Sunday, August 21, 2011


I’ve been invited to participate in a blog tour that will start in late November, just after the publication of my forthcoming novel, Behind the Redwood Door. I’ll have to prepare a dozen posts ahead of time, and when I get further instructions I’ll be sending these posts to a dozen hosts, who will post them on designated days during a two-week virtual tour. Meanwhile, the hosts (fellow tourists) will all be sending their blog posts to me, for me to post on my blog (this very blog) on the designated day.

This may sound complicated to you. It sounds labyrinthine to me. But I’d doing it, because I feel it’s my obligation to Oak Tree Press, the small independent publisher who’s willing to put my novel into print.

One thing I will try hard to avoid, and that’s the hard sell. Yes, it’s to be a promotional tour, but I don’t want to come on like a used car salesman. As I make my tour around these wide United States (without leaving my office), I want to offer something of value to other writers, and I want my blog posts to be about writing, about language, about the writing life.

Meanwhile, I will try to keep this blog of mine, called John’s Litserv, alive and well, with a weekly post. My intention at this point is to write about the Joy of Story, which was the name of the class I taught through Humboldt State University Extended Education this summer.

Interspersed occasionally will be occasional guest blogs from other writers. I plan to devise an interview for these guests to follow, be inspired by, or ignore. More about this next week.

As an added attraction, each blog entry for the next while will contain a short passage from Behind the Redwood Door, sort of like a preview at the picture show. An example is pasted below.

Meanwhile, to those of you who already check in on this blog from time to time, I appreciate your company. To those just happening upon this site for the first time, know that you’ll always be welcome. And I value feedback.

Preview of a coming attraction:

            Carol and I had a good day at the store. We closed at six and walked under our umbrella two blocks to the Redwood Door, our favorite tavern on the town square of Jefferson City. We had dinner there every Friday evening.
            The place was jammed with the usual noisy mix of laid-off loggers, furry fishermen, assorted North Coast artists, and small-town downtown riffraff. Down at the end of the bar was a mean-looking little man in a black wool watch cap, whom everyone called Nails; I say little, but he looked about five foot four, which made him four inches taller than me. Next to Nails sat his giant sidekick, Louie Luau, who looked as dumb as shoe leather. The two of them were there every Friday night, in the same seats. Maybe every other night too. According to Gloria, they were both fond of boilermakers, a shot of Yukon Jack washed down with a bottle of Anchor Steam. Nice guys, for all I knew, and I was always glad to see them from a distance, even if I would have been nervous if one of them were to ask me for a light.
            We walked in and sat down on stools at the bar, and Gloria, the bartender, sauntered over and said, “Guy comes into a bar, and...”
            It wasn’t the first time Gloria had used this line, and Gloria was not the first bartender to say it every time I sat down on a bar stool. (Hint: never make a pun on a person’s name. They’ve heard it before.)

From Behind the Redwood Door: a Guy Mallon Mystery, to be published November 20, 2011.


  1. The November Mystery We Write Blog Tour is a great way to interact, interview, and interrogate(!) if you so desire, other mystery authors.

    It's a fun way to cruise cyberspace, visit some fantastic blogs, learn how other writers write, and chat about their latest release.

    So glad you decided to join us, John!

  2. Thank you, Anne, for welcoming me aboard. I'm looking forward to it.

  3. John,
    I like what you said about "not wanting to come on like a used car salesman." I know exactly what you mean. I'm finding that there's a fine line between being assertive and being "pushy." Sometimes, I admit, I have a hard time figuring out exactly where the line is.

  4. I agree, Patricia, it is a fine line. I think the best we can do is to say only what we really mean, and say it with a welcoming smile.