Pub Rants

Kristin Takes Manhattan

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STATUS: I’m a ninny. You might laugh but I actually forgot to blog yesterday. I came back to my hotel room late (like close to midnight) and completely forgot about it. Sorry about that.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? THINK I’M IN LOVE by Eddie Money

And I’m a ninny for a whole other reason. I don’t just have 4 authors being showcased at Book Expo. I have five!!!

I’m going to start calling it the Nelson Agency BEA.

I found out on Friday that advanced reading copies (ARCs) have been printed in time and will be made available to booksellers at BEA for Kim Reid’s phenomenal memoir entitled NO PLACE SAFE. This book debuts in October 2007.

With quotes like these, you can see why Kensington would be excited to get this book into the hands of librarians and booksellers as soon as possible:

“Though a child herself, Kim Reid sat on the edge of a front row seat to one of the twentieth century’s most bizarre and baffling murder cases. With No Place Safe she delivers her experience as a compelling story told from a sensitive gut and a formidable intellect. A narrative woven with strands of threatened innocence and Southern gothic gives No Place Safe the texture of a modern, urban To Kill a Mockingbird.”
–Elyse Singleton, author of This Side of the Sky

“Like every great memoir writer, Kim Reid bares her heart and soul in this powerful account of growing up in a world of danger. Her honesty and storytelling skills make every page come alive.”
–Kien Nguyen, author of The Unwanted

“Where racism and sexism often violated their sense of safety and self, there was no safe place in general for black women in their struggle to survive, achieve and succeed. However, in her quest for safety, Kim discovers the bonds of friendship and family as well as an inner strength, courage and sense of purpose. This outstanding offering is sure to safely place Kim Reid in the company of best-selling authors. So don’t blink or you will miss this author’s meteoric rise to the top.”
–Carolyn Quick Tillery, Southern Homecoming Traditions

“A gracefully written, vivid, heartfelt and deeply intimate work. Against the backdrop of Atlanta’s infamous and still controversial child-murder spree, thirteen year old Kim Reid demonstrates uncanny wisdom, grit and confidence as she overcomes the fear and panic gripping Atlanta’s children, to narrate her compelling personal story; all the while bringing to heartbreaking life each of the murdered boys. If we want to understand the hearts of today’s children being inundated with daily stories of slain or kidnapped classmates and the threatening world we say is waiting for them, we would do well to spend some time with Kim Reid.”
–Robert Hooks (Actor/ Producer/ Cultural Activist, Burbank, CA)

So if you are there this weekend, you might want to snag your own copy at the Kensington booth.


In this compelling memoir, Kim Reid hauntingly transports readers to the innocent world of a childhood protected by a loving home, yet threatened by a danger beyond any child’s understanding . .

Thirteen-year-old Kim Reid will never forget the summer of 1979. In those precious free moments when she is not taking care of her little sister while her single mother works as a cop, Kim’s days are filled with thoughts of boys, makeup, and starting high school in the fall. When a heartbreaking discovery along a quiet Atlanta road makes the news, Kim’s mother instructs her girls to be careful. Accustomed to her mother’s warnings, Kim feels she already knows how to stay alert and carry herself as if she’s not scared.

But as the shadow of danger lengthens over Kim’s once-sunny landscape of friends and family, she learns there is no place safe. While her mother becomes preoccupied with her increasingly high-profile job, Kim feels life unraveling. Straddling the worlds of her black neighborhood and her wealthy white school, teetering on the brink between girl and woman, Kim is torn between fitting in and finding her own voice; between becoming strong and clinging to the last traces of her childhood.

In this deeply intimate, powerful narrative, Kim Reid weaves an unforgettable story of growing up and the events that shape us forever…

25 Responses

  1. Anonymous said:

    Call me an idiot, but I’ve never heard of Kim Reid. I wish the review clips had included a bit of why this is such an intriguing autobiography.

