Sunday, June 25, 2017

Call for submissions to the Space Coast Writers Guild's next anthology: "Holidays” !



Download the full Call for Chapter Submissions from http://bit.ly/2u0he3E .

Perry Como’s 1954 recording of “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” is a perennial favorite, reflecting our deep-seated urge to return to a simpler time during the hectic holiday season. Happy memories of holidays from years ago tend to center on family, friends, and food. Our modern holiday season begins with Halloween, builds towards Thanksgiving, reaches its feverish peak with Christmas and Chanukah, and ends on New Year’s Eve.

The Space Coast Writers’ Guild’s forthcoming anthology, Holidays, is a collection of stories filled with fond recollections of holidays past and present. Whether it’s ice skating on frozen ponds at Christmas, dressing up in amusing costumes for Halloween, or eating too much turkey at Thanksgiving, Holidays captures the best (and worst) of times.

* Important Dates: Submit your work by Friday, September 8, 2017 for consideration.

* Submission Guidelines: All SCWG members in good standing are allowed one free submission (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays), no longer than 5,000 words.

* Note: Not a SCWG member? No problem! Submit your work, along with a $40 non-refundable entrance fee, and you’re in. Plus, you get one full year of membership in the SCWG. Contact the editor, Scott Tilley, at stilley@scwg.org for more details.

* Submissions must be sent as an email attachment in MS Word format (DOC, DOCX) to stilley@scwg.org. The submission cannot be previously published, or currently under review elsewhere. Images must be in JPG or PNG format at 300dpi. All submissions must be accompanied by a 75-word author biography and a 1”x1” author digital photograph. The SCWG reserves the right to edit or decline submissions. Holidays will be published by Anthology Alliance and distributed through Amazon.com in Kindle and print formats by Thanksgiving.

HAIR BRAINED (Bad Hair Day Mystery #14) is now available for pre-order in ebook format.





When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a car crash, Marla takes over as her baby’s guardian. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally—or Ken in the car with her—out of the way?

Ken’s insurance agency was involved in a fraud investigation. Did someone mean to silence him? Or could something in Tally’s life have put her in jeopardy? She’d recently joined a tea ladies circle. Had she discovered secrets among the women that almost got her killed? Or could she be the target of a disgruntled employee from her dress shop? As Marla delves further into her friends’ backgrounds, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Even so, Tally and Ken have trusted her with their child’s care. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else becomes roadkill?

Release Date: September 12, 2017
Ebook: ISBN 9780997003871
Print: ISBN 9780997003888
Cover Design by Boulevard Photografica


Pre-Order Now at:
Google Play

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Appreciation

Thanks so much to Coastal Magic Convention for becoming a Friend of Florida Book News.  Your support is greatly appreciated. Please click on their badge in the right column and read all about this convention coming up in February. 

Book News: 'Tis Herself: Short Story Collection, Volume Two by Valerie Allen

Valerie Allen, psychologist, speaker, and author has published 'Tis Herself: Short Story Collection, Volume Two, which can be found at Amazon.com/dp/1546445005



'Tis Herself: Short Story Collection Volume Two is an entertaining and heart-warming journey into the lives of ordinary people. The stories touch on the details of relationships among family members and between friends and lovers. It offers an opportunity—sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant—to see ourselves through the desires of, and decisions made by others. Each story is a quick read with a meaningful message.



Contents include: The Garden of Love, Match Maker, Small Steps, Future Plans, Words of Wisdom, Best Wishes, Valentine's Day, Conditional Love, Father's Day, Love is in the Air, A Good Thing on a Bad Day, Brotherly Love and Holiday Traditions.

'This Herself: Short Story Collection, Volume Two can be found as a book, an ebook, and in a LARGE PRINT edition. The audio version will soon be available on Audible and iTunes.



For those who enjoyed 'Tis Herself: Short Story Collection Volume One, Volume Two is sure to please. Read, enjoy and share. For more information about Valerie Allen go to Amazon.com/author/valerieallen or contact her at VAllenWriter@gmail.com.




~ Valerie Allen ~
VAllenWriter@cs.com                                          ValerieAllenWriter.com

Key West Resident Judy Hadley Lands Walk-On Role in Bestselling Author Meg Muldoon’s Next Novel



Judy Hadley (left) of Key West, Florida, has won a walk-on role in cozy mystery author Meg Muldoon’s next novel, which is due out in August.

