Joseph Reid's Blog
October 2, 2018
Amazon has announced that TAKEOFF is on sale for the whole month of October! Just $10.99 for the hardcover, or $1.99 for the e-book. If you’ve been thinking about giving TAKEOFF a try, now would be a great time to do it.
Even better, if you happen to buy the hardcover, remember that I’d love to sign it as a holiday treat. What better way to get all your holiday shopping done early than to buy books on sale and get them signed by the author?
Can you believe it’s October already? I’m dismayed enough that there are already pumpkins outside the grocery store, but my 8-year-old informs me that there are just twelve Thursdays left until Christmas. And, after quickly consulting the calendar, I can confirm she’s correct.
That got me thinking: 2018 has been a heckuva magical year for me, so I wanted to come up with some way to say thank you to all of you.
One of our favorite kinds of holiday gifts at the Reid house is books signed by the author. And one of the best parts of TAKEOFF debuting this year has been the chance to sign books for readers, whether it was at bookstores like Mysterious Galaxy and Mystery Ink, or at conferences like ThrillerFest and Bouchercon. So, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could combine the two?
After a quick bit of planning, here’s what I’ve come up with:
If you’re in San Diego, feel free to stop into Mysterious Galaxy. If you purchase a copy of TAKEOFF there, I’ll happily personalize it for you however you’d like. Let the clerks at the MG counter know, leave the book with them, and then email me a picture of the receipt here at the site, along with instructions for how you’d like the book personalized. I’ll stop into the store and do the signature in person.
If you live outside San Diego, or can’t make it into the store, never fear! I’ve also purchased a number of archival quality, acid-free bookplates that I can sign or personalize. For those, the offer is basically the same: send me an email here at the site with a picture or screenshot of your receipt from purchasing TAKEOFF, instructions on how you’d like each plate personalized, and your snail mail address, and I’ll send you a bookplate for each copy you bought.
Now, there’s obviously a few wrinkles that we’ll need to keep in mind. The plates measure 3″ by 4″, so I won’t be able to write a separate novel on each one, but I’ll do my best to get whatever you want on there. To make sure I can get to MG or get you the plate on time, please leave me enough time to get there or for the mail to be delivered.
I’m really looking forward to this! For everyone who loved TAKEOFF, I hope I can make your copy of the book special and say thank you for giving it a try. And for anyone who has a book lover in their life, I hope a signed copy TAKEOFF will make a perfect gift and reduce all the last-minute stress of gift shopping in December.
Thanks again! And Happy Holidays (in advance)!
September 30, 2018
I’m not usually an easy guy to surprise. My family says I’m hard to shop for at the holidays; I’m a cynic by nature and a lawyer by training, so I typically try to think ahead and figure out anything and everything that might sneak up on me or one of my clients.
But when a lawyer friend called and asked about TAKEOFF appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers, I was surprised.
That’s actually an understatement—I was *shocked*.
If you haven’t seen the video yet, it’s posted on YouTube here. Enjoy!
August 26, 2018
Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair;
Oh, hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air!
If you don’t recognize them, the lines above are the modified verse of the Navy Hymn, Eternal Father, that’s sung for naval aviators. Pilots like John McCain.
It was so sad to hear of McCain’s passing. Not that it was unexpected, of course–the kind of cancer he developed is particularly nasty–but it’s an extremely big loss nonetheless. It’s going to take a while to process.
Being a Navy brat, I learned early of McCain’s heroics. McCain’s father delivered the commencement address to my dad’s class of midshipmen while McCain was captive in Hanoi, and that speech struck a chord with both my parents that they still talk about to this day. Later, when I was older, I read books like They Wouldn’t Let Us Die to learn about how the P.O.W.s had survived the kind of torture few of us could even imagine. And that’s not even to mention his survival of the fire on the USS Forrestal, a disaster that changed the way the Navy trained and aircraft carriers were outfitted.
Like one of my other political heroes, Teddy Roosevelt, I appreciated McCain’s honesty, his willingness to be a “maverick” to do what was right even if it wasn’t popular. Neither man was perfect; like all, real-life figures, McCain disappointed me in the moments when he failed to live up to the ideals he’d established for himself. But, through it all, even when I completely disagreed with him, I never doubted that he loved our country.
Many more eloquent, more important people who knew McCain better than me will ring in on his legacy over the next few weeks. For my part, though, I’ll miss him, his contributions to our country, and the example of service that he set. I wish his family peace.
Today was the latest in a string of firsts this year regarding TAKEOFF: my first appearance in a newspaper!
