Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Twists and turns in an author's life

There are few highlights in an author's life more exciting than the arrival of the author copies of a brand new book. Unless it's going to a mystery conference where everyone talks, breathes, and loves mysteries, and where those who love to read them can connect with those who love to write them.

Luckily for me, this is a week to celebrate both those things. Today a box arrived in the post that contained not only my author copies of THE NIGHT THIEF, but also a whole stack of bookmarks which I immediately packed into my suitcase for the conference. THE NIGHT THIEF is the third book in my easy-read novels for those who want a fast, entertaining read, featuring shy but inventive country handyman, Cedric O'Toole. It has been receiving excellent advance reviews and I am very proud of how the story came together. Beyond the dead bodies and the mystery, it is a touching and human tale about Cedric's connection to a boy who's had a very rough start in life.

Left Coast Crime is one of the premiere mystery conferences in the world, so called because although it is held in a different city every year, it always occurs on the western side of a country. Generally this is the western united States, but it has also been held in Bristol, UK, and rumour has it Vancouver may host it soon. Like all reader-centred conferences, it is organized and run by dedicated volunteers who work for years to pull together a fascinating weekend of panel discussions, author interviews, readings, and special events. It's a challenging, exhausting, and rewarding job, for which we authors are extremely grateful.

This year the conference is being held in Portland, Oregon, and in addition to informal chats and get-togethers at the bar, where traditionally all the best fun can be had, I will be participating in a panel entitled "Do the twist– Keep the audience guessing" with an eclectic mix of authors from legal thriller  to romantic suspense writers. This panel takes a look behind the scenes of creating a killer plot, which should intrigue readers and fellow writers alike. We will talk about creating the perfect twist, avoiding the overdone cliche, what is a twist, and do we really even need them. Apparently there are five different kinds of twists, and since I've been writing twists all my writing career, I look forward to learning what they are!

Besides my panel, I am also co-hosting a table at the Saturday night banquet with my very good friend Robin Harlick, fellow Canuck and author of the Meg Harris series. We promise goodies, book draws, and hopefully lots of intrigue and laughter.

Stay tuned, and on my next blog slot, I will report back on the conference and on everything I learned about twists.


Patricia Filteau said...

All the best with your books and Canadian literary bounty at Left Coast.

Barbara Fradkin said...

Thanks, Patricia!

Anonymous said...

I hope you have a great time at Left Coast Crime--I'd love to get there someday. And congratulations on The Night Thief!

Rick Blechta said...

As the resident commenter on all things book cover here at Type M, I've got to see that this is a very effective cover. They've upped their design game at Orca, I've got to say.