Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another good review!!!

I'm just thrilled to have stumbled upon another good review of
Blood and Groom! This one appeared on the New Mystery Reader website.

Blood and Groom by Jill Edmondson

Publisher: Dundurn Press ISBN: 978-1-55488-430-8

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader

Retired rock singer turned private investigator Sasha Jackson finds herself employed by a nasty woman who owns an art gallery. This woman wants Sasha to find out who killed her ex fiancé to clear her own name of suspicion that seems to follow her around.

Sasha starts her investigation with questions to all the people who knew the groom and they seem to mostly favor the art gallery owner, Christine Arvisais, as the killer. But, she has an alibi.

The investigation leads Sasha deeper into the lives of the family and friends of the deceased that bring complications into the mix and danger. And she then learns of another ex fiancé dying and the weirdness that goes with it. Her investigation takes a new direction and she is soon on the track of a killer.

This is an investigator with a different background to hold the attention of any mystery reader looking for something a little different. A private investigator with a second job on a phone sex line as extra trappings will show the reader how she survives until her new business takes off.

Recommended for the mystery fan who likes those touches of reality that bring true life into their world. Talented author Jill Edmondson has crafted a set of intriguing characters set in a background where the raw edges of moneyed life meets the gritty reality of survival of poverty.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Libraries are your friends!

Hey there fellow authors and aspiring writers!

One thing I have seen little of (actually, almost nothing of) around the blogosphere is the topic of libraries.

As an author, I love libraries!

Now, writers out there may be saying: "But wait, why do you love libraries? People borrow your book for free. Wouldn't you prefer that people bought it rather than borrowed it? Don't you miss out on all those royalties?"

Hopefully lots of people borrow it!

Libraries are good to authors in three specific ways:

1. They usually promote new books, new authors, new titles. They often have newsletters offering blurbs on recent acquisitions. They frequently set up display tables with "new" books or "this just in," or they will sometimes set up a table by "Canadian authors" or other themes.

Unless you have a BIG budget, it would be next to impossible to get that kind of prominent display and/or publicity from the big chain bookstores.

Your book can and will get noticed because of any of these types of library promotion. For example, the Toronto library system ordered 14 copies of "Blood and Groom" and there are 33 holds placed already on returning copies. The Ottawa library system has ordered 7 copies of my book, as as of this morning, there are 24 holds placed on returning copies.

2. Okay, so you're not making huge royalties from each borrower, but the library users can spread word of mouth. People may notice them reading your book on the bus, or may see them reading your book during the lunch break. They may tell a couple of friends (or,hopefully many friends) about it ... and maybe some of those people will go out and buy a copy... When you're a new author, your main concern should be on getting an audience, building a readership, generating a buzz...

3. Libraries LOVE events: author meet & greet, readings, panel discussions, etc. Authors are generally welcome to bring books for sale and signing at such events. So, again, there's potential for word or mouth; there is an opportunity to build your audience; you might sell some books, and... I can't see any disadvantages.

As a new author, I am getting mixed responses from bookstores about having events. Some welcome the idea, but would prefer to wait until I have a second book out; some are more interested in having events with 2 or 3 authors. I can understand all this; it makes perfect sense as they're in business to sell books, and new authors might not be much of a "draw"... yet!

So, for now, I will keep plugging away at both, but I fully intend to spend just as much time promoting at libraries as I do with retailers.

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Jill (and Sasha)

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Way cool! My article on single mothers in crime fiction was posted today on the "Type M for Murder" blog.

The question is: with such a strong presence of women in crime fiction, why are so many of the heroines "amateur" sleuths? Where are the single mother police procedurals?

Have a look and let me know what you think. There really does seem to be a potential niche for a hardboiled, single mom, police procedural or similar...

Cheers, Jill

Friday, December 18, 2009

Do you really need an agent?

I can hear the screaming already!

What??? Why do you even have to ask??? Whaddaya mean: "Do you really need an agent?"

It's an innocent question, and not one meant to rankle anyone. I'm just wondering aloud...

In my early days, when I first started writing, my instructor at the only writing course I've ever taken was not a fan of agents. Her point had more to do with economics than anything else. As she put it, writers make so very little these days anyway, that automatically giving away 10 or 15 percent to an agent was not fiscally sound.

Now, before you jump on me, I must state that I heard these words as I was starting out, and, although, they've obviously stuck, I did keep an open mind about agents (since all was and still is new to me).

I can see the advantages that an agent can offer, number one being: landing you a publishing contract. Bingo! That's what all aspiring writers ultimately crave, isn't it? To be published? For a new, unknown author, an agent can open doors, pave the way, and all that good stuff.

However, in my case, I thought I'd try things both ways. I sent out twenty query letters. Two of my letters were sent to agents and the remaining 18 were sent to publishing houses. FYI - I live in Canada and queried only Canadian agents and publishers.

I got rejection letters from both agents.

But, I was offered a contract within about 3 months by a reputable publisher, and my book is now in stores.

I'm not trying to be a naysayer, but in my case things worked out well (and rather quickly) doing it on my own.

I wonder how many aspiring writers focus on getting an agent rather than applying directly to the publishing houses? I also wonder about the relationship between (not getting) an agent and self-publishing. Hmmmm... Do many people try the other steps or do they look at publishing as an either or situation between agents and vanity press?

I would love to hear from writers and agents about the relationships, and pros and cons of working with an agent. I know there is still much for me to learn about the world of publishing and I am curious about your own stories and experiences.

Thanks, Jill

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Very Excited! Just got a great review!

"Blood and Groom" got a great review by Don Graves in today's
Hamilton Spectator!!!!

