Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bouchercon Comes to San Francisco!

In just three short weeks the city of San Francisco will be overrun by people thinking about murder.

In a good way! ;)

Bouchercon, the world's largest crime fiction event, is coming to Hammett's city. Writers, readers, editors, agents, librarians, book collectors, book stores ... it's a giant festival of crime (writing), right here in my home.

If you like mystery--and you live anywhere in the Bay Area--try not to miss it. The cast list is huge, and the events will knock your socks off.

Bouchercon is extra-special to me. My first large conference (in October, 2007, almost a year before my debut book was released) was in Anchorage, Alaska. I've written before about how much that seminal experience taught me; how it focused me on taking the plunge into writing the book that would become CITY OF DRAGONS.

Bouchercon also served as my introduction to the crime fiction family at large ... and being a part of that family is truly the best part of being a writer. I dedicated CITY OF DRAGONS to my initiatory Alaskan experience, and I'm looking forward to another spectacular and special time right here in my own backyard, complete with Bertie, who gets to play Toto. ;)

BTW, Bouchercon is pronounced "Bow-cher-con". I knew it originated with Anthony Boucher, a prolific mystery writer from the 40s who also used to review for our very own San Francisco Chronicle! I used to think his last name was pronounced as if it were French (Boo-shaycon), as in the Rococo painter. However you pronounce it, it adds up to a whole lot of fun. :)

Right now, I'm preparing for the conference--working on the launch for a robust and exciting new website--and working on the next two Miranda Corbie books. And gearing up for THE CURSE-MAKER launch! We just received the final cover yesterday, and it's utterly fabulous--spooky, creepy, intriguing, mysterious, with evocative and subtle allusions to Roman culture. In other words: PERFECT!

In two weeks I'll be participating in San Francisco's LitCrawl, the culminating literary trek of Litquake. I'm in Phase Two with friends Michelle Gagnon, Simon Wood, Julianne Balmain and Seth Harwood. We'll be reading in the Mission District police station in between lineups (no kidding!) so if you're in the area, c'mon by! No need to get arrested first. ;)

At Bouchercon, I'll be participating on two panels, and in the "black envelope" event on Thursday night (about which I'm sworn to silence, but can only say: don't miss it!!)

My panels are fabulous, and I have the thrill and pleasure of participating with good friends and favorite writers:

Thursday at 4:30 PM: "Year of the Locusts: Books to Movies". I'm moderating, and the panel features Ken Bruen, Val McDermid, Paul Levine and Derek Haas.

Friday at 3:00 PM: "No Minor Vices: SF Noir". Peter Maravelis is moderating, with David Corbett, Lisa Lutz, Eddie Muller and Domenic Stansberry.

Is it any wonder I can't wait? :)

Day passes are available for the conference. If you're in San Francisco from October 14th-17th, drop in--you won't be disappointed! Litquake one week, Bouchercon the next--San Francisco is Lit City in October!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Springing Forward in the Fall

It's funny how time works.

The whole relativity thing may be provable mathematically, but I'm more interested in the emotional effects of how time feels ... you know, how it speeds up and slows down all at once, depending on what you're doing--and sometimes who you're doing it with.

The last couple of months have gone by quickly from the vantage point of today ... I spent most of the summer writing the sequel to CITY OF DRAGONS--tentative title is CITY OF SPIDERS--which will be out next year in the late summer or early fall. And while I was writing it--while I was following Miranda through some suspenseful and harrowing events--time was excruciatingly slow.

But not really.

Then came a week of copy editing for THE CURSE-MAKER, which is releasing February 1st, 2011. Now, I'm not a huge fan of the copy editing process, so it seemed much longer than a week. And while the non-writer part of my brain thinks February is a comfortable few months away (all those holidays, after all!), the writer part of my brain (which takes up more space) is about to panic. ;)

So time isn't just relative between people ... it's relative within ourselves. But hey, this is Writing in the Dark, not metaphysics, so I'm gonna try not to think about it too hard.

What is coming up is Bouchercon, and this year I get to stay home. Yup, it's coming to San Francisco, which means no jet lag for me, though I still won't get to stay up as late as I'd like because I've got to get myself back home and don't have the luxury of just rolling into a hotel room. This year will be special, as all parties in San Francisco are!

Before B'con is the big lollapalooza lit festival our City likes to throw: Litquake! This year I'm part of LitCrawl, which means I get to hang out with wonderful crime writing friends and read from CITY OF DRAGONS inside an old police station. This qualifies as a cool and wholly unexpected perq of being a writer.

We're also in the midst of designing a bigger and better website, of which Writing in the Dark will be an integral part. It's based on the stuff I like to do when I'm on the web--i.e. have fun--so it's going to be more interactive and offer more historical extras to look at, listen to and watch. It also means I'm making it a resolution to update my blog more frequently, even if I have to act out the title!

So cool stuff is coming up. Seeing THE CURSE-MAKER in print will be a dream come true, as Arcturus and Co. move to Thomas Dunne/Minotaur. Lots of research went into this one (research spent in Bath, England). And this series is more light-hearted than Miranda, so it complements what will be coming out in CITY OF SPIDERS.

I'm working on the next books--and sketching out plans for a contemporary, stand-alone thriller. If I can squeeze in the time, I may write a short story or two. The experience of having "Children's Day"--my CITY OF DRAGONS prequel--published in FIRST THRILLS this summer was one of the major thrills of my life.

I'll be back soon, writing about noir or about adventures in research, and in the meantime, want to thank YOU for reading, and send thanks to all those readers who brought a blog award to Writing in the Dark. Thanks so much for your support!