2012: a look back

Before I dive headfirst into 2013, I want to look back at the year just ended. 2012 was an eventful twelve months for me. My first stand-alone novel was published, Ransom River, and earned some of the best reviews of my career. Ransom RiverEssays I wrote were included in the anthologies Now Write! Mysteries, The Arvon Book of Crime and Thriller Writing, and Books to Die For. 

In April I was privileged to present Best Paperback Original at the Edgar Awards. I had a blast speaking on panels at the Edgars Symposium, and at CrimeFest in Bristol, ThrillerFest in New York City, and Bouchercon in Cleveland — where I was reminded once again how warm, helpful, and fun most crime writers and crime readers are… ranging from Pop Culture Nerd (if you meet her, mention “mystery boobs” and check her reaction) to fellow author — and Florida cop — James Born, who ensured that female B’con attendees didn’t have to walk alone through downtown Cleveland late at night.

I got the chance to freeze my tail off at the Sundance Festival. I taught a weekend seminar on writing crime fiction for CB Creative in London. Here on the blog, I ran Contest 2012 and garnered the largest number of entries — and some of the biggest laughs — of any contest yet. Which confirmed for me that the folks who read and join the discussion on this blog are some of the sharpest and most generous commenters around.

In June The Nightmare Thief won an Audie Award for Thriller/Suspense audiobook of the year — which pretty well dazzled me, and for which I must once again thank narrator Susan Ericksen, who shared the honor, and Brilliance Audio. In a more humorous and quirky vein, I won a Stalker Award, voted on by mystery fans for books and authors they’re obsessed with, and was listed by Jen’s Book Thoughts as one of Crime Fiction’s Sexiest Female Authors of 2012. (Don’t get excited. As Jen says, naming “Sexiest” writers is a joke: “I started mulling over this idea when I read the post You Know You’re an English Major If… and saw the identifier, ‘You consider authors to be sex symbols.'”)

Olympic Stadium 1

Outside of my writing life, there were major ups and downs — wonderful family times in Colorado, at my cousin’s wedding in Jerusalem, at a family reunion in Oklahoma City, and with the kids here at Christmas. But we also lost my mother-in-law, which was a big blow to everyone. I’m grateful that Paul got a chance to spend a lot of time with his mom these past few months, that Kate got to visit with her, and that all the kids had plenty of chances to talk to their grandma recently. After one of the most amazing evenings of 2012, when Nate and I went to the Olympics, it was wonderful that he got to describe the experience to her in detail.

It was a hell of a year. Bring on 2013.

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