March 2012 Archives

Sleuthfest 2012, Orlando

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Sleuthfest is always fun; there, I've said it.  A little worried about escaping Logan Airport on a sleety, snowy morning, I was more than delighted to arrive in Orlando, where it was 82 degrees.  Much nicer.

Friday for me was the "Traditional Mystery" panel, where we had great fun debating the definition of traditional mystery, and whether we wrote them.  Depending on who you ask, I may or may not write them.  Maybe--do the werewolves count as traditional, if they're the good guys?  Does Anna Hoyt count as traditional, even if she may not be a good guy?  (L-R, Alan Orloff, Toni Kelner, moderator Elaine Viets, me, Joelle Charbonneau.) 

Saturday had two panels for me:  one on the short story, and one called "Charlaine and Friends," which featured Guest of Honor Charlaine Harris and some of the contributors of short stories to the anthologies she edits with Toni Kelner.  I'm endlessly fascinated by short stoimg_9317.jpgries, and the panelists (L-R, Becky Swope (m), Elaine Togneri, Terrie Moran, Brendan DuBois, me) had a lot to say on the subject.  Just for the record, I mentioned Edith Wharton as an influence for me--just take a look at "Roman Fever" if you want an education in suspense. 

The "Charlaine and Friends" panel was a hoot.  I've seldom had so much fun on a panel, and judging by the reactions, I think the audience did, too.  We (below, L-R Elaine, Charlaine, Brendan DuBois, Toni Kelner, GoH Chris Grabenstein, and me) were ably moderated by Elaine Viets.  Topics included how Charlaine brought us over to the dark side of supernatural writing, what kind of deals we made with the devil, and the pitfalls of writing paranormal fiction. 

Guest of Honor Jeffery Deaver, who gave a terrific presentation about how to write a book--and also how to treat writing as a profession.  Just a hint:  copy-editing, fact-checking, aimg_9333.jpgnd paying attention to reader comments are all in.  Angry Birds is out.

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For a limited time, read Dana's Agatha Award-nominated story "Disarming," in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, here.