PW makes the call

Twice a year, Publishers Weekly does a roundup of what the magazine believes are the rising stars of the genre, talking to editors, publicists, and others in the industry — as well as the authors themselves.

So now they’ve put out a call for information as follows:

We are once again doing our “rising stars” feature (cf PW, Nov. 22, 2004), profiling authors who publishers think will be the mystery category’s future bestsellers.Please send us your author nominations (no more than three per imprint, please), and tell us why a particular author would be a perfect candidate.In most cases, it should be an author who’s written a couple of novels, whom you feel is ready to break out.It could also perhaps be an established author who’s radically switching gears, or even a debut author for whom you have great expectations. Also, for an online listing of forthcoming mystery/suspense titles, please send info on books publishing between November 1, 2005 and March 31, 2006.

The deadline to submit is October 21.

And because I’m in a generous mood, not only will I offer suggestions after the jump, but I invite people to post theirs in the comments section.

First up, debuts, because the lack of track record makes it easy to speculate. Probably the most high-profile debut mystery is Jesse Kellerman’s SUNSTROKE (January, Putnam) because of his lineage — the son of Faye and Jonathan — and because Putnam really, desperately needs some extra new blood as their establish vets see their sales slowly erode. Others already getting some pre-pub attention are Steve Hockensmith’s HOLMES ON THE RANGE (St. Martin’s Minotaur, February) Robert Dugoni’s THE JURY MASTER (Warner, March), Frank Tallis’s A DEATH IN VIENNA (Grove/Atlantic, March) and Joshua Spanogle’s ISOLATION WARD (Delacorte, March.) But the one I harbor highest hopes for — purely based on gut feeling — is Lisa Unger’s BEAUTIFUL LIES (Shaye Areheart Books, April) because it’s the kind of literary thriller I suspect I will like very much. Whether others agree with me is another story, but the imprint’s already started their publicity machine going…

For newer authors looking to break out, whether by design or otherwise, it’s hard to overlook Richard Hawke’s SPEAK OF THE DEVIL (Random House, January) the first thriller by the man formerly known by his real name, Tim Cockey. Putnam’s already started their push for Sara Gran’s DOPE (February) which looks to be the kind of book that attracts attention across a wide swath of subgenres. It would also be great if Robert Eversz could finally break out to a wider audience, as Nina Zero kicks ass and no doubt she will do some more in ZERO TO THE BONE (Simon & Schuster, February.) There’s also David Liss, who after writing three acclaimed historical thrillers is moving to more contemporary waters with a 1980s set environmental crime novel, THE ETHICAL ASSASSIN (Random House, February.)

And as for veteran authors who may well reach a wider audience because of new material (or a lengthy absence) there’s Thomas Perry’s NIGHTLIFE (Random House, March) Barbara Seranella’s AN UNACCEPTABLE DEATH (Thomas Dunne Books, January), Dana Stabenow’s standalone thriller BLINDFOLD GAME (St. Martin’s, January) Jane Haddam’s HARDSCRABBLE ROAD (St. Martin’s April — because since she’s pretty much the American Ruth Rendell/PD James, she ought to get a similar push) T. Jefferson Parker’s THE FALLEN (William Morrow, March — because everyone thinks everyone else is reading his books…and too many aren’t) and one I’ve already raved about here on the blog, Robert Ferrigno’s PRAYERS FOR THE ASSASSIN (Scribner, February.)

But that’s just a sampling, and lord knows there are a ton of people who merit wider attention whose books are already out, or won’t be out till the spring and summer…