Sleuthfest: Stephen J. Cannell Sighting

Barbara Vey -- February 28th, 2010

Editor panels are always fun for me.  Obviously for others too as evidenced by the standing room only group for Saturday’s early morning workshop where editors discussed what they are looking for.

Now, everyone has their own writing voice, but it’s really nice if your voice is the one the editors want to hear.  But, how to mesh the two?


Shannon Jamieson Vazquez (looking radiant in her 7th month of pregnancy, by the way) of Berkley says, “Cozies are doing really well at Berkley.”  She loves big splashy thrillers with spies and lots of action, but also enjoys historicals.

Annette Rogers of Poisoned Pen Press who penned a travel book on Egypt that has been translated into 6 languages, is looking for excellence in writing.  She wants a book that grabs her like like a strong historical or classic mystery.  Her advice is to write likable characters, know your market, “Surprise me…tell me a story I’ve never heard before.”

Neil Nyren from G.P. Putnam’s Sons is a senior vp, publisher and editor in chief.  I’ll probably run out of space telling you his authors include Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Patricia Cornwell, Robert Crais, Jack Higgins, W.E.B. Griffin and Ken Follett.  Whew!  Neil feels there isn’t a story he hasn’t read a million times before and is looking for something fresh and new and exciting.  Something that has intensity and “makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.”

Lunch included an auction with full manuscript reads offered, characters named after you and even a night of drinking with Donna Bagdasarian and Barry Eisler.

Stephen J Cannell

Keynote speaker, Stephen J. Cannell was fascinating as he lead us through the trials and tribulations of growing up dyslexic.  After failing 3 grades, he prides himself on being the only 6th grader with a driver’s license.  The crowning glory of his early years was a B- for a poem he wrote about Martin Luther King which was the inspiration he needed to keep his own dream alive.

Cannell, the Emmy award winning writer/producer and creative genius behind The Rockford Files, The A-Team, Greatest American Hero, Hunter, Riptide, Hardcastle and McCormick, 21 Jump Street, Wiseguy, The Commish and Profit, has also manage to find time to write 15 novels.
Barry Eisler

The evening ended with a Agents and Editors Cocktail Party.  Scrumptious food and drink highlighted by the awarding of the Pink Flamingo which went to Barry Eisler who had the honor of wearing a pink boa and won a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Enjoy this Drive By Video™ of the Babes In Bookland who discuss their workshop on “Sex: It Ain’t What it Used to Be.”

Bottom Line: I wonder if anyone’s written a book on Sex Euphuisms? Probably.

4 thoughts on “Sleuthfest: Stephen J. Cannell Sighting

  1. Amy J. Fetzer

    Oh Barbara, that drive-by came out great! I loved meeting you at Sleuthfest. You’re a kick, girl, and I love reading your blog. Till next time. Hopefully, we won’t wait so long for those dinners. Wasn’t that ridiculous?

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