t heard much from me lately! I’ve always wanted to do a story based on the real-life work of Dr. J.B. Rhine in the Duke parapsychology department, the first dedicated university parapsychology lab in this country. In this next book, a couple of modern-day psychologists attempt to duplicate one of the Rhine poltergeist investigations, with ominous results.

I also have a story I really love in THE DARKER MASK, an illustrated noir superhero anthology, coming out from Tor in August.

And this is very cool. I’ve recently teamed up with three other female dark suspense authors: Sarah Langan, Sarah Pinborough, and Deborah LeBlanc. We just launched our own website and blog, MUSE Four, and are collaborating on an anthology of interconnected novellas. I’m very excited about the MUSE anthology and to be working with such a great group of dark and powerful women. We are collectively writing a regular column for the brand-new online dark suspense magazine, DarkScribe. Our focus is, of course, on the more feminine aspects of suspense, mysteries, thrillers, and horror, and you can read more about it here.

And on the screenwriting front – well, I’m currently on strike with the rest of the Writers Guild of America, which you can read much more about here. I am proud to be on strike for vital creative rights and fair participation in the profit made from our work, and also very glad to be writing novels and retaining my copyright.

With two books and my MUSE novella due sooner than I want to think about, I don’t plan to be doing much more than convention traveling in the near future. Luckily I love all that, and can't wait to do some performing with Heather Graham’s Slush Pile Players at Romantic Times in April as well.

Wishing everyone the best year ever, and hope to see everyone on the convention trail this year.

Love, Alex

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Shirley Jackson Award announced

This is a new award I know a lot of you are eligible for. If you ask me it would be an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence with the words "Shirley Jackson". ;)


Contact: JoAnn F. Cox
Award Administrator

Award named for Shirley Jackson to Honor Writers of Psychological Suspense, Horror, and the Dark Fantastic

Inaugural year is for works published in 2007; Board of Advisors and Judges announced.

Boston, MA (January 2008) - In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson's writing, and with permission of the author's estate, the Shirley Jackson Award has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, "The Lottery." Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work. National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem has called Jackson "one of this century's most luminous and strange American writers," and multiple generations of authors would agree.

The Shirley Jackson Award will be voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards will be given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

A website, www.ShirleyJacksonAwards.org, will provide more information on the award categories and the selection process. The date and location for the awards ceremony will be announced soon.

The jurors for the 2007 Shirley Jackson Awards are, alphabetically:

F. Brett Cox, co-editor (with Andy Duncan) of Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic (Tor, 2004); author of numerous short stories, critical essays, and reviews; English faculty at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont.

John Langan, author of short story collection Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters (Prime Books, forthcoming 2008) and numerous critical essays and reviews; English faculty at State University of New York-New Paltz.

Sarah Langan, author of novels The Keeper (Harper, 2006; finalist for Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel) and The Missing (Harper, 2007); MFA in Creative Writing, Columbia University; freelance writer currently living in New York City.

Paul G. Tremblay, author of collection Compositions for the Young and Old (Prime Books, 2004), novella "City Pier: Above and Below" (Prime, 2007), and novel The Little Sleep (Henry Holt, forthcoming); one-time co-editor of Fantasy Magazine and the anthologies Fantasy and Bandersnatch.

The Board of Advisors for the Shirley Jackson Award includes award-winning editor and anthologist Ellen Datlow; renowned scholar and editor S.T. Joshi; author, editor, and teacher Nick Mamatas, author and teacher Jack M. Haringa (co-editor, with Joshi, of the critical journal Dead Reckonings); author Mike O'Driscoll; editor Ann Vandermeer; and award-winning and best-selling novelist Stewart O'Nan.