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Life Between My Pages presents Joanna Campbell Slan
June 01, 2010

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We are pleased to bring you BCQ's own series, Life Between My Pages!

This series will feature a selected author each month who will share with you their personal story about how they got to where they are today.

Prepare to be completely WOWED by these writers! You've read their books, fallen in love with their style, now learn about their journey.

Each month, when the newsletter shows up in your inbox, look for the featured author's name in the subject line. Some authors you will immediately recognize, some you will not. We can assure you that every single author invited to participate will tell a story you won't want to miss!

June 2010:

Joanna Campbell Slan

Teaching Pigs to Sing

By Joanna Campbell Slan

Iíve always been contrary. When you tell me something canít be done, thatís the best incentive ever for me to bust my bottom and prove you wrong. So when the ďbook doctorĒ told me that no one would ever want to read a book about a mom, I got angry. When the young boy-wonder book agent from New York City told me that he couldnít imagine anything more boring than a scrapbooker, especially a scrapbooker living in the Midwest, I was even more determined than ever.

Needless to say, they were both wrong.

No, I havenít called them to rub it in. I figure that if they didnít notice Paper, Scissors, Death was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, itís not my job to educate them.

It really tickles me when my readers say, ďI love Kiki. Sheís just like me.Ē Iíve heard that from women of all ethnicities, all ages, and all sizes. Thatís perfectly cool by me, because I wanted Kiki to be a sort of ďevery woman.Ē I wanted her to have the sort of friends that bless my life.

But I also gave Kiki a lot of problems. One reader wrote to ask, ďIn future books, could you make it so that less happens?Ē

Uh, no. Sorry!

I like it when people write me to say, ďDang you, Joanna Slan, I didnít get dinner on the table because I couldnít put your book down.Ē One reader had her daughter tell her when the traffic lights changed so she could read Cut, Crop & Die on the way to dropping her kids off to school. I love it when people email me and offer to bribe me to tell them whatís going to happen with Kikiís love life. I did, however, capitulate when one woman wrote me and begged that I never, ever let anything happen to Kikiís beloved rescue dog, Gracie. Well, shoot. I could never hurt an animal in real life. How could I hurt one on paper? That was an easy promise to make. Gracie is going to be the longest living Great Dane ever, at this rate. Thatís okay. I love Gracie.

You see, I populate my books with everything I like in life. Good people. Good friends. Sexy men. Fun activities. Animals. Crafts. And food. Lots of food. Thatís why I put recipes on the resource section of my website. Since I canít have another dog (we have two and we are renting), I created Gracie and all the other dogs that Kiki pet sits. In fact, I even added a pet donkey to Make, Take, Murder, the 4th book in the series. That book will probably come out May 2011.

Readers ask me how I come up with this stuff. All right, I confess. Most of it has happened to me. Yes, I was once covered in mud and left to my own devices while wrapped in plastic wrap at a spa. A guy was walking around outside with a lawn mower. Bits of grass blew in through the open window. Iím terribly allergic, so my nose started to run. My eyes itched. Pretty soon, I started sneezing. Then I started to slide off the table toward the open window. There I was, headed for the great outdoors, and wearing nothing but a thin layer of gook and Saran Wrap. I yelled for the attendant, but nobody came. The more I struggled, the more I slipped and slid. Finally, I managed a mighty heave-ho and landed on my feet. I bunny-hopped into the next room where a group of women were sitting under hair dryers.

Boy, were they surprised to see me.
Iíd do it all again in the name of research.
Iím like that. Contrary and just a little bit weird.
I think Kiki would be proud.

Joanna Campbell Slan is the author of eleven non-fiction books as well as a mystery series featuring Kiki Lowenstein. The first book in the seriesóPaper, Scissors, Deathówas nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Mystery. Joanna blogs every Monday at KillerHobbies.

You can find recipes, trivia questions, and book club questions on her website at

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