Saturday, December 9, 2017

Gala Mystery Night at the New England Mobile Bookfair

Well, we had a grand blowout party for mystery authors at the
Gala Mystery Night,
hosted at the New England Mobile Bookfair.
Great book-buying event of the season, where folks come and see their favorite mystery writers signing copies.

Although this was the 6th annual party of this type, this was the first time at the new location of the recently-moved bookstore.
To see recent posts of the bookstore's big move, click here, and Grand Opening, click here.

Love the new location- easy to move around and mingle, and find the books and people you want.
I managed to get a few pics of the celebrity writers attending, so let's get to it.

Excellent turnout, with snacks provided

You'll see many authors are holding up books written by others, because our writing community is so supportive of others, and we buy books written by our peers.

Tom Lyons, owner of the bookstore (and author and poet in his own right), gives an interview to Lorraine Seymourian of WNTN 1550

Star of the night (more on that later) Tess Gerritsen shows off her musical chops

Then it's her turn for an interview

Bookstore staff picks for the books of two good writers:
Ursula Wong and debut author Adam Abramowitz
To see an interview with Ursula, click here

Another awesome pair of writers:
Dave Zeltserman
and Bruce Robert Coffin
To see an interview with Dave, click here
 To see an interview with Bruce, click here

Marilyn Brooks, of Marilyn's Mystery Reads with Tom and Dave

To see an interview with Connie, click here

To see an interview with Edith, click here

To see an interview with Kate, click here

Ray Daniel (the Evil Ray,
from Episode 37, Mirror, Mirror, for all you Star Trek/SNL fans)
with Jay Shepherd
To see an interview with Ray, click here

Marshall Stein with Bruce. Connie in back, photobombing...

William Landay with Connie

Just a few best-selling books from this group: Leigh Perry, Sheila Connolly, and Sarah Smith
 To see an interview with Leigh, click here

Clea Simon joins Adam for a buy of each others' work

Connie, Sarah, Anne Macdonald, Mo

 Gary Braver looks surprised (or guilty)

Hans and Judy Copek, cornerstones of our local groups

Leslie Wheeler with her new book, Rattlesnake Hill

And my Zack Taylor series was selling some copies 

Edith, Elisabeth, Leslie, and Bruce

C. Michelle Dorsey makes another sale

 Some guys get all the luck: Lisa, Daniel, and Tess

Sarah with a toast

Sarah, Sheila, Mo, and Clea

Lisa and Joanna, 
with Joanna's debut novel, The Vanishing Season

And having an award presentation makes for a better party.
Here's Tom, announcing the winner of this year's Robert B. Parker Award for outstanding mystery writing:

 Winner: Tess Gerritsen!

Lovely award

Solemn crowd for this

So Tess joins Linda Barnes, a previous recipient of the award.

Adam and Dave sign more books

Da guys: Gary, William, Ray, Joe Finder, Daniel

And debut author of a children's book on the bookstore shelf,
Sharon Kathrn

Here she gets a copy from Daniel, joined by Lisa

The ever- wonderful Hank Philippi Ryan was also there, and I did not get a pic of her.
So here's one from a previous signing at the old location

Here's John Wasowicz with his debut novel

So a great time, and people have a lot more books to read! 
If you missed it this year, make plans for 2018.
Always the first Thursday in December.
Remember, books make great gifts- so get on down to the Bookfair and get some gifts for yourself, and for others!

Monday, November 27, 2017

New Story Publication and Upcoming Shows- Updated with pics

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We had a nice family time, and the weather was lovely for good long walks to burn off the extra food consumption.

So I've got another story out: "A Clean, Well-written Manuscript," is online at Over My Dead Body. Having a fun riff on Hemingway. That's my fifth story for them! And you can read it for free!

The Zack Taylor series has been selling well in bookstores this year, though I'm only displayed in a handful. 

The recent book signing at Letterpress Books in Portland, ME, went very well. Saw old friends, sold a bunch of books, had my first Holy Donut, and later my yummy Pat's Pizza.

And we'll have over 30 authors for the
upcoming 6th Annual Gala Mystery Night
Thursday, Dec 7th  6:00
New England Mobile Bookfair
241 Needham St, Newton, MA

To see how much fun previous ones were, check it out here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Interview With Maine Mystery Author James Hayman

Maine mystery author James Hayman and I have been attending the same conferences, like Bouchercon and Crime Bake for some time, so here is more info on him and his works.
Plus, he lives in and writes about Portland, Maine, a place near and dear to my heart, and also the setting for my Zack Taylor mysteries, the latest being A Sharp Medicine.

With the holidays upon us, perhaps you'd like to try a new author and delve into some dark territory to take your mind off the stress of the in-laws?

Q: Tell us about your latest book.

A:  My fifth McCabe/Savage thriller, The Girl on the Bridge (right now a steal on Kindle for $1.99), was published by Harper Collins in May 2017. The book begins with a seventeen-year-old college freshman being drugged and gang-raped at a college fraternity party. Twelve years later, still suffering from an extreme case of post-traumatic stress disorder, she leaps to her death from a rusty old railroad bridge into the rushing waters of the river below. Her attackers, all former members of the college football team, have never faced or feared justice or retribution. Not until now, when one by one they are found murdered. Are their deaths simple revenge? Or something more sinister?

