Monday, November 30, 2009

Men of Mystery

A week ago Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in the Men of Mystery Conference in Irvine, California which brought together approximately 50 male mystery authors and some 500 fans for a day of fun, discussions on mysteries and schmoozing. Each of the authors gave a one minute pitch and over lunch we each had a chance to speak with people at our tables. Key note speakers included Tim Dorsey and Michael Connelly. Tim, the master of off-the-wall humor and psychotic characters, described how at a presentation he gave one time, everyone in the room was laughing at his jokes except for a small group of people who never even smiled. Afterwards he approached one of them and asked about this. The response: “We’re psychologists. We came to observe you.” Michael Connolly’s advice to writers: “Write every day even if only fifteen minutes.” I met a lot of great people and reacquainted myself with a classmate from graduate school at UCLA from forty years ago. Dick Holt is a thriller writer and neither of us knew the other was now writing. He has a woman protagonist in her eighties and we joked about getting his character, Jan Richter, together with my octogenarian protagonist, Paul Jacobson. Joan Hansen ran a great conference, and coming to Southern California gave me and my wife an excuse to visit with two of our kids and our granddaughter.

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