Friday, July 14, 2006

Q&A: CORNELIA READ, PT 2


Here is the conclusion of our two-part Q&A with novelist Cornelia Read, whose debut thriller is the much-ballyhooed A Field of Darkness (Mysterious Press). According to the bio on her official website:

Cornelia knows old-school WASP culture firsthand, having been born into the tenth (and last) generation of her mother's family to live on Oyster Bay's Centre Island. Today, her Bostonian Great-Grandmother Fabyan's Society of Mayflower Descendants membership parchment is proudly displayed at the back of Read's tiny linen closet in Berkeley, California. She continues to rebel against familial tradition by staying married to a lovely sane man who is gainfully employed. They have twin daughters, the younger of whom has severe autism.
Cornelia is also a member of International Thriller Writers.

* * *

PART TWO.

WHAT DO YOU WISH NON-WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
That we writers are mostly delicate little flowers, and that needlessly snarky reviews and comments hurt. Honest critique is a great good thing, but scoring wit points off someone’s work just for fun is another matter entirely.

WHAT DO YOU WISH OTHER WRITERS UNDERSTOOD?
That we’re all in it together, and that kindness counts. If someone badmouths another writer, I always want to deck the badmouther on behalf of the badmouthee, even if I don’t know the latter personally. Luckily, there are very, very few writers in the thriller and mystery community who are not gracious to and supportive of one another.

FOR THE WRITER WITH A NEW BOOK, WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE BEST THING TO PROMOTE IT?
The Internet is a miraculous thing, and it’s a wonderful way to get to know fellow writers and readers, and to get the word out about one’s book.

I don’t mean posting blatant self-promotion. Get out there and have fun! Post blog comments when you run across something interesting. Send emails when you enjoy someone’s work, or think they’ve said something you agree with in a chatroom or on a List-serve. Try to jump into the pond to contribute something wherever you can—most of the nicest things that have happened in support of this debut novel had their genesis in conversations online that had NOTHING to do with the book itself.

I had no idea that would happen—no agenda, no ax to grind. I was just pleased to find a community of articulate, funny, like-minded people out in the virtual universe. My husband makes fun of me for having ‘imaginary friends,’ but I’ve met incredible friends online. People I’d find a place in the lifeboat for, and whom I know would do the same for me. What a thing!

It takes as much of a village to publish and market a book as it does to raise a child, and the net is the best village going. I just hope I can give back as much as I’ve been blessed to receive.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND JOINING AN AUTHOR GUILD LIKE INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS?
ABSOLUTELY!!! ITW, MWA, SinC … they are ALL tremendous resources, a balm for the troubled delicate-little-flower soul, especially in such a solitary profession.

OF ALL THE FINE ORGANIZATIONS AVAILABLE, WHAT ABOUT ITW SETS IT APART?
I think ITW has an astonishingly hip grasp of promotion. It makes totally brilliant sense to go after sponsorship, co-branding, and marketing that’s piggy-backed onto corporate ad dollars—good for them, good for the writers, if done selectively and thoughtfully.

I’d like to see WRITERS on my Wheaties Box, for a change. I mean, “Jim Thompson: Breakfast of Champions,” how cool would THAT be?

BONUS: THE MUNSTERS OR ADDAMS FAMILY?
Wow, talk about a hardball question!! I adore Morticia and Gomez, but I have to plump for The Munsters. I still love that Marilyn, with that perfect blonde flip ’do, was considered the family weirdo.

* * *

Many thanks to Cornelia Read. Visit her online at CorneliaRead.com or join her Mailing List. Her thriller A Field of Darkness is available at Amazon and many other fine retailers.

CORNELIA READ, PT 1

Related links:
MR. MONK AND THE AMAZON REVIEW
KONRATH IN NASHVILLE
J.A. KONRATH'S BIG ADVENTURE
THE THRILLER AWARDS
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: TL HINES (Waking Lazarus)
Q&A: KATHRYN MACKEL (The Hidden)

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