Friday, August 30, 2013

We're Back!

As some of you may already know, we are John and Cathie Celestri blending our writing talents into the voice that is Cathie John. We've been together as husband and wife since late 1979; and have been writing together on and off since 1996. We authored and self published five crime fiction novels back in 1997 through 2003.

A lot has changed in publishing since we were last active in the crime fiction community. We are starting to catch up on the new realities of the literary marketplace. When we self published back in the mid-1990s and early 2000s, the process was looked upon as "vanity press", writers not good enough for the major publishers and book chains…except we actually were a small independent publisher. We handled our own writing, editing, layout, cover art, etc, and used a service to print our books in trade paperback and hardcover. We were distributed through both Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and were stocked in brick and mortar stores such as Barnes & Noble, many independent mystery bookstores, and on Amazon.  Our novels got great reviews in The Chicago Tribune, Cincinnati Enquirer, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal, and all the mystery review publications. Our crime fiction novel "Little Mexico" was a finalist for the Barry Award in 2001 as Best Paperback Original.

Circumstances forced us to stop in late 2003, but we are now ready to relaunch our writing careers, publish our efforts as ebooks, write our crime fiction stories, and re-issue our five novel back list over the next year or so.

Our first re-issue will be "Little Mexico." When it was first published, the thought of being accepted as real writers was a dream --- now self published authors are on The New York Times and USA Best Seller lists. It seems the playing field has been changed by ePublishing.

"Little Mexico" should be available on Amazon in four weeks.

Instead of us blowing our own horn about this novel, here is what was said when it was originally published:

"This series explores Newport's reign as 'Sin City, U.S.A.' ... historical grounding is excellent and provides a fascinating look at how a little city found notoriety as a haven for gambling, prostitution and other crime." 
—Bob Hahn, Cincinnati Post

"Strong on conflict. It's no insult to describe Little Mexico as Dynasty meets the Phenix City Story. There are beautiful, sexy, willful women, strapping, determined young men, sleazy henchmen, calculating villains, and an indomitable matron who will go to any lengths to protect her family and their casino. Throw in ambushes, call girls, corruption, assault, murder, tarot cards and a variation of the cement overcoat called a Newport Nightgown and you have a funky, lowlife pleasure. Cathie John does a good job with a variety of characters, the action is swift and uninterrupted and the final scene puts one character in an entirely shocking new light that will bring readers back for subsequent volumes." 
—Drood Review


We will use this forum to share our knowledge about what makes for entertaining storytelling. We'll talk about how you get started putting together the elements of a story. For example, which comes first? The chicken or the egg? Do you start with plot or character? How does the setting play an integral part in the dynamics of the story? When do you show? When do you tell?

These are just a few of the topics we will explore. Hope you come back.

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