Whew—twenty weeks!

Back in December, we opened up a new and beautiful web site, and kicked off the Twenty Weeks of Buzz, to celebrate and speculate about my books. I chose the number because The God of the Hive would be my twentieth novel, and I wanted to write a brief essay about each book.  I also wanted to create a Mary Russell short story in 20 parts—its final episode will post on MySpace Wednesday, and here on Mutterings Friday.  Next week, we’ll put up the entire thing so you can read it from the beginning.

During these 20 weeks, readers have matched me every step along the way, contributing art works, doing crossword puzzles, writing essays for the various contests, participating in library events, and shooting a whole lot of Twitters back and forth across the ether.  We’ve given away books, ARCs, and illustrated short story broadsides.  Readers sent me Sherlockisms, donated money to the Heifer International page, and wrestled with the aspidistra and got tipsy at Mary Russell’s Twitter party.

We are now in the twentieth week.  The God of the Hive has been on shelves for thirteen days, and because of you, is on bestseller lists across the country, from the Independent booksellers to the New York Times.

Thank you, for all of it.

I hope you’ve found something to enjoy here (even if you didn’t win a prize!)  I hope you think this social networking business worthwhile, and the idea of shaping a community around the love of a particular kind of book brings you pleasure and some stimulation.

Frankly, it fills me with wonder, and humility.  I sit in my quiet space and chisel a novel out of the air, and when I look up, people are clapping, and reading, and discussing happily, and madly volunteering to help.  I wrestle with words and a logical sequence of events, and when I finish, those words bring an utterly unexpected degree of meaning and vitality to the lives of the most astonishing variety of people.  I work to shape ideas and characters, then find myself as the key link in a community whose members may live in Oregon or Toronto or Sydney or Jerusalem, but whose imaginations dwell part of the year in a stone cottage in the South Downs.

Again, I thank you.


However, we still have ten days until the Grand Finale in Scottsdale on May 19, during which:

*I will be announcing a Grand Prize Winner for the art submissions, to be immortalized as a CafePress t-shirt.

*You have this week to send me your receipts showing you bought The God of the Hive at an independent bookstore, to win “Birth of a Green Man”—for you AND for your bookstore.

*You have until Sunday to send Heifer International $60 for your chance at getting a name in the next Russell & Holmes story, Pirate King.

*And next Tuesday, as a 21-bonus to our set of book essays, I’ll post a blog here called, “Writing a god into being,” about Robert Goodman in The God of the Hive.

(…and then next month, the Virtual Book Club begins their discussion of the book, and we’ll find out how they really feel…)


  1. Merrily on May 10, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I think even you can have no idea of what joy your books have brought into our lives. From the days of “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,” one of the pleasures of my existence has been looking forward to the next Russell book (which is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed your other books, as well). And, in recent years, my affection for the Russell books combined with the power of the internet has gained me some wonderful new friends. And all thanks to you, “sitting in your quiet space and chiseling a novel out of the air.” Long may you prosper!

  2. RussellHolmes on May 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I really love GOTH and have enjoyed every turn of its pages, and the mere thought of another Holmes & Russell book makes me near giddy! This is the BEST book series I have ever read in my life thus far! Thank you Laurie!

  3. Gail Lelyveld on May 11, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Wow “God of the Hive” was great. I was up late every night until I finished it. I like Mr Robert. ‘nuf said about that. It was hard to keep from reading the last page until I got there, but I succeeded.

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