Unexpected Learning Opportunities

Literary opportunities can pop up when you least expect them. This past weekend provided one for me. Town HouseIt was Marblehead’s annual Fourth of July extravaganza—fireworks and a special five-day event called Festival of Arts. From July 1st through the 5th, our town celebrated all forms of art including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpting, photography, crafts, films, and writing.

4th Photos

 

 

 

 

I availed myself of the opportunity to view the hundreds of exhibits… Continue reading

Consider This When Choosing Book Talk Topics

Book talks are part of marketing, and some authors love them while others hate them. I’m in the first group. It’s tough to come up with topics for talks, especially when you are speaking to both people who have read your book and those who have not. My two rules of thumb for speech topics are to fit my talk to my audience and also consider my purpose.

Three May Keep a Secret, my first Endurance Mystery, came out near the end of 2014. Before its launch, I did a number of book talks locally. I spoke about how… Continue reading

Mystery, Murder and Merlot – A Promotional Idea

Molon Lave VineyardI’ve read the twitter posts and yahoo group postings recently about what authors are doing for promotional ideas.  There are lots of different approaches.  One route my critique group partner, Lane Stone, has recently taken was collaborating with two other authors for an evening at the Molon Lave Vineyards in Warrenton, Virginia, an event which was co-sponsored by Bell Bridge Books.  

When I asked Lane how this evening came about, she said, “In 2013 the host of a local TV show asked me for… Continue reading

Crime Lab Visit

One of my favorite shows is NCIS, and one of the most interesting characters on it is forensics specialists Abby Sciuto, who singlehandedly seems to handle all types of evidence—from DNA to firearms to automobile.

Suffolk County Crime LabReal life, however, is quite different. Recently, I was able to tour the Suffolk Crime Lab on Long Island, New York, with a group of writers. The 40-person Crime Lab does what one person, Abby, does on the show. The scientists on staff are all civilians with degrees in science, and they… Continue reading