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Leighton-Gage
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Plotting and Pantsing - and other questions

[ Edited ]

Ah, before I run through your questions, Becke, I'd like to aplogize to Tonya who I called Tony.

Hi Tonya!

 

On the subject of plotting and pantsing: Tim Hallinan has, on his personal blog, a series written by writers that deals with precisely that subject. I am one of them. The 11th installment is currently up. You'll find it here:

http://www.timothyhallinan.com/blog/

 

I need quiet to work. I get easily distracted, also by music. Maybe especially by music. But dogs barking and kids playing don't help either.

 

The last book I read was Jo Nesbo's "The Redbreast". Yeah, yeah, I know. I should have gotten to it long before now. But, in my defense, I have to buy my books when I'm in the 'States and lug them down here to Brazil. There are no libraries in São Paulo with English language books and a lot of the good stuff doesn't get translated into Portuguese. And ordering it by mail doesn't work either. The books, often as not, get nicked.

 

Influences on my writing? Eric Ambler. Definitely. But that was years and years ago. And, yes, I agree with Michael, John le Carré.

 

As to the book I'm currently working on, it's the one for December of 2011.

 

The December 2010 book is already copy-edited, line edited, set in type and has a cover. You'll even find it being offered online. Want to see the cover? Look it up here, on B&N:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Every-Bitter-Thing/Leighton-Gage/e/9781569478455/?itm=9

 

 

Every Bitter Thing

 

 

 

But I digress.

The current project deals with the kidnapping of the mother of a famous Brazilian soccer star. This, by the way, has been done more than once in this country.

In my story, the kidnapping takes place just before the World Cup. (As Stan and Michael will be happy to tell you, it will be in South Africa this year. But we get it in Brazil next time around, in 2014.)

Now, lest you think the book is for guys, or soccer fans, I assure you it isn't.

It's just context for a (typically) Brazilian kidnapping story with a lot a suspects and a number of disagreeable people whom you'll love to hate.

The title I'm working with is A Vine in the Blood, but it's early days still, and that could change.

 

Note: All the titles in the Silva series stem from the Bible/Torah. The passages are to be found in the beginning of each book. And by the time you get done reading, you'll find they have a direct relevance to the story.

 

 

 

 

Leighton Gage
Crime Novels set in Brazil
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

 

Michael_Sears wrote:

Interesting questions!  Stanley and I have been both.  With our first book - A Carrion Death - we had a concept and some characters and we went with the flow.  Pretty often the flow took us into dead ends and washed us up on the beach.  We had to back-track and rethink.  We had a lot of fun, but it took us a LONG time.  Three years to write the book.  (It was really two books; we threw one away.)

We approached our second book quite differently.  We spent a lot of time discussing the plot, drawing mind maps, connecting events and so on.  Some things changed, but the synopsis after all that planning would still be a pretty good description of the book.

We decided we had this writing business licked.  The book took less than half the time, and we were pretty comfortable with the way it was going most of the time.  Then came the third book.  We tried to plan it like the second, but it twisted and turned in our grasp and ended up more like the first.  I guess the idea and the things the characters do will have the final say in the end...

 

This fascinates me - I can't imagine how people write books as a team. Don't you drive each other crazy at times? I do know several people who have co-authored books, but I'm always amazed that two people can meld their individual ideas and creative process into one seamless book. I'm impressed!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Plotting and Pantsing - and other questions

 

Leighton-Gage wrote:

Ah, before I run through your questions, Becke, I'd like to aplogize to Tonya who I called Tony.

Hi Tonya!

 

On the subject of plotting and pantsing: Tim Hallinan has, on his personal blog, a series written by writers that deals with precisely that subject. I am one of them. The 11th installment is currently up. You'll find it here:

http://www.timothyhallinan.com/blog/

 

I need quiet to work. I get easily distracted, also by music. Maybe especially by music. But dogs barking and kids playing don't help either.

 

The last book I read was Jo Nesbo's "The Redbreast". Yeah, yeah, I know. I should have gotten to it long before now. But, in my defense, I have to buy my books when I'm in the 'States and lug them down here to Brazil. There are no libraries in São Paulo with English language books and a lot of the good stuff doesn't get translated into Portuguese. And ordering it by mail doesn't work either. The books, often as not, get nicked.

 

Influences on my writing? Eric Ambler. Definitely. But that was years and years ago. And, yes, I agree with Michael, John le Carré.

 

As to the book I'm currently working on, it's the one for December of 2011.

