Friday, December 9, 2011


For the past fourteen days I participated in my first blog tour, named MYSTERY WE WRITE. What this means is that every day for the past two weeks, I’ve hosted a different mystery writer on my blog, THE JOY OF STORY; and every day for the past two weeks I’ve also appeared on a different writer’s blog.

I felt honored to be invited aboard this rollicking tour bus. (Thankfully nobody started singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”) I met distinguished writers, and learned a lot from what they all had to say about the craft of writing, the pleasures of the writing life, and the necessary toil of self-marketing.

I also returned at the end of the tour with a rich reading list. I’ve already ordered quite a few books from my local independent bookseller, and my pile of TBR books will mount up high when they arrive. As a slow reader, I will take my time with the pleasures ahead, but I will certainly thank the authors for the treasures as I finish each one.

In my posts on blogs around the country, I learned a lot about my own writing habits, my own theories of fiction craft, and...I learned a lot about my new book, BEHIND THE REDWOOD DOOR. Thanks to the questions and the suggestions of my hosts in Blogland, I was forced to think about what the book is all about. Who knew?

It was a coincidence, if indeed coincidences exist, that BEHIND THE REDWOOD DOOR was published only five days before the tour began. Perfect timing for a perfect excuse to engage in some uncomfortable but vital self-promotion.

It was a coincidence, again, if such phenomena exist, that I had a birthday three days before the blog tour began, and I climbed onto the virtual tour bus still buzzing from the surprise party and the wild, delirious shrieks of grandchildren. The memory of their laughter reminded me that there are more important things in life than writing and reading books.

All I know is I’m glad I took this wonderful tour with such distinguished writers. I’ve had a splendid time. I want to thank everyone who commented on my posts on other blogs, and those who left comments for my fourteen guests on this blog. One name from the latter group will be randomly chosen to receive an inscribed copy of BEHIND THE REDWOOD DOOR, as well as a copy of my short story collection, GENEROUS HELPINGS.

FLASH/THIS JUST IN: The lucky winner of the drawing is Eileen Obser. Congratulations, Eileen!

Onward! Those of you who write, keep writing! Those of you who read, keep reading. And have a happy holiday season, readers and writers!

To learn more about BEHIND THE REDWOOD DOOR 
and some of my other books, see my website:


  1. My copy just arrived today from I'll be reading this weekend!

    William Doonan

  2. John, It's been a great pleasure to get to know you. I, too, am a slow reader, but I'll get around to BEHIND THE REDWOOD DOOR very soon.
    Best Wishes,

  3. Gosh, what gorgeous grandkids. You're a lucky man.

    And I feel lucky to have shared this tour with you and all the other terrific writers who made it work. Got REDWOOD DOOR on my TBR pile.

  4. Thanks for ordering, Bill! Hope you enjoy it! Jackie, thank you. I'm a slow reader too, especially when I'm reading a book I enjoy. Tim, you're absolutely right about my grandchildren. I think all Grandparents would agree: if you're lucky enough to have grandkids, you're lucky enough!

  5. What a wonderful tour we've had and it was great getting to know you, John, and reading your sage advice. Your book is at the top of my TBR pile. Wishing you and your beautiful family a very Merry Christmas and productive New Year.

  6. Thanks so much, Jean! Hope you have a cozy holiday on your mountaintop! All best wishes for Murder on the Interstate. It's on my list, of course!

  7. What a great ride, John. Seemed effortless coasting over those hills and mountains. I'm glad you showed family pics here. Will be looking forward to reading your book.

  8. Many thanks, Theresa! It's been good hearing from you.

  9. John, I have so enjoyed all your pictures. So glad we met on the tour. Good experience.

    Continued success!


  10. John: You are so right about not only the great things we learned from each other but the things I learned about myself and my writing by talking about it from all different angles supplied by the wonderful writers on the bus. It has been great getting to know you. We all have to keep our priorities straight and yours are gorgeous!
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  11. Many thanks, Wendy. I picked up A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES from my local bookseller yesterday and look forward to reading it. All of a sudden: so many books to read!

  12. John, it has been such a joy to get to know you, how you write, and more importantly, the person behind the computer keyboard!

    Behind the Redwood Door is on my TBR list, btw, and I hope you'll sign on for the 2012 Mystery We Write Blog Tour!