Like many freakishly voracious readers, I have a long list of favorite authors. But, I confess I once paid little attention to bestseller lists. Until the day somewhere in the 2005-2006 timeframe when I figured out I needed to see what was selling, because after all, I was a novelist with aspirations of publication.
I went to the Barnes & Noble website and pulled up mystery books. The top six bestselling mysteries were the first six Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. Vampires? I’d never read vampires.
I went to Barnes & Noble and bought the first one. I needed to see what this was all about. When I got home, I read Dead until Dark from cover to cover in one sitting. Then I raced back to Barnes & Noble and bought a copy of every single Charlaine Harris book they had in the store. A fan was born. Since that day, I have snapped up everything she writes as fast as it’s published and promptly binge-read it. She’s a fabulous storyteller. And I am her biggest fan.
I first met Charlaine at Sleuthfest in 2012, six months before my first book was released. I came early to a panel and sat in the center of the room in the third row. Charlaine and her friend sat down beside me. Of course I knew immediately who she was–I had her photo on a growing collection of books. I said something like, “I’m trying really hard not to be an annoying fangirl.”
She replied, “I was just thinking how much I like that sweater.” She introduced me to her friend, and we had a lovely conversation about how we liked a certain clothing store. If I’ve ever met a more charming, warm, down-to-earth person in my life I can’t recall it.
Imagine how overjoyed I was when I got my panel assignments for Bouchercon this past year and discovered I was on a panel with Charlaine Harris. I danced around the house on air for days.
Our panel was scheduled for Saturday. On Thursday afternoon, as I took a seat to watch another panel, I noticed Charlaine was seated behind me—y’all, I swear I was not stalking her, though I did joke that I was. I turned around and said hello, and we chatted for a few minutes. I told her the unvarnished truth—that I was her biggest fan and would try my very best not to stutter, blubber, et cetera on our panel. She put me immediately at ease. I had a wonderful time on the panel. And the photo of me beside her on that stage has been blown up and framed for my office.
All of this to explain how positively ecstatic I am to share with y’all the cover for the third Liz Talbot Mystery, LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD, which releases April 21. The cover quote has been shortened a bit to fit, but here it is in its entirety:
“LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD has everything you could want in a traditional mystery: a credible and savvy protagonist, a meaty mystery, and setting that will make you want to spend time in South Carolina. I enjoyed every minute of it.”
~~ Charlaine Harris, New York Times Bestselling Author of Day Shift
I am grateful beyond measure. To have an author you so admire read and like your work is both humbling and intoxicating. To have her comments on the cover of your book is a trip on Cloud Nine.