Filed under: Killer Year Members
My Very First Panel
Will happen at Thrillerfest
Saturday, 9:00-9:50 am
Private eyes see that justice is done when cops fail.
P.J. Parrish, Panel Master
Filed under: Dave White
Back in High School, my friends Brian, Ryan and I started… The Story…
It was an oral tradition and involved super powers, space travel, rubles and Moonstar… it was whacked and eventually moved into email. Occasionally we have started new stories.
We are starting it again… A serialized story we will write through email and then post on the blog. If you are interested, you can follow it here. Expect inside jokes, expect whackiness… expect the unexpected.
Oh, and possibly expect it to end unexpectedly…
Stay Tuned for Part One, by Ryan.
And Part Two, by Me
Hi everyone… Allison Brennan interviewed me and posted it over here on Dishing with the Divas. Hope you stop by.
When Gwen first fell under Al’s spell, she never would have thought she’d end the relationship, certainly not so abruptly after so many years. He arrived home, unexpected — unexpected because normally he would have called from the airport, “I’m getting my bags, come pick me up. I’ll be waiting.” But today, today he just appeared at the door. A shadow. “I got a ride,” he said, and she looked over his shoulder and saw the car pulling away, the drift of auburn hair through the driver’s side window. No grey. That was the thing Gwen would remembered later, no grey at all. “I didn’t want to bother you,” he said, “since I got the ride, you know.”
“Sure, I know. Thank you.”
He stood there and for a moment neither knew what to say. Then he set down his bags beside the door and drew a breath. She smelled mint. “Are you hungry?” she said.
“I ate on the plane.”
He went to the couch, dropped down heavily. “I have to go again tomorrow. They want me in Anaheim.”
“Yeah, a new pitch.” He hesitated, and she thought he felt unsure of himself. She expected him to say something right then, but he only shrugged a bit and said, “Cut my hair? It’s been too long, and I need to make a good impression on these guys tomorrow.”
The thought of his hair in her fingers made her hands shake. Lots of grey in his hair now, like hers. “Oh, I don’t know,” she said. Then she thought of the scissors, the smooth cool sensation of the metal in her hands. The crisp sound of blade against blade. “Of course,” she said, thinking of auburn. “I’d love to cut your hair.”
In four weeks, THE MARK will be on bookstore shelves across the country. It’s been over 14 months since I agreed to a publishing deal, and while the process has been, at times, agonizingly slow, it’s also been exciting as hell. From the moment my editor emailed me the very first cover concept to the day a box of galleys arrived at my mailbox, special moments have come fast and furious. The most exciting one of all, though, is four weeks away.
On June 26th, Henry Parker and Amanda Davies will live and breathe, and THE MARK will be the first of (knock wood) many books featuring the two. Early reviews have been tremendous and humbling. But the fates of Henry and Amanda are, in the end, up to you–the reader.
For those attending Book Expo America, I will be signing ARCs of THE MARK at two separate events on Friday, June 1st. Stop by, say hi, I’ll also be unveiling my first ever bookmark (special thanks to my brilliant and patient father-in-law).
1:00-1:45 at the MIRA booth (#3874 – 3875 – 3975), alongside Deadly Seven authors Alex Kava, Michelle Gagnon, J.T. Ellison and M.J. Rose.
3:45-4:15 at the Mystery Writers of America booth (#2750)
The chase begins on June 26th. Just four short weeks.
Filed under: Patry Francis
When I entered high school, there was a war going on. Every night the local paper printed the addresses of soldiers who wanted to get mail. I wrote to every name on the list, and used my babysitting money to send them small gifts.
In most cases, I sent only one letter or package, but one Marine and I became close friends. We wrote sporadically, then weekly, and finally almost daily. I sent him a photograph, which he taped inside his helmet. He told people I was his girlfriend, though we both knew I would never be that. He was twenty-one and serving a second tour; I was fifteen and had never been away from my home or parents for more than a week.