Q: How does it differ from your earlier work, or from other books in the genre?
A:  My books are all part of a series of police procedurals featuring two Portland Maine homicide detectives, Mike McCabe and his partner Maggie Savage. Most of the stories involve issues of social relevance. McCabe/Savage #2, The Chill of Night, deals with sexual abuse of runaway teens and touches on the abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.  The third in the series, Darkness First, is centered around opioid addiction among teens and young adults in Washington County, which is the poorest county in a relatively poor state.  And, as I said before, the plot of McCabe/Savage #5 grows out of the epidemic of sexual abuse on college campuses.

Q: Why do you use Maine as the setting for your novels?

A:  A couple of reasons. First, I happen to live in Portland which means I am surrounded by the settings of my stories. I think that’s a good thing for any writer. Second, I think Portland, Maine is a great place to set a series of murder mysteries. It’s a gritty but beautiful small city. The waterfront provides lots of opportunities for plot twists. And it boasts a police department with approximately 180 members. Big enough to have all the bells and whistles of a big city department. But small enough so all the members of the department know pretty much everybody they work with in a personal way.

Q: How was your protagonist created as a character? Where did they come from?

A:  As I discuss on my website, my initial protagonist, Detective Sergeant Michael McCabe, and I are in many ways the same person. Like McCabe, I’m a native New Yorker. He was born in the Bronx. I was born in Brooklyn. We both grew up in the city and both married beautiful brunettes. McCabe’s wife, Sandy dumped him to marry a rich investment banker who had “no interest in raising other people’s children.” My wife, Jeanne, though often given good reason to leave me in the lurch, has stuck it out through thick and thin and is still my wife. She is also my best friend, my most attentive reader and a perceptive critic.
Both McCabe and I eventually left New York for Portland, Maine. I arrived in August 2001, shortly before the 9/11 attacks, in search of the right place to begin a new career as a fiction writer. He came to town a year later, to escape a dark secret in his past and to find a safe place to raise his teenage daughter, Casey.
There are other similarities between us that are reflected in the books. We both love good Scotch whiskey, old movie trivia and the New York Giants.
There are also quite a few differences between us. McCabe’s a lot braver than me. He’s a better shot. He likes boxing. He doesn’t throw up at autopsies. And he’s far more likely to take risks. McCabe’s favorite Portland bar, Tallulah’s, is, sadly, a figment of my imagination. My favorite Portland bars are all very real.

Q: What were the major influences that drove you to write?

A: I’ve been a writer all my life. First 30 plus years were spent writing advertising. Then another ten as a freelance business writer.  All that time I wanted to try my hand at writing fiction but I never did until I hit the ripe old age of 65. Not even a single short story. The first fiction I ever wrote was the first McCabe/Savage thriller, The Cutting.  Happily it almost immediately attracted a terrific agent, Meg Ruley of the Jane Rotrosen Agency in New York, who sold it in a two-book deal to St. Martin’s/Minotaur.

Q: What advice can you offer the fledgling writer?

Write. Write. Write. Keep on writing and don’t stop writing.  If you find you can’t or don’t want to do that, find something else to do with your life.

Q: What drives you to write?

A. I no longer have a day job. I’m a lousy athlete. I don’t play golf. Writing is about the only thing I think I do well. Though, I must admit, I’m not a bad cook.

Q: How has your background shaped your writing?

A: I’ve been a writer, though not a fiction writer, for all my adult life. I worked as a copywriter and creative director for major New York advertising agencies for thirty-plus years. I believe writing scripts for television commercial campaigns hones one’s skills for writing both tight prose and realistic dialogue. My books tend to be almost cinematic in structure, and they are heavy on dialogue.

Q: The publishing world is a strange and scary place. Can you speak to that?

A:  My experience with the publishing world has, thus far, been neither strange nor scary.
That’s probably because I have a great agent who handles most of my interactions with what you might call “the publishing world.” Through my first five books and counting, I’ve only worked with two major commercial publishers. The first two books, The Cutting and The Chill of Night, were published by St. Martin’s/Minotaur. The Cutting did well. The Chill of Night, not so great.  After the disappointing sales for book #2, St Martin’s and I parted ways.
Happily Harper/Collins picked up my third book, Darkness First, almost immediately and published it on their ebook first imprint, Witness/Impulse. After the fourth in the series, The Girl in the Glass, made the NY Times bestseller list, number five, The Girl on the Bridge, was published in both trade paperback and as an ebook under Harper’s William Morrow imprint.

Q: Take us through your writing process from start to finish. Do you have a prescribed way of doing things, or do you have more of a "free form" approach?

A: Very much free form.  I don’t work from a written outline.  Rather, I keep a rough concept of the basic plot elements in my head.  These elements change frequently as the writing progresses and the story moves forward.

So, readers, are you tempted to give it a try? 
Happy Holidays!