Key West, Florida Keys – Judy Hadley of Key West, Florida, has won a walk-on cameo appearance in bestselling author Meg Muldoon’s next novel, “Meltdown in Christmas River: A Christmas Cozy Mystery Book,” which is due out this August.
Muldoon, author of more than a dozen “cozy” mystery titles and a run-away success story in the self-publishing world, was a featured panelist at the recent Mystery Fest Key West. The “character placement” contest was an early registration promotion for the fest, which took place June 16-18 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key.
Hadley, a retired speech, drama and debate teacher from Louisiana who “found a home” with The Fringe Theater (originally the People’s Theater) in Key West, Florida, and co-conceived the acclaimed Shakespeare in Schools program that has been underway for eight seasons in the Florida Keys, got to choose whether to be a “good” character or a “bad” one. She chose the “more interesting bad-guy role.”
Mystery Fest Key West 2017 was sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts and supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust. For more information on the annual celebration of sleuthing, visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Catfish Pearl by Ruth Francisco


Community Authors offers videos on the craft of writing



Community Authors  believes you have a story worth telling, and they will help.

For years, Community Authors has supported the writing of New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors, and they would love to work with you. Through coaching, editing, and story development, they will advance your writing life.

In this video series, Community Authors’ Christopher Hawke walks you through learning the craft of writing. Designed especially for the busy writer, this month-long course requires no more than 10 minutes a day and is likely to be the only writing series you’ll ever need. Learn at your own pace. Watch a video a day or view as many lessons as you’d like at one time.

Click here to receive 4 FREE Videos and the most important story concepts you’ll ever learn.




Monday, June 12, 2017

Brevard County Author Brings Anti-Bullying Book and Strategies to Orlando Book Festival


Award-winning Melbourne Author to Share How to Bring Social Issues into Light through Writing Books and Speaking to Kids

Orlando, Florida July 8th, 2017: “Your words have power!”--Jaimie Engle
Sharing her books and anti-bullying message in Brevard has proved a great joy to local award-winning author Jaimie Engle. On July 8th, 2017, Engle has been invited to speak on a panel about book promotion during the Orlando Book Festival, a free event open to the public on Saturday, July 8th at the Orlando Public Library downtown Orlando at 101 E. Central Blvd from 10am-4:45pm.

“Writing a great book is just the beginning,” shares Engle, who speaks to students in Florida about their part in bullying. “Gaining visibility in the marketplace, finding your niche audience, and creating opportunities to share your message are the hardest, yet most rewarding parts of the journey. It has opened doors allowing me to empower kids to stand up for themselves and others!”

Engle will be joined with over 20 authors including keynote speakers Adam Silvera and Jonathan Maberry. Her panel titled Book Promotion will take place in the Albertson Room from 11-11:50am where she will share best practices for book promotion alongside Heather Burch, Alethea Kontis, and Craig Pittman, moderated by Jennifer Morris of Coastal Magic Convention.

Along with her anti-bullying children’s book Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light, Engle will be promoting her short story collection The Toilet Papers: places to go, while you go. This book received endorsement by a major company, and Engle will also share how other authors can collaborate with companies to promote their work.

For more information and to register go to www.ocls.info/obf. To learn about Jaimie Engle visit thewriteengle.com. There is no cost for this event, and author will be on site for autograph signings from 4-4:45pm.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

It’s About Crime: The 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, June 16-18



Author John Hemingway, a 2017 Mystery Fest Key West headliner, sits with his grandfather Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter and other memorabilia in the late author’s Key West writing studio. 2017 Fest highlights include a reception and dinner at the Hemingway Home and Museum. (Photo by Carol Tedesco)
 
How does one disarm a bomb? How many bullets does a particular type of firearm hold? What’s the perfect poison?
 
Writers and fans of all genres can get the inside scoop on these questions and more at the 4th annual Mystery Fest Key West, running June 16-18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd., in Key West, Florida.
 
"Anyone who writes successfully knows that credibility in details is what separates the pros from the ‘cons,’" said Fest co-founder Shirrel Rhoades. “Our Fest attracts some of America’s top award-winning and bestselling mystery writers and true crime experts who come together and have a great time sharing details of not only WHO-dunit - but exactly HOW they did it.”
 
The 2017 “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed weekend features headliners John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of ‘Strange Tribe,’ Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls.
 
Events kick off Friday afternoon with four back-to-back workshops: “How Law Enforcement Deals with Explosive Situations,” presented by Lt. Mike DiGiovanni, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad Commander, accompanied by the Bomb Squad robot; “Police Myths,” presented by award-winning author and former undercover agent James O. Born; “Blood Spatter Forensics,” presented by forensic scientist and New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black; and “How to Write a Cozy,” presented by award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen.
 
