Dennis Fisher's Blog

January 4, 2013

I know it’s been a minute since I posted here, but I’m not going to make any excuses. Aside from, you know, this one: I’m lazy. This will come as a shock to both of you, I’m sure. 


Anyway, this post is meant to serve notice that I’m working on my next book. A lot of people (by which I mean my mom and some guy in the NYC subway who thought I was Brad Meltzer) have asked me when my next novel would be ready and what the plot would me. My answer so far has been, later and something with JD and Danny. The guy in the subway didn’t dig that at all. Sorry, homes.


The more realistic answer is that the new book will likely be finished sometime in early 2014. That’s a fairly ridiculous statement, given that I’ve only just started. But one of the things I’ve discovered about myself is that I need deadlines, preferably tight ones, in order to do my best work. This is a common affliction among journalists and creative types in general, so it doesn’t worry me at all. It’s just how I do.


So, on to the plot. That’s a little trickier. I’m not going to give it up here, at least not yet. But in general I’ll say that the story involves Danny and JD working together and that Caroline is still in the picture. I know that will make my friend Tara and Aunt Pam happy, which is very important. A lot of people also have asked about Reggie the dog. I’m going to save my comments on that for another post entirely, but let’s just say that I can’t guarantee the safety of any character in my books, canine or otherwise.


If you’d like to stay updated on the progress of the new book, follow me on the Twitterz at @dennisf or email me at admin at motherlesschildrenbook dot com and I’ll be sure you’re in the know. Happy reading.

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Published on January 04, 2013 16:53 • 71 views

August 17, 2012

One of my goals for Motherless Children has been to get it into the hands of as many people as possible. That sounds like an obvious goal for a commercial product, but it’s a difficult thing for a self-published author. There’s no marketing campaign or big book tour to push the book into everyone’s consciousness and so word of mouth and reviews and all of that are doubly important.


I’ve been pretty happy so far with the wide range of people who have read the book, including people from all over the world: Russia, Romania, UK, Ireland, Canada, etc. Hell, even Texas. But I’m not satisfied with that. I want every damn one to have a chance to read the book, and so I’m going to do something that I don’t think I’ve ever seen another author do before: guarantee my book.


If you buy Motherless Children and get through it and feel like you didn’t get your money’s worth, I’ll refund your purchase price. Me, not Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Ya heard?


Obviously, I’m pretty confident that people will like the book or I wouldn’t do this. But it’s more than that. I just want people to give it a chance, and if they feel like it wasn’t worth the money, then I don’t want them to be mad about spending their money on it. So there are a few conditions for this offer:



This only applies to new purchases, from today forward. If you already bought the book and didn’t like it, sorry.
The offer only applies to the Kindle edition of the book.
You need a PayPal account. I’m not sending a bag of coins through the mail.
You need proof of purchase. It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I can’t have a bunch of fools asking for their three dollars back when they didn’t buy the book. Proof can be a screenshot of your Kindle, a confirmation email from the seller, a photo of the book in your hands or something else like that.
I reserve the right to tell you your proof is BS. But unless it’s obvious garbage, I’m gonna send you the money.
Email: dennis at motherlesschildrenbook dot com for questions or to ask about the refund

I realize this is sort of a nutty idea, but I also know how disappointed I feel sometimes when I buy a book with high expectations and then feel like it was a waste of time. No one has told me that they thought reading Motherless Children was a waste of time, so I’m hoping no one takes me up on this offer.


The Kindle price is $2.99. What have you got to lose? Go here to buy Motherless Children now!


 

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Published on August 17, 2012 12:09 • 41 views

August 13, 2012

One of the things that I often struggle with when talking to people about my book is putting it into a specific category. Everyone wants a neat little tag that they can use to drop it into a bin in their heads so they know how to think about it. I’ve been telling most people one of two things: it’s a murder mystery or it’s a crime novel. But the more I think about it now, I’m not sure either one of those descriptions is totally accurate.


