Where I Am Right Now
April 1, 2023
With the coming of spring, or at least April, it's time for another newsletter. Like any other writer, I wonder what on earth I can possibly say that will interest anyone other than one of my dear (loyal) friends or a relative. But I'm guessing that some of you care about some of the same things I care about.
For my most recent post at Ladies of Mystery I talked about trigger warnings and the idea of posting these on novels. I'm used to hearing the warning on TV news programs, when the reporter wants to warn the viewers of disturbing or shocking video, but the idea of putting such a warning on a book was new to me. I have assumed readers check out the jacket copy and blurbs to get an idea of the nature of the book. A noir crime novel will take a different stance on almost any issue compared to a cozy mystery with recipes. If you want to know what I had to say, you can find my post here along with a number of comments. The discussion continued on the SMFS site.
My attention for this quarter will focus on Crime Bake 2023, for which I serve on the programming committee. Putting together panels and master classes is a lot of fun, and those of us on the committee enjoy finding new authors and new panel ideas. Our focus is New England writers, and we always welcome new writers. The presenters of master classes can be from anywhere.
My other focus is learning more about the Sisters in Crime New England chapter, since I've signed on as vice president, working with Kate Flora as president and a strong lineup of other volunteers on the board. Every year I'm impressed with how vital an organization SinC is, and I hope to help maintain that standard.
I like to read widely, to explore authors and books that I wouldn't personally gravitate to, to expand my knowledge of the genre. Other books I pick up to help me as a mystery writer, and others reflect a longstanding interest. When I came across Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System by Chris Fabricant, I was more than curious. I've heard a lot about the Innocence Project in the last several years as men and women convicted on the basis of junk science have been sentenced to life or even death. The author explores the misguided use of dentistry, hair analysis, and more in the cases of several individuals who have been found to be innocent of the crime for which they were convicted. But getting them released from prison requires more than DNA proving them innocent. For any writer who has used any of these forms of discredited evidence, this is a must read. And for anyone interested in what is happening in our justice system, this book is highly recommended.
As for my own writing, a novel featuring Ginny Means, social worker in child welfare, is now with my agent. Ginny Means has appeared in three short stories in AHMM, the most recent being "The Deacon's Mistake," AHMMNovember/December 2022. As for the novel, I have my fingers crossed.