Saturday, October 23, 2010

Indiana Wants Me

The weather has turned. Frost on the pumpkin, wood smoke in the air, gloves and hat put on for the morning walk to the bus in darkness - winter is around the corner.

Mary Jane Maffini and I have been working on the details of our road trip south. We leave Tuesday morning with a quick stop at RendezVous Crime in Toronto, then on to Oakville for a Chapters booksigning. Wednesday morning, we cross the border into Ohio where we have a booksigning at a bookstore called Foul Play. The next night, we are reading at a library just outside of Cleveland, then on to Muncie, Indiana for the Magna Cum Murder conference. We are both on two panels - my first is on setting and the second is about books that influenced my writing.

One goal of these trips is to meet people and make connections. The mystery-writing community is smaller than you might think. There is definitely a pecking order with the best-selling authors like Michael Connelly and Lee Childs at the top. They do not attend smaller mystery conferences like this one unless they are guests of honour. For lesser known authors, the smaller, local conferences can widen your fan base and get you the exposure that is often hard to come by. They can also be a lot of fun! I'm going to attempt to blog while on the road, so please check back next week to follow along with me. I'm sure I'll be able to get Mary Jane to type a few thoughts as well.

(Okay you music fans - Who sang the 1970 hit "Indiana Wants Me"? No checking on the internet!)

Katherine Hobbs invited me to go with her to Randall Denley's book launch at the Heart and Crown pub on Wednesday evening. Randall is a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen and he writes a column giving his opinion on politics - you can imagine how much fodder there is lately with the municipal election this Monday. Anyhow, there was a list of politicians mingling in close quarters, including Larry O'Brien, Allan Rock, John Baird, Pierre Poilievre and a host of city councillors. it was all rather surreal. I kept expecting the Prime Minister to walk in! I bought Randall's book entitled One Dead Sister and am looking forward to giving it a read, perhaps while on the road.

So, lots of little details to take care of this weekend, including hauling out the suitcase. The weather people are calling for rain all week, but today the sun is out and it should be a wonderful day to be outside running errands and enjoying the fall colours.

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