The MWA / SW's regional conference, Hardboiled Heroes and Cozy Cats, was as smooth as the coat of a well-brushed mustang, as provocative as a cowboy's butt in a pair of faded jeans, as thrilling as a Dallas cliffhanger (i.e. who killed JR?)
In fact, thriller author David Morrell was the Keynote Speaker. David is the award-winning author of First Blood, the novel in which Rambo was created. He is also the co-president of ITW (International Thriller Writers). In person, David is both charming and informative.
Dead Guy's own PJ Nunn gave a fantastic Friday morning workshop on [affordable] promotion.
Guest of Honour was Jerrilyn Farmer, author of the Madeline Bean novels. Jerrilyn gave me a cover quote for Chain a Lamb Chop to the Bed, and I finally had a chance to thank her face-to-face.
Jerrilyn moderated my Friday afternoon agent/editor panel. My co-panelist was agent Jane Dystel, president of Dystel and Goderich Literary Management. Our panel was called EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT AGENTS AND EDITORS - BUT NO ONE WANTED TO TELL YOU. Jane and I answered questions for just under 2 hours. Among other things, she agreed (with me) that chick-lit is out. She said vampire mysteries were on their way out, but other woo woo elements are still going strong. We both said cozy/traditional mysteries are as popular as ever and suspense/thrillers, as well.
First thing Saturday morning...at the crack of dawn...well, actually it only seemed that way, time-wise, since Dallas is 2 hours ahead of me and by the time I adjusted, it was time to fly home...I moderated "Making a Splash - Surfing the Information Highway." I think my marvelous panelists---Jordan Dane, Laura Starks, Cindy Daniels and Dep Wah Davis---could have talked for hours since we barely scratched the highway's surface.
Here is some of what we covered:
Online Promotion Opportunities
Booksellers and libraries Mailing Lists: www.newpages.com/forms/mailinglist.htm
Mystery Readers International: www.mysteryreaders.org/
Amazon Connect: www.amazon.com/gp/arms/role/ref=cm_arms_cr/104-3823351-5082323
Author Buzz: www.authorbuzz.com/
Gab Cast - Create Pod Cast (online interviews): www.gabcast.com/
NewPages Guide to Review Pages: www.newpages.com/npguides/reviews.htm
Fresh Fiction: http://freshfiction.com/authors.php
American Library Assoc: www.ala.org/ala/booklist/booklist.htm
Authors on the Web-Book Reporter: www.bookreporter.com/aboutus.asp
Weapons_Infofirstname.lastname@example.org (send email here to subscribe)
email@example.com (send email here to subscribe)
Crime Library: www.crimelibrary.com/index.html
Law & Fiction: www.lawandfiction.com/
Author Dr. D.P. Lyle - The Writer's Medical & Forensics Lab): www.dplylemd.com/
The above information was given to me by a terrific, brand-spanking new author, Jordan Dane. When Jordan sold her first three books in auction to Avon/Harper Collins, everyone heard her scream. Her debut title is called No One Heard Her scream (hee!)
Click on her name, follow the link to her website, and read her excerpts. Wow!
One more thing about my Dallas visit. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's . . .
My perky flight attendant, who somewhat desperately tried to lease me (and everyone else) a laptop video thingy ($10 for the duration of the flight, except for the 30 minutes when the plane prepares to land). She tried to sell me (and everyone else) food and drink (only $5 for a cheesy...cheesy as in tacky...cheeseburger). She tried to sell me (and everyone else) an Alaska Airlines credit card.
Meanwhile, I desperately tried to catch up on some lost sleep. Which was mission impossible because there was also a verbose pilot who -- in between announcements of turbulence and dire warnings to fasten our seat belts -- wanted to point out landmarks for those who had window seats (I had an aisle seat!)
"We are now flying over Aspen. Look down and to your right and you can see mountains."
(20 minutes later): "Look down and you can see more mountains."
"We are now flying over a building."
"We are now flying over a city."
At one point I thought I mumbled, "Why don't you just shut up," but apparently I mumbled a tad loudly because several people turned to stare at me and the perky flight attendant subsequently "forgot" to give me my free bag of pretzels.
I'm fairly certain she would have sold me a free bag of peanuts.
However, nothing can beat my flight home from Toronto's Bloody Words, in June 2005, on Jazz Airlines. Exhausted, all I wanted to do was snooze. Whereupon, the flight attendant introduced "the poet of the skies" -- an elderly woman (think: Ruth Gordon in Rosemary's Baby) who wore support stockings and orthopedic shoes. Ms. POTS (Poet of the Skies), as I fondly called her, spent the entire flight regaling passengers with her excruciatingly bad verse. Some of her poems actually rhymed in a "world / girl" songwriter way, and everybody was too polite to complain.
But I did compose a short story inspired by the movie What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? My story was called: What Ever Happened to Old Lady Pots?
"Poet, poet, oh so fair, why is there blood all over your hair?"
Do any of y'all have "airplane stories"?
Over and Out,