READ

Access an excerpt from EAGLE & CRANE

Hello! Just a quick note to say Putnam formatted a nice little excerpt from my forthcoming book, EAGLE & CRANE, and I'm linking to it HERE, if anyone would like to check it out. There's also still a giveaway going on thru this Thursday on Goodreads (link to that HERE).

I'm jazzed for this summer! Can't wait for those warmer temps, and to share this new novel with all of you. 

The Inspiration Behind EAGLE & CRANE

 Above: My grandfather, Norbert, who worked as a flight instructor teaching World War II pilots how to fly.

Above: My grandfather, Norbert, who worked as a flight instructor teaching World War II pilots how to fly.

 
      New novel out July 3rd 2018.

     New novel out July 3rd 2018.

 

Dear Reader,

I’m full of hope and excitement to share my new novel, Eagle and Crane, with you. This novel holds a special place in my heart, because of all the novels I’ve written so far, this book is the most deeply rooted in elements borrowed from my family’s history.

Eagle and Crane tells the story of group of aviators who travel throughout Depression-era California putting on an illegal “barnstorming” act – a.k.a., a flying circus, wherein the two title characters perform daredevil stunts, such as wing walking. From the time I was a child, my grandfather (who’d served as a flight instructor for World War II pilots) told me exciting stories about wing walkers. Aviation was actually a theme in our family. My father was an U.S. Air Force captain and flew F-111s. My mother – my grandfather’s daughter, and a very petite 90-lb woman – figured, hey, if the men in her life could do this, she could do it, too, and promptly earned her wings. I grew up going to an awful lot of airshows (and yet, in an ironic twist, I myself have a fear of flying!).

But Eagle and Crane is more than just the story of a flying circus. The characters’ call signs – the all-American “Eagle” and the Japanese “Crane” – begin as a racist joke that they then use to create something more positive (their act). The book’s plot eventually intersects with the very real events of Pearl Harbor and Executive Order 9066. The internment of Japanese-Americans divides the characters, both physically and politically.

Two other personal anecdotes moved me to write this story as well.

My great-grandmother owned a ranch and orchard in the region where the majority of this book is set, a place in the foothills that lie northeast of Sacramento, where there was once a large and thriving Japanese community. My great-grandmother’s Japanese-born foreman and his (American-born) family lived on the property, overseeing the orchard, and she recalled the day they were forced to pack up and leave. Having cleaned out the cottage in their absence with a heavy heart, my great-grandmother said the rush they had been in was obvious. She realized she was seeing a glimpse into what would become a very dark and sad chapter of American history.

A second story that left a deep impression upon me was that of my mother's close friend, a woman named Barbara Matsui. I spent time with Barbara when I was a kid; she was one of my favorite "grown-ups" to be around. Barbara was a strong, capable individual, but she also happened to be legally blind. When I asked my mother “why” (as children are wont to ask), my mother told me: Barbara had been born in a Japanese internment camp. Health conditions were not good, and while pregnant, her mother had contracted German measles, which had left the developing baby (Barbara) legally blind. I was shocked; this story was one I never forgot. I remember feeling anger and outrage (I never once saw Barbara express such negative feelings, by the way; she rose above it somehow) that she should be affected by a lifelong health condition... one that could have been avoided, had our government not given into fear and passed policies that were built on racism and paranoia.  

In our present day and age, it seems especially important that we actively remember this part of American history. It is my hope that Eagle and Crane not only spins an entertaining yarn about a flying circus, but also humbly touches upon the very fraught and tragic reality of Executive Order 9066 and all its consequences.

My sincerest thanks for reading,

Suzanne Rindell

 

Let’s Talk About Blurbs…

I’ve been busy! Between defending my dissertation (yay! Finally!), wrapping up EAGLE & CRANE edits, copyedits, etc, and prepping things for the book’s publication later this year – not to mention sneaking in time to start writing something new (we writers always have to be working on something new or we kinda can’t function), the days have been… full.

But having just given my author site a nice new makeover to accommodate EAGLE & CRANE (check out my new author site here), I wanted to take a beat and talk about the subject of blurbs.

Blurbs!

In case this sounds like some kind of coded curse word to you, no – in fact blurbs are those nice little 2-3 line summaries that OTHER authors write to endorse your novel and help it find its way into the big, bad book-world. Blurbs are printed on the book jacket and help folks milling around the bookstore figure out if your novel is something they’d like to read.

How do authors get blurbs for their books? Well, basically: They ASK FOR THEM. Sometimes their editors ask for them. Sometimes their agents ask for them. And sometimes authors just suck it up and ask for blurbs themselves.

Can I just say? – awwwwwkwaaaaard! You’ve basically set yourself the task of making a list of authors whose work you ADMIRE, only to then approach them (email, Facebook, perhaps via a friend-of-a-friend) while shaking the literary world equivalent of a tin cup and trying not to look too pathetic or demanding throughout the entire process. And it’s kind of a big ask, to boot. You’re asking that author to take time away from his/her life and his/her own work to stop and read your book and then say something nice about it. You’re basically interrupting someone’s work day and demanding they do a “book report,” hah!

Needless to say, it can be quite daunting when you’re a shy person (I am, and I think a good many authors are far more timid about this than you might imagine). The hard truth is, there's an unavoidable element of self-promotion to this lil ol' "novelist" job, and it can really push you outside of your comfort zone.

So, on that note, I just wanted to take a minute and mention how GRATEFUL I am for the blurbs we were able to get for EAGLE & CRANE. Except for the thought that not everyone loves alliteration as much as I do, I almost titled this entry "Blurb Beatitude" because these folks (let me not forget, too, others who helped in the past!) have made me feel blessed. Between me, my editor, and my agent, we were able to get five extremely generous blurbs – and so quickly! Having been on the other side of this equation myself once or twice (as in, having blurbed other authors’ books) I know what a kindness this was. And I am super appreciative. As I made my website over to include all my EAGLE & CRANE stuff, I realized again just how lucky I am, and I wanted to share that sentiment!