Friday evening, guests can enjoy a celebration and dinner on the grounds of the famous Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, presided over by Rhoades and special guest speaker John Hemingway, followed by a Sloan’s Haunted Key West tour co-hosted by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham.
 
Saturday’s series of panels and presentations spotlights leading authors representing a variety of mystery genres including (but not limited to), action/adventure, “cozy” mysteries, forensic, supernatural, noir and police procedural. They include, “Where I Get My Ideas,” with John H. Cunningham, David Beckwith, Charles Todd and Paul Sinor, moderated by Randy Rawls; “How to Commit a Perfect Murder,” with Lisa Black, Rick Ollerman, Robert Coburn and Siera London, moderated by Heather Graham; “It Takes a Crook,” with Mike Dennis, Bill Craig, Ken Rijock and Reef Perkins, moderated by Rick Ollerman; and “Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths,” with Susan Haskell and Norah-Jean Perkin, Marjory Sorrell Rockwell, Renee Kumor and Meg Muldoon, moderated by Nancy J. Cohen.
 
Saturday’s final panel – and an annual favorite of Fest guests – features local true crime experts sharing insights on the Keys criminal element and details of the strange crimes that surround them. This year’s panel, moderated by James O. Born, includes Carol F. Frederick, FDLE; Jim Linder, JIATF; Lt. Michael DiGiovanni, MCSO, and Sheriff Rick Ramsay, MCSO. 
 
More Saturday highlights include luncheon with internationally renowned author Clifford Irving as Keynote Speaker, presentation of the Whodunit Mystery Writing Award, an author’s book-signing hour and a “mysteriously exciting” special event at the Custom House Museum. Sunday is just for chilling along the waterfront with the Fest’s finale Bloody Mary Buffet Breakfast at the iconic Schooner Wharf Bar.
 
Attendee’s will also have an opportunity to meet with and pitch their own book ideas to several on-sight literary agents—Dianna Collier, owner/agent Collier & Associates, Tom Colgan of the Berkley Publishing Group, Jessica Faust of Bookends Literary Agency, and Scott Miller of Trident Media Group.
 
The 2017 Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, and is supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.
 
Fest registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, social events and four meals. For registration and information visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.
 

Q&A with Mystery Fest Key West Guest Author Randy Rawls



 
Soon to appear as a headlining author at the upcoming Mystery Fest Key West, June 16-18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort, author Randy Rawls is a man of mystery. He’s past-president of the Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, author of the Ace Edwards, Dallas private-eye series, the Tom Jeffries South Florida private-eye series, and the Beth Bowman South Florida private-eye series, as well as short stories in various anthologies. His latest, “Justice Secured,” is a standalone featuring Josh Hawkins, ex-Army Special Forces officer and a private investigator in South Florida.  
 
The South Florida based author agreed to share some insights about his work and methods in advance of the Fest:
 
Q: Your first two book series feature male private investigators. Then along came Beth Bowman. What made you decide to write from a woman’s perspective?
 
RR: Two things. First, the market place. Women buy the vast majority of books sold, and women read the vast majority of books read. Second, I had recently read some female protagonist books written by “name” male authors. The best I can say is the heroines fell into one of two categories: 1) The helpless female who can’t tie her shoes without calling on her boyfriend for help, and 2) the female who was nothing more than a thinly disguised male in a skirt. I firmly believed I could do better. Thus, Beth Bowman was born.
 
Q: What do you find most challenging about writing from a woman’s perspective?
           
RR: I don’t mean to sound flippant, but getting it right. When I started Beth, I was fortunate to be in a critique group with four strong women who were good writers. I asked them to keep me on track—pull no punches. If I wandered away from the way a woman might process something or used language which was too masculine, I wanted to know. They TOLD me. Actually, I think they often enjoyed jerking me back, but they taught me, and, readers have said they taught me pretty good.
           
Q: To clue or not to clue? Are you a clue-dropper, or do you play your cards close to the chest?
 
RR: Clue-dropper. I’d like to say I plant them carefully, but that would be a lie. As I go through the story, I discover that I planted a clue many pages before that fits the twist I have in mind. When that happens, I’m surprised and pleased. Of course, sometimes I plant what I consider a clue at the time, but it turns out it was only a “red herring.” In that case, I am also surprised and pleased.
           
