IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN by Nancy Springer

If only because I’m tired of Jerry Springer jokes, I would have used my real name, meaning my birth name. Because of my mistaken loyalty to my then husband, now ex, his family instead of mine gets credit for what I have written. Okay, that’s a bit petty, but also, if I had used my birth name, some of the obnoxious kids who picked on me in elementary school might have made the connection: jeez, that loser is a winner now. Okay, so that’s even more petty, but here’s a practical consideration: if I had used my birth name, my titles would have been shelved at eye level in the bookstores — instead of down around the ankles like dropped underwear.

What else would I do differently? I would not have said “Yes, yes, yes!” to my first book contract offer; rather, I would have found an agent to negotiate me a better advance and terms. Hmmm, what else. I would not have signed the five-book contract that subsequently held me enslaved to a publisher for two years after the imprint went belly up. And there were a few times when I listened to editors and I shouldn’t have.

Really, I have very few regrets. One of the more recent ones is that I’ve lost track of so many of my contacts. I should have done a better job of keeping track of people I met. I did have a pretty good card file of contacts going early on but somewhere along the way I slipped up, and now names turn up from twenty or thirty years ago and I think, Who the heck? A fan letter, or a teacher I met on a school visit, or a librarian, or somebody’s editorial assistant, or an aspiring writer I met at a conference, or my neighbor’s cousin’s boyfriend’s kid? Instead of allowing my computer to keep the address book on its own, I should have added notations — “Balticon, dressed only in green body paint,” or “middle school librarian, Phili.” Yet every time I had to change computers, I lost my addresses, up until g-mail! But the point is I should have found a way to keep in touch with more of these people, not just for the sake of networking, but for my own sake as a human being.

About the Author:

Nancy Springer has passed the fifty-book milestone, having written that many novels for adults, young adults and children, in genres including mythic fantasy, contemporary fiction, magical realism, horror, and mystery — although she did not realize she wrote mystery until she won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America two years in succession. DARK LIE is her first venture into mass-market psychological suspense.

Born in Livingston, New Jersey, Nancy Springer moved with her family to Gettysburg, of Civil War fame, when she was thirteen. She spent the next forty-six years in Pennsylvania, raising two children (Jonathan, now 35, and Nora, 31), writing, horseback riding, fishing, and birdwatching. In 2007 she surprised her friends and herself by moving with her second husband to an isolated area of the Florida panhandle, where the birdwatching is spectacular and where, when fishing, she occasionally catches an alligator.

Find Nancy online at

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780451238061,00.html Dark_Lie_Nancy_Springer

In this gripping psychological thriller — smart, chilling, and unrelenting — Nancy Springer establishes herself as an exciting new suspense writer with a distinctive voice and some surprises up her sleeve…

To their neighbors, Dorrie and Sam Clark seem a contented couple in America’s heartland, with steady jobs, a suburban home, and community activities to keep them busy. But they’re not quite what they appear to be. For plain, hard-working Sam hides a depth of devotion for his wife that no one would suspect. And Dorrie is living a dark lie — beset by physical ailments, alone within herself, and unknown to those around her, following the comings and goings of the sixteen-year-old daughter, Juliet, she gave up for adoption when she was hardly more than a child herself.

Then one day at the mall, Dorrie, horror-stricken, sees Juliet being abducted, forced into a van that drives away. Instinctively, Dorrie sends her own car speeding after them — an act of reckless courage that pits her against a clever, depraved killer, and draws Sam into a dogged, desperate search to save his wife. In a confrontation that unites mother and daughter in a terrifying struggle to survive, Dorrie must face and conquer her own secret, tormented past.

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