From the Author’s Chair

December 22, 2007

Author Ed Mitchell’s newsletter #47

Filed under: Newsletter — admin @ 12:01 pm


From the Author’s Chair — here is newsletter #47 describing the latest humorous up’s and down’s as I struggle to become a bestselling fiction/thriller author.

>>Highlights: Ironstone, Reviews, Blogging

6 Sep (Neutral)
I’m packed and ready to take off tomorrow morning to do a three-day book-boy gig. The wife is helping me prep by asking me if I have everything. Of course I do – I’m a guy. “No I haven’t put the magnetic signs on the car.” Out in the garage, while grumbling, I slap the magnetic signs onto the doors of my car announcing my first thriller GOLD LUST.

7-9 Sept (Up)
On the road at 5 a.m. headed for Murphys, CA in the Sierra Mountain foothills where I’ll be selling in Ironstone Vineyard’s gold vault and jewelry store. Three and a half hours later I stop at the Chevron station in Angels Camp to top-off with gas. As I slide out of the car stiff and tired from driving, the station manager asks, “Are you Ed Mitchell.” Really surprised, I answer, “Yes, I am.” Turns out the manager read the magnetic signs on the side of the car and he and his mother are reader fans of my thrillers. Tiredness disappears as I pull a copy of GOLD FIRE out of the trunk and autograph it for his mother.

Nice way to start the day with an immediate sale. Plus, I purchased gas from one of my readers. Loyalty going both ways is a good thing.

I arrive at the vineyard an hour before the jewelry store staff show up, so I have plenty of time to change into show clothes in the bathroom. I go to hang my three-foot by five-foot banner onto a metal fence leading to the store. Unfortunately, I have to pull an 80-pound planter box aside so folks walking out of the parking lot can see my sign listing my thrillers with blurbs. Ah…the glamour of being an author. At least I didn’t get a hernia.

The day is beautiful and I’m smiling when the staff arrives to open jewelry cases and the gold vault. The manager has positioned my table at the entrance door so I’m the official greeter. It helps to be selling within 20 feet of the walk-in vault containing a $4 million dollar gold nugget found in 1992.

This is a great venue to sell at. Three different bands play this weekend drawing three different groups of music lovers. Vince Gil and Amy Grant play country music Friday night. The Dobbie brothers sing California songs Saturday. Sunday B.B. King entertains with blues music. So it will be an adult crowd, which typically buys my genre.

To help sales I badgered my publisher into allowing a ten percent discount when readers buy two or more titles. Jack grumbled but he’ll be happy. The discount is increasing sales. Now I’m rarely selling just one book. The store manager appreciates that I’m entertaining and humorous when greeting the folks walking into the store.

My $800 in book sales earns the sales record for a weekend at the store. Yes!!! The store manage loves me. I leave a gift book for the vineyard owner as a thank you for allowing me to sell with the store crew.

26 Sept (Up)
I started the day listening to a phone message from a reader who finished reading my series. She said: “I love your three books. I was getting ready for a trip and I started reading the first one and stopped packing and would not continue packing until I finished reading it. Then I got on the second one and that one really screwed up our trip.”

The day gets better when I received another review for GOLD FIRE.
This one is by Anne K. Edwards who reviews for New Mystery Reader @

A portion of her review says: “… A riveting read for thriller fans offering much by way of excitement and adventure. The people are all complex with their own agendas that make for a complex plot and series of events that keep things interesting for the reader …”

Nice to have her recognize that the characters are complex. Agents, publishers, and reviewers don’t like one-dimensional characters (all evil or all good). Seems Anne feels I’m creating realistic characters. Yes! And screw that agent last year that said my main character was “one-dimensional”. Not that I hold any grudges.

1-5 Oct (Up)
I’ve started working with a new webmaster and virtual assistant (this means more money out of the author’s pocket) to restructure my website to add blogs there along with a media kit page. The goal is to interact with Internet folks much like I do at events where I sell books. I’d rather just write but Jack keeps repeating his favorite word: Sell! Sell! Sell!

Yeah! This week the International Thriller Writer’ web magazine (The Big Thrill) announced that GOLD FIRE was available. You can see it at:

Now I just need lots of fans and a few agents to go to my website after seeing the Big Thrill announcement.

9 Oct (Up)
There are dozens of things trying to seduce me away from maturing my next thriller, Soft Target. I’ve been helping the wife recover from artery surgery and getting a rental unit ready for re-renting. But piece-by-piece I’ve finished outlining the story. And today is the first day of writing the opening chapter. Back to the enjoyable part of being an author.

