News Flash: Kicking off the New Year with Heather Webb’s Launch!

Becoming Josephine CoverCongrats to Lourdes, who won a copy of GABY, LOST AND FOUND by Angela Cervantes!

From the 2014 Debs…

Heather Webb had a wonderful launch week celebrating the release of her debut novel, BECOMING JOSEPHINE. And she had a birthday in there, too!

Lisa Alber got back to work on her work-in-progress, the second in the County Clare mysteries. She’s thinking a research trip to Ireland is in her future.

Susan Gloss got her advance check for the German edition of VINTAGE and she’s happy that the exchange of Euros to US dollars is in her favor right now.

Lori Rader-Day spent the holidays working on copy for her new website. She can’t wait to launch it!

Natalia Sylvester got invited to be a speaker at the LitChat Literary Salon January 31st at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach. It’s a day-long event featuring author readings and audience discussion, free and open to the public. She’ll be on a panel discussion on “genre as a dirty word” along with Deb Ball friend & author Keith Cronin, and many others!

Past Deb News

2011 Deb Sarah Jio has been writing a column at called “Aisle Say.” Check it out here.


7 Replies to “News Flash: Kicking off the New Year with Heather Webb’s Launch!”

  1. Great news from everybody, but I’m particularly intrigued by the “genre as a dirty word” panel that Natalia is on (congrats on that, by the way!). I’ll be interested to hear how that goes.

    There are a lot of different ways to approach that question, including the fact that “genre” is often what provides the financial engine for “literary” (Scribner’s had Hemingway and Fitzgerald during the 1920s, but their biggest seller, and the biggest seller in the U.S. overall during that decade, was S.S. Van Dyne, the author of the Philo Vance mysteries).

    Also, there’s the question of “literary” authors attempting “genre” fiction, where the results range from wonderful (Inherent Vice) to dismally bad (the “science fiction” novels of Doris Lessing).

    Let alone the question of whether the categories actually even exist, and, if they do, where the lines should be drawn.

    I hope we’ll get a full report. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Anthony! I’m incredibly intrigued by this as well, specifically, the divide that exists between genres when more often than not, the best books blur the line. I’ve always felt books are like people and the characters we write—complex and not easily defined by just one thing.

      Like all words, what’s important is how we use it. It frustrates me to see “genre” used as a dirty word…to see it not given the same respect as more “literary” works (in the same way it frustrates me to see “literary” being treated as synonymous with “boring”—in both instances, there are good and bad examples of each type of work).

      And then, like you said, there’s this:
      “Let alone the question of whether the categories actually even exist, and, if they do, where the lines should be drawn.”

      I hope we do delve into it all. I’ll definitely report back!

  2. Happy New Year, Anthony! As a novelist who writes “genre,” I had to laugh when some folks called KILMOON a “literary mystery.” I suppose that means I have complex characters and nice descriptions. I’m not sure though. Can someone tell me? 🙂

    Genre-blending is definitely where it’s at. Like, I’d bet Natalia’s novel could be called literary suspense.

    I just finished reading what I would call a literary scifi novel — it was WAY too heavy for me. There’s something about the complexities of all the science stuff coupled with dense, descriptive prose that wore me out. I’d recommend it to scifi buffs though.

    1. I think “literary mystery” means “I’m not the sort of person who likes genre, but I do like this, so I need to create a category that justifies that.” 🙂

      In general, I think the artists who do the best work tend to have a broad base. I’ve known a lot of musicians, and almost all of them listen to a far wider range of music than you’d expect based on what they play. I’d be very hesitant to read a mystery written by somebody who only reads mysteries, or a literary novel by somebody who only reads literary.

      My stuff is gritty urban magical realism, written by somebody who’s heavily influenced by classic (pre-1970) mystery writing. Given that, I’d better be willing to read outside my genre. 🙂

  3. Interesting, Natalia. I attended a panel with almost that exact title at the Historical Novel Society in June last year and it was fun to watch the temperature rise in the room. People really get bent out of shape over literary vs. genre. I write novels (as you may have noticed) that blur genre lines–historical, women’s fiction, upmarket style. If you read Donald Maass’s book 21st Century Fiction, he talks a lot about how good fiction of the future won’t be able to be categorized, just as novels pre-1980’s. Your panel should be a good time! Keith Cronin is a hoot.

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