Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mystery Authors You Must Read

Before I get started reviewing all the edits made by Jennifer McNight, my Dundurn editor, just a few words about the past week. Last Saturday's event put on by Capital Crime Writers and the Ottawa Public Library was a resounding success. The morning kicked off with homemade baking and coffee (thanks Margaret Dunlop), followed by C.B. Forrest interviewing Peter Robinson, who'd come by train the evening before from Toronto. Peter Robinson is originally from England and sets his books there, but he has lived in Canada a long time and is considered one of our top crime writers. He gave a lot of insight into his writing and I have to say that a lot of it was comforting - he doesn't plot and often has to backtrack just as I do. Obviously, the 'fly by the seat of one's pants' method of writing can work! I bought a copy of his latest Inspector Banks novel Children of the Revolution, which Peter signed.

C.B. Forrest (on left) interviewing Peter Robinson
The day unfolded with three author panels - I was on one called "Mystery Striptease" after a delicious free homemade lunch (thanks again Margaret Dunlop). We discussed creating suspense and keeping readers reading to the end through slowly revealing the plot.

C.B. Forrest, Vicki Delany, me and Jeff Ross
A fun day all around - I especially enjoyed spending the time with my author friends and meeting mystery readers. Counsellor Katherine Hobbs moderated the day and we had a few special guests - Ottawa Sun reporter Jon Willing and CTV's Kurt Stoodley. Most encouraging for me, three of the readers came up to me to say they'd already read Cold Mourning and loved it - one told me to 'keep up the good work' :-) 
With Counsellor Katherine Hobbs

My next gig is the Arthur Ellis awards dinner followed by Bloody Words, our national mystery conference, in Toronto, starting June 5 and running through the weekend. I should be on a panel and am waiting for my assignment. Sadly, this will be the last Bloody Words but I hope that eventually someone or some group will step up to get another one going. These conferences are a ton of work - I was on the planning committee sprearheaded by Katherine Hobbs a few years ago when we brought Bloody Words to Ottawa. It was a whole year of planning and meetings to pull it off. Being part of the planning committee was also great fun and rewarding, especially securing Denise Mina as our international guest of honour and Louise Penny and Barbara Fradkin as our national guests of honour.
Well, I could chat away here all morning, but Butterly Kills is not going to edit itself. I'd best end here, get another cup of coffee, and get at it. I'm aiming to get through one hundred pages a day, but would like to get a bigger chunk done today so that I can get some other things done tomorrow, such as puttering in my garden.
Wish me luck.


  1. I wish I could have been at the event in Ottawa. Sounds like fun. I'll be a the Arthur Ellis Awards dinner and Bloody Words. I'm looking forward to meeting you and the other authors attending the events.

  2. Kristina - I look forward to meeting you in Toronto! Good luck also with your AE nomination.