Publisher Weekly logoFebruary 21, 2009 seems like a long…long…. time ago! On that day I got a note from my publisher Tracy Ertl from TitleTown Publishing that our distributor, Midpoint, had chosen Run at Destruction to present to Publishers Weekly (PW) for review!  

On Adelle Waldman’s blog, she says, “Publishers Weekly, or PW, is the biggie—it plays Coke to Kirkus’ Pepsi.” I knew PW’s review could have an immense impact for publishers (especially new ones like Tracy) and sales of my book. So, we scurried to get the right information for this March 24th meeting. Afterward, we heard NOTHING. 

Tracy and me at BEA before my book signings

Tracy and me at BEA before my book signings

Next came the month of May and Book Expo America in New York City… Tracy hoped that someone from PW would stop by – but when I headed back to Green Bay on Sunday morning, again NOTHING. But… on the Pennsylvania Turnpike my cell rang. Tracy was beside herself. PW had stopped by right before the end of the show. They wanted her to fly out in June to be interviewed about her publishing company and her new titles. It was an understatement that we were both ecstatic. My shout nearly caused Jim to swerve into a nearby vehicle. 

 June arrived and Tracy flew out for her interview. For a small publishing firm this expense was great, but Tracy is a risk taker! Even though her PW interview went well she still didn’t know what her odds were on getting a review.  But, if it were to come, it would happen before my book’s release date.

August 7th arrived – Run at Destruction’s release date and NOTHING.  At the release party for my book and Mike Dauplaise’s book Torture at the Back Forty, I couldn’t bring myself to mention my disappointment to Tracy. If I was let down, I could only imagine what she was feeling.

Then… on Friday August 14th, up at our place in Door County, I got “the call.” Tracy said to sit down and listen as these words poured out over the phone:

“Runner and longtime Green Bay, Wis. resident Drews revisits the mid-1980s death of her close friend and fellow runner, popular high school teacher Pam Bulik. She chronicles the small community’s response to Pam’s death, suspicions of suicide that rang false, and the subsequent naming of Pam’s husband, Bob Bulik, as the primary suspect. Events, including Bob’s alleged affair, drag readers through the gruesome and tawdry details, some difficult to read (especially in descriptions of the victim). Like Melanie Thernstrom’s The Dead Girl, about the life and tragic death of her best friend, this title also relies on the strong bond between author and victim for emotional weight; passages about their shared moments, and Drews’s feelings of emptiness in the decades since, are remarkable.” *

“Lynda,” Tracy said, her voice full of emotion, “this is your Publishers Weekly review… they used the word ‘remarkable’!”

This whole journey has been remarkable!

*Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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