Thursday, March 23, 2017

Left Coast Crime Conference


I had the opportunity to participate in the Left Coast Crime Conference in Honolulu last week. This gathering of mystery fans and mystery writers is one of the highlights of my writing year. I get to meet other mystery authors and fans and chat with old friends.

One of the events I enjoyed was Author Speed Dating. We teamed up with another author and gave two-minute pitches to sixteen tables of readers. Robert Downs and I were a team. By the end we could give each others’ speeches. Here’s Robert in action.



I was also on a panel about heroes and villains with Colin Cotterill, Susanna Calkins, Augie Hicks and Penny Warner. We had a lively discussion on villainous heroes and heroic villains.

I enjoyed introducing thirteen new authors at the Meet the New Author Breakfast and even had a chance to get in an ocean swim and visit the three outdoor pools at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Great event and kudos to Lucinda Surber, Stan Ulrich and Gay Gale for a well-run conference.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Meet the New Authors Breakfast at the Left Coast Crime Conference


Kicking off Thursday, March 16, 2017, is the Left Coast Crime Conference in Honolulu. This conference is held annually in February or March in different cities in the western part of the United States. It provides an opportunity for mystery fans and mystery writers to mingle, attend panels and share their love of the mystery genre.

I have the opportunity to moderate the Meet the New Authors Breakfast at this conference. This year we have thirteen new authors to introduce to the fans. These are writers who have published their first mystery/crime/suspense/thriller novel within the last year.
This is the tenth year of holding this event at the conference, the first being in Denver in 2008. We have had anywhere from twelve to forty-four new authors in attendance. Each of the new authors gives a short presentation on the most important thing readers should know about their debut novel. The new authors shore their enthusiasm of being published, and the fans have a chance to meet these authors who now have launched their mystery writing careers.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fake News


I have listened to the President deride fake news, but it seems he is one of the major perpetrators of fake news. I find this a very disturbing trend. Politicians lie, but the big lie seems to be taken to a new level within the United States from birther, to thousands of Muslims cheering 9/11, to illegal votes, to Obama wiretapping. I want to believe in the integrity of the Office of the President, but I find it difficult when these types of statements come out of the President’s mouth or his twitter feed and then his surrogates attempt to explain them away.

As a mystery and thriller writer, I am aware of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. When no proof it given I am suspicious. If proof to these claims is provided, I am willing to admit my mistake, but up to this point these claims all fall within the realm of fake news.
I am currently reading I Am Malala. She spoke out when lies were told about educating girls in Pakistan. I have held my tongue, giving our new President time to set his agenda, but his statements are becoming more and more detrimental. He doesn’t admit a mistake but instead doubles down when caught stating fake news. We need a role model for our children and grandchildren in our leader, and I find his statements go against the values children should be taught and seen modeled by important adults.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Writing Multiple Genres


As a writer, most of my published novels have been mysteries. Even within this genre, I have pursued multiple sub-genres including geezer-lit, paranormal, historical, theater and sports mysteries.

Why do this? I have many interests and become intrigued by different stories. My six-book Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series features an octogenarian protagonist with short-term memory loss who becomes an amateur sleuth. I enjoy writing about older characters who can display the wisdom they have accumulated over their years. I wanted to try something different and then wrote two paranormal mysteries. My family has been involved in theater, so I had to write a theater mystery. While hiking on what was once the railroad bed of the Switzerland Trail railroad in Colorado, I was inspired to set a historical mystery on this railroad. I love playing racquet and paddle sports, so I wrote a mystery about platform tennis, one of the sports I have played.

I also wrote a non-fiction book that was the result of meeting a World War II veteran four years ago. His story just had to be told.

My most recent book is an international thriller, The Tesla Legacy. I have always enjoyed reading thrillers and wanted to craft my own. I was inspired by the fascinating historical figure, Nikola Tesla, and wondered what if he had hidden plans for a destructive invention and the wrong types of people tried to get their hands on this invention.

What’s next? Coming out later this year is a new geezer-lit mystery with a different cast of characters. The protagonist is a forty-something financial guy who takes over a struggling retirement home to turn it around. He dislikes old people, animals and kids and has a life transforming experience in the world of geezers and geezerettes when a dead body turns up in the loading dock of the retirement home. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Tesla Legacy, An International Thriller


If you have never read about Nikola Tesla, you're missing a fascinating inventor. I became intrigued with him several years ago, and the result is a new  novel titled, The Tesla Legacy, An International Thriller (ISBN 978-0-692-84423-6), that will become available this month in print and e-book from Wooden Pants Publishing. e-book link is http://bit.ly/1teslale
 
 
Picture a retired mathematics professor and conspiracy nut with a butt-kicking, surrogate-daughter sidekick. Elmore Kranz bombards the police with his predictions of disaster until one of them actually happens, to the point that he’s implicated in the plot. Even with the assistance of his one ally, rookie cop Brittney Chase, people start dying around Elmore as attempts are made on his life. Following up on inventions from eccentric genius, Nikola Tesla, Elmore and Brittney team up to solve a hundred year old puzzle while trying to thwart a secret government agency and an Afghani terrorist group who seek to get their hands on a doomsday weapon.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Grandson Lessons – Tough Guy Face

My eighteen-month-old grandson has very expressive facial features. Most of the time he is a happy guy, but once in a while he will let us know when he is displeased. He doesn’t hold back whether happy or unhappy.

But there is one facial expression that always makes me laugh. I refer to it as his tough guy face. He scrunches up his nose like a tough guy in a TV show. He may not be all that tough, but he knows how to disarm me.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Left Coast Crime Conference 2017

In March, one of my favorite conferences takes place—The Left Coast Crime Conference. This year it’s in Honolulu, so darn, I have to force myself to go back to where I grew up. This conference features mystery writers and fans and is an action-packed four days of catching up with old friends and making new ones.

I have the pleasure of being on a panel titled, Favorite Heroes and Villains: Why Do We Remember Them, which will be moderated by Penny Warner and include other panelists Susanna Calkins, Colin Cotterill and Augie Hicks. With this great group of authors we’ll have a lively discussion.
I’ll also be moderating the Meet the New Authors Breakfast. This is an opportunity to introduce authors who have published their first mystery/crime/suspense/thriller novel within the last year. Each of the new authors will describe to the fans at the conference the most important thing to know about their debut novel.