 

The December 2010 book is already copy-edited, line edited, set in type and has a cover. You'll even find it being offered online. Want to see the cover? Look it up here, on B&N:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Every-Bitter-Thing/Leighton-Gage/e/9781569478455/?itm=9

 

 

Every Bitter Thing

 

 

 

But I digress.

The current project deals with the kidnapping of the mother of a famous Brazilian soccer star. This, by the way, has been done more than once in this country.

In my story, the kidnapping takes place just before the World Cup. (As Stan and Michael will be happy to tell you, it will be in South Africa this year. But we get it in Brazil next time around, in 2014.)

Now, lest you think the book is for guys, or soccer fans, I assure you it isn't.

It's just context for a (typically) Brazilian kidnapping story with a lot a suspects and a number of disagreeable people whom you'll love to hate.

The title I'm working with is A Vine in the Blood, but it's early days still, and that could change.

 

Note: All the titles in the Silva series stem from the Bible/Torah. The passages are to be found in the beginning of each book. And by the time you get done reading, you'll find they have a direct relevance to the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's a scary cover, Leighton! I'm always interested in covers and titles because some of the authors I know get frustrated because they have so little say in what ends up on their book.

 

Did you (and the rest of you) choose your own titles, or did the publisher come up with something different? What about the covers - did you have any input in those?

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

 

becke_davis wrote:

Hi Tonya! Thanks for joining us!

 

Tonya and VT/Suze - I've never been to Malice Domestic but that's high on my list of events I want to attend one day. I made it to my first Bouchercon last October and was completely awestruck. I was surprised at the number of mystery authors (all kinds - not just romantic suspense) at the Romantic Times conference. There were a lot more male mystery authors than I expected, but it makes sense for them to attend - they were outnumbered by women about ten to one. I think they enjoyed a lot of attention, and not just for their books!

 

I'm curious, Leighton and all, since you are all so widespread how do you decide which conferences to attend? Do you stick to conferences close to home or come to the U.S. for the big ones like Bouchercon and Thrillerfest? I seem to remember Yrsa was on a panel at Bouchercon last year, and I'm kicking myself for missing it.

 

:smileywink:Becke I have never been to "Malice Domestic' I was referring to MIE..Leighton Gage and all the Authors here,blog.."Mystery is Everywhere"  It has so much information that I read it everyday..I think you and your husband would love it..Politics,books,history.,everything about all The Wonderful Authors that have been here "The Posse "Very European..You posted the link on Leightons first or second page when he first signed on..But I will send you link..Best..Suze

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Leighton-Gage
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
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Input on covers

Ha!

Good question, Becke.

I think most publishers, mine included, think a writer's job is to write the books, period.

And that it is the publisher's job to market it.

 

Covers are (generally interpreted as having to do with) marketing.

 

I first saw the cover of Dying Gasp after it was already being offered for sale on B&N.

I liked it, though, and wrote the publisher to say I did.

They wrote back to say, "Oh, sorry, sorry, didn't we show you that already? Our mistake! Glad you like it."

 

My initial exposure to the cover of Every Bitter Thing also makes for an interesting story.

Eager to include the author, the very nice, very competent (and no longer forgetful) marketing director sent me the aritist's suggestion shortly after she received it.

I loved it! I wrote her, and the artist, to tell them so.

 

A few weeks went by.

 

And then one of the major buyers for a very large chain, that also has a significant online presence and shall otherwise remain nameless, checked in with his opinion.

 

"Too Dark," he said.

 

Publishers listen very closer to major buyers for very large chains who also have a significant online presence.

 

The artist was asked to try again.

 

The result is the cover that's currently up on B&N.

I didn't get to see it until it was approved.

 

As to the "too dark" comment, my personal opinion is that I write dark books, and I can't imagine how a dark cover, no matter how "too" could be misleading.

 

But what do I know?

I'm only the writer.

Leighton Gage
Crime Novels set in Brazil
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becke_davis
Posts: 35,681
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

Leighton, since I'd say the current cover is pretty dark, now I'm really curious what was considered "too dark!"

 

Sorry for the confusion, Suze! And it's worth another mention that all of these wonderful authors blog at the same place: Murder is Everywhere. Dan is blogging about the elections in England today.

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

 

becke_davis wrote:

Leighton, since I'd say the current cover is pretty dark, now I'm really curious what was considered "too dark!"

 

Sorry for the confusion, Suze! And it's worth another mention that all of these wonderful authors blog at the same place: Murder is Everywhere. Dan is blogging about the elections in England today.

