2011 - September
Diamond Ruby is headed back to press for a third printing! I owe big thanks to all the readers, indie booksellers, and librarians who have helped keep this book alive for the past sixteen months.
And then, when I’m done with the thriller, it’s back to Diamond Ruby...and her adventures in Hollywood at the dawn of the sound era.
What does a writer like to do more than almost anything else? Write! So I’m thrilled to report that I’m nearing the end of the first draft of my new novel. A huge apocalyptic thriller set in Africa, South America, New Guinea, and all across the United States, it revolves around a threat scarier than contagious disease and harder to fight off than a plague of zombies. Yes, it could happen here.
It was SRO for my recent event at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY. As part of the Jewish Film Festival, the JBFC showed Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story. I talked about the movie, my own experiences as a baseball writer, and Diamond Ruby, and then we all settled in for ballpark food and more conversation. Great fun!
Producer Bethany Stirdivant of Book Ends Entertainment and screenwriter Carrie Freedle have begun to pitch Diamond Ruby to studios and cable networks. Fingers crossed!
Another honor for Ruby! She will be the recipient of a 2011 Washington Irving Award, given by the Westchester (NY) Library Association to the best books written by Westchester authors during the past two years. Details on the May 13 celebration—which will be open to the public—soon.
I’m so pleased that the American Library Association’s Young Adult Library Services Association has made Diamond Ruby an official nominee for the Alex Award. The Alex is given to books written for adults that have special appeal for teenage readers. I’ve heard from so many young people (some as young as 10!) who have loved Diamond Ruby that I’m especially touched by this recognition.
2010 - December
Here's a simple way to vote for Diamond Ruby in the Goodreads Choice Awards. Please pass it on! And thanks.
I'm thrilled that Diamond Ruby has been nominated for Best Historical Novel of the year at Goodreads.com! The winner will be chosen by readers. Just mouse over the book jacket and click VOTE. Thanks! (It takes just a minute to register.)
I'm part of a gang—the Marmaduke Writing Factory. I'm pleased to be joining such a diverse group of local writers as Ben Cheever (Strides), Marilyn Johnson (This Book is Overdue), and Kate Buford (Native American Son). We've got big plans for the group, including readings, classes, and other writerly pursuits—check here for frequent updates.
Looking forward to chatting with host R. Jeffreys on Blogtalk radio’s “The Write Step.” I’ll be on at around 9:00 pm this Friday, November 5. More details here.
Fall is book-club season, at least for Diamond Ruby. I’ve been visiting with groups in the New York area and Skyping or calling into ones that are further away—and it’s always a treat for me. Book-club members have terrific questions, always including some I haven’t heard before, and they seem to enjoy the give and take as much as I do. I’d love to visit your group, too!
Show and Tell: At a terrific event at the Steel City Coffee House in Phoenixville, PA (hosted by Jason Hafer of Wolfgang Books), I reveal the photo of Jackie Mitchell, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig that inspired me to write Diamond Ruby. One member of the audience insisted that the Babe and Lou must have struck out on purpose against Jackie. (We agreed to disagree.)
This has been "book-club week" for Diamond Ruby and me. I've been visiting with all kinds of groups, and have loved being asked such insightful, thoughtful questions. But my favorite event so far has been a visit to a local senior center, where I spent as much time listening to the club's vivid recollections—some dating back almost to Ruby's era—as I did talking about my book!
If you're interested in having me visit your book club—in person, by telephone, or via Skype—please contact me. Hope to meet you soon!
Just finished shooting Diamond Ruby: The Road to Paradise, our new Diamond Ruby short films—the ones that will show everyone what happens to Ruby and the girls after Diamond Ruby ends and before the sequel begins. Watch for Part One in November!
Exciting news! A Hollywood screenwriter with a couple of cool-sounding projects
in development and production has optioned Diamond Ruby! She'll be
working on a script and then we'll see if someone wants to make a movie out
of this big, suspenseful, very cinematic book. (Are you listening, Tinseltown?)
Also, Diamond Ruby got a wonderful review by Jen Forbus in Jen’s Book Thoughts, a blog that usually focuses on crime fiction. Thank you, Jen, for reminding readers that I wrote a suspenseful page-turner!
The novelist Randy Susan Meyers (The Murderer's Daughters) reviews Diamond Ruby in the Huffington Post! She says, "The only thing I didn't love about this book was finishing it."
I had a wonderful time visiting two terrific independent bookstores in Pennsylvania this weekend: the Trappe Book Center in Collegeville and Aaron’s Books in Lititz. In each place I got to meet people who had already read Diamond Ruby—and who had great questions—as well as those intrigued enough to pick up the book and give it a try. Thanks again to owners P.K. and Todd and for inviting me!
I then came home to find this remarkable review placing Ruby beside a new kind of ballpark frank. Take a look!
And then today I was pleased to see my guest post, “Taking the Leap,” appear on the writer Randy Susan Meyer’s terrific blog, Word Love. “Taking the Leap” deals with a subject that’s very important to me: Trusting your instincts and going where your heart leads you.
