Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest Author Kate Carlisle on Her Passionate Love for Book

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bibliophile Mystery series, which launched in 2009 with HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER. The latest Bibliophile Mystery is PAGES OF SIN, an ebook exclusive novella, which will be followed on February 7 by ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE in paperback and ebook. The Bibliophile Mystery series follows book restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright as she attempts to restore classic texts to their former glory, and to solve the contemporary murders that are linked to each book.

I love books. I don’t just mean that I love reading, although I do, of course. I mean something more than that. I love the books themselves, especially antique books with embossed leather covers and a gilt edge on each page.

I view an antique book as a survivor in the war against time. Somehow, against all odds, this book made it.

I view the book as an art form, in the visual arts sense in addition to the literary arts sense. If you’ve ever seen a painstakingly detailed illustration from a fine, antique text, you’ll know what I mean. Back in the day, a skilled craftsman poured days of his life into producing a thing of beauty that would be treasured through the ages.

So it’s pretty sad to find one of these treasures in poor shape, sitting outside in the rain at a local flea market. Sad but exciting, too, because I know that it can be brought back to full health by a master bookbinder. Since long before I started writing the Bibliophile Mystery series, I have taken classes in the book arts. Even so, I’m a hobbyist, nowhere near as professional as my protagonist, Brooklyn Wainwright. She’s one of the world’s foremost experts on bookbinding. She’s the person you call with the worst cases, and she gets all tingly with excitement when presented with a book that desperately needs to be saved. (She’s less tingly with her unfortunate proclivity to discover victims of murders that are somehow linked to the latest book on her worktable.)

So you might ask… as a passionate bibliophile, how do I feel about the ebook revolution? The truth is, I’m okay with it. Ebooks are bringing a resurgence of readers back to the written word. People who hadn’t read a book since high school are suddenly reading ten books a month because of the convenience of being able to order it on the fly.

Mass market paperbacks and even most of today’s hardcovers are not the same thing as those fine, leather-bound antique books whose aesthetic virtues I just extolled. The binding is more disposable, never intended to last 100 years or more. With these contemporary books, the story is the thing, and the story is the same, whether read from a physical book or a digital one.

The latest Bibliophile Mystery novella, PAGES OF SIN, is an ebook exclusive. (ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE, out on February 7, will be available in both paperback and ebook formats.) I have great news for those of you who don’t have an ereader: You don’t have to miss out on an ebook exclusive ever again. You can get free software that lets you read books on your computer!

Kindle for PC -

NOOK for PC -

Sony Reader for PC -

I'm so excited about my first e-book adventure, I hope you will consider buying (or at least downloading the free sample of) PAGES OF SIN. And while you're at it, you can pre-order ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE in the format of your choice!

Have you embraced the ebook revolution? If so, when did you buy your first ereader? If not, what do you love about physical books that you feel you’ll miss with digital books? What other technology have you been reluctant to accept, but that you came to love?


Fred said...

At Heather Webber's suggestion, and yours in this post, got the Kindle PC app. I've downloaded Sins, but will be getting a PB of One Foot. At 67, I've held too many books in my hands and get a certain good feeling holding them. Besides, I only have a desktop and reading from it, propped up in bed is not an option. One of these days, I will chain myself to the desktop and try and get use to reading on it. Besides, if I'm reading a book book, I'm not tempted to work puzles or surf the internet.

Deb said...

Here's the link to Pages of Sin

I love your books!!

Heather Blake Webber said...

The ebook short story looks wonderful, Kate. Can't wait to read it. And the next book, too!

Kate Carlisle said...

Good morning, everyone! Thank you so much for having me here today. I'm getting sort of a late start this morning. Almost 9 o'clock here on the West Coast...

Before I start responding to comments, I wanted to be sure to tell you about a contest I'm running on my website. I'm giving away two 513-piece jigsaw puzzles of the cover of ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE to random members of my mailing list. All you have to do is sign up for my mailing list to qualify.

Kate Carlisle said...

Fred, I hope you'll enjoy the Kindle PC app. I know it's not the same as curling up with a book, but at least it will give you the chance to read ebook exclusives. But rest assured, the full-length Bibliophile Mystery novels will continue to be available in book form!

Kate Carlisle said...

Thank you, Deb! I love being loved. :) Thanks for posting the link, too. I appreciate it!

Thank you, Heather. I hope you'll love PAGES OF SIN and ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE.

Ellery Adams said...

I love all things book-related too. I took a wonderful grad school course in which we created our own books on a printing press using handmade paper. I've never been so content in my life as I was setting those blocks of text backwards and upside down!

Thanks for visiting, Kate! It's always a pleasure to have you here!

The Literary Fairy said...

I am eager to start reading Pages of Sin. It looks great! It will be something to hold me over until One Book in the Grave comes out.

Leann Sweeney said...

