Hello everyone! If you've read the blog for a while, you might recognize today's guest author, Suzanne Johnson. We're very happy to have her as a guest today, so let's give her a hearty welcome!
A Newbie on the Road
The last week has been a whirlwind of firsts, as my debut novel was released on Tuesday—an urban fantasy called Royal Street, first in a new series. The same day, I kicked off a book tour that will take me from Atlanta to San Diego to Portland, with a few stops in between to hold down a full-time Evil Day Job.
I guess debut week is always a flurry of highs and lows.
The highs for me….Seeing my book on the shelves of a bookstore for the first time. I almost tripped over my own feet as I rounded a corner and saw a display and stack of books…Realizing, after being so ridiculously nervous, that the people who showed up for the launch party and book signing were all friends. I finally relaxed and enjoyed myself….Staying in a much nicer class of hotels along the book tour route than is my usual Days Inn fare (thank you to my publisher)….Getting emails from friends in different cities who’ve seen the book or, better yet, haven’t seen the book because it’s sold out…Enjoying some amazing reviews (a veteran reviewer for the Barnes & Noble SF/F blog called it a contender for “debut fantasy of the year”)…having people show up for the signing in Houston on Friday night who had read the book and were enthusiastic about it—and who weren’t actually related to me or former coworkers :-)…Being asked to sign a book for Charlaine Harris (OMG), who is coming to Murder by the Book in Houston in May.
Then there were a few lows…The book blogger who not only hated the book but has seen fit to spread the venom (“don’t waste your money on this”) around every site she can find, which starts to feel personal after a while...Realizing as the novelty wears off, that I do still have another book to proof by the 20th, still another by the 23rd, and a new (unfinished) manuscript due to my editor on May 1, and that I will pay dearly in stress and sleep for taking this time off…The queasies over the signing tomorrow in Dallas as bad weather moves in and I don’t have a cadre of former coworkers and relatives to fill the chairs.
Yeah, a LOT more highs than lows as I head home on Monday for a few days before hitting the road again. If you’re in Atlanta, Birmingham, San Diego or Portland, hope you’ll come by and see me as I continue the traveling road show. For all of you much farther along in your publishing careers than me, are these fairly typical highs and lows? Do other books rival the first, or will it all seem blasé after a while? Inquiring minds need to know!
BIO: Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance from Auburn, Alabama, in addition to a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities. She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis' birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.
ABOUT ROYAL STREET: As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond. Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.
While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.
To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter roux.