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Archive for June 9th, 2009

Black and White

It’s the ultimate battle of

good versus good.

The were best friends at an elite academy for superheroes in training, but now Callie Bradford, code name Iridium, and Joannie Greene, code name Jet, are mortal enemies. Jet is a by-the-book hero, using her Shadow power to protect the citizens of New Chicago. Iridium, with her mastery of light, runs the city’s underworld. For the past five years the two have played an elaborate, and frustrating, game of cat and mouse.

But now playtime’s over. Separately Jet and Iridium uncover clues that point to a looming evil, one that is entwined within the Academy. As Jet works with Bruce Hunter–a normal man with an extraordinary ability to make her weak in the knees–she becomes convinced that Iridium is involved in a scheme that will level the power structure of America itself. And Iridium, teaming with the mysterious vigilante called Taser, uncovers an insidious plot that’s been a decade in the making… a plot in which Jet is key.

They are both right. And they are both wrong. Because nothing is as simple as…

Black and White.

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Sometimes, I think it’s unfair that only the author’s name goes on the cover of a book. That’s because there’s a team of people who, along with the author, get the book from the writer’s head out onto the bookshelves. (And usually without resorting to cracking open the author’s skull with a mallet. Usually. Depends how far behind deadline she is. But I digress.)

There’s the editor, of course. And the agent who had sold the manuscript to the editor. There’s the copy editor and proofreader. There’s the cover artist, and sometimes the entire art department. There’s the publicist. There are all the beta readers who had seen the ugly versions of the manuscript and hadn’t run away screaming in terror.

But the ones who tend to get overlooked, in my opinion? The booksellers. These are the folks who do so much more than unpackage the cartons and load the carts and stock the shelves and ring up sales. It’s their job to be omniscient deities and tell readers where to find what they’re looking for, when the books they want will be available, and which books they should give a try.

Booksellers rock. They should have their own holiday.

I’m a big believer in thanking booksellers. Heck, if not for them — and their intrepid cousins, the librarians — we authors wouldn’t have a job. When a new book comes out, like BLACK AND WHITE (from Bantam Spectra, available now), I tend to go into as many bookstores as I can near me to sign stock if it’s available and thank the sellers for carrying my book. And when I go, I don’t go empty handed. Usually I bring swag.

But lately? I bring food. Specifically, cookies.

For BLACK AND WHITE — the new superhero novel about two former best friends now on opposite sides of the law (one’s a superhero, the other is a supervillain) who join forces to stop the Big Bad Evil—I borrowed a page from the Bantam publicist and had black and white cookies to give out when I signed stock. At one store, when I gave the lovely folks at the customer service counter the box of cookies by way of thank you for everything they did, they had me sign the box so that the staff would know who it was who’d given them cookies.

The next time you’re in a bookstore, I encourage you to take a moment to thank the booksellers there for doing such a terrific job. A little bit of thanks can make a person smile the entire day.

Especially when the thanks includes cookies. 🙂

GIVEAWAY: It’s not a box of cookies, but it is a signed copy of BLACK AND WHITE. Comment below to tell me why booksellers rock. I’ll pick one commenter at random on Sunday, June 14, to win a copy of the book.

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You can find more about Black and White by visiting Ms Kessler’s website. Do not forget to leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

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