by Janet Bolin
Today, we are pleased to present Becke Davis, moderator of Barnes & Noble's online Mystery Book Club . Becke, when did you first become interested in mysteries?
SinC Blog: What keeps you turning pages in a mystery?
Becke: I want to solve the mysteries and find out all the answers. I’m a big fan of romantic suspense, so I’m always eager to see the hero and heroine get their happy ending, too.
SinC Blog: How do you choose which books to feature in the club?
Becke: When the book clubs first started, B&N picked the features, and author visits were rare. At the end of last year, I asked if I could feature more than the standard two books/authors per month and I was told to "go wild" with it.
I read by author, and I feature authors rather than individual books. I think this is more beneficial to both B&N and the author, and our goal, after all, is to sell books. At B&N's Mystery, I've found that readers develop a strong loyalty for authors they feel they know.
I have developed relationships with the publicists at most of the big publishing companies, as well as publicists who work directly with some authors. They send me advance reader copies of books, and emails when they have an exciting release coming up.
If the release sounds interesting, I'll set up an author visit. If I randomly pick up a book and like it, I'll try to find the author online and set up a visit that way, too. Initially, I was looking for big name authors, but I've found that our participants are just as excited to meet debut authors. The most successful visits are the ones where the author has fun - that communicates itself, and it's contagious. I love it when that happens.
SinC Blog: You also write.
Becke: I'm a freelance garden writer and I blog at B&N's Garden Variety. I started with B&N about nine years ago, writing and teaching courses for the B&N Online University. I'm also a contributing editor at Romance: B(u)y the Book and have written well over 1,000 articles as well as six non-fiction books. I started writing fiction in 2007, and wish I'd started sooner. Those voices in my head just won’t shut up until I tell their stories.
Becke Davis is vice president of the Ohio Valley RWA chapter and a member of Sisters in Crime. Several of Becke’s stories have finaled in RWA contests and she’s had two stories featured online: a Christmas short story and a short-short that NPR called "the literary equivalent of a basket of late night fried mozzarella cheese sticks." Her website is www.beckemartin.com, and her blogs are The Mysterious Garden Muse and The Family Treethyme. She has completed a contemporary romance RUBY STILETTO BLUES and is currently working on a romantic suspense story called NIGHT VISIONS.