Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2014 S.C. Book Festival

Susan M. Boyer, Kendel Lynn, PGB, Cathy Pickens
The 18th annual South Carolina Book Festival, held on May 16-18 at the Columbia Metropolitan Conference Center, was a great success. Christopher Buckley gave the keynote speech. Pat Conroy appeared with his siblings to discuss their family life. Authors of histories and cookbooks as well as fiction appeared. I had the privilege of moderating the Sassy Southern Suspense panel that featured Susan M. Boyer, Kendel Lynn, and Cathy Pickens. All three have written mystery series based in South Carolina--Susan and Kendel's on islands and Cathy's in the upstate. We had a spirited discussion about which area was more humorous.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Art Taylor, Award-Winning Short Story Author

Photo by Catriona McPherson

Art Taylor’s short story “The Care and Feeding of Houseplants,” originally published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, won the 2013 Agatha for Best Short Story at Malice Domestic. Art has been described as “becoming one of the most distinguished short-story writers of his generation.” (EQMM March/April 2013). His story, told from three distinct viewpoints, is about a man who invites his current lover and her husband to dinner. Also joining the party is the man’s former lover. I feel privileged to have been at the banquet table with Art, his wife, and friends when the award was announced. Congratulations, Art!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three Heads Are Better Than One!

Liz Stauffer, Sally Goldenbaum, B.K. Stevens, me, Wendy Tyson

My first Malice Domestic panel was fantastic! Authors Sally Goldenbaum, LizStauffer, B.K. (Bonnie) Stevens, Wendy Tyson, and I discussed how “Three Heads Are Better Than One,” concerning sleuths who work in teams. Debut authors Liz and Wendy have several completed novels—Liz in one series and Wendy in two. Malice participants could purchase Sally’s latest Seaside Knitters novel, MURDER IN MERINO. Bonnie, who’s published over forty short stories, has her first novel INTERPRETATION OF MURDER coming out from Black Opal Press. On Mother’s Day, Bonnie's family celebrated by giving her: a black opal pendant (husband) and engraved carving board (daughter).
From B.K. Stevens' Facebook Page

Friday, May 9, 2014

Arriving at Malice Domestic 2014

Hyatt Bethesda, MD

On May 2-4, 2014, I attended my eleventh Malice Domestic and had a wonderful time. The convention took place at the Hyatt in Bethesda, Maryland, about a half hour’s drive from Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

A few years ago, I met cab driver Aziz Rakla, who helped several of us take a writer to the hospital. He gave me his card. Now, each year, I call and he provides my transportation at Malice.
Aziz Rakla
In the evening, I gathered with fellow WWK bloggers at La Madeleine (French restaurant) where we had our group picture taken by manager Godi Serge.
WWK Bloggers and Friends

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Celebrating Sasscer Hill

Sasscer Hill
What better way to celebrate both Malice Domestic and the Kentucky Derby than to feature Sasscer Hill, a great mystery writer and horse woman? Her Nikki Latrelle series, which includes the Agatha-nominated Full Mortality, Racing from Death, and The Sea Horse Trade, has been compared to Dick Francis’ novels.  Sasscer, who now lives in Aiken, S.C., spent many years in Maryland as an amateur steeplechase jockey, horse farm owner and breeder, and fox hunt participant. She traces her ancestry to Samuel Ogle, the 1770’s Maryland governor credited with bringing horse racing and the famous thoroughbred Queen Mab to the colonies.