Check out Bookingmama’s terrific blog, comment on my guest entry on Diamond Ruby, and become eligible to win a copy of the book, a Ruby baseball cap, and a baseball card! All you have to do is say hi—but you increase your chances to win if you ask me a question. I’ll be sure to answer…or try to. Here’s the link: http://twurl.nl/mlywjq
Big news! Diamond Ruby gets reviewed in the Washington Post. Written by the fine novelist Howard Frank Mosher, the long, thoughtful review calls the novel “lively and entertaining” and is filled with praise and vivid description…and a little bit of criticism as well. I’m thrilled, though, to see the book treated with such respect. Here’s a link to the full review: http://twurl.nl/oum1ro
Update (June 6): The Miami Herald ran Mosher’s review, in full, in their Sunday arts section!
I loved my first visit to BookExpo America, the gigantic trade show in New York City that brings together publishers, booksellers, librarians, bloggers and, yes, even writers to swap stories, trade books, and figure out how to save publishing. I got to sign copies of Diamond Ruby at the Mystery Writers of America booth and meet many publishing pals I’d only known from Twitter and Facebook. Great fun, and very encouraging.
It’s been a busy week, but a fun one since I got to meet some longtime Twitter pals. First I visited RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH, where I had a great time with Michele Filgate, Miss Liberty, Veronica Brooks Sigler, and the greatest Dude Off The Street any author could ever hope for. The next night I was thrilled to get to know Suzanna Hermans of Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY. Long live independent bookstores!
I had an amazing time in Charleston, talking with Bobby Hartin on ESPN Radio’s Fan Talk, meeting Mayor Joe Riley at a reception for Diamond Ruby, talking creative writing with the students at Ashley Hall School, watching my book trailer on the scoreboard screen at the RiverDogs game, and signing at Blue Bicycle Books. Thanks for the warm welcome, Charleston!
With Hank Aaron!
Thanks to everyone who came out to my event at Greenlight Bookstore. It was great to see you all in that incredibly beautiful (and tempting) new shop in such a vibrant neighborhood. Thanks also to Ed Champion for giving me the chance to survive the Bat Segundo Experience.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, NY, for my book launch. By the end my hand was tired and my voice was gone, but I was thrilled to have seen so many friends, both old and new. The support, both for my book and for this wonderful independent bookstore, was overwhelming.
It’s pub date! I always wondered what I’d do on the day that my novel finally came out. Turns out I’ll be taking Amtrak to Arlington, Virginia, to tape an interview with Bethanne Patrick (the Book Maven) for “The WETA Book Studio.” Then I’ll race back north for the launch party of Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel, The Singer’s Gun, at WORD, a great Brooklyn bookshop. I love getting to see my friends from Twitter and Facebook in real life.
Diamond Ruby takes the big trip from Brooklyn to Manhattan! I’ll be signing in two places on May 26: at the Borders store on Park Ave. (57th St.) and at BookExpo America in the Javits Center—visit me at the Mystery Writers of America booth. When I find out the details, I’ll pass them on.
I’m so excited that the Diamond Ruby book trailer will soon be ready that I decided to post a teaser for it. Take a look here and let me know what you think! I hope you like it.
The magic of social media: I was on Twitter talking about my scheduled booksignings and a friend said, “You should do an event in Cleveland.” As it turns out, I already knew I would have to be there for one day this summer. Ten minutes later, I had a signing set up for July 24 at Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights. Thanks, Twitter (and @triciamunson and Loganberry)!
I grew up in Brooklyn, where most of Diamond Ruby takes place. So it only makes sense that I go home again to celebrate the book’s publication. Join me on May 10 at 7:30 at the terrific new Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene. I’ll be reading from the novel, answering questions, and signing copies. (Check the list of events below for details.) Hope to see you there!
Diamond Ruby got a starred review from Library Journal! “Ruby is a keeper—a believable heroine living in a fully re-created New York world of baseball and Prohibition,” the magazine said. “There are echoes of Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but this story holds its own, allowing Diamond Ruby her place as a literary gem.” Here’s the whole review (scroll down).
The raves from independent bookstores keep coming in. I’m thrilled and honored. Here’s one from Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn: “Joseph Wallace brings Brooklyn in the 1920s to life with the richly textured Diamond Ruby. Centered around America’s Pastime and legendary heroes, Wallace’s exciting epic will appeal to everyone. Fully developed characters and finely detailed settings keep the pages turning as readers follow the iron-willed and iron-armed Ruby Thomas, overcoming everything life pitches her way.”
It happened! Diamond Ruby has been chosen for the May IndieNext List. This is great news, because independent bookstores use the list to help decide what they order from publishers...and what books they read and recommend to customers. Thanks, booksellers, for nominating Diamond Ruby! Thanks, Indiebound, for making it an IndieNext pick!
Diamond Ruby got its first review, and it was a good one. Publishers Weekly said, “Sharply sketched, convincing historical characters like [Babe] Ruth and [Jack] Dempsey add to the considerable appeal of Wallace's gritty but fun period baseball tale.” (scroll down for review)
I’m thrilled to report that at least eight independent bookstores have nominated Diamond Ruby to be an IndieNext pick for May. The IndieNext List is chosen based on bookseller recommendations by IndieBound, which “brings together booksellers, readers, indie retailers, local business alliances, and anyone else with a passionate belief that healthy local economies help communities thrive.”
Making the IndieNext List is a big deal for any book, and especially a first novel. Wish me—and Ruby—luck!