Fatal Score is Up and Running

Fatal Score is live on Amazon in both trade paperback and e-book.  The formal launch here in Minneapolis is this coming Sunday, November 18th.  The NFL has been considerate enough to move the Vikings-Bears game from midday to evening. In Minnesota, that means a bump in attendance for my 2:00 to 4:00 launch party.

I am grateful for some wonderful professional reviews and glad that the work to get the book properly listed is over.  My advance copy readers are putting up their reviews.  IngramSpark has produced the copies I need for the launch, libraries and so on faster than I expected.  Goodreads is on line.

My next job is to market the book and to edit the audio version.  It’s never ending, but I love the writing part.  As I said in response to a Goodreads question, being in the business of writing is my hall pass to hang out with as smart, as creative, as interesting a group of people as I have ever known.

The Agony of Genre

I check agents’ sites occasionally, and yesterday I saw a note that a person had incorrectly classified her book as a ‘thriller’ in a query letter.  The agent said (quite correctly, I think from the query) that the book is suspense, not a thriller … but that’s okay, she said, because “thrillers are hard to sell these days.”

Ahhh, visions of my history with venture capital, when someone would have a Big Honkin’ Idea, would get funded and (shortly) acquired.  Within months there would be a dozen minor variations on the original idea looking for money, some of which would be funded.  Then the market would be saturated with look-alikes, and VC attention would turn to the next Big Honkin’ Idea.

So it is, I fear, with the thriller genre in commercial fiction.  I have two finished thrillers, one in rewrite and another in design.  So this is of some concern to me.

Once upon a time, the “thriller” plot turned on some big problem, something that would hurt thousands or millions.  Somehow the story’s protagonist, often an ordinary person (not cop, PI, lawyer, etc.), would discover some important detail and be pursued by bad guys until he or she was successful in exposing the bad stuff.  Then, sometime between Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects (2006) and her Gone Girl (2012), her marketing department made Gone Girl a thriller.  After that, there were a lot of thrillers came out. Most were suspense (the general classification above thriller), but ‘thriller’ sold.

It’s looking more and more like I’ll self-publish at least my first novel.