Here are the blurbs, below, in case you’re interested. My sincerest thanks to Lyndsay Faye, Caroline Leavitt, Fiona Davis, Dominic Smith, and Adriana Trigiani!

loveyouwriter.jpg

PRAISE FOR EAGLE & CRANE:

“Suzanne Rindell takes to the heavens in this glorious story of two daring aviators during the Great Depression. She’s written an epic love story set against a time of upheaval, suspicion and change. A magnificent novel from a great writer.” —Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Kiss Carlo

“Wildly ambitious and filled with heartbreak (I love heartbreak), Suzanne Rindell’s third novel mesmerizingly pilots us through the Depression, the 1930s, Pearl Harbor, and the love one fierce young woman has for two very different aviators. Passionate, profound and an absolutely daredevil act of imagination.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times-bestselling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World

"In this blazing saga about a flying circus, Rindell performs death-defying plot twists that race toward the shocking conclusion. Eagle & Crane is a majestic historical novel that is profoundly relevant in today’s world." —Fiona Davis, author of The Address and The Dollhouse

“A white-knuckled historical mystery and collision course of cultures, Eagle & Crane threads a fascinating tale through the half-silenced world of Japanese internment in America. Timely, expertly researched, and provocative.” —Dominic Smith, New York Times-bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

“Elegantly interweaving a lyrical love triangle with the spectacle of Depression-era barnstorming, the plight of Japanese Americans during the Second World War, and a bitter family feud spanning generations, Eagle & Crane poignantly plumbs still deeper waters: how far loyalty and friendship can be tested, and what it means to be an American.” —Lyndsay Faye, Edgar-nominated author of Jane Steele and the Timothy Wilde trilogy

New Book Info - EAGLE & CRANE

eagle and crane_CVR_fnl (1).jpg
 

Thought I'd make a short and sweet post out of the information surrounding my forthcoming novel, EAGLE & CRANE. Here (to the left, or above, depending on whether you're reading this on a computer or on your phone) is the cover image, and below I'll paste the description that will appear in the jacket copy. Putnam/Penguin Random House has set a publication date of July 3, 2018, and I will be posting more about it here soon! 

barnstormer.jpg

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

 
Two young daredevil flyers confront ugly truths and family secrets during the U.S. internment of Japanese citizens during World War II, from the author of The Other Typist and Three-Martini Lunch.
 
Louis Thorn and Haruto "Harry" Yamada -- Eagle and Crane -- are the star attractions of Earl Shaw's Flying Circus, a daredevil (and not exactly legal) flying act that traverses Depression-era California. The young men have a complicated relationship, thanks to the Thorn family's belief that the Yamadas -- Japanese immigrants -- stole land that should have stayed in the Thorn family. 
 
When Louis and Harry become aerial stuntmen, performing death-defying tricks high above audiences, they're both drawn to Shaw's smart and appealing stepdaughter, Ava Brooks. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and one of Shaw's planes mysteriously crashes and two charred bodies are discovered in it, authorities conclude that the victims were Harry and his father, Kenichi, who had escaped from a Japanese internment camp they had been sent to by the federal government. To the local sheriff, the situation is open and shut. But to the lone FBI agent assigned to the case, the details don't add up.
 
Thus begins an investigation into what really happened to cause the plane crash, who was in the plane when it fell from the sky, and why no one involved seems willing to tell the truth. By turns an absorbing mystery and a fascinating exploration of race, family and loyalty, Eagle and Crane is that rare novel that tells a gripping story as it explores a terrible era of American history.

***COMING JULY 3, 2018*** 

From Hardcover to Paperback

THREE-MARTINI LUNCH first hit shelves in hardcover form last year. Now the book will be reborn as a paperback in a little over a week, on August 8th 2017. I'm still bogged down with quite a lot of work, but I thought I'd take a beat here to share a few fun factoids about my experiences re the hardcover to paperback process with the uninitiated who happen to be a tiny bit curious about publishing. 

First, the book's design. With my first novel, THE OTHER TYPIST, the publisher decided to keep the same cover on the book as it transformed from hardcover to paperback. But oftentimes, publishers will create an entirely new cover for the paperback. The old wisdom used to be that the hardcover would get a more "literary" cover (and usually more on the illustrated side), and then the paperback would get a more "commercial cover" (more typically involving a photograph). Publishing is a rapidly changing beast though, and I've found that these old school cover rules are certainly not set in stone, so take this with a grain of salt.

In any case, THE OTHER TYPIST didn't get a different paperback cover, but THREE-MARTINI LUNCH did. It's interesting to see, and I certainly appreciate all the work that goes into restyling the book and all its promotional materials. On that note, I'd like to share the updated "Book Club Kit" that the Penguin people created and updated for THREE-MARTINI LUNCH's paperback release (below). If you or anyone you know is interested in picking up the book, I'm happy to pass the "kit" in PDF form to all who'd like to have these materials and possibly print them out for a book club meeting. 

Which brings me to paperback point number two: Paperbacks are more affordable (duh), so they make better book club recs. Having your book come out in paperback is a cause for celebration, because when a new friend or acquaintance says, "Oh, I want to buy your book!" you no longer have that twinge of guilt about the whopping twenty-five bucks the hardcover is likely to cost a person these days. I remember someone from Penguin (I think it was someone who ran one of their paperback imprints, so...) telling me the old saying, that "a book really LIVES in paperback." As someone who herself spends way more money than she should on books, I can get onboard with that.

Viva la paperback!