How does that saying go? A friend will help you move. A real friend will help you move a body! A real friend will also be honest with you, even if it means your feelings might get hurt. Because knowing the truth is better than being unaware. I know I can count on Derek for the truth. Our friends Erin and Rob gently let me know that I had a little brain fart in my book, Make the Media Want You, and my editor didn’t catch it. Perfection isn’t my aim; it’s authenticity. Mistakes happen. But I had to be told and I’m thankful it was them and not someone unkind or critical.
On Tuesday night, we had the good fortune to be invited to join author Carolyn Arnold and her husband George for dinner. It was the night of Carolyn’s latest book release – On The Count of Three. More than a million people have downloaded her mystery novels and many readers place her work alongside the likes of Lee Child and David Baldacci. Carolyn is all about the truth. She refuses offers of fake reviews (MANY authors buy reviews!) and her work soars on its own. (I would never purchase or consider fake reviews, either.)
Carolyn and I first met through speaking coach Sarah Hilton, who used to host a show on Rogers TV titled Book Nook. At that time, both Carolyn and George had full-time jobs and she wrote when she could. When book sales took off, the couple started their own company, Hibbert and Stiles. George is an expert in publishing and design. He not only formatted and guided the creation of Make the Media Want You, he also designed the cover. They also made excellent suggestions, including changing the title from my lame working title.* Again, it comes back to truth.
The new book is #7 in the series featuring FBI agent Brandon Fisher. Carolyn’s thorough research withstands the scrutiny of the most discerning readers. She has studied forensics in Toronto, gone on ride-alongs with police and developed contacts who are in those worlds and advise her when she has questions. This woman is the real deal and we fully expect to see her future releases top the New York Times best-seller lists. As we enjoyed dinner, On The Count of Three hit #1 on Amazon on the hard-boiled mystery new release chart. That’s a huge accomplishment and very exciting to witness.
Carolyn has four series and some stand-alone titles. My favourite is the Matthew Connor adventure series. There’s also Detective Madison Knight and the McKinley Mysteries as well as Brandon Fisher; more than thirty books so far. To me, she’s one of London’s hidden gems but I can promise you that she won’t stay that way much longer. And that’s an easy truth to tell.
*Be Our Guest. Brings to mind a little ditty from Beauty and the Beast, doesn’t it?!