Monday, April 20, 2009

Talking to another author

Sometimes it’s fun to catch up with other members of Sisters in Crime about their new books and what’s happening in their careers. Lately I’ve been in correspondence with Sylvia Dickey Smith, who’s doing a blog tour to promote Dead Wreckoning, the third in her Sidra Smart series. Sid is a private investigator/bounty hunter, after abandoning a 30-year life as a preacher’s wife. Talk about a huge leap! Sylvia is noted though for writing about women finding their power, and that’s sure the case here. When I mentioned that the book made me think of Stephanie Plum meets Carl Hiassen, albeit in Southeast Texas rather than Florida, Sylvia responded that she’s also been inspired by Dean Koontz’s early works, Stuart Woods’ Under the Lake, and Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series.
There’s what I call a delicate suggestion of the paranormal in Dead Wreckoning, and Sylvia said that’s just what she intended—she’s never seen a ghost (nor have I) but she’s open to the possibility that they exist, and she wanted the approach in this book to be similar. So Sid sees a phantom pirate ship and even Jean Lafitte’s pirate queen, Mary Anne Radcliff. Does she really see them? You’ll have to read the book and decide for yourself. I do have to add here that we had a good family friend who claimed to be psychic and saw ghosts in a house that I lived in for many years—he assured me they were friendly. Another friend spent a night in the guest room and talked about the men who woke her up, but they too were harmless. Like Sylvia, I’m open to the possibility.
I was most interested to ask Sylvia about her decision to publish with L & L Dreamspell, a small, independent publisher located just outside Houston. She said she’d tried the agent route a couple of times, became discouraged, and decided to try small publishers—it’s a decision I can identify with, because I’m considering it myself. For writers who concern themselves with this kind of thing, L & L Dreamspell pays a royalty/advance and offers contracts. It is NOT self publishing. They are distributed through the major wholesalers and actively work with authors to market their books. And they’re particularly drawn to the paranormal.
So congratulations to Sylvia on publishing her third book in the series and maybe for not playing the “I want an agent” game too long. Does she still want an agent? Of course, but she didn’t let the search for one stand in the way of publication and for that I applaud her.
If you like suspense thrillers with a hint of the paranormal, you can order Dead Wreckoning from

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