Some of the most frequent feedback that I’ve gotten from readers is how much they like the characters. People really seem to have connected with Danny and Tex especially, and, depending on the reader, JD and Caroline as well. That’s always gratifying to hear because I spent a lot of time making sure that they were all real people, not cardboard cutouts or stereotypes of their respective places in the story. I had not interest in creating another helpless heroine who attaches herself to the big, brave cop. What I wanted were characters who you could envision actually meeting in real life. I hope that’s what I achieved.


Given that the story is mainly concerned with the murders of several women and the police investigation that follows, it’s easy to just tell people it’s a crime novel or murder mystery and be done with it. But I think that’s probably inaccurate and sells it short in some ways. The way that I’ve come to think about the book now is as a story about the relationships between Danny, Tex and JD. There is a lot of shared history with the three of them and as the events in the plot unfold, that backstory informs their motives, influences their actions and ultimately dictates their futures in large part.


I’m not sure whether there’s a nifty little name for books like that (three men and a lady?) and I’m positive it’s not something I can describe to people in one sentence at a cocktail party. But that’s what it is, and I think it’s the most accurate and effective way to describe the story. So there.

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Published on August 13, 2012 09:07 • 34 views

June 28, 2012

The nice folks at Forbes have posted a Q&A interview with me about Motherless Children. It's a good look at my writing process, inspiration and thoughts on some of the characters.
You can find it here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferl...
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Published on June 28, 2012 12:28 • 71 views

June 15, 2012

Writers love to talk about their own books, but it’s rare that you get to hear one discussing the writers who influenced him and the books he loves to read. So it was fascinating to me to listen to this interview with George Pelecanos as he talked about why he does what he does and whose work influenced him. 


Pelecanos is as good as one writing today. I don’t mean just in crime fiction or whatever genre you want to place him in. He’s at the top of the game in American fiction. Period. People always want to qualify conversations about things such as writing, music, humor or movies by saying that they’re subjective topics. One man’s art is another man’s trash and all that.


Sorry, but you can sell that somewhere else. You know good writing when you see it, and Pelecanos’s books are flat-out great. There is no one who writes better or more natural dialogue than he does, in any genre. He captures the patterns of the DC dialect so well that his characters’ exchanges read like recorded conversations between real people. Read any random page of dialogue in any of his books and then go read something from a Dan Brown or James Patterson book. You’ll get the idea.


Perhaps the most interesting thing, at least to me, that Pelecanos says in the interview is that he’s trying to leave a record with his writing. He wants people to look at his books 100 years from now and be able to see what life in DC was like in the 20th and 21st centuries. He’s done that already, and he’s still got a lot of productive years ahead of him.


Listen to the interview. It’s 45 of the best minutes you’ll ever spend.

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Published on June 15, 2012 10:48 • 39 views

May 8, 2012

My book giveaway on Goodreads just ended yesterday and I was completely stunned by the response it got. There were nearly 700 requests for one of the three signed copies of Motherless Children, which is pretty amazing. Thanks so much to everyone who entered. For the winners, I’ll be sending the books out in the mail soon, so stand by.

If you weren’t one of the winners, don’t despair. I have a little something something for y’all too. If you’d like a signed copy of Motherless Children, simply email me at the address below and I’ll send you details privately on how to get one. The book lists for $16.95 and I’ll send anyone who references the Goodreads contest a signed copy for that same price. I know what you’re thinking: Wow, that’s a value of, like, $497 for just $16.95! You’re right, of course.

But I’ve gotten pretty good at writing with a pen over the years, so I’m willing to put that unique talent to work for the people and sign a whole mess of books. I’m not sure how many books are in a “mess”, so you should probably get on this quickly before I figure it out and it’s too late.

Contact me at dennis (at) motherlesschildrenbook (dot) com
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Published on May 08, 2012 13:07 • 188 views • Tags: signed-copies

My book giveaway on Goodreads just ended yesterday and I was completely stunned by the response it got. There were nearly 700 requests for one of the three signed copies of Motherless Children, which is pretty amazing. Thanks so much to everyone who entered. For the winners, I’ll be sending the books out in the mail soon, so stand by.