Great post, Kate. Book lovers, I think, do not worry about ebooks. They love the feel of a book in their hands. Congrats on your first trip into e-books.


Kate Carlisle said...

Ellery, OH! You've just described my perfect day! You can see why I've taken so many classes in papermaking and bookbinding. It's relaxing and creative and fun... and in the end, you have something tangible in your hand. Love it!

Kate Carlisle said...

Thank you so much, Sarah! I hope you'll enjoy PAGES OF SIN. I had so much fun writing that story. Because it's a novella, it's shorter, of course, and so writing it was really refreshing and fun. Recharged my writing batteries. I think readers are going to really enjoy the opportunity to get to know Brooklyn's mom better. She's a fun character. Quirky but grounded in her own special way.

Kate Carlisle said...

Thank you, Leann! I'm a book lover of the first order, but I'm also pretty jazzed about ebooks. Celebrating the new world while honoring the old!

Sue P. said...

Got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. Was going to get a Touch, but hubby insisted on the Fire. Been very stingy with what I am purchasing, We're not rich. Will still get most books from the library, but great to have this so I can get the novellas from everyone's series, like Pages of Sin. Still getting used to it, slowly. But think I'll love it. Will continue to buy in paperback book series that I've started, like the JD Robb books. Can't wait for One Book in the Grave to come out! Can we have a few more H/H touchy, feely scenes, please!


Aurian said...

I've been reading ebooks on my computer for a few years now, but still cannot resist buying paper books. All the authors and series I have on paper, need to be continued on paper. Looking at the pretty covers is just more difficult with an ebook.

Congrats on your first ebook, and good luck with the next paper one as well!

Kate Carlisle said...

Thanks, Aurian! You're right... I do love the way books look on the shelves at my home, spine after spine after spine, like tasty chocolates in a chocolate box.

ev said...

I've had an ereader for at least 5 years- I started with a Sony. Now I have a Nook Color and a Kindle Fire. Ok, I have a gadget addiction, I know. Hubby just got a Galaxy 10.1 tablet. I think I might have to have me one of those.

I love being able to read this way, all the free books from Kindle alone have made it a blast. But always having books and not having to pack them around is such a nice bonus!

Kate Carlisle said...

Wow, ev, you really do have a lot of gadgets! I don't even know what a Galaxy 10.1 tablet is. LOL

Thank you so much, everyone, for hosting me here today! I had a great time. Now I'm going to go have a nice glass of wine and read a book!

Paula Miller said...

I got a Nook a year ago Christmas, and I LOVE it! I had been reading on my laptop for a year or to before that. I love books, and I love have always wanted a home library, but with my small house that is just not a option. Also I spend so much time dusting my books that I don't have time to read them. So ebooks, really do help with that. I have hundreds of books at my disposal and I don't have to dust them :) I also love the fact that in my purse there are a hundred & sixty books to choose from when I am stuck in the dr's office or something like that. I still have my local history book collection, some antique books, & children's books but all of my personal fiction is in ebook format. I just love it!

Chaplain Jan said...

There is also a free Kindle for MAC link, but I can't remember it.

When I was in seminary I worked in the library & part of my job was to repair books. I was fortunate enough to handle some Bibles & hymnbooks the dated back to the late 1700s & the 1800s. They were awesome!

I prefer holding (& reading) "real" books, but also read e-books on my laptop. I have somewhere around 1500-1600 books - mostly non-fiction (chaplaincy/healing/grief/women's- & GLBT-issues), but add to my fiction section more often. I look forward to both your new books!

Kate Carlisle said...


Books definitely do gather dust! I think space is the biggest issue mentioned for people who love ebooks, but dust could well be a factor, too. That dust is what gives libraries such a particular smell. (I love libraries, so I guess I must love dust!)

Oh, thank you! I'll have to Google Kindle for MAC. I love all these free apps!

I would love to get my hands on some of those old Bibles and hymnals. I bet they're fascinating.

I hope you'll love PAGES OF SIN and ONE BOOK IN THE GRAVE!

Dru said...

I've been reading books on my e-reader for several years now and I still read printed books as well. I love the ease of buying books and the fact I can bring my whole book collection when traveling without weighing a ton.

I loved Pages of Sin and can't wait for One Book in the Grave.

Diana said...

I haven't bought an e-reader, but I have started reading books on my recently purchased iPhone. I agree with you, Kate, that it's not a bad thing necessarily. Portability is the best feature to me.

I still prefer print books though. It's just something about reclining in a cozy chair with a paper book in hand and feeling the pages between my fingers.

I don't smoke, but I imagine it's probably akin to actually smoking a cigarette as opposed to wearing a patch. It doesn't quite have the same tactile effect. However, I have added Pages of Sin to my Goodreads queue and will be sure to download it!

As for the bindings, I LOVE those old books. They are truly works of art. I recently saw an exhibit of The Lost Manuscripts from the Sistine Chapel, and it was amazing!