Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa loves Mysteries

The holiday season isn’t only about family, food, and gift giving. It’s also about parties and meeting new people. As a mystery reader and writer, I love talking books with fellow crime-fiction aficionados.

And you never know where you’ll meet one.

Last Saturday night, at a great Christmas party hosted by friends, I was drinking New Castle beer and eating sushi, when a fellow partygoer said, “You should meet this guy,” and pointed me in the direction of a stocky white-haired man, who, to an author, spoke like one bearing gifts.

We talked crime fiction for nearly an hour. John D. MacDonald to Carl Hiaasen. Robert B. Parker to Nelson DeMille. Michael Connelly to S.J. Rozan.

Of course, as any self-respecting midlist author would do, I didn’t miss the opportunity to tell him about my series.

Ever respectful of the recession, I added, “You can save money if you buy them in paperback or Kindle.”

“I only buy hardcovers,” he said.

Did someone ring a Christmas bell?

“It’s a lot of money, but most books are worth it,” he said and explained that he used to buy paperbacks, but now gives in to his vice.

In a time when the Kindle format seems to be the future and the recession has the book business reeling, it’s nice to know crime-fiction aficionados are still out there.

And maybe, just maybe, one of them is Santa.


On the writing front this week, I’m revising a novel. Been at it for more than a month. Like always, it’s a lot of work. But this time more than usual. I’m adding a character and a storyline. This has led to a struggle with the novel’s structure. The book is a thriller with multiple points of view, and I’ve gone over the first 100 pages about four times now, changing the scenes from chapter numbers to days of the week and times. I’m looking for the least intrusive way to make the story’s chronology clear for the reader.

There has often been talk of agents on Type M for Murder. Here are two unique perspectives on an author-agent split. Jennifer Crusie has this to say of “being fired” by her agent Meg Ruley. While agent Jessica Faust of BookEnds says this.

Happy holidays!