17 Oct (Down)
A bestselling author friend is in town so the wife and I go to dinner with her and her spouse. We were having a grand time until the author friend drifted off to the restroom or quite a while. Unfortunately, I found her sick, sitting on a small bench outside the restrooms. She had thrown up dinner and was dizzy and nauseous. Appears to be food poisoning to me. After talking over the situation with her husband and possible things that could be wrong we guided the couple to the local hospital.

The next day she called and said she had recovered. I mentioned to her that since I saved her life that the least she could do is include me in the dedication of her next book. I’m not sure I convinced her.

18 Oct (Down)
Jack, the publisher, called and said “I’ve got good news, bad news, and good news for you. The good news: the largest single purchase of the month of your thrillers was from a person in England. Bad news: the purchase was via an invalid credit card number.” Chuckling he added, “Good news: crooks like your books.” Jack has a sick sense of humor.

20 Oct (Up)
Jack had to eat crow today. Turns out the wonderful folks in England who ordered my books met me at Ironstone. I remember them well. They’re sending a check. I smirked at Jack while saying: “Yup, one more sale by your best author.” He slithered back to his lair mumbling.

24 Oct (Neutral)
Today, as part of my Internet expansion strategy I joined the Iranian defense forum. Interesting insights gained interacting with foreign folks interested in terrorism, U.S. military operations in their region, and protecting their homeland from infidels. It’s a different way to gather research for my thrillers. A few of the participants from the Middle East are not too keen on Americans.

10 Nov (Up, Down)
Yesterday when I registered for the July 2008 International Thriller Writers Organization conference in New York City, I learned that there would be a speed-dating session with agents. Three minute dating to deliver a succinct pitch before moving on to the next agent. Well that opportunity really motivates me to get cracking writing Soft Target. Today I woke up at 4:30 a.m. in a motel at South Lake Tahoe (we’re up here for the wedding of the wife’s granddaughter) and started writing the chapter that brings the beautiful Israeli spy on stage.

When the wife woke up I read her my incredible text. I wanted to see if the dialogue and description effectively conveyed the characterization and impact I wanted. As I was reading Jan laughed so I knew the humor was working. But halfway along she puts her hand on my arm and says, “I have to go poo poo.”

What? I’m working on a masterpiece and she can’t stay focused. “Just a little bit more,” I say.
“No, I have to go,” she says over her shoulder scooting into the bathroom.

Hummm … I guess the chapter isn’t as captivating as I had hoped.

21 Nov (Up, Down)
Grant Blackwood, the bestselling author critiquing GOLD FIRE, sent me feedback today so I can submit the first three chapters to an agent who has asked to see them. The good news is Grant thinks the plotting is fine. But he wants me to tweak the dialogue. He recommends making the dialogue of the foreigners less foreign sounding. I’m updating the chapters tonight to mail to him. Next week I’m kicking the query package out to New York so we’ll see what one of America’s top agent thinks.

Please remember that the gift giving holidays are coming. Think books: autographed books, really good books by your favorite thriller author.

And the adventure continues.

Please pass this newsletter on to your friends and colleagues. Tell anyone wanting to receive this newsletter to just e-mail me at However, if this letter is a bother in your hectic lives just reply back that you want to be deleted (or unsubscribe) and I’ll immediately drop you from my list.
P.S. If you want to purchase an autographed copy of any of my books, click here:

Ed Mitchell,
Charter Founding Member of the International Thriller Writers Organization and Author of:

>> Winner: National Publishers Award for BEST NEW FICTION
in the USA & Canada from a small press
>> Regional Winner: San Francisco Bay Area Independent
Publishers award for BEST MYSTERY THRILLER

>> Regional Winner: Sacramento Publisher & Authors Fiction
>> Regional Winner: San Francisco Bay Area Independent

>> International Thriller released in November 2006

Read Ch-1 of past and soon to be released books
& Sign up for the Author’s humorous news letter

Consultant to Emerging Authors

17595 Vierra Canyon Road, #407, Salinas CA 93907
Fax 831-663-5629
Gold Rush 2000 ISBN: 0-9668447-34
Gold Lust ISBN: 0-9668447-7
Gold Raid ISBN: 0-9668447-93
Gold Raid ISBN: 978-0-9668447-26

Copyright Nov 2007


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