March 08, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (One Shot): "The Art of Escaping" by Erin Callahan (Plus the Story of How I Was Involved in It)

Lookie! Roberta is doing a WoW post (*ooooohhhhh*).
Haha, really, don't get used to it - this is a special occasion, and since today is Wednesday, and I wanted this book to get special attention, I told myself - why not?
So, my dearest darlings...
...remember the post in which I explained why I try not to cross the boundary between fan and friend when talking to authors? because I need to be able to promote their work without sounding biased?
That is still relevant to this day. I'm still trying. And I've been blessed with meeting a few intelligent writers who can take criticism if needed, so I'm not afraid to speak my little mind if they ask my opinion on their books (as in, beta-reading) or even if they don't (as in, reviewing).

That being said, I'll admit that this lady called Erin Callahan is the closest thing I have to a friend in the author department. I (virtually) met her in 2013, when she asked me if I was interested in reviewing the first two books in the Mad World series, that she had (and still has) in progress along with her writing partner Troy H. Gardner. Erin had actually taken the time to peruse my blog and to pay attention to my reading preferences, which is SO rare. So, I reviewed her and Troy's first two collaborative novels (and later the third). I thought they showed promise, though I had some reservations about said books that both Erin and Troy received very graciously. The two of them were still rather new at the writing game, so they were eager to learn from any criticism their readers might throw at them. I don't know if they learned anything from me (I don't know if anyone can learn anything from me, period), but what I mean is, it was a pleasure to work with them.
I have stayed in contact with both Erin and Troy - if sporadically - since...especially with Erin, because she was (I think) in charge of what you would call the book marketing. Like I said, I reviewed the third installment of their series. I interviewed them. I befriended them on Twitter.

Fast forward to 2015. Erin emailed me one day about her first solo project, asking for my input as a beta-reader. I had never beta-read before, nor would I have ever dreamed to be asked - you have to be really close to an author to qualify, I guessed, but first off, English isn't even my first language. However, Erin seemed positive that I was the woman for the job. So I said yes, and she sent me this draft tentatively called Escapology. She also asked if I could provide a blurb for her queries, and get a few bloggers interested in her book. That was SO empowering. I felt useful. I felt like I mattered. I managed not to grow a disproportionate ego because of that either way 😂. I made a few suggestions (along with a handful of other beta-readers of course). And I've been rooting for that book ever since.
Fast forward to now. Three weeks ago, Erin messaged me about Escapology (now retitled The Art of Escaping) finally getting a home. It was still inside news, since the deal had not been publicly announced yet - which happened two days ago. Now she can shout from rooftops about it. And I finally can too.

Like I said, Erin Callahan is the closest thing I have to a friend in the author department. Because she had enough faith in me to trust her still unpublished book in my hands (later, Troy would follow course. But she was my first, and I can get a little sentimental sometimes 😉). Because she is genuinely interested in what I have to say from my little corner of the web (she even comments on here from time to time). This goes to her credit more than to mine, I guess 😉. Anyway, what I mean is - she's a great person and an enthusiastic, sensitive storyteller who deserves the breakthrough she got. So, here goes...

Title: The Art of Escaping | Author: Erin Callahan | Publisher: Amberjack | Out: June 2018
Book deal blurb: which a Houdini-esque teen girl leads a double life as an escape artist until a popular varsity athlete with secrets of his own stumbles upon her new world of lock-picking, straitjackets, and aquarium escapes...

Seriously, my darlings (*channelling Freddie Mercury*). Isn't it exciting? 😃

Moreover - who wouldn't want to read a book by someone who sports such a creative, promising, funny & sweet, even heartwarming Twitter bio? 😂

So...I suggest you start waiting on The Art of Escaping right was very good stuff when I beta-read it, and I'm darn sure it's become great after all the rounds of revision it got. In the meantime, I also suggest that you visit Erin's blog (she seldom posts, but her articles are always interesting - AND SHE REPLIES TO COMMENTS) or say hi to her on Twitter!
...And no, I didn't get paid zilch for this post...yet...😂


  1. *dries tears of joy* I can't even tell you how glad I am I decided to email you back in 2013 (was it really that long ago?!?!?). Your support for my writing has gone above and beyond and I'm so glad I can share this little victory with you. Because, lord knows, book deals don't happen in a vacuum. It takes a village and you are an integral part of that little village.

    "I don't know if they learned anything from me (I don't know if anyone can learn anything from me, period)" O_O Are you serious, lady? I remember when I first read your review for Wakefield I thought, "Wow, she really gets it. And she also gets how it can be better." You can't ask for better critique than that. Truly, you write the kind of reviews that help writers improve their craft.

    So thanks for being in my corner -- and for the free promotional post. :) When ARCs for The Art of Escaping are ready to go, I will most definitely be mailing one across the Atlantic to you.

    And, as always, love those gifs!

    1. Now I'll have to dry my own tears of joy :). If the only thing I managed with this little blog was/is helping a few authors even if a little bit, I'll call it a success :D. *dries more tears of joy*

  2. Sounds interesting! My wow

    1. It definitely is, even if you don't usually do contemporary ;).

  3. Definitely sounds like my kind of read :-)

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. Maybe I managed to recommend you a book for once ;D.

  4. Okay, well you have convinced me that I need to add this book to my TBR and keep my eyes peeled. I love that Callahan forged a relationship with you and that you were able to be a part of her book!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. I'm always afraid that people will think "OK, she's trying to sell me X's book because she's friends/mildly amicable/acquainted with the author" when I try to push a certain novel toward potential readers. I hope my attempts don't backfire :). My aim has always been to put a spotlight on books that deserve more recognition, and I still live by that rule! ;)


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