Please welcome Sasscer Hill back to the blog with a second Made It Moment that may even top her first! One thing all writers hope for is that a wider slice of the world takes notice of their books, and media coverage is one way to make that happen. But we have so little control over it. This Moment reads like a blueprint for how–given a great book and some luck–a writer can bring her novel to the attention of someone who can get it even more.
On April 15, I sat in the Annapolis Barnes & Noble cafe with fellow Sisters in Crime member, Becky Hutchinson, pouring over the arts and entertainment section of the Baltimore Sun newspaper. For a few frustrating and disappointing moments I can’t find the promised review. Anywhere. Wait, there it is — on page five, next to the best-sellers list. My God!
I’d been after the Sun for a mention of some sort for two years. I knew they wanted a new book and an event to tie it to before they would write anything.
In 2012, my second book came out. I called my contact at Pimlico racetrack and happily, she arranged for a grandstand book signing on Black Eyed Susan’s Day. I sent an email to the Sun’s sports beat-writer Sandra McKee. She said maybe the features editor would let her write something. Then she said it looked like it might happen. She interviewed me on my cell phone while my husband was driving us south on 95 somewhere in North Carolina.
McKee was delightful. A kindred spirit — as little kids we both had fathers who wouldn’t let us have a pony. While I snuck rides on our Maryland farm’s Belgian plow horses, she was riding a cow on her father’s place in West Virginia. We both devoured everything Walter Farley ever wrote about horses. Let’s face it, I got lucky to have her as my interviewer. It’s all about serendipity.
In the Barnes and Noble book store, I stare at the newspaper article. The review is long and positive. Years of work and revision acknowledged right there on page five. I feel validated. I feel wonderful. I am experiencing the Milchman-made-it-moment.
In addition to Agatha and Macavity Best First Mystery Novel Finalist, FULL MORTALITY, Sasscer Hill has several published mystery/suspense short stories and a number of articles in publications like the “Mid-Atantic Thoroughbred.”