Tuesday, February 28, 2017

5 Things I learned from Sleuthfest 2017



As in the past, I found Sleuthfest to be rewarding in many ways. The organizers and volunteers who keep it running smoothly do so with enthusiasm, grace, good cheer and attention to detail. The author attendees are outgoing, pleasant and welcoming to all, be it novice writers, newbee authors, or long-time published, experienced authors. I find that authors are also up for any and all fun activities coming at them. Hmm... I'm thinking of the Flamango Award given to a male author voted by the women to be the latest hot (looking?) author. Each year the nominees must wear a fluffy pink boa, and the winner must parade around the event (Agents and Editor's Cocktail Party) wearing it.

Five things I learned:

#1. Knowing already that NYT best-selling author, David Baldacci, writes superbly, I learned that he is also a great speaker. During his key-note speech, he related stories of his author's life that had us both in stitches and in tears.

#2. I learned that Jeff Linsday, the author of the Dexter books is a renaissance man with a quirky, self-deprecating personality. I suppose that's no surprise given what he writes. Aside from having a career as a playwright and crime novelist, he's been a musician, sportscaster, voice-over artist, dishwasher, teacher, coach, steel worker, cook, detective, greeting card salesman, and sailing instructor. Wow! No wonder he can create such interesting characters.


#3. The third thing is personal. I learned that no matter my book budget, I will always go over it in purchases. I suppose I should continue to give myself a budget anyway, I dread to think what I'd buy if I didn't.

#4. The fourth thing is something I relearn every time I attend a conference that's well-done like this one, I am going to come away inspired to write, no matter the economy, the trends, or the latest bad news about the book industry.

#5. This year I put myself out as a panel moderator, and got the job of monitoring Nancy Cohen's "Preparing for Your Book Launch" program. Which by the way, was excellent and very comprehensive in its content. I learned that I enjoyed being involved in a bigger way, and that next year, I will offer to be on a panel.

Of course, there were many other things to learn at the various panels and workshops, and the trivia game, and just from spending time chatting, laughing, and drinking with the authors. But I know of several other authors who will be posting information about the panels and workshops, so thought I'd give the event my personal twist. 








Monday, October 24, 2016

Toxic Cruise: An Yvonne Suarez Travel Mystery, Released October 1st. The public is invited to stop in to one of the book signing events if you're in the area.

“Mysteries to Die For” and Inspire Sarasota Event, includes panel discussion and signing.
Friday, October 28th, 6-9pm
Selby Public Library
1331 1st Street
Sarasota, FL 34236
Contact: Brian Rottingen
(941) 861-1100

Saturday, October 29th noon – 2pm
BOOK LAUNCH
Barnes & Noble
4010 S. Tamiami Tr
Sarasota, FL 34231
Contact: Donna DeTeresa, CRM
(941) 923-9907

Sunday, October 30th 1-3pm
Books-A-Million
4225 14th St. W
Bradenton FL 34205
Contact: Frederico Dixon
(941) 748-3911

Sunday, November 6th noon – 3pm
Books-A-Million
4230 S Tamiami Tr
Venice FL 34293
Contact: Myra
(941) 496-8422

Saturday, November 12th, 10am-5pm
Tampa Bay Festival of Reading, USF St. Petersburg, Sisters in Crime Booth
140 7th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL
http://www.tampabay.com/expos/festival-of-reading/index.page

Saturday, November 19th 1-3pm
Barnes & Noble Carrollwood
11802 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL  33618        
Contact: Jay Wood
(813) 962-6446
                     

Saturday, November 26th, 11am-3pm
Books-A-Million
6591 S Tamiami Tr
Sarasota FL 34231
Contact: Bobbie Bundrant
(941) 922-7804

Check back soon for more dates to come.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Washington, DC Visit

When visiting Washington, DC as a tourist recently, I took time to scope out places to hide bodies, places that captured the essence of intrigue. Ghoulish, I know, but that's what writer's do.

My protagonist, Yvonne Suarez is a travel agent, so occasionally she will need to take familiarization trips, known in the industry as "fam trips." It makes for a better agent when he/she can give honest recommendations to clients. In a former life, I owned a travel agency and was myself a travel agent, so I know how important it is to build relationships that bring clients back every time they travel. One way to do that is by giving the client a realistic picture of where they are going.

They say you write what you know, but the main reason I chose to make my protagonist a travel agent was to allow her limitless places and opportunities to become embroiled in murder mysteries. I've enjoyed reading other mysteries where the protagonist just happens to travel, but having a travel agent as the lead character allows me to legitimately weave in some of the history, legends and lore of the area, making the destination a character in the story. No worries, you won't find long descriptions of place in my mysteries. I know it's a fine line to draw, but each place has a purpose and moves the story along or gives credence to a character. It's challenging yes, but I do my best to make each scene relevant.

Stay tuned for my next blog when I describe some of the places, I've thought about using for murder in Washington, DC. Perhaps you can guess which place I will choose to use in my next Yvonne Suarez Travel Mystery. Or give me a suggestion of where you'd like to see it happen.

By the way, Yvonne has her own website, she will lead you on a tour of the places she's traveled. She even hosts information about me. Check it out: http://www.yvonnesuareztravelmysteries.com/