Thanks to editor Michael Rocha, writer Rob LeDonne, and the San Diego Union-Tribune, I was featured in today’s Sunday edition. The article tells the story of how I’ve done my writing at 4 a.m. for years now, and how after so many rejections, TAKEOFF finally did just that.
Getting to do this piece was so flattering: Rob, for example, has interviewed scores of genuinely famous people for publications ranging from the UT out to Billboard and Rolling Stone. Considering the kinds of celebrities and artists he’s used to covering, I teased him during our conversation about getting stuck talking to a boring-old-lawyer like me.
I hope you’ll give the article a look, and that you’ll read some of the other work Michael and Rob have done.
July 21, 2018
Hard to believe a full week has gone by since I was in NYC. I’ve started this post a few times, but each time the real world has gotten in the way enough that I knew I needed to come back to it to do it justice.
Much of my Friday got chewed up by my day job, but I made it over to the Grand Hyatt in time to catch Lee Child interviewing Megan Abbott. They are both such witty, entertaining personalities that the forty-minute panel seemed to fly by in a furry of laughs and one-liners, but there was a lot of content there, too, including her upbringing in Detroit, her study of noir, and–perhaps my favorite, loving The Wire as a I do–anecdotes about working in Hollywood on David Simon’s The Deuce.
After that, it was time to meet Cynthia and her other clients for a drink. Although not a “formal” event, this was one of my favorite times of the weekend. Getting to sit at a table with the likes of Raymond Benson, Robert Masello, William Myers, Jr., and Kathryn Leigh Scott was such a treat! I know the stereotype of writers is that they’re (we’re?!?) all introverted loners, but these folks are so intelligent, so witty, so thoughtful, that getting a ringside seat to watch them riff on politics and publishing and more was so much fun. I could have sat at that table for hours.
But we couldn’t, because my publisher Thomas & Mercer (and Bill’s and Robert’s) was having a cocktail party. The three of us hustled down- and cross-town to find a gorgeous rooftop bar where our editors, fellow writers, and others from the imprint were waiting. We’re talking an absolute murder’s row–not just Bill and Robert, but Lee Goldberg, Danielle Girard, Bryan Gruley, Hilary Davidson, Kirk Russell, Marti Green. My ego even got stroked when Matt Farrell recognized me without me having to introduce myself–that’s certainly never happened before!
The party was obviously a lot of fun, but if possible, the setting was even better. As we drank and talked, the sun set between the buildings to the west and painted the Empire State Building in golden light.
Once that party wrapped, I hustled back uptown to the meet the other members of the ITW Debut Class for a pizza dinner. Organized and shepherded by veterans Shaun Harris and Adam Hamdy, it was a fun group: I got to walk to the restaurant with Ellison Cooper and Lissa Marie Redmond, two of my new favorite authors. Ellison has a Ph.D. in anthropology and has done all kinds of fascinating research in places that will make you swoon with jealousy (Belize, Micronesia, London), but her book Caged is a dark, gripping thriller that is now at the top of my to-be-read pile. Lissa is also amazing–a cop for 22 years, she’s done just about every kind of police work you can imagine, including cold case investigation and hunting down real-life serial killers. I’m dying to read her book, Cold Day in Hell, as well. The best thing about both of them, though, is how wonderfully humble and down-to-earth they are. I think all three of us were still somewhat stunned to be included in such an auspicious group, and to have the chance to be on a panel the next morning.
After dinner, I got to walk back to the hotel with two other members of the class, Cheryl Reed and John Copenhaver, chatting about the advice we’d been given, the short speeches we had to give in the morning, and the amazing people we’d met.
All-in-all, Friday was a long day, but such a rewarding one! And the best was still yet to come….
July 18, 2018
A thriller author himself, Alan Petersen records a podcast called “Meet the Thriller Author,” where he interviews other writers about their books and their writing process. Although he’d taken a short break from the podcast to focus on a few of his own projects, he’s just returned from that and I was fortunate enough to be his first guest.
The episode posted yesterday, and can be found here. As you’d expect, we talk about TAKEOFF since it just released, and the sequel FALSE HORIZON that I’m about to turn in. Because Alan writes thrillers too, we also got into the mechanics of how I write, where I write, and things like that. It was a really fun interview to do, so I hope you’ll give it a listen. I’m episode 68, though, so he’s talked to lots of other top authors like Tess Gerritsen, Kyle Mills, and Tim Tiger, and you’ll want to check those out, too!
Hope you enjoy it!
July 17, 2018
There was so much to do at ThrillerFest, I’m going to have to break this up into a series of posts.
