Monthly Archives: May 2014

New York Times Review of Books & Other Press Updates


The last week has been an excellent week for reviews following the launch of What Has Become of You on May 1st. The one I’ve been anticipating most– the one most writers want– appeared in the Sunday New York Times Review of Books supplement, as seen below in pictorial form. “Guilty as Sin” indeed!


Little old me appears on page 29, in an issue packed with such distinguished writers as Gillian Flynn, Anthony Doerr, and Michael Cunningham. You can read the review in its entirety under my ‘Reviews’ section, but the novel is described, in part, as a ‘shivery thriller’ that is ‘written with subtle skill.’

Also appearing this week was an Associated Press review picked up by such major outlets as the Washington Times and, which closed with: “Vera is a tricky character, not entirely likable, but arguably identifiable to many of us, and Watson treads that line with grace and precision. There are several reasons to recommend this book, not the least of which is the intricacy of the plot, which doesn’t twist so much as it winds and loops in ways that even if one may predict where it will go, the how is still surprising.”

Huffington Post also had this to say a few days ago, in part: “Jan Elizabeth Watson latest novel is a lurid, murky book that swallows the reader up in a maze of mystery.”

What Has Become of You was also selected as one of Apple’s 20 Best Books of May (10 fiction titles and 10 nonfiction) on their iBooks page. If Apple likes me, then my nerd cred has risen exponentially, and that’s a good thing.

Pax et lux,



Book Launch Day: A Photo Diary


What Has Become of You hit bookstores on May 1st, and I’ve been a busy bee ever since. Things kicked off on Thursday with a debut reading in Portland, Maine– the visual highlights of which I will post for your amusement.

First things first: I had to hit up some local bookstores to see who had actually put the book on display on pub date. Lo and behold, I found myself at this display table, prominently featured under a biography of Kiss’s Paul Stanley (and wouldn’t Paul Stanley approve of my outfit here?) as well as the new Gone Girl paperback:




Then I moseyed on to a second bookstore and found this on the shelf. Would it have been wrong of me to move the ‘Staff Pick’ sign under What Has Become of You? (I was well behaved. I didn’t do it.)



All that book-spotting gave me an appetite, so I went to one of my favorite local haunts for a bite to eat. Seated at a prime spot right near the restrooms, I noticed a new bit of decor– a signed photo of the Brady Bunch on the Men’s Room door! If this wasn’t a good omen on pub day, I don’t know what was. I love me some Bradys.



Under the gentle auspices of Greg, Peter, and Bobby, I moved on to my next venue: the reading site itself.  There was quite a bit of poster action going on here.


Inside the bookstore, people began to trickle in– some familiar faces, and some not. The seats filled quickly, the books sold in record time, and I read for a good half hour, being sure to select passages that were intriguingly creepy without giving too much plot away.



Even the bookstore cat listened attentively. (Okay, fine, maybe he was distracted.)



There was a Q and A section afterwards. I am gathering by my facial expression here that I am responding to the question, “How much are the characters based on yourself?” (The answer: Only superficially!)


All in all, a wonderful event.  The next day, a friend of mine, Amy, posted a photo of the novel in her bookstore in Ohio. Note how I’m just casually hanging out here with Donna Tartt and Danielle Steele…


More to come! In particular, stay on the lookout for links to new reviews. We have some good ones coming up…