The full text can be found here:

Excerpts of Don Graves's comments:

"Edmondson shows promise with deft plotting and
clues constructed to provide inroads
into the characters and the action."

"Edmondson shows the storytelling skill to turn this debut into
a Toronto-focused series with room to grow. "

Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled!

Guest Blogger: Donna Carrick

This post is from Guest Blogger Donna Carrick! Thanks Donna!

Donna is the author of The First Excellence, Gold and Fishes, and The Noon God. She is also an active member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Social Media and the Arts ~ by Donna Carrick, December 12, 2009

I’m a huge fan of Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn. In my opinion, these on-line tools and others like them are invaluable to the modern artist.

It’s true, not everyone shares my affection for Social Media. We’ve all heard the arguments: It takes too much time away from writing… Book sales do not correlate to number of ‘Tweets’ … Everyone on the Internet is trying to sell something… etc…etc.

Valid arguments, all. And yet… there is another factor to consider when weighing the value of today’s Internet connectivity.

As artists, (writers, painters, musicians …you get it) we have a responsibility to the future. That responsibility, in a nutshell, is to pass down our art to those who follow – to tell them what we can about our place and time.

What I am currently witnessing within the heart of the Social Media jungle is a powerful movement of new, vibrant, unfettered and independent artists. In my own tiny corner of the great forest, I’ve ‘met’ a virtual army of talented writers. Many are forming groups even as I prepare this blog. At least three are planning a 2010 Independent Artists Festival in Europe based on contacts formed through Twitter.

It’s ‘renaissance’ time, folks! The new guard is forging ahead and will not be quelled. Its passion is fuelled by the sense of artistic camaraderie that is emerging from Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and the others. These are indeed exciting times!

If our only goal as writers is to sell more books, then Social Media may not be the answer. But if we want to shake the world, well, that’s another story! Take a moment to be still and feel it. The earth has already begun to move.

Lofty ideas? Perhaps. But majesty and grandeur have always been the objectives of the artist. Expressing those ideals is the writer’s mandate.

I firmly believe tomorrow’s ‘greats’ will emerge from within this Social Media groundswell. With that in mind, regardless of whether I “sell more books”, I want to be a part of the wave!

Yours in moving together towards the future,
Donna Carrick

Donna's links for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are:
Twitter: @donna_carrick
FaceBook: Donna Carrick
LinkedIn: Donna Carrick

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What a SMASH!

Well, the "Blood and Groom" launch party was last night, and I'm pleased to say it was a smashing success!

I've been worriying, and planning, and worrying some more, and micromanaging this event since early autumn, and the soiree turned out even better than I'd hoped or dreamed!

Great crowd! The folks from COPE were all there (thank you!), lots of friends and family, a big group from Dundurn, old high school chums, the book club chicks, the trivia folks, GBC staff and students, and a few people I haven't seen in 10 or 20 years... HOLY SMOKES! WOW!

Ace Anais (one of my students) played the part of the Bloody Bride: doesn't she look wonderful! And, yes, that really was my wedding dress!

Moose the Florist outdid himself with the flowers. These are real roses with images printed right on them! We gave single roses to every guest and I had two bouquets: one fresh flowers and the other dried flowers. Very cool!

My neighbour Patricia is awesome and I couldn't have pulled this off without her! Patricia baked the cake, acted as cashier and sales clerk for the books, and basically she kept me sane!

I sold and signed over one hundred books! Wow, what a fun and heady feeling seeing people line up to get a book signed by little old moi!
So, a great night and I couldn't be happier!
Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blood and Groom Launch party is tonight!!

Party is from 5:00 to 10:00 pm at The Pilot Tavern (second floor) , 22 Cumberland Avenue (near Yonge & Bloor) , Toronto.

I am so excited and so nervous!

I think I have planned out every little detail: food, drink, decorations, music, and so on.

A lot of friends have helped me organize the party - kudos to them!

I expect a good turn-out (100+ people!)

Cheers, Jill

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mystery writers' organizations

Hey Folks,

Time to do a bit of PR for some local organizations that have helped me A LOT!

Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) is an organization for... you guessed it. I have been involved with them (one way or another) for about four or five years. I began as an associate member (that's the designation for fans and unpublished but aspiring writers). In the last year or so, I have become an (ahem) author member.

This is a great group to be a part of. They have some cool discussions via their Yahoo group, they have a mentoring program, they publish a monthly newsletter detailing author events, and they offer all sorts of other goodies.

CWC presents the Arthur Ellis Awards (AE) for excellence Canadian Crime Writing. A few years ago, I was one of the judges for the Best Novel category. I got to read a lot of great books that I may never have stumbled upon, by authors I hadn't yet heard of. That was fun and a neat conversation starter at dinner parties.

The AE is named for Canada's last official hangman. For more info about the awards, check

CWC has recently created a fan page on Facebook. Check it out at: (Crime.Writers.Canada). There's lots of good mystery info on there and a lot of fun stuff, like photos, book trailers, and links.

Another organization I belong to is Sisters in Crime, Toronto chapter (SinC). They're also a great resource and a great support for mystery writers and fans. Their monthly newsletter includes reviews, trivia, event listings and maybe an interview or two.

SinC also has monthly meetings with a neat variety of guest speakers, from newly published authors to a talk on poisons that are available in your backyard (you'd be surprised at how deadly some of those pretty flowers or innocent looking mushrooms can be).

I definitely think aspiring writers (for mystery or any other genre) should get involved in writing groups or associations. I've learned a lot from both CWC and SinC, I've met some cool people, and have had a lot of support and encouragement as I worked away at my writing.

Plus, both groups are having their Christmas parties this week, yippee! Time to eat, drink and be deadly!

Cheers, Jill