Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Have the Right to Six Words - Bouchercon Week

Sorry I haven't been around much. I've been working diligently to finish up the six-word memoirs scrapbook pages of the authors who will be at Bouchercon. Not sure if I'll get everyone done. But then again, not sure if I'll be able to see everyone to get the pages signed, but I'd like to at least have them ready. The book is really turning out nicer than I had hoped. Actually, it's turned into two books now and may make a third by the time pictures have been added and all memoirs have been completed. But between that, prepping and packing, and oh yeah, that pesky full-time job that pays the bills (ha), I've been pretty busy. I have not, however, stopped reading, so I have some reviews to catch up on after B'Con. But as promised, we will not miss the six-word memoirs this week. So, let's get to them so I can get back to work on the scrapbook.

I am so giddy about this week's memoirists, I can't even tell you! This is a great group of authors to represent for us during Bouchercon week.

To start us off, we have Hilary Davidson. Hilary just snagged her first crime novel book deal, but she's no stranger to writing. After interning for Harper's Magazine in New York City, Hilary returned to her home town of Toronto for a magazine job. From there she decided to strike out on her own and try her hand at freelance work. In the past ten years she's written 18 guidebooks (yes that number IS 18), and gads of newspaper and magazine articles. But the world of crime was calling Hilary and she started dabbling in fiction. After her short story "Anniversary" was selected for the anthology A PRISONER OF MEMORY AND 24 OF THE YEAR'S FINEST CRIME AND MYSTERY STORIES, agent Nat Sobel took notice. And at this time next year, Hilary will be releasing her first crime fiction novel, titled THE DAMAGE DONE. But you don't have to wait to enjoy her fine writing. She's published short works in Thuglit, Crimespree, Well Told Tales, Beat to a Pulp, Spinetingler, and The Rose & Thorn. And you can see her prize-winning short story "Beast" here. In addition to the publication of her novel, Hilary will celebrate the publication of another short story in 2010. This time "Son of So Many Tears" will be published in the 2010 Thuglit anthology. I am confident that in a few years, someone is going to say to you, "have you heard of Hilary Davidson? She wrote this awesome novel." And you'll be able to say, "Where have you been? I read Hilary's six-word memoir before she even published her first novel. I've known how great she is for-ever!"

When she isn't conjuring up crime and criminals, Hilary studies krav maga and karate, where she's earned a brown belt. And she never tires of traveling. With all of these accomplishments, her memoir fits perfectly:

Thought small sins pointless. Dreamed big.
Our next memoirist this week likes to bring comedy to the crime fiction genre. Don't believe me? Let's put his bio to the first sentence test:

"Lee Goldberg is an ex-Navy SEAL, freelance Sexual Surrogate and a professional Pierce Brosnan impersonator."

I think the man knows how to write a hook! And write them he does. For print and for television. Instead of following his mother's wishes and attending law school or following his grandfather's wishes and going into the family furniture business, Lee attended UCLA, working as a freelance journalist to pay the bills. Lee published his first book .357 VIGILANTE under the pen name Ian Ludlow, but since the publisher promptly went bankrupt, Ian Ludlow was no more. But that didn't deter Lee Goldberg. He climbed back on the bike to try again. And since climbing back on, Lee has published non-fiction, fiction, and television scripts. He's well-known these days for writing the book series MONK, which is based on the television show. His newest MONK novel and the ninth in the series, MR MONK IN TROUBLE is due out this December. MONK is not the first book series Lee's written based on a television series, however. He also wrote the DIAGNOSIS MURDER novels. Lee broke into television with a freelance script for SPENSER: FOR HIRE. DIAGNOSIS MURDER, MONK, HUNTER and NERO WOLFE (for which he won an Edgar nomination) are just a few of his other television credits.

Not giving up after that first let down led Lee Goldberg to a job he loves. And he sums it up with six words:

Paid to pretend, best job ever.
Our next guest today comes to us from across the pond. And I can't tell you how surprised or thrilled I was to have her respond to my e-mail asking if she would participate. Her writing is a magical trip back in time with a gutsy, intelligent, independent woman. These days Ariana Franklin writes the Mistress of the Art of Death series about a twelfth century female pathologist. But Ariana, like Lee and Hilary, started her writing career in journalism. She dropped out of school at the age of 15 to pursue journalism, and by 20 she was the youngest journalist on Fleet Street in London. Ariana loved the journalist's life, but when she married fellow journalist Barry Norman, she left it behind and gave birth to two daughters. Just because she left journalism didn't mean she left writing, however. She continued to write anything and everything: magazine articles, biographies, ghost stories and especially women's history. It was Helen Heller who encouraged Ariana to try her hand at a historical thriller, and try it she did. She took Raymond Chandler's famous line, "When in doubt, have a man come in with a gun" and she molded it to fit her needs. She has a woman come in, and she comes in with a poison or a dagger or a crossbow. Or in Adelia's case she comes in to investigate the results of the poisons or daggers or crossbows. This year Ariana published the third book in the Mistress of the Art of Death series, GRAVE GOODS, and April of next year will bring the fourth title, A MURDEROUS PROCESSION, in this highly accurate, incredibly fun historical thriller series. While Ariana claims

Success has taken me by surprise
Being a great fan of this series, it doesn't surprise me at all!

And anchoring our list of authors today is a man who at 19 wanted to be Ernest Hemingway. William Kent Krueger began writing at the "first light" of day in his efforts to emulate Hemingway. Kent discovered this time of day also worked well for him. So, writing longhand in wire-bound notebooks while sitting in a local cafe at 6:00 each morning, a writer was born. Years later he is writing in that same cafe at 6:00 each morning, but now he's writing full time. Kent's series of Cork O'Connor books have garnered him a Barry Award, three Anthony Awards and four Minnesota Book Awards, among numerous other awards and recognitions. That's not too shabby for a man who was kicked out of Stanford for "radical activities."

Kent has been married to his wife, Diane, for over 35 years. They have two children and call St. Paul, Minnesota home. Kent's ninth Cork O'Connor novel, HEAVEN'S KEEP was released last month. So what six words did Kent find to capture his amazing experiences?

Ambitions failed. Blessings, never. Hope
How can you help but succeed with an outlook like that?! I'm excited to, hopefully, have the chance to meet Kent this weekend at Bouchercon. Our other three memoirists will, unfortunately, not be making it to the convention this year. That's part of the reason I chose them for this week. I wanted to add them to the celebration! Hilary, Lee, Ariana, and Kent, thank you so much for celebrating mystery and crime fiction with us today through your six-word memoirs. We look forward to all the intrigue and thrill you continue to bring to us, your fans, through your writing.

O.k. everyone, I will once again go quiet until next week when I will return with stories and pictures and reviews and (hopefully) some new interviews lined up! We will also have Week 22 of the Six-Word Memoirs. If you're going to be at Bouchercon, I'll see you this weekend! Happy, happy reading everyone!!


Corey Wilde October 14, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

Krueger's memoir is one for all of us.

Anonymous October 14, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

I want to throw my arms around Krueger and say, "Thank you for saying that so beautifully and succinctly." It's going over my desk.

And I want to throw Hilary down the stairs (it's a compliment I use often for people of whom I'm envious). She writes, travels, does krav maga AND she's gorgeous? Sheesh.

When are you leaving, Jen? How big is your bag? Are you bringing an extra one for the loot you'll pick up there?

Jen Forbus October 14, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

PCN, I'm leaving very early Friday morning. Hope to be in Indy by 10a.m. Pray that I make no wrong turns. I really don't want to travel to Canada this time of year. Extra bag? Heck no, I'm taking my whole car...I'll rent a U-Haul on the way home if need be! LOL

Two boxes of books are already packed in my car for signings. Although, I'm still trying to figure out what I'll do...I can't lug two boxes of books around everywhere with me! The six-word memoir scrapbooks will travel around everywhere with me, though.

Oh, I can't wait!

Hilary Davidson October 14, 2009 at 4:05 PM  

Jen, I can't thank you enough for this. I'm so honored that you would include me in your Six-Word Memoir project. And I wasn't kidding when I told you earlier that you've given me a lot to live up to. Have a wonderful time at Bouchercon!

Anonymous October 14, 2009 at 4:27 PM  

Wow, sounds like you're celebrating Christmas while I'm stuck here in jury duty sitting next to guy who sheds.

I didn't realize you're driving but think a whole car is much more appropriate than just a couple bags. Did you rent a dolly or a forklift? I hope you don't end up in Canada but I hear they've got cheap prescription drugs there.

Serena October 14, 2009 at 4:38 PM  

I love this one: "Paid to pretend, best job ever." Way to go on that one.

le0pard13 October 15, 2009 at 1:14 PM  

Another spectacular set of 6 word memoirs, Jen. And, I hope your Boucheron trip goes great! Thanks, Jen.

p.s., remind me never to say an unkind word about Hilary Davidson ;-).

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