Monday Morning Musings

First off some book news. I’m about to re-release a mystery, Doubletake, that I wrote with a co-author a number of years ago. It’s another police procedural, but not part of the Seasons Series. It was published by a small publisher, and maybe sold ten copies, other than those I sold at signing events or out of the trunk of my car. Hey, didn’t Grisham start that way? I think he did, but he put a lot more miles on his car than I did.

Not the finished cover, but close. What do you think?

Anyway, I did all the formatting myself, and gained a great appreciation for those folks who do that for a living. It is the most tedious, eye-straining work I have ever done, and there is no way I am going to do the formatting for the ebook version. I will gladly pay Untreed Reads their nominal fee to do that for me and get the book into all the outlets for ebook reading.

An article in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News written by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld was titled What Drives Success. In it, the authors of  the new book The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America talk about the ethnic groups in America that are currently experiencing the most upward mobility. While doing the research for their book they discovered that some of the most successful ethnic groups in terms of earning power come from India, Iran, Lebanon and Chinese.

The couple noted that it is usually first-generation immigrants who have the most success, perhaps because of the three traits Chua and Rubenfeld identified:

It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.

In the article the authors explain the seemingly contradictory “superiority” and “insecurity” and how the two traits work together to motivate hard work, which is another ingredient of success. The authors believe that anyone can develop these traits:

It requires turning the ability to work hard, to persevere and to overcome adversity into a source of personal superiority. This kind of superiority complex isn’t ethnically or religiously exclusive. It’s the pride a person takes in his own strength of will.

The article is quite interesting and worth a read if you have a moment. Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld are professors at Yale Law School. Chua, one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2011, is the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which unleashed a firestorm debate about the cultural value of self-discipline, as well as the bestselling World on Fire. Rubenfeld examined the political dangers of “living in the moment” in Freedom and Time; he is also the author of the international bestseller The Interpretation of Murder. (I’m tempted to buy this one as the write-up on Amazon intrigued me, but I really hate to pay almost $9 for an ebook. I do hope major publishers soon realize that prices should be a bit lower. I’m not the only consumer who does not buy an e-book priced over $5.)

Now a reminder about the special sale at Untreed Reads through Valentine’s Day. All romance titles are on sale for 30% off. All categories of romance from sweet to sexy are offered, including my romance novel, Play It Again, Sam.  One of my favorites from Laura Parker, Rose of the Mists, is also part of this sale.

It is still so cold here that my hands don’t always want to work. I’m tempted to get some of these gloves:

Available from Japan Trend Shop

Hope you are warm and toasty wherever you live.

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