 

After reading MIE,Becke,I feel so sheltered .Thank Goodness for BBC...Especially here in Vt..Where we all live in "Caves"  :  ) Leighton,the cover is Dark,,But Very Striking"...Makes one want to read about it......Its been such a pleasure learning about you and your Books,and Thank you for sharing so much with all of us..I look forward to reading one of your books..Will start with your first one.Which I have on my wish list here on BN..."Blood of The Wicked"  I hope I am correct..Best Suze Vtc...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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danwaddell
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

Evening all - my computer problems seem to have abated thanks to a bit of tweaking.

 

Becke, re your questions:

 

1. I'm a seat of the pants guy. I love the ideas stage of books, more than any other probably; it's the dream, endless possibility time before messy reality and all its compromises kick in. But once I have the idea clear and a rough outline I plunge straight in and see where it takes me. Often it's down a dead end street but often it's not, and it's then it works for me. I work on the basis that if I've managed to surprise myself I'll be able to surprise my reader, and I often find it easier to come up with a twist or a new direction when I'm immersed in the book than when I'm sketching it out.

 

2. Music. Sometimes do, sometimes don't. I have three kids, a dog, I live in a busy part of London, planes flying overhead, tubes rattling at the end of my street; sometimes i need music to give me the illusion of solitude. Sometimes it inspires me. I'm a music bore though.

 

3. Last book I read a was a piece of 'true crime' - Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi's The Monster of Florence. A truly staggering story of gruesome murder and police incompetence, in which the authors become unexpectedly embroiled.

 

4. The author who inspired me most is John Steinbeck. I was a bookish kid, but in my mid-teens I was drifting away from literature, like I suppose many kids do. I read The Grapes of Wrath and it sucked me back in. In the world of crime, even though my books, my style are nothing like his, I've always loved Ross Macdonald.

 

Leighton, I had a similar experience with one of my book covers. The first proof of the UK edition of The Blood Detective had a cover everyone loved. A month or so later the buyers reported that it was too 'mid-list' i.e it didn't look like a bestseller. This was crucial, apparently, because if it looked too literary then the supermarkets, where bestsellers are made these days, wouldn't take it. My publishers decided to redesign ,even though it meant delaying the publication date. It would be worth the wait, they said. Of course, a new design was made and still the supermarkets didn't take it and we were left with, in my honest opinion at least, a worse cover, a needless delay and a rather rueful author. But hey, that's publishing these days and the rough goes with the smooth.

 

 

I like to think that I know better than to think that I know better.
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Leighton-Gage
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
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In response to a few comments and questions

[ Edited ]

"Too dark", Becke, was the solid steel door to a prison cell with a grate. Beyond the grate was a single eye staring straight at the viewer. Also very Black and White like the current cover, but considerably more striking, I thought. And, in my humble opinion, no "darker" than what we have now. But, like I said, what do I know? I'm only the writer.

 

So, Dan, that kind of stuff doesn't only happen in America, huh? I am reminded of an old New Yorker cartoon of a young marketing man sitting at a table and staring at an ad. He's surrounded by a number of anxious, senior, advertising agency types. He's talking, and caption is, "I'm now looking at this with the eyes of a little old lady in Dubuque." It's so reassuring to me that we have people who can do that.

 

Thanks, Suze, for your kind words. I hope you enjoy the first book and will want to go on to more. I would be most pleased if you'd hit the "contact me" button on my web site and tell me what you think of it when you've done reading. I am sure I speak for all of us that there's nothing we like better than reader playback. (Except  for huge advances and stellar reviews.)

 

Oh, yeah, that's a point. I would be most appreciative if everyone who loves my books would contribute their reviews to my B&N pages.

If you hate the books, please don't bother.

 

On the subject of conferences, there's almost always a reason.

 

I went to Crimefest in the UK because Cara Black talked me into it. It was kind of a last minute decision. I happened to be in Paris for an extended stay, so it was just a short hop accross the Channel. I loved it and will go again. But only after a UK publisher starts bringing out my books.

 

I went to Bouchercon because Jim Huang talked me into it. That was fully two years before it happened. Jim was co-chairman for the event when it was held in Indianapolis, and used to own a lovely bookshop in Carmel, Indiana (which, sadly, closed a few months ago). I went there for a reading, because it was one of the best venues in the United States, and also because I wanted to meet Jim. Back then (and I think until today) he was on the board of Sisters in Crime and had done a lot for that organization, of which I am also a member. (Didn't know they also accept males? Well, they do. And, if you're a mystery or thriller writer, male or female, you shouild join.)

