Cub reporter Nancy Naigle back on the job at Killer Nashville held in Nashville, TN with my writing partner Phyllis Johnson. While Hurricane Irene pounded my home back in Virginia the weekend of August 28th. Founded by film producer, Clay Stafford, Killer Nashville is growing in popularity and attendance. From forensics experts, advice from debut authors, to a track especially for readers, there was much to be learned and a lot of networking going on for both writers and readers.
The Hutton Hotel was the host to Killer Nashville this year. It’s a beautiful hotel and Thursday evening Phyllis and I attended the kick-off event – a wine tasting. This southern girl just didn’t have the palette for the fancy wines we tasted, but it sure was fun.
Keynote speakers were Donald Bain and Robert Dugoni. Donald Bain is as funny as he is prolific. (He’s written over 100 books!). If you don’t recognize the name, you’ll definitely recognize his work. Donald Bain has written thirty-seven Murder She Wrote books over the past twenty-four years. He’s under contract for three more and these days he collaborates with his sweet bride, Renée, on those books.
Among his successes is the 70’s mega-hit Coffee, Tea, or Me? In his words, “Fluff can be gold!” He’s done a lot of ghost writing and when asked how he dealt with not having his name on the cover of those books, he said, “I got over the ego of it by dedicating each of those books to myself.” Bain takes a “Say no to nothing” approach to writing. Now that doesn’t mean he says yes to everything, but he considers all offers with an open mind. A good lesson for us all no matter what path our lives have us on.
Oh and one other little tidbit about the wonderful Donald Bain…he’s one heck of a drummer. Don wowed the crowd as he played drums with the Killer Nashville Coffin Bangers band on Saturday night. You rock Don!
Robert Dugoni is one of ten children (5 brothers and 4 sisters) and that must have kept him pretty humble because he is as handsome as all-get-out but he doesn’t seem to realize it. He’s so easygoing I feel like even I can call him Bob now! Even when they introduced him as being “the next John Grisham” he maintained that easygoing manner. It was fun to hear him tease about being one of ten, dipping his toes into the practicing lawyer role but always coming back to writing and the mis-steps along his journey. (After seeing him Electric Slide it’s hard to believe he would have any mis-steps…that boy can move!)
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for good dads. So it’s probably no surprise that I was endeared Bob’s stories about his own children and how his teen-age son keeps him grounded. We were treated to a special session on Sunday afternoon where Robert took us through a session on craft. I purchased the hard cover of Bob’s latest novel, MURDER ONE, and he autographed it for me. Squeee! Yes! I may have gone a little “fan-girl” on him. I started reading Murder One that night, and loved it. It’s definitely a page-turner to add to your list.
If you ever get the chance to hear Dr. Bill Bass, forensics pathologist and founder of The Body Farm, don’t miss it. He gave a far from toxic talk on skulls and bones. At one point, holding a skull laced with a knitting needle, he described the source of bullet holes. Phyllis said it looked like a skull-kabob. Don’t you just love the things that go through writer’s minds?
There was a mock crime scene set up in the hotel parking garage that was so doggone realistic that it was a little creepy, but it was neat to try to wrap your head around the steps in an investigation to figure out what happened. Blood spatter and smear, beer bottle, cigarette butts, a pillow, and yes…even a body among the clues, made it a clever way to get our minds working.
Workshop panels covered such topics as POV, public speaking, marketing, promo, writing sex scenes (woo hoo) and cozy mysteries. The Mood and Atmosphere panel was enlightening. The panel, including author Tracy March (debuting her DC Thriller Girl Three in Jan 2012) gave examples on using setting to drive the mood in a scene. One important note I took away was: “The writer writes fifty percent and the reader fills in the other fifty percent.”
Bottom Line: See…we’re all in it together.
From Romance University: Romance University has a full week of awesome Visiting Professors lined-up for you. And lots of GIVEAWAYS!
Mon, 9/26 – Every author out there needs a good editor. No matter who you are; no matter how many books you’ve published. DONNELL BELL tells us why. Donnell’s giving away an advanced reading copy of THE PAST CAME HUNTING to one lucky commenter. #giveaway
Tue, 9/27 – Like the old song from Journey, KARIN TABKE reminds us to “Don’t Stop Believing!” Karin’s giving away a book of her backlist to one lucky commenter. #giveaway
Wed, 9/28 – Thriller writer WENDY CORSI STAUB shares her delight at this summer’s Romance Writers of America’s booksigning event. Wendy’s giving away a copy of LIVE TO TELL and SCARED TO DEATH. #giveaway
Thu, 9/29 – In Point of View: Channeling Elvis, best selling author PEGGY WEBB tells how she handles multiple point of views, and why she uses the point of view of a dog in her South Cousins mystery series. Peggy’s giving away three copies of ELVIS AND THE MEMPHIS MAMBO MURDERS. #giveaway
Fri, 9/30 – Romantic thriller author JO ROBERTSON gives us the deets on her new release THE AVENGER and a lecture you won’t want to miss! Leave a comment for your chance to win a download of THE AVENGER and THE WATCHER. #giveaway
From Susan Hanniford Crowley: On Saturday, Oct. 1st, advertising expert and author of Market or Die, Jennifer Fusco will be on Nights of Passion blog for the book launch of Market or Die: Sensible Brand Building Advise for Writers (Second in her series). She will be giving away to one lucky commenter a book of her Market or Die (Vol. 2)