Bottom line, I suppose, is I’m never sure when I’m planting a clue, a red herring, or simply more of the story. But, it’s all fun.
 
Q: Write then edit? Or edit as you go?
           
RR: Edit as I go. Since I don’t work from an outline, I choose to review the previous effort before launching into new material. Naturally, as I review, I edit. So, in theory, when I reach the end, the book has been thoroughly edited. But, that’s not true either. I let the book “cool” for 30 to 60 days, then print it out and read it with my editor’s eye turned on. Hopefully, by the end of that read, it is ready. Of course, my critique group has been helping me catch mytypos and other assorted naughties.
 
Q: Have you ever regretted killing off a character?
 
RR: Oh, yes. In my first Tom Jeffries thriller, I killed off a good guy. I thought it had to be done or Tom’s escape from catastrophe would never be believable. Tom and I shed a tear at his loss, but moved on. Then, in book 2, I needed that character. There was simply a hole without him. He fit perfectly for the role I needed played. Initially, I struggled, trying to come up with a substitute, but finally found one that I think worked. But, zapping that first guy was a mistake I will try to never make again.
 
Also, in my first Beth Bowman book, I almost did the same thing. One of the nasties went down from multiple bullet wounds. A reader could easily surmise that he died. In Book 3, I needed him, so I went back and read the portion where he was shot. Satisfying myself that he could have survived, I brought him back as a crippled and weakened man. He worked out great in the role I gave him.
 
The moral I’ve learned: be careful who you kill. You may need them again.

Events at Murder on the Beach Bookstore July 2017


Booksignings and Events
-------------------------------
Wed July 12 at 630 pm.
WNBA Meeting.
Traditional Publishing: How It Works, and How It Works for You.
Joanne Sinchuk, a bookseller with 20 years experience in the book business, will discuss the ins and outs of traditional publishing, and how it benefits the first time author.

Wed July 19 at 7 pm. 
The Indie Experience at Murder on the Beach: Discover New Voices Panel. 
MCV Egan signing The Bridge of Deaths, Traci Hall signing Ambrosia by the Sea, Christopher Hawke signing Unnatural Truth, Barbara Fox signing Mysteries in the Inn, and Randy Rawls signing Justice Secured.  Panel moderated by Randy Rawls.  Refreshments will be served.


Writers Workshops in July
----------------------------------
Saturday July 8, 10 am - Noon
All Talk, and Action.  Learn techniques to write dialogue that flows convincingly, advances the plot, and builds character. $25 per person. Instructor: DJ Niko

Saturday July 15, 10 am - Noon
Pacing: How NOT To Bore Your Reader To Death.  Pacing is all about bringing your reader through your story. $25 per person. Instructor: Laura Belgrave

Saturday July 22,  10 am - Noon
Who's talking here? Point of View.  Who's telling your story? Your novel's success depends on your choice. $25 per person.  Instructor: Elaine Viets

Saturday July 29, 10 am - Noon
The WHY NOTs of Children’s Books.   Fiddling with formats is a great way to enrich your manuscript, and to get new book ideas. $25 per person. Instructor: Gloria Rothstein

Book Clubs
-----------------
Tue July 18 at 6:30 pm.  The Tuesday Murder Club will discuss Open Season by CJ Box 16.00.
Sun July 16 at 3 pm.  The Sunday Sleuths Book Club will discuss All Things Cease to appear by Elizabeth Brundage 15.00.

-- 



Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore
Pineapple Grove
273 NE 2nd Avenue
Delray Beach, FL  33444
Phone: 561-279-7790
murdermb@gate.net
www.murderonthebeach.com

Seven-Day Writing Challenge with Patricia Charpentier



For more information or to register, go to: http://writingyourlife.org/?s=seven+day+writing+challenge

Saturday, June 3, 2017

MUSIC AND SLAM FEATURED ON HOLIDAY WEEKEND

MUSIC AND SLAM FEATURED ON HOLIDAY WEEKEND
 
Creative Happiness Institute (CHI) has teamed up with Thank You Five (TY5) Theatre in Port Orange for an evening of pyrotechnic poetry and good music to celebrate the holiday weekend. The program, 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 1st,  will feature singer/songwriter Ysa Fernancdez and her band together with prize-winning slam poet Troy Kody Cunio.
 
Volusia Poet Laureate Dr. David B. Axelrod, and slam poet and music producer Scott Velazco will host the evening, made possible in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Volusia County. There will also be an open mic for all styles of poets, singers, and songwriters. A cash prize will be given for the best performance of the night.  
 