 

Bouchercon is Bouchercon. There is nothing that compares with it. I won't go next year only because it's in San Francisco, which is Cara's home town, but a long, long way for me to go. I intend to go to St. Louis in 2011.

 

I went to Sleuthfest, in Fort Lauderdale, because I was visiting a daughter in nearby Miami and because I am a member of the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America - and thought I should go there to support the team. It's a fantastic conference with fantastic people, a wonderful place for newbies and unpubbed writers. If I was working on my first book, or recently published, it's the one I'd pick. They give everyone a warm welcome.

 

I was registered for Left Coast Crime, but had to cancel. I hope to do it next year. I was talked into registering by Bill and Toby Gottfried, two of the original organisers and two of the most delightful people in the mystery community. They go to Crimefest, they go to Bouchercon, they go everywhere!

 

And that's it! That's my experience of conferences.

 

Cara should write to us about conferences. I think she's been to them all.

 

 

Leighton Gage
Crime Novels set in Brazil
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becke_davis
Posts: 35,681
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

 

Vermontcozy wrote:

 

becke_davis wrote:

Leighton, since I'd say the current cover is pretty dark, now I'm really curious what was considered "too dark!"

 

Sorry for the confusion, Suze! And it's worth another mention that all of these wonderful authors blog at the same place: Murder is Everywhere. Dan is blogging about the elections in England today.

 

After reading MIE,Becke,I feel so sheltered .Thank Goodness for BBC...Especially here in Vt..Where we all live in "Caves"  :  ) Leighton,the cover is Dark,,But Very Striking"...Makes one want to read about it......Its been such a pleasure learning about you and your Books,and Thank you for sharing so much with all of us..I look forward to reading one of your books..Will start with your first one.Which I have on my wish list here on BN..."Blood of The Wicked"  I hope I am correct..Best Suze Vtc...

 

I have a feeling your wish list at B&N is as long as mine, Suze!

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

 

danwaddell wrote:

Evening all - my computer problems seem to have abated thanks to a bit of tweaking.

 

Becke, re your questions:

 

1. I'm a seat of the pants guy. I love the ideas stage of books, more than any other probably; it's the dream, endless possibility time before messy reality and all its compromises kick in. But once I have the idea clear and a rough outline I plunge straight in and see where it takes me. Often it's down a dead end street but often it's not, and it's then it works for me. I work on the basis that if I've managed to surprise myself I'll be able to surprise my reader, and I often find it easier to come up with a twist or a new direction when I'm immersed in the book than when I'm sketching it out.

 

Dan, prior to attending Bouchercon last October, I had always assumed mystery authors were primarily plotters. I was amazed how many described a process similar to yours. I love that authors can be surprised by their own stories!

 

2. Music. Sometimes do, sometimes don't. I have three kids, a dog, I live in a busy part of London, planes flying overhead, tubes rattling at the end of my street; sometimes i need music to give me the illusion of solitude. Sometimes it inspires me. I'm a music bore though.

 

Are you in the Heathrow flight path or do you live near one of the other airports? I used to live in Greater London, in Kent- not the good part.

 

3. Last book I read a was a piece of 'true crime' - Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi's The Monster of Florence. A truly staggering story of gruesome murder and police incompetence, in which the authors become unexpectedly embroiled.

 

I've got that in my TBR pile - I've heard it's amazing.

 

4. The author who inspired me most is John Steinbeck. I was a bookish kid, but in my mid-teens I was drifting away from literature, like I suppose many kids do. I read The Grapes of Wrath and it sucked me back in. In the world of crime, even though my books, my style are nothing like his, I've always loved Ross Macdonald.

 

I remember reading Ross Macdonald when I was a teenager. I liked the way he wrote but at that time I was hooked on Christie. 

 

 

Leighton, I had a similar experience with one of my book covers. The first proof of the UK edition of The Blood Detective had a cover everyone loved. A month or so later the buyers reported that it was too 'mid-list' i.e it didn't look like a bestseller. This was crucial, apparently, because if it looked too literary then the supermarkets, where bestsellers are made these days, wouldn't take it. My publishers decided to redesign ,even though it meant delaying the publication date. It would be worth the wait, they said. Of course, a new design was made and still the supermarkets didn't take it and we were left with, in my honest opinion at least, a worse cover, a needless delay and a rather rueful author. But hey, that's publishing these days and the rough goes with the smooth.

 

 It's pretty scary that the book business is dependent on impulse buys in grocery stores to determine the success of a book. Strange business, publishing.

