Mystery Scene

My Evolving Path to Publication from 2012 - 2014

Next week, I'm attending Left Coast Crime, the west coast's big mystery convention. One of the panels I'm on is "Leap of Faith: Writers Who Took Alternative Paths to Publication." I love this topic, because the more I talk with other authors, the more I'm convinced that nobody's path to publication is the same. It's a road of unexpected twists and turns, and if you don't speed too quickly and rush the process, it can lead somewhere great.

In 2012 I self-published my first mystery novel (details here). It was the right decision for me at the time, and it's what ended up kick-starting my writing career more than I anticipated. But at the same time, acting as my own publisher pulled me in more directions than I wanted to deal with.

Some writers find self-publishing empowering and fun; I agree it's empowering, but for me it wasn't so fun. I missed being able to focus my energy on writing. That's why I was thrilled to receive offers from two publishers for three-book deals in 2013.

It's now been exactly one month since my second novel, Pirate Vishnu, was published with Henery Press. I'm now even more certain it was the right decision to sign with Henery Press (for the Jaya Jones treasure hunt mystery series) and Midnight Ink (for the Accidental Alchemist series). I'm gobsmacked--gobsmacked!--by the month I've had. A few highlights made possible my kick-ass publishers:

Hitting the USA Today bestseller list! 
(It was the extended list, but I was next to James Patterson!)

Climbing the Amazon charts.

Receiving these reviews: 

“Pandian’s second series entry sets a playful tone yet provides enough twists to keep mystery buffs engaged, too. The author streamlines an intricate plot….[and] brings a dynamic freshness to her cozy.”
Library Journal

“A delicious tall tale about a treasure map, magicians, musicians, mysterious ancestors, and a few bad men.”
Mystery Scene Magazine

Plus a feature in Mystery Scene.

Getting great feedback on my next book, The Accidental Alchemist, from my editors at Midnight Ink. 

And now that I only have two jobs (my day job and this writing job) I have time to make revisions this spring as well as finish a draft of Jaya Book 3! The winding path continues, and I love the curve I'm on right now.