Central Florida native Ysa Fernandez is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter weaving her style from the foundations of jazz, rock, and pop. Standing as front woman and bassist, she'll be accompanied by Matt Marseglia and Matt Cecil, who are also the owners and head engineers of Bable Blue Studios in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Ysa is currently in the studio working on her debut album.
 
Scott Velazco is a poet, recording engineer, and assistant professor of Music Production Technology at Daytona State College. As a recording engineer, Scott's name can be found in the credits of #1 hit albums, platinum singles, plus a whole lot of music nobody ever heard. As a slam performer, Scott has won local competitions and
brings a powerful, lyrical style to the stage.
 
Troy Kody Cunio lives in Orlando and tours extensively as a slam poet. He won the first Poetry Slam Incorporated online slam. His work has been published in voicemail poems, NYSAI, Rising Phoenix Review, the Literary Bohemian, The Beech Street Review, In Between Hangovers, and he is the editor of the online magazine, Rejected Lit.  
 
“You ought to try this evening of entertainment,” says David Axelrod. “Slam is like fireworks and it should be a great way to celebrate the 4th of July.” Admission is $5. There will be plenty of food and beverages for sale. The open mic in an invitation for everyone to take the stage and the bonus will be the cash prize for best performance.
 
TY5 Theater is located at 4606 Clyde Morris Blvd. in Port Orange (Unit 2N) and can be reached at 386-295-5695. For more information on the entertainment and the open mic, Email David Axelrod, axelrod@creativehappiness.org, or call 386-337-4567.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Experts’ Secrets Revealed at the 4th Annual Mystery Fest Key West, June 16-18


 
Key West, Florida Keys – The 4th annual Mystery Fest Key West launches Friday, June 16, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd., in Key West, Florida.
 
The “Murder & Mayhem in Paradise” themed weekend of total mystery immersion - open to published authors, aspiring authors and non-writing book lovers alike - includes panels, presentations, workshops and social events with a “killer” hit-list of some of America’s top award-winning and bestselling mystery writers and true crime experts.
 
Headlining the 2017 author-roster are John Hemingway, grandson of Ernest and author of ‘Strange Tribe,’ Keynote Speaker Clifford Irving, and Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter past-President Randy Rawls.
 
Events kick off on Friday afternoon with four back-to-back workshops: “How Law Enforcement Deals with Explosive Situations,” presented by Lt. Mike DiGiovanni, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, with “Johnny 5” the MCSO Bomb Squad robot; “Police Myths,” presented by award-winning author and former undercover agent James O. Born; “Blood Spatter Forensics,” presented by forensic scientist and New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black; and “How to Write a Cozy,” presented by award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen.
 
With the evening comes a welcome celebration and dinner on the grounds of the famous Hemingway Home and Museum, presided over by Fest co-founder and producer Shirrel Rhoades, a publisher who has held executive positions with Reader’s Digest, Scholastic, Harper’s, Marvel Entertainment and other well-known publishing companies, and special guest speaker John Hemingway. Wrapping up the evening, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham will co-host a Sloan’s Haunted Key West tour through the island’s “Old Town” area.
 
Saturday’s series of panels and presentations is populated with leading authors representing a variety of mystery genres including (but not limited to), action/adventure, “cozy” mysteries, forensic, supernatural, noir and police procedural. They include, “Where I Get My Ideas,” with John H. Cunningham, David Beckwith, Charles Todd and Paul Sinor, moderated by Randy Rawls; “How to Commit a Perfect Murder,” with Lisa Black, Rick Ollerman, Robert Coburn and Siera London, moderated by Heather Graham; “It Takes a Crook,” with Mike Dennis, Bill Craig, Ken Rijock and Reef Perkins, moderated by Rick Ollerman; and “Cozy Mysteries and Female Sleuths,” with Susan Haskell and Norah-Jean Perkin, Marjory Sorrell Rockwell, Renee Kumor and Meg Muldoon.
 
For Saturday’s final panel, moderated by James O. Born, notable Florida Keys true-crime experts Carol F. Frederick, FDLE; Jim Linder, JIATF; Lt. Michael DiGiovanni, MCSO, and Sheriff Rick Ramsay, MCSO, will share insights on the Keys criminal element and details of the strange crimes that surround them. 
 
Saturday highlights include luncheon with keynote speaker Clifford Irving, presentation of the Whodunit Mystery Writing Award, an author’s book-signing hour and a “mysterious” special event at the Custom House Museum.
 
