When I decided to invite a number of well-known bloggers and reviewers to contribute to the Shotsblog celebration of the launch of Books To Die For which is edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke I was unsure of the response that I was going to receive. To my delight, everyone that I approached was enthusiastic about my suggestion and wanted to be a part of it. Deciding whom to invite was a hard enough job in itself. The final decision on the guest bloggers and reviewers was mine alone. My reasons for deciding to do this was because it would be a great chance to find out from all these people who spend pretty much all their spare time discussing and writing about the genre what would be their one book that they would put forward.
My guiding thoughts on deciding whom to invite were varied but I knew that it had to be a mixture. It had to be international if I wanted it to show case the best bloggers and reviewers of the community. I could not and did not want it to consist solely of UK bloggers and reviewers. They also had to be people who had not only been blogging for a long time but were also well known in the crime and mystery fiction community. People whose comments and thoughts on the genre are taken seriously and are highly regarded. Whilst I am aware that there are many crime writers that are also prolific bloggers, I wanted to avoid having crime writers as they had already done their bit in Books To Die For. I did however have two people who are an exception to the no crime writer rule and that is because the persons concerned are known also as reviewers/bloggers. I am not going to tell you whom they are as I am sure that you will be able to work it out yourselves.
All the invited guest bloggers/reviewers are household names to the community and if you do not recognise them then this is your opportunity to do so! A number of them have not only been nominated but have also won a number of crime fiction awards. Furthermore, some of them also write and maintain well-known blogs and (in some cases) publish magazines on the genre as well. Some of them have even (and still do) organise crime fiction conventions and festivals.
I do not know what books they have chosen and like you all I wanted to be surprised. Would it be a classic book or something more contemporary? Which sub-genre would it fall under? I do not know. There is only one person on the list that I had inkling of what book that they might choose and I am pleased to say that my assumption was correct.
It was not easy trying to decide whom to invite but I am sure that once you start reading the blog posts that I hope that you will realise why they were chosen. They are all knowledgeable about the genre and the posts will be put up on the blog every day from 20th August until they have all been posted.
A lot of bloggers and reviewers hold down full time busy day jobs as well and therefore I would like to put it on record and state now that I am extremely grateful to all of them for agreeing to do this, as I am fully aware of the busy lives that they lead. It shows how much camaraderie there is within the community and I hope that everyone that reads the blog posts gets as much enjoyment out of it as I did putting it together.
My thanks go to both John and Declan for putting together Books To Die For. It is one of those books that needs to be on the book shelf of any self-respecting reader of crime and mystery fiction. The amount of knowledge in the book alone is outstanding.
Comments about the choices will be most welcome!