Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Men of Mystery

We just returned from Southern California where I attended the Men of Mystery Conference, and my wife and I spent time with our kids and grandchildren. The conference is one of my favorites: 50 male mystery authors and approximately 400 mystery fans for an enjoyable day of schmoozing, signing and meeting new people. Each of the authors gave a one minute pitch, and we heard keynotes addresses from William Kent Krueger and Lawrence Block. In Kent’s speech he told how he had never read mysteries but became hooked as a writer because of the simple framework (something happens, investigation follows, it’s solved) that is broad enough to allow anything you want to put in a novel. To writers his advice was, “If you’re not enjoying it, you’re not doing it right.” Another comment he made: “Stories help us endure the chaos.” One of Lawrence Block’s quips I enjoyed related to writing being more than imagination: “With a fertile imagination you can produce no end of useless ideas.”

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