So, attended Malice, had my little panel. Met fellow PPP authors Beverle Myers and Aileen Baron. Waved and said "hi" to Judy Clemens. Con Lehane was on my panel, so we got to chat for a little beforehand. Exchanged puzzled WTFs with Penny Warner, whose Nancy Drew Handbook is a must buy (I bought one for my daughter for Christmas and she loves it), because Penny was not on the Nancy Drew panel. Hadn't seen Marcia Talley in years so we chatted a wee bit. Meant to way lay Sujata Massey but that never happened. It was a nice Malice, although attendance seemed down to my (admittedly inexpert) eye. All in all, lots of fun, although am rethinking this free ticket Southwest thing. Sunday's trip home I was in the air or parking my butt in an airport chair for close to ten hours. FYI: Midway in Chicago does not have free WiFi, Albuquerque does.
Usually I buy a ton of books at these events, but I'm really trying to watch my spending so only bought one book. And it's great. And I'm passing on the title to you because I think it has some truly marvelous advice. Although it's geared to the mystery writer, I think the advice in this book is applicable to anyone who writes.
"Don't Murder Your Mystery," by Chris Roerden, Bella Rosa Books.
It won the 2006 Agatha Award for best Non-Fiction. I think this is a great book. It's marketed toward writers who are trying to get their submissions from getting thrown into the slush pile, but ignore that shtick. It had some damn fine advice about starting and ending chapters with a hook, how to effectively include backstory, etc. Lots and lots of shiny advice. She uses examples from mysteries so that you can see what she is talking about. Recommended. It's in paperback so it's relatively cheap.