Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mystery Novel Events

I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of mystery conferences including Bouchercon, The Left Coast Crime Conference and Malice Domestic. Both fans and writers of the mystery genre attend these events, which feature  panels on a wide variety of mystery writing and law enforcement topics.

One other mystery event is coming up this Sunday: Men of Mystery. This is an all day event at the Irvine Marriott, in Irvine, CA. Thirty to fifty men mystery writers each have one minute to pitch their latest novels, and several guests of honor speak. Over lunch we authors sit at a table with about nine mystery fans, answer questions and have a good chat about the mystery genre. Then there is a book signing where the readers can purchase their favorite authors’ books and have them signed. All in all a fun day for both mystery fans and authors.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Memory As We Get Older

In my Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series, the protagonist, Paul Jacobson, has short-term memory loss. In his case, it’s not Alzheimer’s but vascular dementia due to a number of small strokes. As we get older, we all face loss of memory, but most of this is normal and not due to any disease.

One example is what my wife calls “the intervening thought.” I go into a room to get a folder, get distracted when I see a note I left and leave the room without the folder. This happens to us as we get older.

I forget a lot of little things now. One example: last week I took our two-year-old grandson to a playground. I brought along sand toys for him to play with. When it was time to go we packed up, but I forgot to retrieve the sand toys. After we got in the car and I had my grandson seatbelted into his car seat. I realized I had left the sand toys in the sand at the playground. I had to get my grandson out of the car seat and take him back to the playground to retrieve the toys and then return to the car. Extra work that could have been avoided if I had remembered before we left the playground the first time.

The lesson I’ve learned from this type of event. I need to pay attention during transitions. When I’m changing locations, I need to go through a mental checklist to make sure I’ve taken care of everything. If I do this, I have a better chance of not forgetting an important item. Otherwise, I have to write these types of events off as part of my exercise program.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Let's Hear It for Independent Book Stores

I’ve had the pleasure of doing book events at a number of independent book stores in Southern California since we moved here two years ago. By favorites include Gatsby Books in Long Beach, Book Carnival in Orange and Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach.

These book stores provide personalized service for customers and host book events for authors. I’ll be giving a book talk about my latest mystery novel, Death of a Scam Artist, at Mystery Ink ( 8907 Warner Avenue #135, Huntington Beach, CA) this coming Saturday October 14 at 5 PM. This novel takes place in a retirement community, so my talk focuses on the subject of older characters and retirement.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Writing Journey

Sixteen years ago in 2001, I made the decision that I wanted to retire into writing. I began by taking writing courses at the University of Colorado (we lived in Boulder, CO, at the time and people over the age of 55 could take any courses at CU with the instructor’s permission). My first book, Retirement Homes Are Murder, was published in 2007, and I retired later that year to focus on writing. I’ve been fortunate to have my fourteenth book, Death of a Scam Artist, published this year.

Thank you to all the readers who have inspired me and kept me going.