After a long run of events—the kick-off for Wake County Libraries’ Margaret Maron celebration, Bouchercon, Fall for the Book, and then our Storm Warning program this past weekend (inaptly timed with actual storm warnings further south)—the weekend ahead looks blissfully free of book events, though admittedly I’m sorry to miss another celebration for Margaret Maron, her induction this Sunday, October 16, into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame (see the nice article here in the Raleigh New & Observer surveying her career and previewing the event).
Still, there are plenty of events further ahead—so here’s a quick preview of programs I’m part of in coming months:
- Saturday, October 15: A short story talk for the Central Virginia Chapter of Sisters in Crime—Twin Hickory Library, Glen Allen, VA
- Saturday, October 29: Sisters in Crime Chesapeake Chapter Author Showcase—The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD
- Friday, November 6: A craft talk on creating characters for The Writer’s Center’s Leesburg First Friday program—Leesburg Town Hall, Leesburg, VA
- Sunday, November 6: A program on crafting short mystery fiction at the NC Writers’ Network’s Fall Conference—Crabtree Marriott, Raleigh, NC
- Saturday, December 3: Sisters in Crime Chesapeake Chapter Author Showcase (No. 2!)—Reston Regional Library, Reston, VA
The NCWN Fall Conference promises to be tremendous for a number of reasons, with guests of honor Margaret Maron (she’s everywhere!) and Shelby Stevenson among many, many others. The Network has recently published the full schedule of events in their newsletter here and opened up registration here. I’d encourage folks to register now, of course, and hope you’ll sign-up for my program on Sunday at 11 a.m.: “Sharp, Succinct & Suspenseful: Crafting the Mystery Story.” Here’s the description:
What makes a mystery? How do you build suspense? Where can I sell my crime story? Award-winning mystery writer Art Taylor will offer tips for writing and marketing short mystery stories. From detective fiction to domestic suspense to hard-hitting noir, various subgenres of the mystery offer different challenges for building on tradition and meeting reader expectations. This workshop will examine some specific passages from published crime fiction and look at how they keep aspects of the story in balance: strong prose as much as a fast-paced plot, compelling characters as much as a cleverly solved crime. A discussion of the ever-evolving market for mystery stories will conclude the session.
With that look ahead, here’s a recap as well of recent blog posts—where I’ve been on the web.
- At SleuthSayers: “Anthologies Everywhere”—including a recap of events at Fall for the Book, a celebration of the forthcoming Malice Domestic anthology, and a bit about two anthologies I’ve been associated with recently
- At Criminal Minds on how film inspire writing—including a clip from Catch Me If You Can
- At the Washington Independent Review of Books on books I read en route to and from Bouchercon—including Brendan DuBois’s collaboration with James Patterson, a graphic novel adaptation of an Ace Atkins’ short story, and yet another anthology building on the paintings of Edward Hopper
See you soon, I hope—online or in person!