Faces of the Gone

Hi Everyone,

I've given the interns at the next two weeks off—they've done enough damage for one year—and I'm taking advantage of their absence to write you a quick note just to say:

Thank you.

Thank you for turning out at signings, for making the extra effort to find the book even when it became difficult, for sending me little notes when you finished reading to let me know you made it all the way to The End. Thank you for giving FACES OF THE GONE the kind of launch every debut author dreams of having.

Because, don't know if you've heard, but it looks like we've got a hit here. David Montgomery and Oline Cogdill, two of the most influential reviewers in the mystery community, each named FACES OF THE GONE among their top five debuts of 2009. Baker & Taylor, the nation's largest book distributor, has been out of stock for weeks now—they can't get copies fast enough to meet demand. The same has been true with Ingram and Bookazine, two other large distributors. We even had completely sold out for five full days in the middle of the month.

And that was all before FACES OF THE GONE made a surprise appearance in The New York Times this past Thursday. For those of you who may have missed it, click here.

(Yeah, I got top billing in hard copy version of the paper, too—ahead of that Julie & Julia woman, Ken Bruen, and the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency guy... Not bad company, huh?).

Beyond those successes, there have been so many touching moments, so many kindnesses shown to me, so many times I've felt grateful for the encouragement you've given me. I think of my friend Kathy, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy but still found time to come sit with me before the event at Newark Public Library (and gave me a full rundown of the battle she had with her local Borders to get them to stock the book). I think of the event we held at Words Bookstore in Maplewood, where friends and former neighbors filled every chair and people like my pal Jerry stood through the entire talk (and I talk a lot. Even more than Jerry. And he used to be a politician). I think of my reading at Barnes & Noble, where it was 35 degrees and raining sideways but we still managed to turn out a crowd of stalwarts (like the fabulous Schwartz girls and the Janie Links brigade). Everywhere I've gone, I've just been thrilled by your support, amazed by your enthusiasm and humbled by your graciousness.

Now, for those of you worried The Author's ego is about to get completely out of control, fear not: The Interns will be back on the case in 2010, busting my chops, reminding me who's really boss.

But in the meantime, please enjoy this most wonderful time of the year and have a very happy New Year. And thanks, again, for giving me such a rousing start.

In Gratitude,