Another one of the cool moments you get to experience as an author is when the art/production department shoots you over the cover for your book. This week, the University of Michigan Press sent me the early cut of the cover for my upcoming book Secret Witness. Here it is!
Personally, I love it. I like the “true crime” font used – very 1960s’ which was pleasing since the book is about a crime in the 1960s’. The address you see at the top and blending into the title is from the poison pills sent to the victim, Nola Puyear, which proved instrumental in catching her murderer, Enoch Chism. I like how the words “Marshall Mich” blend into the text. Seeing the scrawled address brings back memories of the evidence in the case, of a devious plot to kill an innocent women that took months to accomplish. Nola’s death, on Michigan Avenue, by a bomb blast, tore at the heart of hometown Marshall’s innocence. All of that came back to me.
Seeing the cover it suddenly hit me; the book is going to be out in a few months. The release date is now at the end of April, 2012. Seeing the cover tells me that the edit copy of the book is going to be coming soon for my final read and approval too.
Wow, what a journey.
I am from the Battle Creek/Marshall area – my family is Marshall-based. I was raised on Louie’s donuts and still have fond memories of the few times a year we ate at Win Schuler's. I go back a few times a year, eat at Roma’s and the Hi-Lite, watch the Brooks fountain at night, and think back to the Marshall of my youth.
Writing a book about one of Calhoun County’s most infamous crimes has been a real treat for me. It is a chance to connect back to the Marshall of my childhood, back to 1967. Oddly enough, not a lot has changed. That is one of Marshall’s charms, it is a city that is almost suspended in time. Like I say in the book, the clock stopped in the 1950’s in Marshall and never moved forward.
Seeing the cover also tells me that I have to begin the task of setting up some book tour events. With my daughter getting married in May, that means planning for things sometime in June. I have a long list of contacts and places that I need to see if I can coordinate and arrange. I enjoy the public appearances—it is a chance to go beyond the book and tell more of the story. I also get to meet some interesting people along the way.
Despite the sensitivities to the families involved with the events in 1967, I will be doing some events in Michigan and Virginia to promote the book. Promotion of a books is a necessary and fundamental part of being a writer these days. For those of you that live there, follow my blog and hopefully we can connect. If you are in a book club, I love doing virtual sessions where you can ask the author questions…so keep that in mind.
The inevitable question I get right about now is, “can I order the book now?” Not quite yet – orders will start a few weeks before April. I don’t sell personally sell copies of my books. You need to get them from your local bookstore or online from the University of Michigan Press or whatever your preferred online source (i.e. Amazon.com). Watch my blog – you’ll see updates as the book release gets closer and I firm up some book signing and speaking events.