The very first thing on my ThrillerFest calendar was one that I was looking forward to most: lunch with my agent Cynthia Manson and my editor Liz Pearsons. This may come as a surprise, but the publishing world is so far-flung that almost everything is accomplished by phone or email. With Cynthia based in New York and Liz in Seattle, I’d never met either one in person, so the chance to actually sit down at the same table and talk was really exciting. A little nerve-racking, too, but exciting. And we ended up having a great lunch, talking about TAKEOFF, the sequel I just finished (FALSE HORIZON), and the future for Seth Walker.
After that, it was time for another in a series of firsts: my first promotional videos. These short, 20-second spots will be coming to your social media feed soon, but to give you an example, here’s a comparable one from my good friend William Myers, Jr. about his legal thriller An Engineered Injustice. Given that I’ve never done TV or anything like that, the process of making these videos was fascinating: I sat in a chair and did take after take, trying to keep my lines straight, focus on the camera, take direction, and generally seem calm, cool, and collected. However good I end up looking in these, all the credit should go to the production crew, as they held my hand through every step. I don’t know how much I gave them to work with, but we’ll see.
Finally, Thursday ended with the Opening Reception. This was, as you might expect, a huge cocktail party where you press your way through the crowd, trying to find people you know. Problem is, this being my first ThrillerFest, I didn’t really know many very people. Thankfully, some kind folks were nice enough to strike up conversations with me, or engage with me when I struck up with them.
The first of these who deserves special mention was Susan Furlong. While I knew Susan’s name from following her agent, Jessica Faust, for several years on social media, I’d never met her and I certainly had no idea how kind she was. Susan saw me standing alone at one point, sipping at my beer, and stepped over to talk. We discussed her new Bone Gap Travelers series, TAKEOFF and Seth Walker, our families, the writing life. Susan was so sweet, in fact, that I had no idea I would see her later in the weekend on a panel discussing firearms, where she held court with a former member of the Special Forces, a Hollywood stuntwoman, and others to discuss the inner workings of various handguns. Having checked her website, I now know she’s also a martial arts instructor. Woe unto the villain who mistakenly picks on Susan!
Another person with whom I had a great conversation was Joanne Sinchuck, the owner of the Murder on the Beach bookstore in Delray Beach, Florida. Not everyone at the conference was an author or a fan–there are plenty of booksellers, too, and I think hearing their perspectives on the publishing industry is really important. When I found myself standing near Joanne and asked her a question, we ended up talking for several minutes, and she was generous enough to share her thoughts on author events, what it’s like having a store in a town that’s highly seasonal, and lots of other business aspects to which I’d never been exposed.
Overall, Thursday was a great day, and really set the table for the rest of the conference. More on that in the next post….
A funny thing happens when you publish your book: people start finding you.
Seriously, it’s great. Before you publish, you’re very much in the habit of going out and contacting other people, but once you publish, people actually contact you, too.
One of the first people to contact me after TAKEOFF released was Mark Combs. He sent me an email here through the site, explaining that he has a podcast called Public Display of Imagination, where he interviews authors about their books. He couldn’t have been nicer in the message, and he wrapped up by asking me if I’d like to appear on his show.
Several minutes later, after I regained consciousness and picked myself up off the floor, I emailed back and said, “YES!”
To try and get ready, I went to Mark’s site and listened to several of his other episodes. He’s had some terrific guests, like Brad Parks and Faye Kellerman, to the point where I double-checked to be sure actually wanted me on the show. We taped the interview by phone a few days later.
While I was nervous starting out, it was a really, really fun time! The hour flew by–Mark is a great, natural interviewer, and we had an easy, flowing conversation about TAKEOFF, my writing process, airline travel, and a bunch of other topics. I hope you’ll give the episode a listen–it’s here. Like any podcast, though, you can subscribe through iTunes and then get all the episodes automatically. I’ve subscribed now, and I’d love to see Mark’s audience grow, given the terrific job he does. I’m also going to connect Mark to some of my author friends, so I can hear them talk about their books and how they work their magic.
Hope you enjoy it!
July 10, 2018
Sorry for the title–Hamilton is on an endless loop in my house, so that was the first thing I thought of when I realized I have a plane to catch today to JFK.
I’m headed to ThrillerFest!
This has me seriously excited, I’ll be honest. The concept of getting to mingle with other, real authors is just too cool!
If you’re headed to the conference as well, definitely stop and say hello. I’m scheduled to be at the Debut Authors Breakfast on Saturday morning, and then I’ll be signing after that. If you haven’t signed up for ThrillerFest…well, just look at the list of people who are attending! I’m already geeking out at the idea that I might bump up against Lee Child or John Sanford at a cocktail party. I can tell you from going to Comic Con that James Rollins is a terrific–and hilariously funny–panel guest.
Hope to see you there, but I’ll post report after I get back!