Monday, 12 March 2012
Yesterday was Lines on the Pines, my first time attending this annual gathering of authors and artists celebrating the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
As reported by the Press of Atlantic City, "A crowd of hundreds lined up Sunday to see the diverse variety of artists, authors, naturalists and historians at Frog Rock Golf & Country Club for the seventh annual Lines on the Pines event. An increasingly popular convention for Pine Barrens enthusiasts, this year’s event brought together more than 50 exhibitors who played folk music, talked about their books and crafts and provided information about what there is to see and do in the globally unique forest region."
I re-connected with some old friends and made many new friends. I sold bunches of books. If there was any downside to the event, it was only that I was so busy chatting with readers and signing books that I really didn't have the time to explore some of the other authors and artisans who were there.
After the day's event, 165 of us stayed for the Lines on the Pines dinner. I was tired and might have skipped the dinner, but I wanted to be there to support the event. Also I wanted the chance to buy a couple of raffle tickets.
A young filmmaker, David S. Kessler, is currently working on a documentary about the Pine Barrens. At Lines on the Pines, he offered to make a short film, in which the winner of the raffle would be filmed, on location in the Pine Barrens, talking about a special Pine Barrens story, or memory, "any moment in time that you think is significant in any way."
For no particular reason, I had the feeling that I would be going home with the evening's big prize. Finally, as the evening was drawing to a close, they pulled the winning raffle ticket.
When Cassie takes her re-built '67 Ford Mustang out for a pre-dawn drive in the Pine Barrens, she finds dead deer, en masse, appearing mysteriously in the roadway. When I take my pre-dawn drive through the Pine Barrens, nothing so extraordinary happens. Except, for a writer, the most extraordinary thing of all. And now, it seems that pre-dawn drive is going to be captured on film, a certain middle-aged man, balding and slightly overweight, talking about the pre-dawn drive through the Pine Barrens that transformed him into a mystery writer.
Sunday, 11 March 2012
It's so wrong...
Saturday, 10 March 2012
Writing a great book is an art, but selling a great book is a business. In that respect, being an aspiring author has a lot in common with most start-up businesses. Which is to say, you ought to have a business plan. I know it's not easy to fund the business of aspiring authordom. To borrow a line from an episode of The Waltons, "If you want to be an author and eat two or three times every day, there's only one way to do it - marry money."
Still, you ought to be prepared to spend money while you are building your brand. Which is the long way around to what I want to tell you about today. Because, from time to time, I suggest activities and events for aspiring authors and invariably you all tell me that you can't afford to go. Which I certainly understand. But sometimes you've got to make an investment in your future.
So, before you tell me you can't afford to attend, I want you to think about what it means to invest in your future. I'm suggesting that you consider applying to attend the NYWW Perfect Pitch Fiction Conference. And you'd better have your shit together. Because you can't just register and send them a check. First you have to demonstrate your seriousness of purpose. Because manuscripts have a very real chance to become books as a result of the conference. Maybe yours.
Friday, 09 March 2012
If you're in the area, this Sunday is Lines on the Pines, the largest gathering of authors and artists of the NJ Pine Barrens. (Actually, it's this Sunday, whether or not you're in the area). From 11:00 until 4:00 at the Frog Rock Golf and Country Club in Hammonton, NJ. Free and open to the public. It should be great fun. I hope to see you there.
The Cassie O'Malley Mysteries are humorous tales set deep in the NJ Pine Barrens, weaving elements of Pine Barrens history, geography and folklore into contemporary amateur sleuth mysteries.
Who is Killing Doah's Deer?
Cassie O'Malley writes stories about "everything out of the ordinary" for a barely reputable magazine. When the deer in Doah Township begin dying in large numbers, under mysterious circumstances, Cassie is on the story. But when she discovers a dead body among the deer, she is thrust into the middle of a murder investigation. Before the murder can be solved, Cassie must sort fact from fiction as she is confronted with questions of local politics, marital infidelity, Pine Barrens folklore, Siamese triplets, sea monsters, pterodactyls, plesiosaurs and the elusive Jersey Devil, leaving Cassie finally to grapple with the question, Who Is Killing Doah's Deer?
A Minor Case of Murder
When minor league baseball comes to White Sands Beach, not everyone welcomes the club. Birders are upset by the location of Sand Skeeter Ballpark, but will they resort to murder to protect the birds nesting areas? When a woman dies at the ballpark, during the final game of the season, tabloid reporter and amateur sleuth Cassie O’Malley finds herself on the case. Tag along as Cassie and her unusual band of cohorts attempt to untangle the clues in A Minor Case of Murder.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Murder
Cassie O’Malley is back in a Christmas mystery that will keep you laughing and guessing until the final showdown. At odds with her new boss, tabloid reporter Cassie O’Malley finds herself covering the shopping mall at Christmas. Cassie wants nothing to do with the assignment. Then Big Mack turns up dead in the men’s room, his throat slit. Sensing an opportunity for fifteen minutes of fame, mall security guard Oliver Berryhill spins a heroic tale of his confrontation in the men’s room with the loan shark. The police are skeptical, but Big Mack’s son, the even bigger Little Mack is determined to avenge his father’s murder. Barely a week later, a second body turns up in the employee break room and Cassie finds herself covering a double homicide. In a race against time, Cassie must solve the double murder before a third victim is killed in the wildly funny mystery It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Murder.
Wednesday, 07 March 2012
That man of mine, hecouldn't find my g-spot witha miner's helmet.
(I know that some of you don't like it when the bots come a callin' leaving their digital footprints all over your web stats, but I love it, because the random behavior of the search bots leads me back to old blog posts that I'd otherwise forgotten. Like this one from April 3, 2011).