Meeting Hallie Ephron

Hallie Ephron Signed Book

My signed copy of Hallie Ephron’s “Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel”

What a fantastic weekend!

New England Crime Bake was, in a word, inspirational. The workshops, the instructors, the camaraderie … fantastic. And all that fretting about meeting Hallie Ephron? Pfft! Hallie was nothing short of friendly, down-to-earth, and incredibly helpful. I will forever be grateful to her.

Hallie’s critique of the first 15 pages of my book exceeded every expectation I might have had. I could immediately see how her thoughtful insights were going to positively impact the entire story. The time and effort she obviously put into her review completely blew me away. I mean, the woman is a teensy bit busy, what with her writing career, writing book reviews for the Boston Globe, teaching the craft of writing, attending book signings, participating in panel discussions and workshops with other authors, and on and on. And yet, with all that, she couldn’t have been any nicer or more accessible to this as-yet-unpublished writer.

Now that it’s all over, I suppose I can confess: (more…)

On the Eve of New England Crime Bake

New England Crime BakeHere I sit, on the eve of New England Crime Bake, only the second writers’ conference I will have attended in my brief tenure as a full-time writer. Or as a writer of any kind. And, frankly, I’m a little … unnerved.

I like to think of myself as a Fearless Writer of Mystery Fiction. And that I am. I will write beyond the self-erected walls within which I find my comfort zone. Where I write, there are guns and blood and sinister things of all kinds jumping out of dark, scary places. There are people my protagonist willingly engages that I would run fast and far away from, were I to encounter them even in daylight. I know I’m on the right track if my own heart rate speeds up while writing the scenes I mean to be nerve-wracking.

So why is it that the thought of having a famous author read and critique the first 15 pages of my work-in-progress positively freaks me out? (more…)