Six Months: Adrift–And I’m Still Floating!

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Adrift ARCs

It’s hard for me to believe Adrift released six months ago. Since January, I’ve experienced things I’d only dreamed about–holding an advanced reader copy of my book, staging a book launch, compulsively checking my rating status, watching it climb into the Amazon Top 100, crying when the little Best Seller banner showed up next to my title.

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Then there were the things I couldn’t even imagine:

45 in Mystery Thriller suspense

I made it higher on the list, but being surrounded by the likes of Stephen King, Steve Berry, and Jeffery Deaver started another whole round of waterworks.

Then, there was the two-week stretch I didn’t sell a single book, and thought That’s it. Done. Or the 2-star review posted to Goodreads where the reader hated everything about my book, and for a day negated every single one of the 121 ratings from readers who loved the same story and gave it 4 or 5 stars.

But that’s the life of an author. We are creatives. Not everyone will be moved by the words we string together. That’s why there’s chocolate.

I’m proud of Adrift. It’s thrilling to have divers tell me my words transported them to the deck of the Spiegel Grove shipwreck. It’s even better when a person who has never strapped on a tank tells me that they felt like they were right next to Mer on the dive. The best is when they ask when Beached is coming out (2018).

I couldn’t have done this alone. While there are too many to thank in a blog post, I must recognize two people for their unswerving belief that I could bring this dream to life. Mandy Mikulencak is a dear friend, critique partner, and an unending source of inspiration. I could go on for days and not come close to giving her all the thanks — and a bit of the blame — she deserves. My husband, David, is a wellspring of strength. His steadfast encouragement has allowed me to steer this course. I couldn’t ask for a more passionate supporter, nor a better partner in crime.

Thank you to all the friends, family, and unknown readers who took the chance on a new author and read Adrift.

I am grateful.

Micki Browning Interviewed by Ally Shields

I take my morning cuppa very seriously. Here is my favorite mug protected by a bronze owl. And yes, those are Harry Potter books in the barrister bookcase….

So, grab a cup of your own favorite libation and join me at Ally Shield’s Coffee Chat.

Who needs a gun when a gal’s got a longbow? Find out what else isn’t in my traditional bio!

Click on Ally Shield’s Coffee Chat interview with Micki Browning!

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ADRIFT is an Amazon Bestseller!

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Pinch me. Go ahead, this is a freebie, because the thing is, I think I must be dreaming.

Yesterday, my publisher ran an Adrift promotion through BookBub. Last night, I became a Best Seller. Today, I’m sitting at #17 in the top 100 Kindle mystery books. That means I’m on the first page of results when readers click on the top 100 list.

Wonder where I am in the Kindle Suspense category? How’s this for some stellar company?

It gets better. I’m ranked #1 in paranormal mysteries.

How long I’ll stay there is anyone’s guess. The rankings change hourly, promotions end, Stephen King releases another book.

But…

In this moment, I’m giddy, and grateful, and a host of other things that I haven’t yet parsed. And I have all of you to thank.

Palm Beach Peril!

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A light moment with the Palm Beach Peril panel

International Thriller Writers and the Palm Beach County Library system teamed up on Saturday, April 15 to present Palm Beach Peril.  Hosted by the incomparable Oline Cogdill, the panel included veteran author Meg Gardiner and debut authors Elena Hartnell, Kent Lester, KJ Howe, Lili Wright, and Mark Spivak.

Meg Gardiner

The questions ranged from specifics about their books to what books the panel considered inspirational. Meg admitted Stephen King was her muse–and that he still scared her. Her newest book, Unsub, launches June 27th.

Mark Spivak

Mark Spivak wrote Friend of the Devil, a culinary thriller about a restauranteur who makes a pact with the horned one. While he didn’t name names, a very prominent club in Palm Beach owned by a US President inspired his setting.

Elena Hartwell

Elena Hartwell had a special day. Her book One Dead, Two to Go qualified her as a debut author, but April 15th also marked the launch of her second book, Two Heads are Deader Than One. Her Eddie Shoes Mystery series may be lighthearted, but she still weaves social issues into her stories. Congrats Elena! You are now officially a veteran author!

Lili Wright

Lili Wright set her thriller in Mexico and her passion for the country, its people, and traditions was obvious to all in the audience. She honed her writing chops as a journalist and earned her MFA at Columbia University.

Debut authors K.J. Howe and Kent Lester

In her review, Oline Cogdill stated “K.J. Howe delivers a confident debut that combines a rip-roaring adventure, the contemporary issue of high-profile kidnapping with a story about a family fragmented by an unresolved crime.” Howe grew up a child of the world, living in several countries–and she brings that insider knowledge to her pages.