He told me things that people who knew and loved him could not bear to hear. I related the small stories that arose in the life of a bookish high schooler, and he seemed to draw comfort from their dailiness. We shared jokes, and filled sheets of pale blue stationery with the lyrics of songs that we loved. I can still remember sitting at the kitchen table as I transcribed the words to “Blowin in the Wind.” When he wrote back to say that the song had come on the radio as he read my letter, I learned the meaning of serendipity.
He believed the war was a “just cause.” I was already participating in local protests. But our differing viewpoints never affected our friendship.
My father was drinking coffee in the kitchen and I was in my bedroom getting ready for school when my grandfather came in with the paper. The screen door slammed behind him.
“Patry’s friend is on the front page!” he announced. “He was killed in action.”
Even now, I can hear the sound of the door that door slamming, a kind of punctuation mark to my grandfather’s statement. I can feel the claustrophobia of my tiny bedroom with the roses on the wallpaper, and see my open bureau before me, my shirts piled in neat stacks. The one on top was as pink as those wallpaper roses.
The mail from that distant country was sometimes slow and unreliable. My friend had been dead for six months when the last letter arrived. I kept it for many years, but eventually, during one of life’s transitions, it was lost.
No matter. I not only remember every word, I remember how they looked on the page. Small, and slanted downward, all huddled at the top.
The letter was totally unlike any I had received from him before. There was no date or salutation, no stories or song lyrics, no noting the number of days till he’d be home. Just a question:
Did you ever think that maybe you were just a figment of your own imagination?
It was so many years ago now. My grandfather is dead– my father, who jumped up from the kitchen table when he heard the news–dead, too. And the room with the pink flowered wallpaper where I spent my childhood is a kingdom I can never re-enter, except through memory.
Only the question–cryptic, strangely prescient, and still utterly mysterious– remains.
Filed under: Marc Lecard
A few days before Jane and I left on vacation I emailed the finished manuscript of my new novel to editor and agent.
Then we flew out to Ann Arbor Michigan to spend a week in Jane’s brother’s guest room, doing absolutely nothing, the dolce far niente, doing sweet fuck all.
The book would have to do without me for a week. I had some plans for the next novel, true, a few ideas I wanted to work on. But it seemed like a good idea to let them lie fallow. My brain was feeling bruised and abused, like the last canteloupe in the bin. I needed recovery time.
I wouldn’t even think of writing, I told myself.
I had cleverly booked us a red-eye flight to Michigan, thinking: sleep on plane, more time to vacate. It didn’t quite work out. We were seated in the middle of an eighth-grade field trip, on its way to Washington DC to learn about our democratic form of government. Excited middle schoolers do not sleep. They talk, sing, whisper, giggle, yell and talk. If they had begun to sing “99 bottles of beer on the wall” I planned to kick out the emergency door and let the pressure change suck us all into oblivion. But sleeping was not on the agenda.
Sunday was a daze: beer, Irish music, lush green woods, sun, river. Far fucking niente.
Monday morning I got an email from my editor about the manuscript. He had some suggestions. They were well taken.
Monday night, or rather very early Tuesday morning I woke up, sweating, from a dream of compulsive rewriting. I lay there in the dark, going over the multitude of things wrong (I now realized) with the book. How had I let them happen? Why did I think I could turn in a manuscript made up almost entirely of weak points? What the fuck was wrong with me?
Sleeping was not on the agenda.
The next day my hard-working editor sent me a much longer list of problems with the book. Though his comments were wrapped in reassurances that the book was good and the problems merely local, I wasn’t fooled. The book was shit. He was just being polite about it. I was a worthless hack, now revealed in all his fraudulent infamy.
But it did occur to me that, if I just changed one scene, deleted another (now useless), and moved another to much later in the narrative, a lot could be saved. It really was a lot better that way, clearer and more exciting. And that gave me a few more ideas.
I wrote them down. Then I wrote down some more ideas, ways to fix the novel, and ideas for new stories, an idea for a completely different novel.
I had lots of ideas.
Sleeping was not on the agenda.
It’s hopeless, this idea that you can take a vacation from your own brain. Lying fallow sucks anyway.
The good thing about being on vacation is that you have lots more time to work.