Mystery author Harry Dolan resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan where the scenes in his novel take place. Mr. Dolan’s book came out in 2009 and I noticed that it had a rather high rating. But I forgot or lost track of it.

Then I noticed that he was going on a tour that included Houston and Murder By The Book. So I ordered an unsigned first edition and went to the signing which was in July.

Mr. Dolan was on a tour to promote the paperback edition of Bad Things Happen and had just been to Jacksonville. He told us that the protagonist in the book is David Lugen, 38, and is an editor. Mr. Dolan has finished a second book which will be on in 2011. It is a sequel.

Mr. Dolan quit his job 10 years ago to write. He has a Master’s degree in philosophy and studied fiction writing with novelist Frederick Busch.

Authors he admired and read were Robert Heinlein, J.R.R Tolkien, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

After writing his manuscript for Bad Things Happen, he said he approached 50 agents to try to get the book published and was turned down by all of them. These days you must have an agent before you can even get to meet with a publisher.

Finally, Amy Einhorn saw his manuscript when he entered (and won, I believe) a contest. Amy Einhorn joined Putnam in early 2009 to start her own imprint called Amy Einhorn Books. Interestingly enough, the first book published by Amy Einhorn Books was The Help by Kathryn Stockett, my February 2009 Collectible Book of the Month selection.

After the signing, Mr. Dolan said that the book had a first printing of 20,000.

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