 

 

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becke_davis
Posts: 35,681
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: In response to a few comments and questions

 

Leighton-Gage wrote:

"Too dark", Becke, was the solid steel door to a prison cell with a grate. Beyond the grate was a single eye staring straight at the viewer. Also very Black and White like the current cover, but considerably more striking, I thought. And, in my humble opinion, no "darker" than what we have now. But, like I said, what do I know? I'm only the writer.

 

I agree, it doesn't seem any darker than the cover they went with. Very confusing.

 

So, Dan, that kind of stuff doesn't only happen in America, huh? I am reminded of an old New Yorker cartoon of a young marketing man sitting at a table and staring at an ad. He's surrounded by a number of anxious, senior, advertising agency types. He's talking, and caption is, "I'm now looking at this with the eyes of a little old lady in Dubuque." It's so reassuring to me that we have people who can do that.

 

I love that!!

 

Thanks, Suze, for your kind words. I hope you enjoy the first book and will want to go on to more. I would be most pleased if you'd hit the "contact me" button on my web site and tell me what you think of it when you've done reading. I am sure I speak for all of us that there's nothing we like better than reader playback. (Except  for huge advances and stellar reviews.)

 

Huge advances? Don't all authors get those multi-million dollar deals? (*choke choke*)

 

Oh, yeah, that's a point. I would be most appreciative if everyone who loves my books would contribute their reviews to my B&N pages.

If you hate the books, please don't bother.

 

They won't hate the books, Leighton, and we do have some very good reviewers here!

 

On the subject of conferences, there's almost always a reason.

 

I went to Crimefest in the UK because Cara Black talked me into it. It was kind of a last minute decision. I happened to be in Paris for an extended stay, so it was just a short hop accross the Channel. I loved it and will go again. But only after a UK publisher starts bringing out my books.

 

It sounds like a fun conference - I'd love to catch that one!

 

I went to Bouchercon because Jim Huang talked me into it. That was fully two years before it happened. Jim was co-chairman for the event when it was held in Indianapolis, and used to own a lovely bookshop in Carmel, Indiana (which, sadly, closed a few months ago). I went there for a reading, because it was one of the best venues in the United States, and also because I wanted to meet Jim. Back then (and I think until today) he was on the board of Sisters in Crime and had done a lot for that organization, of which I am also a member. (Didn't know they also accept males? Well, they do. And, if you're a mystery or thriller writer, male or female, you shouild join.)

 

It makes sense that Sisters in Crime accepts males. There isn't a Brothers in Crime, after all. Is there? I joined Sisters in Crime last year. It's worth it just for the newsletters!

 

Bouchercon is Bouchercon. There is nothing that compares with it. I won't go next year only because it's in San Francisco, which is Cara's home town, but a long, long way for me to go. I intend to go to St. Louis in 2011.

 

It's a long way from Cincinnati, too. Now, St. Louis -- I can do St. Louis. See you there!

 

I went to Sleuthfest, in Fort Lauderdale, because I was visiting a daughter in nearby Miami and because I am a member of the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America - and thought I should go there to support the team. It's a fantastic conference with fantastic people, a wonderful place for newbies and unpubbed writers. If I was working on my first book, or recently published, it's the one I'd pick. They give everyone a warm welcome.

 

I have a good friend in Ft. Lauderdale and a daughter in Orlando. You've almost talked me into this one.

 

I was registered for Left Coast Crime, but had to cancel. I hope to do it next year. I was talked into registering by Bill and Toby Gottfried, two of the original organisers and two of the most delightful people in the mystery community. They go to Crimefest, they go to Bouchercon, they go everywhere!

 

One of my dad's best friends has been to every Bouchercon in the past 15-20 years (don't remember the exact count). My dad has passed on his friend's book reviews for years but I finally met Tony Delvecchio and his wife in Indianapolis at last year's Bouchercon. You all may have met him - he loves discovering authors before they become the next James Patterson (in sales, that is - I know you are all unique).

 

And that's it! That's my experience of conferences.

 

Cara should write to us about conferences. I think she's been to them all.

 

I love hearing about conferences! If there are any that cater to readers in particular, I'm sure the people reading this would be interested to find out more about them.

 

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: In response to a few comments and questions

 

becke_davis wrote:

 

Leighton-Gage wrote:

"Too dark", Becke, was the solid steel door to a prison cell with a grate. Beyond the grate was a single eye staring straight at the viewer. Also very Black and White like the current cover, but considerably more striking, I thought. And, in my humble opinion, no "darker" than what we have now. But, like I said, what do I know? I'm only the writer.

 

I agree, it doesn't seem any darker than the cover they went with. Very confusing.

