Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Crime Bake 2022

Well-- another Crime Bake has come and gone. This mystery writer conference was wonderful, filled with nice people who write about crime and murder.

Yeah, seems counter-intuitive. But what a great group, supportive and co-operative.

Where to start? With an A for Avram Lavinsky, shown below.

Avram had a good event, with an Honorable Mention for the Al Blanchard Award (shown below), a story in the current anthology, Deadly Nightshade, his first panel, and another story currently out. 


Here he is with another A, Adelene Ellenberg. She was instrumental in a lawsuit that stopped a town from being poisoned! Can't wait to read that book! 


And for the Flashwords contest (150-word story with keywords), here are the champs


Maureen Milliken at the mic, with Mo Walsh.

To see an interview with Maureen, click here


And here's Maureen with her sister Rebecca.


Here's a previous shot of me with the ever-busy Nicole Asselin, who worked the sign-in desk all weekend! 
As moderator, she also rocked a panel with other writer stars.


Another Flashwords champ, Vince O'Neil.


Now let's go through the Rogue's Gallery.
First up is a group. L to R:
To see an interview with BJ, click here


The Queen (sans tiara for Life Achievement), Kate Flora
To see an interview with Kate, click here


A true troublemaker, Lisa Mathews



Yet another troublemaker, Tilia Klebenov-Jacobs
To see an interview with Tilia, click here


To see an interview with Gabriel, click here.


Chris Knopf, with Paula


Dick Cass mugshot
To see an interview with Dick, click here.


The ever-wonderful Hank 
Phillippi Ryan, with Julie Hennrikus


Hans Copek, sans wife Judy



Now let's do some shots!
Photo shots from the bar, that is...
First, the Glamor Brigade
L to R: Scott and Connie Hambley, Ray Daniel, Paula, Doug Grad
To see an interview with Connie, click here
To see an interview with Ray, click here


Caitlin Wahrer with Doug


Tilia, in her Pretty Woman dress




To see an interview with Paula, click here


The two Connies: Connie Berry and Connie Hambley




Stephen Rogers (not Captain America, but close to it)
To see an interview with Stephen, click here


Jeanne Cosmos, with Matt




Avram, Tilia, Lisa


James Bond and friends


Some other folks at the con

To see an interview with Edith, click here


Susan Oleksiw



Leslie Wheeler, selling copies of the excellent anthology 


And the folks at Ingram Publishing, a key sponsor of the event
Alex Ashworth and Bailey Yeager


Now to recover and get ready for the holidays!


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Spooky authors at Valley Wild Bookstore

 In honor of spooky October, we had a few authors of scary stuff show up to sign books at the Valley Wild bookstore


Here's my table, along with Kameryn James.


Fun bunch of writers, who also knew a lot about music. 

And speaking of music, here's Anna Portillo, who kept us entertained with her harp playing- and she writes, too! 

Find her on Instagram: @annathemusicmaker


Here's a pair from one of my writing groups: Richard Hollman and S.E. Brunson


And Joseph Bebo


Our gracious hosts (they even put out snacks for us!), the store owners Andrew and Alexis


This is a great local bookstore- check it out when you're in Littleton!





Thursday, September 29, 2022

Interview With Author Stephen Rogers

 Hello again. Today we have an interview with author Stephen Rogers, who has published over 800 stories! 

You read that right. I've only got about ten percent of his output, and people think I'm prolific! 

He's the author of SHOT TO DEATH and many more shorter works.  His website includes a list of new and upcoming titles, as well as other timely information.

Stephen also serves as the local Chapter President of the Mystery Writers of America, and has a day job-- so much for the no excuses "I don't have time to write".


Let's find out more.

Q. So how did this book come to be? Was it envisioned from the start as a bigger canvas, or did it expand organically out of an idea? Please tell us a bit about the origin.

