Shout out for Stan Chambers

October 30, 2010

Stan, Los Angeles news icon, LA Times bestselling author, and perennial nice guy had a wonderful interview in the BBC. They wanted to get his insights on the Chilean miners rescue coverage and how he started it all back in 1949 with the Kathy Fiscus coverage, where he stayed on the air for 27 hours.

If you want to know how news coverage began and hear some amazing stories that Stan personally covered – some that rocked the world – then you need go no further than News At 10.

What can I say? Behler books simply rock

October 25, 2010

So I’m dancing around the office like a goat on crack. Why, you ask? Because four of our titles are USA Book News winners.

Winner (Travel Essay): Charting the Unknown by Kim Petersen

Winner (Business: Writing/Publishing): The Writer’s Essential Tackle Box by Lynn Price (srsly swooning here)

Finalist (Business: Reference): The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom: Let’s Quill All the Lawyers by Donna Ballman

Finalist (New Age: Non-Fiction): Nothing Short of Joy by Julie Genovese

Beagle, fire up the blender. There will be tequila in our bloodstreams today!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…

October 24, 2010

Behler authors ROCK.

So, I’m here at the Florida Writer’s Conference, which is wonderful. On top of all their wonderfulness, they have a lovely thing called the Royal Palms Literary Awards. Two of our authors were finalists. Yay!

While they sat and grit their teeth in typical “I’m so freaking nervous, I could eat rusty nails” fashion, I knew they were going to win.


Donna Ballman won in her category for The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom: Let’s Quill All the Lawyers, and Kim Petersen won Honorable Mention for Charting the Unknown in the Memoir category.

Of course, all this set off a flurry of buying the remaining copies of their books in the bookstore. Ah, the stuff that brings a tear to me heartless soul.

And my book? Tackle Box? Yah. Um. I forgot to send them to the conference.

I don’t wanna talk about it.

Ladies, take a bow!

Happy Launch Day, Kim Michele Richardson

October 1, 2010

Happy Launch Day to a beautiful woman! Kim, you are an inspiration to many who are still struggling with issues of forgiveness and being stuck in the past.

You and your book blow my doors off.

PNWA conference

July 27, 2010

I feel like I’m having one of those “What did you do during summer vacation?” moments – only it’s over a weekend, not three months. I know I blather on about writing cons after returning from one because it’s a constant reinforcement of how vital these things are.

My weekend in Seattle proved no different, except that my Wow index has just blown through the top. The Pacific North West Writers Association puts on one of the most amazing cons I’ve ever been to – and I’ve been to a lot. Never have I seen a more talented and prepared bunch of authors as I did at this conference. And believe me, I asked a bunch of very funky questions.

“How would you promote this book?”
“Why did you write this particular book?”
“What makes you the best person to have written this story?”
“Have you thought about turning that into nonfiction? And if not, why?”

…And on and on. And these savvy writers had the answers. Le wow.

This was one of the most intense cons I’ve ever worked as well, but the mix of authors, editors, and agents was absolutely delightful, and many of us sat together outside in the courtyard, late into the night, tossing back glasses of wine and laughing far too hard.

I say it every time, and this is no exception:


You can ask us anything and everything – at any time. Well, ok, bathrooms are off limits. But if we’re rushing to an appointment, you can walk with us and pitch. Or just yik yack.

Some things that I think all authors should have on them are a business card, your first three chappies, a one page synopsis. I’m not saying we’ll necessarily ask for all of those, but I asked many authors for their cards. A couple I asked for pages right then and there. I asked for full manuscripts from five authors as well. This is very unusual to have that many requests. But they are that good.

And one particular author is so in my gunsights that I’m taking her full with me while I make another escape to the desert. I’m telling myself I deserve this bit of vacation (again) because I’m exhausted from being charming for three full days.

The point of this is to point out how vital conferences are. No, they aren’t free, but can one really put a price on networking and a possible contract offer? Or a valuable education from an agent or editor who offers feedback on their pitch or their story?

My brilliant and talented author, Adam Eisenberg, (A Different Shade of Blue) – who lives in Seattle and took me on a lovely tour of the city – quoted something that Mark  Sideman told him:

“When you are telling a story you are casting a spell, letting people come and play with you in the world you have created.”

– Mark Sideman

And you know what? That is exactly what these brave authors did this past weekend, and I was absolutely charmed and humbled at the collection of talent.

Face it: Authors rock it.

Birthday wishies and literary dishies

June 23, 2010

So what makes a black-hearted, soulless editor happy on her birthday? Oh sure, the usual things apply – query letters that have a clear plot, authors who actually read the submission guidelines [which for some reason has been in very short supply the entire month of June], cover designs that come together easily, fabulous projects.

But there are other things, too.

Selling 5,000 units of Jan’s Story in three days is certainly a good way to drunk-punch an editor clean into Giddy Land.

Another good way to put the jam in my jelly doughnut is to see a nice huzzah in Daily Business Review for a really damn good book – The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom – Let’s Quill All the Lawyers. Go, Donna!

And with that, I must go. The beagle has made reservations at the local pub/health spa/taco-ria. She even got the Rottweiler down the way to cover the phones. I’m wondering whether to be worried…

Debt of Gratitude

May 17, 2010

There have been any number of times friends of mine have played the “I’ve got the suckiest job ever,” and I never want to play because I feel the exact opposite. I have the most amazing job in the world – for me. I’ve had plenty of jobs since I sprung from a dino egg in the early Jurassic Era – mom [which sometimes made me vacillate between wondering whether God is a sadistic twerp or just really, really smart], substitute teacher, bank teller, clothes painter [which actually was a ton of fun and comes in at a close second], author [also a close second], and publisher.

The mom job isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon and the older my spawn get, the more adorable they become. In the same vein, I’ll never give up writing. But no other job has affected me more on a personal level than being a publisher because I bear witness to the depths of people’s lives that shake my soul to its most basic elements.

It’s a huge honor to read stories about how my authors’ lives have been shaped by their experiences, and there isn’t a one who doesn’t touch my heart and alter the way I view myself and my perceptions of how best to circumvent this crazy thing we call LIFE.

I know, I know, editors try to put forth the idea that we have no hearts, and what little we have is blackened and soulless. But the realities are this: my authors are the most amazing people on this planet, and I am so fortunate to be a small part of their lives. It always stops me short whenever an author thanks me for the role I play in their literary experience. My impact  pales in comparison to the effect they’ve had on me.

To my beautiful authors, I say, “No…thank YOU. Thank you for your talent and the willingness to express your stories in a beautiful, touching, gripping manner than tugs at the heart and influences old and moldy thought patterns.”

I’m a better person for having known my authors and continue to be amazed at the abundant talent that crosses my desk. You take my breath away.

Truly, I have the absolute coolest job in the world. Bless ye, all good writers.

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