 

So, Dan, that kind of stuff doesn't only happen in America, huh? I am reminded of an old New Yorker cartoon of a young marketing man sitting at a table and staring at an ad. He's surrounded by a number of anxious, senior, advertising agency types. He's talking, and caption is, "I'm now looking at this with the eyes of a little old lady in Dubuque." It's so reassuring to me that we have people who can do that.

 

I love that!!

 

Thanks, Suze, for your kind words. I hope you enjoy the first book and will want to go on to more. I would be most pleased if you'd hit the "contact me" button on my web site and tell me what you think of it when you've done reading. I am sure I speak for all of us that there's nothing we like better than reader playback. (Except  for huge advances and stellar reviews.)

 

Huge advances? Don't all authors get those multi-million dollar deals? (*choke choke*)

 

Oh, yeah, that's a point. I would be most appreciative if everyone who loves my books would contribute their reviews to my B&N pages.

If you hate the books, please don't bother.

 

They won't hate the books, Leighton, and we do have some very good reviewers here!

 

On the subject of conferences, there's almost always a reason.

 

I went to Crimefest in the UK because Cara Black talked me into it. It was kind of a last minute decision. I happened to be in Paris for an extended stay, so it was just a short hop accross the Channel. I loved it and will go again. But only after a UK publisher starts bringing out my books.

 

It sounds like a fun conference - I'd love to catch that one!

 

I went to Bouchercon because Jim Huang talked me into it. That was fully two years before it happened. Jim was co-chairman for the event when it was held in Indianapolis, and used to own a lovely bookshop in Carmel, Indiana (which, sadly, closed a few months ago). I went there for a reading, because it was one of the best venues in the United States, and also because I wanted to meet Jim. Back then (and I think until today) he was on the board of Sisters in Crime and had done a lot for that organization, of which I am also a member. (Didn't know they also accept males? Well, they do. And, if you're a mystery or thriller writer, male or female, you shouild join.)

 

It makes sense that Sisters in Crime accepts males. There isn't a Brothers in Crime, after all. Is there? I joined Sisters in Crime last year. It's worth it just for the newsletters!

 

Bouchercon is Bouchercon. There is nothing that compares with it. I won't go next year only because it's in San Francisco, which is Cara's home town, but a long, long way for me to go. I intend to go to St. Louis in 2011.

 

It's a long way from Cincinnati, too. Now, St. Louis -- I can do St. Louis. See you there!

 

I went to Sleuthfest, in Fort Lauderdale, because I was visiting a daughter in nearby Miami and because I am a member of the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America - and thought I should go there to support the team. It's a fantastic conference with fantastic people, a wonderful place for newbies and unpubbed writers. If I was working on my first book, or recently published, it's the one I'd pick. They give everyone a warm welcome.

 

I have a good friend in Ft. Lauderdale and a daughter in Orlando. You've almost talked me into this one.

 

I was registered for Left Coast Crime, but had to cancel. I hope to do it next year. I was talked into registering by Bill and Toby Gottfried, two of the original organisers and two of the most delightful people in the mystery community. They go to Crimefest, they go to Bouchercon, they go everywhere!

 

One of my dad's best friends has been to every Bouchercon in the past 15-20 years (don't remember the exact count). My dad has passed on his friend's book reviews for years but I finally met Tony Delvecchio and his wife in Indianapolis at last year's Bouchercon. You all may have met him - he loves discovering authors before they become the next James Patterson (in sales, that is - I know you are all unique).

 

And that's it! That's my experience of conferences.

 

Cara should write to us about conferences. I think she's been to them all.

 

I love hearing about conferences! If there are any that cater to readers in particular, I'm sure the people reading this would be interested to find out more about them.

 

 

 

 

Good Morning..bookexpoamerica.com  is coming to the Jacob Javits Center May25..The Largest gathering of Publishers,Authors.in America..That I know of..Its for everyone..Luncheons with Authors,signings,conferences,barnesandNoble will surely be there.Books for sale,from all the publishing houses.....Its quite an event..I have some friends that are attending and I am seriously thinking of gong this year..From past comments its the "creme de la creme" of the publishing world in America..Have a look at their website.Following them on twitter is amazing...I just started... Its a yearly event..Maybe next year...Leighton,..Becke you would Love it as well.....SuzeVt..

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

 

becke_davis wrote:

 

Vermontcozy wrote:

 

becke_davis wrote:

Leighton, since I'd say the current cover is pretty dark, now I'm really curious what was considered "too dark!"

