Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why This Was the Best BEA Ever

It was my third time at Book Expo America, and my second time signing books at the Mystery Writers of America booth. I had such a blast! It was wonderful to meet some bloggers and librarians who are fans of my 16th century novels, and one woman came by the booth throughout the three days of BEA to ask when I would show up and where the heck is my Book Three. Love it. :)

Greenburger Assoc. is my lit agent

I also got to know the president of the New York chapter of MWA, Annamaria Alfieri, whose new book, Strange Gods, comes out in a few weeks. Set in Nairobi in 1911, it's described as Out of Africa meets Agatha Christie. That sounds irresistible to me.

The other author who signed at the table the same time as I did is James Benn, who has written the very successful World War II Billy Boyle mystery series. Quite an inspiration.

It's Mystery Writers of America--and specifically Margery Flax--who make this possible, recruiting the members to sign during the gargantuan BEA, organizing the time slots and keeping the books (and water bottles) flowing. The volunteers even act as bouncers when someone tries to jump the line of people waiting for books. That's fun to watch. :)

There's Margery in green, keeping it all going

Last year I blogged about how BEA is like high school and explored the author's role in this Javits Center convention. Link here.  I guess this year I graduated? Could be!

See you next May...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Report From New Orleans, the Romantic Times Convention

One of the axioms of screenwriting is "Come in late, get out early." Following that advice--meaning that writers should focus on the meat of the action and not waste precious time in either setting up or winding down a scene--produces lean, lively scripts. But it's not the best way to approach the RT Booklovers Convention 2014 in New Orleans. I arrived late, exhausted, and I left early, panic-stricken. Still, a week later, I am turning over the experience in my mind, which means it left a mark. A good one.

The Tudors Rule! Laura Andersen (The Boleyn King) and I celebrate
Although "RT" stands for Romantic Times and the majority of the 2,000-plus attendees of the annual convention are writers, readers and publishers of romance fiction, screenwriting is relevant to this blog post. One of the two reasons I was determined to fly to New Orleans was to moderate a panel on Friday morning called "Stealing Hollywood's Magic: How Screenwriting Techniques Energize Your Writing."

The second reason was to collect my first fiction award. To my astonishment and delight, The Chalice, set in 16th century England, won the Best Historical Mystery of 2013 prize. It was one of the highlights of my writing career to grip this award.

But before we get to the pleasure, we have to talk about the pain.

Read the full post here