Our Publication Day – Michael Stanley

Today it is my pleasure to bring to you a new series of post where my guest will discuss what publication day means to them. My guests today are Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, who between them write the wonderful Detective Kubu series which is published by Orenda. The blog tour for Dying to Live starts tomorrow and will run through July.



How will you spend the day?


Michael: Usually there’s a launch for the new book, and that is a really enjoyable occasion since ones friends come to support one. Afterwards champagne is essential!

Stanley: It varies. The best is to have a launch party to celebrate with friends, fans, and hopefully new readers. Then to go to dinner with Michael and close friends. If there’s no launch, I like to raise a glass of bubbly to the end of a long, arduous, enjoyable project.


Will you be following reviews from early readers or do prefer not to know? (Excluding blog tours)


Michael: I admit I read them all. I like to see what people think, how they compare the new book with previous ones in the series and with others that are close in the genre. Mostly the reviews are pretty good, but the critical ones often have useful lessons for us.

Stanley: For a few weeks after a launch, I do read reviews, hopefully in the main-street press, but also online at various destinations. Of course, it is satisfying to read good reviews, but the ones I like the most, whether positive or negative, are those where the reviewer has understood how the book fits into the context of (in our case) Botswana. That is because we try to make our stories relevant, even if they are hopefully entertaining stories.

After that, I take an occasional look at online sites.


Is it emotional, getting the novel you have worked on for months into the public eye?


Michael: It is! And there is the sinking feeling when you wonder if it couldn’t have been better or different or something. But it’s out there, and that’s that. No going back.

Stanley: Yes! I always feel very vulnerable. After all, you have put out for all to judge something that has been more than a year in the making. There’s no one else to blame (except for Michael!!), so you have to take the responsibility for the quality.


If you have had books published before, does the feeling change?


Michael: Yes, I think so. One is less nervous, more realistic. But the feeling we have about our collaborative achievement stays the same.

Stanley: I don’t think you can ever repeat the feelings you have when your first book is released. Excitement, pride, nervousness, vulnerability, happiness, joy – all in the extreme.


I often wonder and imagine that when your novel is published and you have been working on at least one novel since, is the book that is published less important? And is it a distraction, welcome or otherwise, having to focus on what is for you old material?


Michael: One does move on, but it’s appealing to go back to the previous book and see how it feels in retrospect. I’m about to start reading A Carrion Death—our first book—for the first time in ten years, and it will be very interesting to see how it strikes me now

Stanley: Writers of series are always writing a new book before the previous one comes out. Obviously, I can’t forget the previous book for several reasons: the new one has to fit into the arc of the series; there are edits and copy edits to deal with; and you are trying to prepare the launch and associated events. However from an intellectual perspective, the new book has precedence.


Do blog tours make you more nervous or do you see them as beneficial?


Michael: Blog tours are excellent. Few reviewers are more serious than the people who love reading crime fiction enough to write up the books they read. Sometimes the blogger is a bit surprised by the book—maybe not what they would have chosen cold off the shelf—but that makes their opinion even more worthwhile.

Stanley: Blog tours are very beneficial, and so they make me nervous. Very nervous. That’s because bloggers are influential and their readers listen to what they have to say.


What is your publication day treat? Champagne, cream cake, 10km run?


Champagne (and sushi, if possible)! (And that goes for both of us!)

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