Sunday, October 14, 2007

Alaska, Part 2, Radio Show Part 1

Charles Again

Not feeling busy enough? Looking to add a sense of urgency to every day? Here’s what you do. Take almost 2 weeks off from work, return in the midst of several key projects, all quite important and, as we say in the biz, all quite hot. At the same time, try to organize the local launch of your new book and while you’re at it, help finalize details for a convention appearance by your state chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. Now, just to make it fun, you and your loving spouse need to strip off all the tiles in your home’s one and only shower so you can put in one of those 3-piece shower stall thingies (which, you must note only after you realize it is no longer possible to return, has a nice little crack in it) and while you’re putting it in, for reasons you will never fathom, you must cut a hole in the wall that is exactly 6 inches above – not below, as the instructions illustrated – the eventual top of the said shower liner, requiring you to patch the dry wall and add several days to the entire process. Want more? Host a weekly radio show, teach the first class in a mystery writing course at your local writing center, write an hour’s worth of mystery-related quiz questions for your upcoming appearance at Magna Cum Murder, and try looking at your self in the mirror when you, the so-called writer, haven't written a word in your new book in 21 days. That ought to keep you busy.

Here’s a fun one. This past week, I was a guest on Valerie Connelly’s hit web-radio show, Calling All Authors. Valerie is the author of several mystery thrillers, as well as the popular primer Calling All Authors: How to Publish with Your Eyes Wide Open that explains all the publishing myths, misconceptions and realities for the first time author. Valerie is the publisher of Nightingale Press, and is one excellent talk show host. You can hear the entire radio show – as well as many others, probably more interesting – by clicking here. The date of the show was October 19th.

Finally, something more on Alaska. I have to give a special shout out to Marta Cobb and the students at Dimond Highs School in Anchorage. When I was traveling back from Point Hope, Marta graciously put me up for the night – picking me up at the airport at well past midnight, too. Marta was able to arrange it for me to speak at her school – I did two sessions in the school’s impressive library with about 60+ students each. Now I’ve spoken to a lot of large student groups before but I have to tell you that the students at Dimond High were just about the best I can recall – and this is from a former High School teacher. Attentive and polite, sure, but engaged and thoughtful, witty and creative – it was a real honor to speak to them. Afterwards, several students recommended books to me, as well as some comics/graphic novels that I plan on tracking down this week. And Marta dropped me off at the airport with enough time to ask the bookstall managers if they had any books by that popular writer, Charles Benoit. So, thank you, Marta, for making the tail end of my fantastic trip equally fantastic. And to the students of Dimond High, remember to thank me when you are accepting your Nobel Prize.

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