Kent Lester’s background also informs his writing. He studied marine biology, and his thriller, The Seventh Sun, deals with illegal deep sea activities. One of his favorite diving destinations is Honduras and the locale features prominently in his novel.

Congratulations to all the debut authors and special thanks to Meg Gardiner and Oline Cogdill. The presentation drew a large crowd, and the speakers were fascinating.

My to be read pile just got taller.

 

2017 Dorothy Cannell Scholarship Recipient- Micki Browning

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I am honored and humbled to announce that I am the 2017 Dorothy Cannell Scholarship recipient.

 

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Dorothy Cannell, Mystery Writer

Here is the press release:

Sisters in Crime (@SinCNational) is pleased to announce the 2017 winner of the Dorothy Cannell “Guppy” Scholarship, Micki Browning.

The FBI National Academy graduate and award-winning author worked in law enforcement for more than two decades and retired as a division commander. Her debut mystery, Adrift, set in the Florida Keys, was published by Alibi-Random House in January 2017. It won both the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence and the Royal Palm Literary Award.

Browning resides in Southern Florida with her partner in crime and a vast array of scuba equipment. She’s currently working on Beached, the second in the Mer Cavallo Mysteries. Learn more at http://www.MickiBrowning.com.

The following information is courtesy of the Sisters In Crime website:

To honor one of the most enduring author/agent partnerships in mystery publishing, Sisters in Crime is administering the Dorothy Cannell ‘Guppy’ Scholarship, offered by an anonymous donor.

The $1,000 scholarship will be offered each year to an aspiring or published mystery author who is a member of the Guppies, and is designed to subsidize attendance at the Malice Domestic conference, held annually in Bethesda, Maryland.

Malice Domestic honors the traditional mystery and awards the prestigious “Agatha,” named for Agatha Christie.

From me:

Writing is only a solitary endeavor if you allow it to be. I’ve been fortunate. I have a network of amazing and supportive people who have demystified the industry and offered congratulations and condolences as appropriate. I joined Sisters In Crime over a decade ago. It was one of the best professional decisions I’ve made in regards to my writing.

For anyone considering exploring their creative side, I highly recommend seeking writing organizations that specialize in your genre. It’s never lonely when you are a member of a group of like-minded individuals who want to see each other succeed! For me that began with Sisters in Crime and expanded to include the Guppy Chapter, and other groups.

Find your group. Write.

Thank you to Sisters in Crime, the donor of the scholarship fund, and to Dorothy Cannell for inspiring such an amazing tribute.

Two Stops on the ADRIFT Blog Tour!

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Adrift launched yesterday and I’m a guest on two amazing blogs today!

Please join me at Dru’s Book Musings to discover a Day in the Keys with Mer Cavallo.

And then hop on over to Writers Who Kill to read a review of Adrift and an author interview where E.B. Davis asks me some great (and tough) questions!

A huge thank you to both hosts for inviting me to participate and sharing the news about Adrift!

Adrift by Micki Browning

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Today’s the day!

Ocean Diver Mick

It’s official! Adrift launched today and I am beyond excited.

I had planned to mark the occasion by diving with friends and family on the Spiegel Grove in Key Largo.  Alas, the wind and weather didn’t cooperate. (Notice the fleece. While the rest of the country may be bundled in Arctic-worthy duds, I assure you a fleece is not typical Keys attire.) Doesn’t matter. Instead of blowing bubbles, we’ve moved the celebration topside.

Today I want to share an edited version of my acknowledgements. There is a misconception that writing is a solitary endeavor. Let me assure you, it is not. I could not have realized this dream without the support, inspiration, and occasional kick in the rear from several people.

The day I graduated from the police academy, I held up my hand and swore an oath to uphold the public trust. I was issued a gun, the keys to a patrol car, and a pen. I should have read the small print. Police work isn’t just about fighting crime; it’s about documenting it. And so began my life as a professional writer. After years of describing the misdeeds of miscreants, I thought writing fiction would be easy. After all, how hard could it be to make stuff up?

Turns out, it’s more difficult than it appears. Although no divers were harmed in the making of this story, I did kill a few bottles of wine with the people who helped me bring Adrift to life.

Like most tales, Adrift began with a kernel of truth. Key Largo, Florida, is a real town. There are divers who search for paranormal activity. The Spiegel Grove is an actual (and fantastic) dive site. On the flip side, Hurricane Moby won’t be found on the list of suitable storm names issued by the National Hurricane Center. The Bilge bar doesn’t exist. And the humor that bleeds through in my dialogue would never have been tolerated in a police report.

Huh. Maybe writing fiction is easier, after all.

Thank you all for sharing this momentous milestone with me.