Monday, December 21, 2009

2010 Calendar of Crime

HERE IS THE 2010 Calendar of Crime from the Mystery Writers of America:
February 25-28
Sleuthfest, Boca Raton, Florida

March 11-14
20th Annual Left Coast Crime: Booked in L.A., Los Angeles

April 30-May 2
Malice Domestic 22, Arlington, Virginia

May 20-23
Crimefest, Bristol, England, UK

May 25-27
Book Expo America, New York

May 27-29
Mayhem in the Midlands, Omaha, Nebraska

July 7-10
Thrillfest, New York

July 22-25
Theakston’s Old Peculier Harrogate Crime Festival, Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK

August 20-22
Killer Nashville Mystery & Thriller Conference, Franklin, Tennessee

September 24-26
Writers’ Police Academy, Jamestown, NC

October 14-17
Bouchercon by the Bay, San Francisco, California

November 4-7
NoirCon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

November 12-14
New England Crime Bake, Dedham, Massachusetts

A good way to become a published author is to attend one or more conferences. Plan to attend one during the upcoming year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More on the MWA-Harlequin dispute

LAST WEEK I POSTED a letter from the Mystery Writers of America concerning Harlequin Publishing. The problem centers around vanity press services Harlequin will offer to writes whose work is submitted and rejected by Harlequin’s main imprints. (A word of disclosure here, the paperback version of my first book, Murder Most Holy, was published by a Harlequin imprint, World Wide Mystery.)

I received the following from MWA, it seems that the dispute is still simmering and writers considering submitting to Harlequin should investigate this matter further:
Dear MWA Member:

The Board of Mystery Writers of America voted unanimously on Wednesday to remove Harlequin and all of its imprints from our list of Approved Publishers, effective immediately. We did not take this action lightly. We did it because Harlequin remains in violation of our rules regarding the relationship between a traditional publisher and its various for-pay services.

. . .

MWA does not object to Harlequin operating a pay-to-publish program or other for-pay services. The problem is HOW those pay-to-publish programs and other for-pay services are integrated into Harlequin's traditional publishing business. MWA’s rules for publishers state:

“The publisher, within the past five years, may not have charged a fee to consider, read, submit, or comment on manuscripts; nor may the publisher, or any of the executives or editors under its employ, have offered authors self-publishing services, literary representation, paid editorial services, or paid promotional services.

“If the publisher is affiliated with an entity that provides self-publishing, for-pay editorial services, or for-pay promotional services, the entities must be wholly separate and isolated from the publishing entity. They must not share employees, manuscripts, or authors or interact in any way. For example, the publishing entity must not refer authors to any of the for-pay entities nor give preferential treatment to manuscripts submitted that were edited, published, or promoted by the for-pay entity.

“To avoid misleading authors, mentions and/or advertisements for the for-pay entities shall not be included with information on manuscript submission to the publishing company. Advertising by the publisher's for-pay editorial, self-publishing or promotional services, whether affiliated with the publisher or not, must include a disclaimer that it is advertising and that use of those services offered by an affiliate of the publisher will not affect consideration of manuscripts submitted for publication."

. . .

MWA has a long-standing regard for the Harlequin publishing house and hopes that our continuing conversations will result in a change in their policies and the reinstatement of the Harlequin imprints to our approved list of publishers.

Frankie Y. Bailey,
Executive Vice President, MWA

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Date for next book: June 2010; read all about it!

PUBLICATION DATE FOR my next novel, End of the Line, is scheduled for June 2010. Here’s the tentative book blurb:

R. J. Butler is a banker…or was a banker. After being promoted to manager of his bank’s downtown branch, R. J. was fired when the bank was sold and the new owners discovered an embezzlement.

When R. J. is found murdered in a city transit bus, police immediately make the connection between his murder and the bank embezzlement and the state police special investigations unit is assigned to investigate. The lead investigator is Detective Sergeant Jerome (Stan) Stankowski. Assigned to “advise” the investigation is Deputy Attorney General Parker Noble, Stan’s persnickety nemesis from Murder Most Holy.

R. J.’s widow, Linda, a former cheese-cake model, is undergoing drug rehab therapy through a local hospital with her apparent lover and therapist Bob Maxwell. R. J. and Linda’s divorce was pending at the time of his murder.

R. J.’s first wife, Ann, is now engaged to the nephew of a local Mafia-type, Johnny Capo, who Parker, as a prosecutor, had sent to prison. To accommodate his family’s desire that the nephew, Chris Roncolli, be married in the Catholic Church, Ann filed for a Church annulment of her marriage to R. J. The annulment was granted, but R. J. (partly out of spite) appealed the decision to Rome, which may delay Ann and Chris’ wedding plans several years.

Stan is “aided” in the investigation by newspaper reporter Buffy Cole, and also receives some “moral” assistance from a bank teller, Kitty Quinn, and by Teri Barkley, the niece of one of Parker’s old classmates, as he and Parker try to piece together the disparate clues to solve the murder.