What a marvelous experience. I went to learn a lot about writing mysteries and thrillers—and I did. I went to meet a lot of great writers and benefit from their experience—and I did. I went to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and grow, as a writer—and did I ever!
Learning at the feet of the pros
It was a deep pleasure to participate in discussions with Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, to tap into their vast trove of knowledge and experience. And they were more than generous in imparting with those of us in the workshop. I also got to meet a number of other professional writers, and just hang out, listening to them talk about the writing life.
I met the man who owned the famous Mysterious Bookshop in LA
Sheldon McArthur co-owned the bookstore in Los Angeles with Otto Penzler, a name synonymous with the very word “mystery.” During his years at the store, Shelly sponsored all kinds of fabulous events and book signing parties with authors like Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, Thomas Perry, Sue Grafton, Lawrence Block, Mary Higgins Clark, and on and on. He brought a bag full of Advance Reader Copies for us to choose from while he regaled us with stories about his days at one of the best-known and best-loved bookstores dedicated to the art of mystery.
The best bonus of my week
It was a tremendous week, in so many ways. The drive along the coast from northern Washington to Oregon was breathtaking, and fed my soul. And I stayed at the Historic Anchor Inn, a quirky little place, full of personality and a ton of interesting things to look at. But the best perk, and most astonishing thing, was writing four stories, under intense time pressure, and having them edited by one of the best in the business. Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a Hugo award-winning editor, and super good at what she does. Her verdict: I wrote four good, salable stories, but two of them, she said, are powerful and spectacular!
It was difficult, but so worth it
I loved it so much, and it just gets better from here. I’ve been invited back next month to attend the Business Master Class. Instructors for the week include Joanna Penn, Kobo Writing Life’s Mark Lefebrve, Chuck Heintzelman from BundleRabbit, writers Chris York and Matt Buchman, and WMG’s right hand woman, Allyson Longuiera. What an amazing opportunity!
I have been bounteously blessed
I am so grateful for all the help I’ve received, and continue to receive, from so many great sources. Thank you for reading my books and blog and supporting my efforts. Nocturne In Ashes hit #11 on Amazon’s crime thriller chart yesterday. I credit my readers, those who’ve spread the word on Facebook and other venues, and my superstars—those who’ve left reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.