Revving Up the Buzz Engine

At the Guardian Books Blog, I discuss last month’s WSJ article on Tom Rob Smith’s already-hyped debut thriller CHILD 44 and why it’s important to put the buzz (and his million dollar advance) in necessary context.

Also, though the piece is not available online (yet, but soon, I hope) the January 14 issue of Maclean’s includes a piece where I speculate on the identity of the pseudonymous North American literary novelist making her “debut” as mystery writer Inger Wolfe this spring. The book, THE CALLING, is pretty good, which makes the identity conceal all the more puzzling to me. As to whom I think it is, this excerpt gives a clue:

When Wolfe’s book deal was first announced last spring, however, the buzzing in publishing circles had little to do with the novel’s quality. Instead it was all about the byline: “Inger Wolfe is the pseudonym for a well known and highly regarded North American literary novelist.” How appropriate that a mystery novel should have a mystery about its author, and that this storyline delivers a delicious twist. For Wolfe, in all likelihood, is the pen name of Jane Urquhart, Governor General’s Award-winning author of the internationally acclaimed novels Away and The Underpainter, and most certainly one of Canada’s most prominent literary novelists.

UPDATE, January 10: Now it’s up.