Kris Rusch sent me an e-mail titled “Good review.”
I liked the sound of too long. Better than a one-liner. I downloaded the July version, stat.
Melissa Yi, Terminally Ill, Olo Books, $17.99. Publicity-seeking magician Elvis Serratore, in tribute to Houdini’s visit to Montreal nearly ninety years earlier, allows himself to be chained inside a coffin and dropped into the St. Lawrence River. When the escape fails, Montreal medical resident Hope Sze is able to resuscitate him. Against physicians’ recommendations, the magician prepares for an encore, but wants Dr. Sze, with her reputation for solving crimes, to find out if someone wants him dead. Narrating in a sprightly style while sharing some of the nitty-gritty of a resident’s job, Hope Sze is an utterly likeable character.
I found the pull quote and highlighted it for you! You’re welcome.
I’m officially in love with the reviewer, Steve Steinbock, who also wrote in the intro, “The best of crime fiction—of any fiction—transports us to times or places different from our own while touching something familiar in us. All of the titles in this month’s column accomplish this in one way or another.”
Hmm. Wonder if I can use that, too.
The other authors he reviewed include Isabel Allende. Um, hi, Isabel. Excuse me while I faint.
I know the haters out there are like, Big whoop, so I’m just going to explain why I’m tooting my own horn. Again. And I still have some toots left over, so bear with me.
EQMM is the longest-running mystery magazine in the world, founded in 1941. Stephen King declared Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine “the best mystery magazine in the world, bar none.” Dorothy Parker was a fan, okay?
From a business point of view, gaebler.com estimates EQMM’s circulation as 180,000. According to its own reader survey, more than 70% of EQMM readers buy books by the authors they first read in this magazine’s pages. Half of their readers devour more than 15 mystery novels every year.
So. I could pay Bookbub $1550 to advertise Terminally Ill at an over-$2 price. Or I could target 180,000 people who already like mysteries enough to subscribe to the premier mystery magazine. (Or both, but I’ll let you know if that happens.)
Plus, now I have a pull quote that spans the series, since it praises the character instead of one book. However, I’m still pushing Publishers Weekly’s “entertaining and insightful” as hard as I can. Which isn’t very hard. It’s on the book cover and the online blurbs.
I can’t say enough good things about EQMM. Not only has the editor, Janet Hutchings, always written me kind rejection letters, but they recently reviewed my story, “Because,” calling it an “experimental short-short” and the Fiction River: Crime anthology that published it “high quality throughout.”
Best of all, Ellery Queen bought one of my short stories, “Om.” So even if readers skip past both reviews, at some point, their eyes might land on my yoga murder story, and I hope to sell EQMM many more. Short stories can be gold like that, as Mark Leslie Lefebvre and I talked about in our Kobo podcast here.
Kris herself pointed out in her Business Rusch series, “Instead of paying $500 to buy an ad in a magazine that people might or might not pay attention to, the writer is getting paid $500 to publish a story in that magazine. The reader will look at the story longer even if the reader doesn’t read the story than if the writer had an ad in that magazine.”
Also, EQMM sent me a Christmas card. I freaked out when I got that. They paid me for a story, and they’re sending me a Christmas card in an gold-rimmed envelope? #livingthedream
Anyway, I just revived myself with smelling salts. Excuse me while I plotz. That’s Yiddish. I gotta practice because I’m heading to Bloody Words 2014 June 6-8th, and Steve Steinbock (yes, the very same Steve Steinbock. I’m swimming with the big leagues now) has challenged me to a Yiddish cursing contest.
One last cool thing. I Facebooked Steve a thank you and mentioned that Kris Rusch had tipped me off. He wrote back, “I have some of her books. I’ll have to give them a read.”
Wait a minute. I might help out an Edgar Award nominee?
The world is a crazy place. But I just love it sometimes.
While you’re waiting for the next Hope Sze novel, a brand new Hope Sze novella, Student Body, will appear in e-book imminently, at a temporarily low, low price before its official paperback book launch. I’ll announce it in my newsletter first. Here’s the cover:
P.S. To my two Melissa Yin fans: I just finished the second draft of The Goa Yoga School of Slayers, the sequel to The Italian School for Assassins (with thanks to Italian writer Barbara G. Tarn for editing my dreadful Google translate Italian), so stay tuned for another silly, lighthearted mystery cozy!
[Note: Review copyright 2014 by Steve Steinbock. Have I mentioned Steve? Steeeeeve.]