Monday, September 25, 2006

Raising a Virtual Glass…

In life there are many milestones we like to celebrate. In the pursuit of a writing career, you hope you’re lucky enough to have a few.

When I started this blog, it was just about my life. I didn’t have a book deal. Things changed, and I have chronicled some of the highs and lows, amidst my other reflections on various topics. This blog is never going to be strictly a ‘writer’s blog’ but there will be times when that aspect of my life is the focus.

I’ve told you about how the people locally – people I thought supported my aspirations – were some of the first to turn their back on me when I signed my contract. The people who congratulated me were the ones who I didn’t know, the people I had been friends with were the ones who pushed me away.

And they did me a favour. What I have found, instead, is an international community of real writers, serious about the business, and not threatened by other people who achieve a bit of success. People who see that there is room for all of us and that we go further by working together, instead of competing against each other.

Sadly, there will always be a few ‘Tonya Harding’ types – the kind who think the only way to get ahead is to cut the competition down.

But I’m pleased to say that the people in my inner circle aren’t like that. They’re the ones cheering from the sidelines, happy to see others succeed.

You all know that for the past four months, Jason Pinter andBrett Battles and JT Ellison and myself have been working on the creation of Killer Year.

Today, the new website has been launched. Three cheers for Brett and Rob Gregory Browne and Bill Cameron for their hard work, getting the design in place.

And much virtual wine for JT, who has sent out hundreds of press releases to share our big news. I'd buy you a drink at B'con, JT, if you were going to be there. But I'll buy one for the boys and we'll think of you. ;)

And we have re-launched the blog, with MJ Rose making a very special post today, announcing big news for Killer Year and the future. It’s a fantastic post, one that put a lump in my throat, because MJ’s vision for Killer Year mirrors my own.

I can’t tell you how incredible it is to receive this much support in the writing community. I still remember the first time JT emailed me. I called evilkev and said JT Ellison knows my name! And through JT I met Brett and Jason, and then look what happened!

Ideas out of control.

We have many people to thank, including Sarah Weinman, who has plugged us again, and supported this initiative.

JB Thompson is not only telling the world, she’s interviewing Killer Year members.

And David J Montgomery has taken an interest in Killer Year as well.

I know I speak for the entire group when I say that we’re overwhelmed and honoured by the support in the industry. I can tell you now that, officially, each Killer Year member has a mentor, a member of the ITW.

My mentor is Cornelia Read. Other Killer Year members are being mentored by Ken Bruen, Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Gayle Lynds, Allison Brennan, Tess Gerritsen, Joe R. Lansdale, Harley Jane Kozak, Anne Frasier, Douglas Clegg, David Morrell, Jim Rollins and Duane Swierczynski.

And, of course, we could all say MJ is our mentor as well, for she has given so generously of her time and energy to help us launch not what will just be a cute club for one year, but a thriving entity that will continue to feature exceptional debut suspense authors.

The post is also up at MJ’s blog. Please drop by, check it out!

In fact, I’ll shut up now, because today’s a day for clicking on links and reading elsewhere… and checking out that wonderful new website.

But while I’m in the ‘thanking’ vein, I’m going to thank each and every one of you, for sharing all these moments with me.



Sandra Ruttan said...

Oh, and by all means, spread the news!

Christa M. Miller said...

Sandra, you completely deserve all the good things that come your way next year. I can't think of a better group to watch as you enter the industry! Even if I never make it, thanks for wanting to do so much to help new writers. You're truly special.

angie said...

Felicidades! Good to see all the hard work paying off & the fab thriller writer community coming together. Of course, I can't imagine what you and Cornelia will have in common - who thought up that pairing?!

John Gooley said...

Good on you, Sandra. Great stuff.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Christa, you have faith girl! Keep at it! I look forward to the day we announce your big news!

Angie, ha. I think we're going to run around New York saying deleted by censor deleted by censor deleted by censor deleted by censor deleted by censor

Thanks John!