If you weren’t one of the winners, don’t despair. I have a little something something for y’all too. If you’d like a signed copy of Motherless Children, simply email me at the address below and I’ll send you details privately on how to get one. The book lists for $16.95 and I’ll send anyone who references the Goodreads contest a signed copy for that same price. I know what you’re thinking: Wow, that’s a value of, like, $497 for just $16.95! You’re right, of course.


But I’ve gotten pretty good at writing with a pen over the years, so I’m willing to put that unique talent to work for the people and sign a whole mess of books. I’m not sure how many books are in a “mess”, so you should probably get on this quickly before I figure it out and it’s too late.


Contact me at dennis (at) motherlesschildrenbook (dot) com

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Published on May 08, 2012 13:05 • 43 views

May 2, 2012

I’m a big fan of book clubs. Anything that gets people interested in reading and discussing books with others is a good thing, especially at a time when fewer and fewer people are reading regularly and authors and independent bookstores are struggling. So I have a special offer for all the book club members out there: Read my book and I’ll come to your book club and talk about it.

Now, this offer obviously will have some limitations. But not many. I live in New England and I can get to pretty much anyplace in the area within a few hours. So if there’s a book club of reasonable size in the area that will commit to buying and reading my book, I will commit to coming and talking to you about it. What’s reasonable size? I don’t know. I’m flexible, but let’s just say that if your book club consists of you and your Aunt Tilly, we may have to discuss a different solution.

Also, if you’re in Yellow Knife or Albuquerque or Key West, it might be a little tough. (Actually, I’ll go to Key West anytime.) But I travel a lot, so let me know, and if I’m in your area, we’ll see if we can make it happen.

We may have to work on the timing and dates, but I’m willing to make this work. I’m interested in supporting people who support my book, so get the word out. Tell your friends, co-workers, enemies, friends with benefits and whoever else you know and then go to CreateSpace or Amazon and buy the book.

You can contact me at dennis (at) motherlesschildrenbook.com.
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Published on May 02, 2012 09:14 • 69 views • Tags: book-clubs, dennis-fisher, motherless-children

I’m a big fan of book clubs. Anything that gets people interested in reading and discussing books with others is a good thing, especially at a time when fewer and fewer people are reading regularly and authors and independent bookstores are struggling. So I have a special offer for all the book club members out there: Read my book and I’ll come to your book club and talk about it.


Now, this offer obviously will have some limitations. But not many. I live in New England and I can get to pretty much anyplace in the area within a few hours. So if there’s a book club of reasonable size in the area that will commit to buying and reading my book, I will commit to coming and talking to you about it. What’s reasonable size? I don’t know. I’m flexible, but let’s just say that if your book club consists of you and your Aunt Tilly, we may have to discuss a different solution.


Also, if you’re in Yellow Knife or Albuquerque or Key West, it might be a little tough. (Actually, I’ll go to Key West anytime.) But I travel a lot, so let me know, and if I’m in your area, we’ll see if we can make it happen.


We may have to work on the timing and dates, but I’m willing to make this work. I’m interested in supporting people who support my book, so get the word out. Tell your friends, co-workers, enemies, friends with benefits and whoever else you know and then go to CreateSpace or Amazon and buy the book.


You can contact me at dennis (at) motherlesschildrenbook.com.

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Published on May 02, 2012 09:11 • 35 views

April 25, 2012

I got a very nice surprise this afternoon in the form of a great preview of my book in USA Today. The writer does a terrific job of summarizing the story and focuses on some of technical content of the book. One of the main characters in the novel is a hacker named JD, who is brought in to help the police surreptitiously get some evidence they couldn't otherwise access.

The character is sort of based on a couple of security researchers I know and I did my best to make what he does as realistic as possible. In the USA Today piece, the writer compares JD to Lisabeth Salander from the Stieg Larsson books, which is a lovely compliment. I've never read any of Larsson's books, but I'm always happy to have anything I've done compared with someone who has sold about 6 billion books.
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Published on April 25, 2012 13:43 • 66 views • Tags: motherless-children, review