I’m off to Cincinnati tomorrow, to meet with the wonderful folks from Kroger. They took on a huge order of VANISH. (And many of my readers have mentioned in their emails that they bought their copies of VANISH in a Kroger’s.) I’ll be signing at two of their stores: Friday, Sept. 16, 4:30 – 6:00 […]


A middle-aged female writer in previously excellent health awakens one night with excruciating pain in her left shoulder and upper back. She describes it as “feeling as though she’s being stabbed with a knife.” The pain radiates down the ulnar aspect of her left arm, and there is numbness of the fourth and fifth fingers. […]


I have the best readers in the world! They were willing to be my scouts, to venture into bookstores all over the country and check out where copies of VANISH were located. And they reported back. Boy, did they report back. I’ve gotten emails from Florida to California, from the Caribbean to Hawaii to British […]

At the Maui Writers Conference

I’m at the Maui Writers Conference now. And I’m so touched by the kindness of my readers, who’ve been emailing me about VANISH and where they’re finding it in stores. I promise, you’ll all get personal replies as soon as I get home Sept. 8th. And the bookmarks will go out to you then, too. […]


Lest an author ever start to feel too cocky, all it takes is a visit to an out-of-town bookstore to remind her of her lowly place in the universe. I’m in Honolulu at the moment, en route to the Maui Writers Conference. Since my book VANISH has just gone on sale, I thought I should […]


I’m off to Hawaii (and the Maui Writers Conference) tomorrow, so no blogs for a few weeks. The timing of this conference, the very week that my new book goes on sale, means I’m unable to go on book tour this year. There’s been a debate in publishing circles about whether book tours really make […]

1. Word of mouth 2. The cover

On MJ Rose’s excellent blogsite (http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/BkDoctorSin/) there’s been some thought-provoking discussion of book packaging and cover design. It’s inspired me to mull over the importance of a good book cover. They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the fact is, readers DO care about covers. If you’re a brand-new author, […]

Sex Change Operations. Sometimes they’re absolutely necessary.

Ho-kay. Truth is, I could dish forever about the business of writing and the mechanics of bestseller lists. Maybe it’s my science background, but I love hard numbers. I love to hear them, share them, exchange them, talk about them. But after I saw how one little number (#17) got me into so much trouble, […]

Hungry for Respect

Judging by the reaction over at Lee Goldberg’s site, http://leegoldberg.typepad.com (a site I normally read with great pleasure), my latest blog entry was a really, REALLY bad idea. It reminds me of my very first entry here, about how maybe this whole blog thing could be a bad idea. It seems that writers who reach […]

T-Minus 18 days until VANISH release!

Haven’t been blogging much due to a steady influx of houseguests. Well, it IS summer in Maine, the time when everyone wants to escape the heat and head north to our little corner of paradise. So what’s the latest in the writing life? To start off, I’m sorry to report that I didn’t drink champagne […]

T MINUS 29 DAYS until VANISH goes on sale!

************************************** What do writers do on their days off? Well, here’s what this writer did on Sunday. Spent the whole day — and I mean the WHOLE day — making tamales. Started at nine AM and worked until five, hand-mixing the masa, simmering the pork, grinding the chilis and garlic and tomatoes into sauce, soaking […]

It’s nail-biting time again

I feel this way every summer, when my new books come out in the U.S. The BODY DOUBLE paperback goes on sale July 26th and VANISH goes on sale in hardcover on August 23rd. You may think that an author who’s appeared on the NY Times bestseller lists is beyond feeling anxious about her book […]

“Your English is so good!”

I’m always amused when someone says this to me. I never take offense because I’ve had such temporary lapses of common sense myself. I remember, in Paris, hearing a woman scold her dog in French and being momentarily amazed that the dog seemed to understand her. (As if a French dog wouldn’t understand French!) So […]

“Why won’t men read books written by women?” (Part 1)

I’ve heard this asked in publishing circles, and I think it’s an interesting question. First, is it true? Do men truly turn up their noses at women authors? I’m not aware of any hard statistics backing up the claim. All I can offer are my own experiences as a thriller author, based on the reader […]

Guten tag!

That, I’m embarrassed to say, is just about the extent of my German vocabulary, despite the hours I spent listening to foreign language CDs in preparation for my BODY DOUBLE book tour to Germany and Austria. (Well, okay. I also knew the all-important “where is the toilet?”) Most of us Americans are way behind western […]

Paranoia and pity

That’s what I felt as I walked the aisles of Book Expo America last weekend in New York City. Well okay, maybe I shouldn’t use such extreme words — maybe what I actually felt was anxiety and sympathy, seeing the hundreds of publishers and the thousands and thousands of books on display. So much competition, […]

“So… what’s with the romance novels?”

Yes, it’s true. It sometimes astonishes my thriller readers, but I started off my writing career, years ago, as a romance author. At bookstore talks, when I happen to mention my early years as a Harlequin Intrigue writer, I sometimes hear giggles in the audience, as though I should be embarrassed about my sordid secret. […]

Everybody’s a critic

Imagine this scenario. You have just given birth to a brand new baby, and it has been a long, difficult labor. For a year you’ve thought of little else. You’ve lost sleep over it, obsessed over it, tortured yourself over it, and at last you proudly carry your baby out of the hospital. Then a […]

“Of all the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite?”

Readers sometimes ask me “Of all the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite?” And, oddly enough, the book I think is my best is the one that sold the fewest copies:GRAVITY. I’ve puzzled over just why this book sold so poorly. I’ve heard criticism from some readers that it was simply too technical, […]

“What is the order in which I should read your books?”

Here’s a very, very Freqeuently Asked Question: “What is the order in which I should read your books?” Actually, there are only four books which need to be read in order, and they’re in the Jane Rizzoli/ Maura Isles series. They were first published in the following order: THE SURGEON (2001) THE APPRENTICE (2002 THE […]