Monday, September 27, 2010

The Southern California Writers' Conference

It's the start of a new week, and we're looking back on the weekend with the longing one gives to good days gone by. We spent this Saturday at the Southern California Writers' Conference in Newport Beach. The event was hosted by the Newport Hyatt, and they did a most beautiful job. The conference offered a number of interesting and informative topics presented by educated, experience, and all-around admirable authors, editors, and publishers. Our own Mike Sirota and Jeff Sherratt shared a presentation on Saturday morning, as well as offering their expertise in the read and critique options that highlight the event.

The ZOVA team was given a warm welcome by Michael Steven Gregory and Wes Albers, two of the events' most involved organizers, and we made a point to meet as many aspiring authors as we could. From a non-fiction book proposal on moral intelligence to a young adult novel about cheerleading spider monsters (or something like that), the variety of work in that place was endless. It was a testament to the creativity of our community and the power of the written word.

One other newsworthy revelation occurred during our trek through the conference, but that will have to wait till another post. It's not set in stone, yet, and it's too delightful. It shall have its own space. Just a warning to keep your eyes and ears ready for more developments on the ZOVA front. We are on the move!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Detour to Murder

You have to be in a certain kind of mood to sit down and watch a film noir, I think. Film buffs may disagree, but that's kind of how I feel about most art house films, too. You have to be ready for tragedy to strike. For injustice to rule. You have to be ready to walk in a gray area for the full length of a feature film.

Jeff Sherratt's new Jimmy O'Brien book, Detour to Murder, takes all the classy charm, the wry humor, the tossed-by-fate attitude of traditional film noir narratives - and its namesake Detour in particular - and gives them to the reader fresh, new, and thoroughly unpredictable. Will the tragical traditions of film noir reign in this novel as well? Or will we be taken by surprise with a happy ending after all? Will the twists and turns of the story follow the internal turmoil of a hopeless, hapless character, or will the twists and turns be more in line with Jimmy O'Brien's usual historical, social, and political windings? The story could take any number of detours (pun absolutely intended), and we can't wait to hear what you have to say about them.

The clock is quickly ticking down to our October 12th release date. Check out Jeff's BookTour calendar for detailed information about pre-release events and other Jeff Sherratt sightings in the fast-approaching future.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


When it comes to genres, ZOVA Books is all over the place. Mystery, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, you name it. (Okay, so we don't do romance. We have our limits.) This is why we keep our eyes fixed on awards, ceremonies, conferences, panels, festivals, and all the fixings that come with each of the different genres. So when the news popped up today that the Hugo Award winners were announced, we got pretty excited. Looks like there was a tie for first place between two authors with cool-sounding names (they write good books, too). Just makes you want to run out and pick up copies of everything on the list. Oh, Hugo. Thank you for highlighting such wonderful authors. Someday, we'll see one of our own gracing that brief but inspiring catalog of genric genius. Just you wait.