 A. Editor Michael Bracken pitched Groovy Gumshoes: Private Eyes in the Psychedelic Sixties as an anthology of stories that featured private eyes working in the sixties (surprise!), and asked that the stories tie into historical events. Well, The movie The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was released in the sixties.  That was Clint Eastwood, very serious, very not-sixties.  In Kelly's Heroes, released in 1970 and thus made in the 60s, Eastwood's character was appalled by the hippie Oddball. Wasn't that also the dynamic in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot?  Hmm. So how about a non-groovy private eye who is disgusted by the psychedelic sixties?  Hence, "The Ugly."


Q. What do you feel are the main themes?

 A. There's a funny thing about The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  I'm always asking, "Which one was 'The Bad'?"  All three characters are in some measure good, bad, and even ugly if you take their actions into account. That theme runs through "The Ugly," that and the associated theme that you can't rely on stereotypes.  Instead of the stern father hiring the private eye to find the missing hippie chick, in "The Ugly" the hippie kids hire the private eye to find their straightlaced father.


Q. Why do you feel this is important, and what would you want a reader to take away from reading this book?

A. There are "comfort food" stories where we know exactly who the characters are and what they're going to do.  We like to think that's true of the people in our own lives.  We like to think we're in control.  (Falls over laughing.)

 

Q. What makes a good book or engaging story?

A. I'm most engaged when I don't know what's going to happen next, not because the author is pulling strings to create twists, but because the characters are being true to their unknowable selves.  If I can guess the next scene and be correct, what's the point of continuing?


Q.  Is storytelling mostly entertainment, or does it serve other functions? Do you have particular goals other than telling a good story?

A. Lately I'm finding inspiration in improv.  I've always written dialogue with that sensibility, and sometimes plotted that way, but the idea of performing without a safety net has re-energized me.  Perhaps not enough, because I just want to nap.

 

Q.  Any other goals you've set for yourself, professionally or personally?

 A. I'm putting together a stand-up routine, which is terrifying in a different way than improv.

 

Q. Some writers write fast and claim not to rewrite much. Do you do this, or painstakingly revise?

 A. My average writing speed is about 300 words an hour.  That's five words a minute.  That's one word every twelve seconds.

 

Q.  If a writer came to you for advice, how would you help?

 A. There are so many different things a writer might ask about, but my general answer is to just keep writing and enjoy the work for itself.

 

Q. Stories can be told by using a different medium. Can you see your works as film, audio, etc.? How would that alter the telling?

A. I've always wanted to see something turned into a film so I could learn from how the story was reimagined by a collaborative process.

 

Q. What's the next step in your writing world?

A. I'm teaching a class on writing dialogue.

https://writeruniv.com/classes/craft-class-speaking-of-dialogue/


Q. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

A. In the story of my life, major plot points include attending Robert McKee's STORY seminar and joining Toastmasters.  Fun?  Who has time for fun?

 

Q. Any other information you'd like to impart?

A. Whoever you are, whatever you consider yourself, it's important to tell your own stories.


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Auburn, NH Day and Duck Race Booksigning Event

We had a great day yesterday at the Auburn, NH Day and Duck Race event, where we had an Author's Alley of writers selling their work while the town had a major celebration.

Sponsored by Dan Szczesny, director of the Auburn Library, we set up our booths in their parking lot. 

To see an interview with Dan, click here.

Here's my booth


Saw some writer friends from previous shows.

Here's Steve Hobbs


Tony Tremblay


Kate Anslinger, who was in disguise, and so not pictured, dropped by.

Met her down at Killer Nashville.

Writeup of that here


And some new folks, like Killarney Traynor



Brian Campbell


Not pictured is Matt Landry, who's also a speaker and coach and mountaineer

There were more than authors around us, like M. Allyson Szabo, a historical re-enactor who set up a field kitchen, cooked a pie and stew over a fire, and gave samples to dozens of people. The food was so good, many bought her cookbook! 


And Rachael Bohac, a local realtor


Lots of folks were out in the sunshine. Hot, but not as bad as last week.



Thanks to all who made it a great day. Nice people around that town!