Into the Black Nowhere: Publishers Weekly review

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Into the Black Nowhere will be published January 30th, 2018. I’m thoroughly thrilled that Publishers Weekly has given the novel a starred review.

“Excellent… Gardiner expertly integrates the FBI science of profiling with a suspenseful plot and believable characters. It’s no wonder a TV drama based on this series is in the works at CBS.”

What a way to start my week. And here’s your reminder that the novel is available for preorder. Go on. I won’t stop you.

Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Signature’s 2017 Ultimate Writing Guide

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Y’all know I don’t just love to write. I love to talk about writing, and teach writing, and write about writing.

When UNSUB was published a few months ago, I wrote an article for Signature, the Penguin Random House online magazine. “Writing a New Series: A Guide to Creating a World from Scratch.” Now Signature has included the article in its annual writing guide — which you can download for free.

Signature’s 2017 Ultimate Writing Guide includes writing advice from twenty-two authors, including Jill Santopolo, Ammon Shea, Jan Karon, Tess Gerritsen, and me. It includes articles about how to:

  • Banish writer’s block,
  • Revise a draft without losing your mind,
  • Turn off your internal editor while writing,
  • Craft a believable world,
  • And much more.

The guide is cosponsored by Merriam-Webster. What are you waiting for? Download it now.

Getting closer: Into the Black Nowhere

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My next novel, Into the Black Nowhere, is coming soon. It’s the sequel to UNSUB. It’ll be published January 30, 2018. The cover art has just been finalized, and I never tire of seeing what the entire jacket is going to look like.

And yet again I’ll remind you that this blog is called Lying for a Living. You can preorder the novel today. And tomorrow. And every day until it’s published.

Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Get signed, personalized books for the 2017 holidays

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The holidays are coming up, and of course you’re contemplating giving books as gifts to everyone you know and love. Right?

If you’d like to get copies of my novels, you can now arrange for me to scribble in them, no matter how far away you live or whether you catch me in person when I have a pen in my hand. Thanks to my fantastic local bookstore, Book People in Austin, you can order signed, personalized copies of my novels. The store ships across the USA and internationally.

Book People doesn’t have a hard deadline for holiday shipping, but the sooner you order, the better.

UPDATE! Book People says:

To ensure orders make it somewhere in time for Christmas, we ask that they be placed before (not on) December 19th at the absolute latest. Making an order that late would require UPS shipping, our more expensive option, so customers looking to ship through USPS should place orders before the 12th to be sure they make it on time. UPS shipping typically takes 3 to 5 business days and USPS typically takes 5 to 10 business days.

If you’d like to order copies of my books and have me sign them, call (512) 472-5050 or CLICK HERE.

And once you order my books, you can keep on going and order books by other authors as well. Book People has a whole store full of them. What are you waiting for?

Editing: from idea to printed page

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My next novel, Into the Black Nowhere, will be published in early 2018. It’s almost ready to go. I spent this week proofreading the “first pass” of the typeset pages.

Editing, like everything else in writing, is a process. It’s a back-and-forth: between me and my ideas; with my agent and editor; with the copyeditor and proofreader; and, finally, with my own judgment that the novel in its entirety — the story, structure, characters, suspense, pacing, voice, and wording of every sentence — is the best I can make it.

Each step in the process comes with its own challenges. And each version of the story I write gets comments. For this novel — the sequel to UNSUB — here’s how the notes and editorial suggestions I’ve received have evolved.

Outline:

  • This novel is a cat-and-mouse thriller in which Caitlin Hendrix pursues a charming, devious killer across the western US. Why do you insert a convoluted subplot about one victim’s greedy grandparents attempting to steal an inheritance?
  • The mid-novel murder is dramatic, splashy, and completely predictable. What if you flipped the situation on its head?

(Me: If I do that… hey! A whole fresh, unexpected plot line appears.)

First draft:

  • The pace in the first half is, to put it kindly, leisurely. Okay, it’s slow. Remember the reviews you got for UNSUB, which praised its tautness and drive? Yeah, do that again.
  • The ending needs more brains, less brawn. For instance: Why is Caitlin clinging to the roof rack of a careening SUV? Get her off of there. Now.

Second draft:

  • So many cops! So many FBI agents! New ones seem to pop up every few pages. They roam the novel in groups, holding constant conversations. Send some of them home.
  • Why does one character describe a life-and-death struggle after the fact, through dialogue? You’re missing a chance to show a badass fight. WRITE THE SCENE.

Final draft:

  • SO MUCH WEATHER.

Copyedited manuscript:

  • Does this scene take place on Wednesday? (Me: Yes. Obviously.)
  • Are you positive this scene takes place on Wednesday? (Me: Completely.)
  • Then why is it still Tuesday? (Me: GAH.)

First pass pages:

  • Me: Delete “fast.” Insert “quick.”
  • Me: Delete “printout.” Insert “documents.”
  • Me: Delete “asshole.” Insert: “jackass.”

As I said, it’s a process.

And, if you want to see how I put all these suggestions into practice, you can preorder the novel.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Coming up in November: Texas Book Festival

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I’m delighted that I’ll be appearing at the 2017 Texas Book Festival. It’s a huge, exciting event — often, 40,000 people attend — and I’m honored to be invited. It’s also a whole lot of fun. If you have a chance to get to Austin the weekend of November 4-5, check it out.

My schedule:

Texas Book Festival
Austin, Texas
“The Long Arm of Crime”
Saturday, 
November 4, 2017
Time:
 10:00-10:45 a.m.
Session Location:
 Texas State Capitol Extension 2.030
Signing Location: Main Signing Tent

News about the UNSUB TV deal

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Here’s an update on plans to develop UNSUB into a CBS television series. From Deadline Hollywood:

EXCLUSIVE: CBS has bought Edgar-winning author Meg Gardiner’s novel UNSUB. The project was picked up by CBS Television Studios earlier this year, ahead of auction. The book was published in June by Dutton. The network has ordered a pilot script to be written by Liz Friedman, who will be executive producer and show runner, and who co-created ABC’s Conviction and co-wrote the pilot to Orange Is The New Black. Latter got her an Emmy nomination. Friedman was also an executive producer on Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and writer and senior producer for almost the entire run of both House and Elementary.

The project will be developed by Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman, who’ll serve as executive producers through their studio-based Timberman-Beverly Productions banner, and Shane Salerno through The Story Factory.

To say I’m excited is an understatement.