  2. Anonymous said:

    Hey Kristin- nice to see you blogging again (I thought you’d left us)

    Sounds like an amazing book. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!!

  3. Ryan Field said:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything from Kensington I didn’t like, and NO PLACE SAFE sounds like a good read.

  4. KingM said:

    Sorry for the dumb question, but what do agents do at BEA? Do they pitch new projects, drum up interest in already sold novels? Or just schmooze?

  5. Derrick said:


    Honey, you are too busy to blog EVERY day. Yes we love to hear from you, but being an agent, I’m surprised that you find the time to blog to begin with. So don’t beat yourself up. I can’t imagine how hard it is for a literary agent to find time to update her wonderful blog (which is why, sniff* we lost our beloved Miss Snark. May she forever be gin-soaked in George Clooney’s arms!)

  6. google is your friend said:

    From PM: “A thirteen-year-old girl’s childhood is changed when her single mother, a cop in early eighties Atlanta, joins the Missing and Murdered Children investigation, a serial murder case that captured the nation’s attention and resulted in the 1982 conviction of Wayne Williams.” Anon – now do you want to read it? I do!

  7. Kelly said:

    This looks like a great read. And I’m so glad you’re back to the blog too!

  8. Anonymous said:

    It *does* look to be a good book. But I must admit that the flap copy baffles me. It’s so vague and effusive. I get told it’s about a famous murder case–but it declines to reveal which one. It’s all about coming-of-age, but few specifics. To “google is your friend”, that info ought to be something potential readers are given, not something they have to search for.

  9. anneglamore said:

    Enjoyed your backspace presentations. You have to be worn out doing that and BEA also. I’m wandering by BEA Sat to see what all the fuss is about.

    The Kim Reid book sounds stellar–I remember all that well…

  10. Chesya said:

    Actually, I assumed that because the book is based in Atlanta and in the late 70s, that it was about the Atlanta ‘Wayne Williams’ murders. Is it?

  11. reality said:

    Kristin, love your blog,

    Just a question: The NLA site mentions that you represent chick lit, sci fi, romance etc.
    I guess the book by Kim Reid, would fall in the category of literary/memoir.
    No mention in your site of these categories.
    Since I have yet to read the book, can you elaborate on this.

  12. Sari said:

    Hmm, I thought it was too vague. I’m not from the USA so the year and place mentioned doesn’t strike any kind of recognition for me, and I felt a bit annoyed by the time I got to the end because … well, I wanted to know what the much-hinted-at ‘life-changing’ event was. I guess I’m not part of the target audience.

  13. Kim Stagliano said:

    I met Kim at BEA yesterday – we had lunch together. I got an ARC and started reading on the train home to CT. I almost missed my stop! This book drew me in from the first sentence. What a great read – and that it is memoir only makes it more powerful. I can relate to so many of her childhood enjoyments (We’re about the same age) – and yet, as a Northern gal, white, – I am learning so much about what it meant to grow up as a black child in Atlanta. I love her voice. I can’t wait to tell folks about the book. I have a photo of her signing books – I’ll blog it later today.

  14. Anonymous said:

    I should hire Kim S. as my publicist. Thanks for the kind words from all here. You make a girl get misty-eyed.

    For those who suggest more details – it’s funny you say that. My ARC back cover copy includes details about the case, unlike the original cover copy (which Kristin used here), so someone must agree.
    Maybe it depends on the audience being marketed – casual reader v. bookseller? Daily, I learn something new about this business.

    Kim R.

  15. Kim Stagliano said:

    Kim, no hiring necessary. I only blog about books, people I genuinely feel passion for – my that’s a horrid sentence! I call myself a writer??? I did blog a photo of Kim signing books in the Kensington booth.

  16. Carolyn Burns Bass said:

    I began reading NO SAFE PLACE on my flight home from Backspace/BEA and pow! It hit me from the first sentence. I’m so happy to see Kim’s story finally between book covers, because it’s been a long time coming. Bravo to Kim and Kristin.