Diana Renn

Mysteries that Matter


My apologies for the blogging lapse; it’s been a busy three weeks since the book launch! I’m celebrating Independence Day this afternoon with a rare moment of Independence . . . the family occupied, a moment at my  desk to myself!

Thought I’d catch up  . . . Here are some of the things I’ve been up to since June 16!

Tatnuck Booksellers, formerly a grocery store!
  • I led a fun writer’s workshop at Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough, MA, with fellow Apocalypsies Gina Damico (CROAK), Hilary Weisman Graham (REUNITED), and A.C. Gaughen (SCARLET). We had a nice turnout, despite the sunny afternoon following monsoons, and local access TV even showed up to film our panel discussion. We had great audience questions. And what a gorgeous store! It used to be a grocery store, and it’s been tastefully redesigned as a spacious indie bookstore/gift shop/cafe. So nice to see a “regular” store transform into a bookstore, rather than the other way around! 
  • I transitioned my son from Pre-K graduation into summer “camp,” swim lessons, etc, etc. (Ah, the glamorous life!)
  • I dug myself out of the warehouse that my house seems to have turned into — boxes of books, launch party supplies, and swag had taken over. Purged stacks of papers in my office so that I can actually use my desk again for its intended purpose.
  • Worked on some new directions and material for the group mystery blog, Sleuths Spies & Alibis — we have some fun changes coming up!
  • Did some advance marketing efforts for upcoming Seattle events.
  • Prepared for a getaway to Cape Cod, which will also involve a book signing event (with friend and fellow YA mystery author Elisa Ludwig at Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookshop in Chatham, MA, this Saturday July 7, 2-4 — come say hi if you’re on the Cape this weekend!) I must say, I’m so thrilled to be returning to Chatham under totally different circumstances . . . last year at this time I was also in Chatham, hunkered down in a rental cottage, madly revising TOKYO HEIST while my family frolicked on the beach! 
  • Visited some blogs of fellow authors, including Katherine Longshore and Linda Gerber
  • Recorded an interview for the Virtual Memories Show, a podcast run by my old college pal Gil Roth. I got to talk about how my experience with comics and manga influenced TOKYO HEIST. I’m not big on audio recordings and thought it would be nerve-wracking, but Gil’s a great host and put me at ease, and his questions were thought-provoking and fun to answer. I’m paired with an interview he did with a more seasoned writer, sci-fi/steampunk writer and critic Paul DiFilippo, and I sure learned a lot about writing career longevity after listening to that. Gil’s monthly Virtual Memories podcast is smart and entertaining; I recommend!

And here’s what TOKYO HEIST has been up to — it’s been a busy time for the novel too!

Whew! Thanks for reading my lengthy catch-up, and I’ll be blogging more regularly after this weekend!

Have a great — and safe — July 4th, everyone!

Two winners have been selected for last week’s Gallery Giveaway!

Que M. won the signed copy of TOKYO HEIST and swag.
Molly N. won the signed print from Rich Lee, and TOKYO HEIST swag.

Congratulations! You’ll be hearing from me soon. And thank you to all who participated in last week’s giveaway and dropped by to meet the talented Rich Lee!

I’ll be introducing you to a third artist tomorrow and running a third giveaway.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of other TOKYO HEIST giveaways still going on elsewhere: YA Books Central and Hobbitsies: A Book Blog.

Incredibly, there are just ten more days until the book is officially out in the world! Some lovely reviews of TOKYO HEIST have come out recently:
Hobbitsies: A Book Blog
The Reading Date
Manga Maniac Cafe
and . . .
a review from Susan Carpenter in The L.A. Times! Whoa!

This was also a huge thrill . . . a big box of Tokyo Heists arrived the other day! The book is no longer a computer file, or a paperback ARC, but a finished, corrected, hardcover book! There’s been a lot of screaming and dancing in my house lately.

Well, mostly. That’s my little boy with his legs in the air. He’s either flipped from happiness or completely underwhelmed and just focused on his headstand technique. I suspect the latter.

The cat, at least, seems pleased.

Have a great Monday everyone! Back tomorrow with Week 3 of the Gallery!

Two more blurbs arrived yesterday for Tokyo Heist! And they crackle like New Year’s fireworks. I’m so happy to have these endorsements from two rock star YA mystery authors: Peter Abrahams and Alane Ferguson.
Shorter versions of their comments will appear on the final book jacket, but here are their quotes in full:

Tokyo Heist is a fast-paced, exotic reading adventure, a story where The da Vinci Code meets the wildly popular manga genre!  Author Diana Renn infuses protagonist Violet with plenty of chikara (power) and Renn’s fresh, spot-on author’s voice is irresistible.  I couldn’t put it down!” 

–Alane Ferguson, author of The Christopher Killer and winner of the Edgar Alan Poe Mystery Writer of America award

“A terrific heroine, exciting and unexpected plot twists, and fascinating and beautifully-wrought real-life settings: young adult mysteries do not get better than this.”

–Peter Abrahams, New York Times bestselling author of Reality Check and Down the Rabbit Hole; winner of the Edgar Alan Poe Mystery Writer of America award

As a new author, I can’t stress enough how grateful I am to established authors who take the time to read and review a galley copy of a novel, and who lend their words and their name to the book package. Four authors now have taken time from their schedules to do this (you can find the other two blurbs on my Books page). I don’t know any of them personally. 

Do you remember the trio of little green aliens in the Toy Story movies? Who gaze wide-eyed at the toys who saved them and repeat, endlessly, “You have saved our lives, we are eternally grateful”? I feel like that pretty much all the time these days. Wide-eyed with awe and endlessly squeaking thanks to the many people who have been so generous with their time or expertise and helped me along this journey.