 

Sorry for the confusion, Suze! And it's worth another mention that all of these wonderful authors blog at the same place: Murder is Everywhere. Dan is blogging about the elections in England today.

 

After reading MIE,Becke,I feel so sheltered .Thank Goodness for BBC...Especially here in Vt..Where we all live in "Caves"  :  ) Leighton,the cover is Dark,,But Very Striking"...Makes one want to read about it......Its been such a pleasure learning about you and your Books,and Thank you for sharing so much with all of us..I look forward to reading one of your books..Will start with your first one.Which I have on my wish list here on BN..."Blood of The Wicked"  I hope I am correct..Best Suze Vtc...

 

I have a feeling your wish list at B&N is as long as mine, Suze!

 

 

B..I took 3 off my Wish List..ordered them  and waiting..Now its grown again..We know why  "Leighton and His "Posse" ;  0 I am following Dan on twitter,Outspoken ? To answer my own question Yes..in a good way....Best Suze..

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Yrsa_S
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-28-2010
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Late Replies to a couple of questions

Hi Becke,

 

I have been off the net for a couple of days and hope my replies to your questions are not redundant as a result. In the hope that this is not the case - here goes:

 

 1) Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Unfortunately I have no idea what a “pantser” is but this probably does not matter much as I am a plotter and the two terms are probably opposite sides of the crime novel coin. I like to keep my readers guessing and strive to make the guilty party’s identity come as a complete surprise without it being someone who appears out of nowhere or a minor character who has received no attention in the storyline.

 

2) Do you like it quiet when you work or do you have a playlist for the book you're working on?

Seeing that I write at home in the evenings, weekends and holidays I have seldom had the luxury of writing in silence or peace. Usually I must combine writing with replying to my daughter’s homework questions, my husband’s running commentary on the newspaper he is reading, the actors’ lines from whatever TV program is on the air and my dogs’ miscellaneous attempts for attention. A playlist is something I have not considered adding to the cacophony. But even though this sounds really disruptive I have never known other circumstances and probably would not change a thing – except maybe to turn off the TV that nobody is really watching anyway (we only have one station).  

 

3) What was the last book you read?

Oh my God – this is an embarrassing question as the last book I read was a book called The Atlantis Code or something like that. There is something wrong with me regarding old secrets or forgotten explanations – if I see a book with “Atlantis”, “Templars”, “Amber Room”, “Scrolls”, “Lost City”  etc. in the title, I am drawn to it and will buy it. Needless to say I am always horribly, horribly disappointed. The last one was no exception. But despite the statistics being against me I will probably not change my ways and can only hang on to the hope that one of these days I will hit the jackpot. If anyone reading this knows of such a book which is worth the paper it is printed on I would welcome a heads up.

 

4) What author(s) influenced you the most?

Strangely enough my original reason for writing was how bad the books my son was reading at the time. Reading through them I reached the decision that writing could not be all that hard if the awful stories he could select from got published. In that sense the biggest influence on my writing career were really lousy authors – whom as you can understand I do not feel comfortable in mentioning by name. 

bye for now

Yrsa

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Leighton-Gage
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
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Book Expo

Suze,

 

I'm almost sure that Cara will be signing her books at Book Expo.

Cara, if you manage to overecome your WiFi difficulties, and log on, could you confirm that?

 

Jim Benn, another friend of ours, who writes the excellent Billy Boyle series of WWII mysteries, will be there for sure.

 

Tell him I said hello.

Leighton Gage
Crime Novels set in Brazil
Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Book Expo

 

Leighton-Gage wrote:

Suze,

 

I'm almost sure that Cara will be signing her books at Book Expo.

Cara, if you manage to overecome your WiFi difficulties, and log on, could you confirm that?

 

Jim Benn, another friend of ours, who writes the excellent Billy Boyle series of WWII mysteries, will be there for sure.

 

Tell him I said hello.

 

Leighton Thats so kind of you.How exciting.,,Will keep you in the loop,and you do as well..Next Year  New York...Best Suze....

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Contributor
Yrsa_S
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-28-2010
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Re: On the subject of great stuff coming out of Africa...

Hi TiggerBear,

 

I have seen Whiteout - waited forever for it to come out on DVD as I love movies, books that take place in remote and cold places. I enjoyed it although it could have been darker for my taste and there was a pretty long scene towards the end where everybody was outside in a storm holding onto ropes that thew me completely as I had no idea whcih parka, hooded, goggled character was which. But I would not have wanted to miss it. My son likes graphic novels (I hope my English is not deceiving me here, I do not mean pornographic books but ones that play out through drawings) and he told me that Whiteout was based on such a story which rings true, a lot of the scenes were very visual and striking. I also liked the part about her fingers which was unusual a twist for a leading character.