Bill Cameron said...

I'd say I feel like a kid in a candy shop, but these days it would probably be more appropriate to say a kid in a video arcade with a barrel of tokens! Which is what I feel like!

Sandra Ruttan said...

I know what you mean Bill! Very cool!

And I want to see you and Anne together on the weekend.

Bill Cameron said...

Indeed! :D

JT Ellison said...

I want the new Killer Year tattoo...

Sandra, this wouldn't have happened without you're perserverence, patience and sanity. So THANK YOU!

anne frasier said...

congratulations and hugs all around!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Sanity, JT?



Thanks Anne! LOVE the tattoo!

Lisa Hunter said...

Hi, Sandra. I saw the MJ Rose post and rushed right over to tell you, in case you hadn't seen it. But of course, you're totally on top of things PR-wise. What a great idea Killer Year is!

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Awwwww. Sandra you're so sweet sometimes!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Aw Lisa, thanks! It's pretty cool, isn't it?

Dana, sometimes? LOL! My husband would say "seldom."

So sometimes is quite a compliment!

JamesO said...

Killer Year is certainly shaping up, Sandra - I hope the superb marketing translates into long and notable careers for all.

And those people who were your friends right up until you started to be successful? Jealousy's a horrible thing. You put the hours in, your deserve the reward. If they want to bitch around pretending to be writers, then you're better off without them.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I completely agree James, and I mention it to show the contrast. When people like MJ Rose, Lee Child, Jeff Deaver and Cornelia Read - to name a few - are willing to help you build a career, you realize how wonderful the people in the crime community are.

People who are all about stepping on others aren't going to go far.

Now James, if only we could see you and a McLean offering in a future Killer Year (although you likely hate me for saying that!)

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Congrats, Sandra, to you and everyone else in Killer Year. This is great news.

And, oh dear holy hopping Jesus. You and Cornelia? Hoo! Now there's a pair I want to hang out with.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Stephen, come to New York next summer! You WON'T regret it!

Maybe I'll talk Cornelia into matching tattoos like the one on Anne's blog! Way cool!

But I just might make California in January/February, and hell, you and Cornelia would be a RIOT to hang out with!

The ITW's going to give us a chaperone, I bet.

Daniel Hatadi said...

This is some staggeringly good news, Sandra. Congratulations to all of the Killer Year folk for building what we all hope is to become a fine institution.

I'm sure you've all thought of this before, but I am SO seeing a Killer Year store display with all the novels on it, taking up prime position at the front of every bookstore in the world.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Daniel, may you and the bookstore owners think as one!

And thanks! I have a list of names I'd like to see on future KY year lists.

Daniel Hatadi said...

KY year lists? People who really like, umm, personal lubricants? :)

Daniel Hatadi said...

And that's the last time I make that KY joke.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Why? We make them all the time. We were planning a playboy photo shoot for JT, launching a whole line of KY products, but she got all modest on us.

I was going to say the one thing about this group is that we're pretty loose and relaxed but I think I'll be quiet now.

Anonymous said...

That is so awesome Sandra!! The Killer Year website and blog look terrific. And way to go MJ Rose and ITW!

Eileen said...

We got your back baby. When your book hits the streets- we'll rush the bookstores for you.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Congratulations...have a drink on me!

S. W. Vaughn said...

A great big WOOT to all the hard-working writers of Killer Year! May you slay -- uh, wait, don't slay anything...

Anyway, CONGRATS!!! Y'all have been working so hard on this, you deserve more than a virtual toast.

To your success!


mai wen said...

Oh my gosh, Blogger was my enemy yesterday. I tried to post a comment for like hours!

I wanted to wish you a congrats on the new Killer website design!!! Looks great.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Andrea, Eileen, Bonnie, SW, Mai Wen... You guys are SO awesome! Thanks so much!

I'm trying to pack without getting kitten fur all over everything! UGH!

Trace said...

I said it on the Killer Year blog, what an awesome idea! I'm in awe.