Monday, April 28, 2008

Malice Domestic XX

I just returned from Malice Domestic, a wonderful mystery conference with over 400 readers and writers of the mystery genre in attendance for the celebration of its twentieth year. While there, I also had an opportunity to do a signing at a local bookstore with fellow Five Star authors Michael Allan Mallory, Marilyn Victor, Maria Hudgins and Beth Groundwater. Beth was also nominated for an Agatha award for best first novel. Although she didn’t win, she will still always be able to say she was an Agatha nominee, and we got to cheer for her! One of the events at the conference is called the Malice Go Round. Readers sit at fifteen tables and then authors spend six minutes pitching to the attendees at each table before moving on to the next table. I enjoyed the chance to speak with over a hundred people as I jumped from table to table. By the end, my voice was ready to give out. Good panels, great people and a fun time mingling with other crazy mystery readers and writers.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Audio Books

As I give talks at retirement communities, I am often asked if my book, Retirement Homes Are Murder, will be available as an audio book. Many older people are suffering from macular degeneration and can no longer read. While pursuing this as an additional publishing option to complement the hard cover and large print paperback editions currently available, I recently found out about another service offered for sight-impaired readers through the National Library Service for the Blind and Handicapped (NLS). NLS provides cassette players and books recorded on special cassettes that can be checked out. Because of the special recording format this does not infringe the copyright and provides book access to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to read. Within Colorado there is also the Colorado Talking Book Library that records local authors’ works. Although this doesn’t provide royalties to authors, it is a terrific service to address a need and to provide more exposure to an author’s writing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Services for the Aging Population

There are all kinds of new services for the aging population. One I recently found out about is Trip Nurse. This company, founded by Andrew Fallon and Suzanne Brandler, offers nursing assistance to people who want to travel but require medical assistance. The company’s motto is, “Have nurse will travel.” This idea is very appealing since, as the population ages, there will be more people with various disabilities and medical conditions that require assistance but who still want the quality of life associated with traveling to visit relatives and to see new parts of the world.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Aging In Service Organizations

I was struck recently how service groups are aging. I gave a talk at an Optimist Club two weeks ago and all the members were in their sixties and above. I will be speaking at another Optimist Club this coming week and when setting it up, the president of this chapter also indicated that all the members were in the retired aged category. Since this service organization supports youth, it is interesting that there are no young members in these two chapters. Yesterday I spoke at a book club that has been in existence since 1925. It was a very lively and articulate group, but only one person there was less than sixty. I wonder if they will be able to keep this rich tradition alive without some new, younger members.