Friday, February 22, 2013

Forty Press and Once Upon a Crime Classics

The newest print edition (trade paperback) of Before I Wake, published by Forty Press, has the honor of being the first book to be released as a Once Upon a Crime Classic.  The Penguin/NAL edition came out in 2005. Up until that point, my Frasier titles had been set in cities and were fairly traditional police procedurals. This time around, editors asked for a rural setting. Once you move a story from a city, and once you add isolation, the tone changes and the book begins to feel a little like horror.  Before I Wake is a mixture of psychological suspense, thriller, and a little bit of horror.

I think the Forty Press cover is a HUGE improvement over the original cover, which looked like romance. In fact, I love the new cover:

Partial screen shot of title page with intro by publisher Joe Riley:

Forward by Gary Shulze of Once Upon a Crime:

Once Upon a Crime Series Editor Note
Looking through reviews and blurbs of Theresa Weir’s books (aka Anne Frasier) in preparation for writing an introduction to this edition of Before I Wake, I was struck by the consistent use of the best in adjectives: Gripping, Chilling, Clever, Engrossing, Brilliant, Heart- get the idea. These and more apply to her entire body of work. Many of them I used myself back when I reviewed books for Crimespree Magazine. (I jokingly say that I had to quit reviewing because I ran out of adjectives.) One of my favorite review
assignments back then was to review Before I Wake in May, 2005. In that review I wrote “...Anne Frasier...once again demonstrates her mastery of atmospheric suspense.”
I wasn’t the first, and surely I won’t be the last, to describe The- resa as a master. She is fluent in a whole range of genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Crime Thriller, Psychological Suspense, and Horror (sometimes combining a bunch of them in the same book) while winning a batch of awards along the way. Plus, she wrote a knock-out memoir, The Orchard (2011)—a book that puts the “heart” into “heart-wrenching.” In a word, she is a “master” of the craft, and an author to watch, and of course, to read.
So just what does a master of atmospheric suspense do? With apparently no effort, she manages for you not to just visualize a scene, but invites you in as a participant—often with long-lingering effect. In Garden of Darkness (2007), there is a simple scene of dried leaves blowing across a road. Something you see any given day, but forever- more something I’ll be seeing with fresh eyes and ears.
In Before I Wake, as Arden walks us down the halls of the Mad- eline State Lunatic Asylum—now a psychiatric research unit-cum- nursing home—you can hear the floors creak. And during the book’s incredible finale, which takes place at the Arden family farm during a pounding blizzard, you just may want to bundle up.
We at Once Upon a Crime have been honored to have hosted publication launch parties for all of Anne/Theresa’s books. She is thoroughly delightful and we love her to death. She also makes our skin crawl, and scares the crap out of us.
– Gary Shulze Once Upon a Crime Minneapolis, MN January 22, 2013 

The release date is March 9, but copies are already available through Once Upon a Crime.  They love phone orders, so don't hesitate to call: 612 870- 3785

 I will be attending the CrimeSpree 50th Issue Party at Once Upon a Crime this Saturday, February 22, so if you'd like a signed copy just give Gary and Pat a call.

Print versions of Before I Wake can also be purchased from any bookseller.

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