Sunday is for chilling along the waterfront with the Fest’s finale Bloody Mary Sunday Morning Buffet Breakfast at the island’s iconic Schooner Wharf Bar.
 
"It’s not just writers and fans of mystery fiction and true-crime that come to the Fest," said Rhoades. "Because of the caliber of our guest authors, the fascinating panels and unique social events, the Mystery Fest was quickly infiltrated by enthusiasts of many genres. After all, how many festivals are there in which leading, world-class authors are hanging out, having fun and rubbing elbows with the audience members every day?"
 
2017 attendee’s will also have an opportunity to meet with and pitch their own book ideas to several on-sight literary agents—Dianna Collier, owner/agent Collier & Associates, Tom Colgan of the Berkley Publishing Group, Jessica Faust of Bookends Literary Agency, and Scott Miller of Trident Media Group.
 
The 2017 Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, and is supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.
 
Fest registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, social events and four meals. For registration and information visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.

Clifford Irving - Keynote Speaker at Mystery Fest Key West


Q&A With New York Times Best-Selling Author Clifford Irving, Mystery Fest Key West Keynote Speaker

Acclaimed American novelist and New York Times best-selling author Clifford Irving is set to appear as Keynote Speaker for the June 16-18 Mystery Fest Key West, an annual gathering of award-winning and high-profile mystery writers, true crime experts and fans, held at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key.

His works have run a gamut from restless youth searching for hope and meaning - “On a Darkling Plain” (1956) and “The Losers” (1958), to history - “The Battle of Jerusalem: The Six-Day War of June, 1967” (1970), memoir – “The Hoax” (1972), in which he tells how he perpetrated the Howard Hughes Autobiography Hoax – to numerous true-crime and legal thrillers.

Today, more than 20 novels bear his name, with several adapted for television. Those attending the Fest will have the opportunity to meet and gain insights from him. In the meantime, the author agreed to answer a few questions about his work and methods:

Q: In 1956, just out of school and after working as a copy boy at The New York Times, you wrote your first novel, “On a Darkling Plain.” The Florida Times-Union described your characterizations as rivaling those of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. How did you feel about that comparison? Do you think it impacted how you approached crafting personalities in subsequent book projects?

CI: I was thrilled to be compared to Fitzgerald and Hemingway; every young writer is a sucker for flattery. It’s only later in life that you realize that if you believe the praise you have to believe the insults as well. But I don’t think the reviews impacted my writing. I simply did things my own way, for better or for worse; and my true mentors were Conrad, Maugham, and Isaac Bashevis Singer. My favorite contemporary writer is Ruth Rendell. (Alas, she died two years ago.)

Q: You have worked as an investigative reporter. You write fiction and you write fact. Is there one abiding research practice or formula that you employ across the genres?

CI: There are a few principles that I try to follow:

* Portray interesting people in conflict, making choices, risking something, even their lives.
* Show, don’t tell. Action makes character.
* Delete unnecessary words, especially adjectives and adverbs.
* Be sure the story has a beginning, middle, and end.


Q: Publishers Weekly described the courtroom scenes in your 2015 legal thriller, “Trial,” as “breathtaking.” As an investigative reporter, do you have access to criminal court records that others might not? On a scale of one to ten, how much trust do you have in the judicial system?

CI: I spent a year in Houston covering three murder trials in order to write the nonfiction book “Daddy’s Girl,” so I came to understand the system pretty well. Without permission I recorded whole trials (boring!) and, with permission, dozens of the intimate conversations of defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges and witnesses who were my friends to varying degrees. I had all the material I needed for a few novels.

I do not use scales of one to ten. I do not trust the judicial system or the people who shape it.


Q: Do you currently have a book project underway? If yes, can you tell us something about it?

CI: I’m writing a memoir called “Bad Boy” about my life in Europe and elsewhere when I was in my twenties and thirties. My wife calls it a “mystery” because neither I nor the reader is sure what’s going to happen next.

                                               
Q: Are some or all of your books still available to readers? If so, where?

CI: Only “The Hoax” is currently in print between covers, but since 2012 eighteen of my books, the worldwide rights to which I own, are available in digital form on Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes & Noble). I depend on those e-book sales for my livelihood.
 
The 2017 Mystery Fest Key West is sponsored by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Key West Citizen daily newspaper, Mystery Writers of America – Florida Chapter, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, and is supported by the Marion Stevens Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Helmerich Trust.
 
Fest registration is $195 and includes all panels, presentations, social events and four meals. For registration and information visit mysteryfestkeywest.com.