 

I still love "The Thing" the most - I watched it the other day and it has not lost its charm despite being 20+ years old. Excellent movie aside from the monster, something that only the original alien has managed to pull off. Maybe this relates to monsters not being scary anymore, OK they are ugly and have sharp teeth but we all know that we have more need to fear our own kind than such things.

 

bye for now

Yrsa 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,681
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome LEIGHTON GAGE & HIS INTERNATIONAL CRIME POSSE

Vermontcozy wrote:

 

becke_davis wrote:

 

Vermontcozy wrote:

 

becke_davis wrote:

Leighton, since I'd say the current cover is pretty dark, now I'm really curious what was considered "too dark!"

 

Sorry for the confusion, Suze! And it's worth another mention that all of these wonderful authors blog at the same place: Murder is Everywhere. Dan is blogging about the elections in England today.

 

After reading MIE,Becke,I feel so sheltered .Thank Goodness for BBC...Especially here in Vt..Where we all live in "Caves"  :  ) Leighton,the cover is Dark,,But Very Striking"...Makes one want to read about it......Its been such a pleasure learning about you and your Books,and Thank you for sharing so much with all of us..I look forward to reading one of your books..Will start with your first one.Which I have on my wish list here on BN..."Blood of The Wicked"  I hope I am correct..Best Suze Vtc...

 

I have a feeling your wish list at B&N is as long as mine, Suze!

 

 

B..I took 3 off my Wish List..ordered them  and waiting..Now its grown again..We know why  "Leighton and His "Posse" ;  0 I am following Dan on twitter,Outspoken ? To answer my own question Yes..in a good way....Best Suze..

 

Twitter won't let me follow any more people as Becke_Davis so I may follow some of you under my pen name, Becke_Martin. I've got to check if I'm following you all - I know I'm friends with at least some of you on Facebook.


Suze, you're making me jealous with your talk of conferences. I don't think my budget can take any more than the ones I'm already signed up for this year!

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,681
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Late Replies to a couple of questions

 

Yrsa_S wrote:

Hi Becke,

 

I have been off the net for a couple of days and hope my replies to your questions are not redundant as a result. In the hope that this is not the case - here goes:

 

 1) Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Unfortunately I have no idea what a “pantser” is but this probably does not matter much as I am a plotter and the two terms are probably opposite sides of the crime novel coin. I like to keep my readers guessing and strive to make the guilty party’s identity come as a complete surprise without it being someone who appears out of nowhere or a minor character who has received no attention in the storyline.

 

Sounds like my kind of stories!

 

2) Do you like it quiet when you work or do you have a playlist for the book you're working on?

Seeing that I write at home in the evenings, weekends and holidays I have seldom had the luxury of writing in silence or peace. Usually I must combine writing with replying to my daughter’s homework questions, my husband’s running commentary on the newspaper he is reading, the actors’ lines from whatever TV program is on the air and my dogs’ miscellaneous attempts for attention. A playlist is something I have not considered adding to the cacophony. But even though this sounds really disruptive I have never known other circumstances and probably would not change a thing – except maybe to turn off the TV that nobody is really watching anyway (we only have one station).  

 

I'm impressed! I'd never be able to concentrate with all that going on.

 

3) What was the last book you read?

Oh my God – this is an embarrassing question as the last book I read was a book called The Atlantis Code or something like that. There is something wrong with me regarding old secrets or forgotten explanations – if I see a book with “Atlantis”, “Templars”, “Amber Room”, “Scrolls”, “Lost City”  etc. in the title, I am drawn to it and will buy it. Needless to say I am always horribly, horribly disappointed. The last one was no exception. But despite the statistics being against me I will probably not change my ways and can only hang on to the hope that one of these days I will hit the jackpot. If anyone reading this knows of such a book which is worth the paper it is printed on I would welcome a heads up.

 

Too funny! Those kinds of titles always intrigue me, too.

 

4) What author(s) influenced you the most?

Strangely enough my original reason for writing was how bad the books my son was reading at the time. Reading through them I reached the decision that writing could not be all that hard if the awful stories he could select from got published. In that sense the biggest influence on my writing career were really lousy authors – whom as you can understand I do not feel comfortable in mentioning by name. 

 

You're right - best not to mention those!

 

Have a Happy Mother's Day tomorrow - if it is Mother's Day in Iceland.


bye for now

Yrsa