Kelli's first novel, NOX DORMIENDA, won the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award and was a Macavity finalist. The sequel to NOX, CURSED, is scheduled to be published by CITY OF DRAGONS publisher, St. Martin's Minotaur. NOX DORMIENDA and CURSED are novels set in Rome in the first century. CITY OF DRAGONS moves us up a little closer to the present in 1940s San Francisco. Kelli will also be one of the featured authors in the upcoming FIRST THRILLS anthology due out later this year. Her short story, "Children's Day" was chosen for this anthology. It is a prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS. I'm looking forward to a little back story on my new friend, Miranda. Regardless of what century Kelli's writing in, she makes the period come alive and she plops the reader squarely in the midst of it.
It is my honor to host her today, on the day her novel makes it's debut nation-wide. So, without further ado, Kelli Stanley.
Everybody Comes to Jen's
Today is THE day. The day I dreamt of last January, closing my eyes tight and hoping against hope that the economic downturn—and subsequent shaking up in publishing houses—would not keep City of Dragons from being published.
Release day is like your birthday and Christmas and Halloween rolled into one. It’s what you envision, what you hope for, all the potential and excitement of maybe THIS will be the one, this book will be successful enough to launch a series and enable you to keep writing … every writer’s dream.
The wheel of publication fortune. And you just might hit the right number, or at least a good enough number to keep you going.
So today is joyous, it’s celebratory, and it’s also scary. And when you’re faced with that kind of combination, it’s important to be with family.
And that’s why I’m at Jen’s Book Thoughts.
I asked Jen if I could hang out with her on February 2, because Jen and her blog represent friendship and home and community. Of all the gin joints in all the blogs in all the world, I wanted to stop for a drink here, because what Jen is and what she’s done—the amazing six word memoir project, the insightful reviews, the interviews—are examples of why being a crime fiction writer is the greatest job on earth. She’s Rick’s Café in war-torn Casablanca, a haven and a heaven for writers and readers and even literary refugees.
I grew up without a lot of people and without a big family … I’m an only child. I understand lonely places and lonely people, and I also understand how crucial it is to reach out and communicate and touch each other’s lives, because baby—that’s our only chance. Our only hope. That’s one reason I became a writer. I wanted to write books that would entertain people and give them something more, something to make them think and learn and maybe strengthen that common human bond we depend upon every day.
What I didn’t expect was how giving … how generous … how supportive and empathetic and just plain damn noble this community is.
I have been touched by so many kindnesses, heartened by so much support, and blessed by so many friends, that I can’t enumerate them all, even if I used all 300+ pages of City of Dragons to list ‘em for you.
And while I am with my loved ones here in San Francisco, preparing for my launch party at another home away from home, M is for Mystery, I wanted to also be with my other family. So here I am at Jen’s … and for this moment … and for however many more that I’ll be lucky enough to share with you down this road … thank you.
You—community, family, colleagues, friends—are the single best reason to be a writer.
Here’s lookin’ at you, kids.
Thanks for hangin' out with us today Kelli. You know it is always wonderful to have you here, and I'm honored you chose to spend your release date with us! I hope it is one for the record books!