Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Editor and Publisher Otto Penzler, Proprietor of NYC’s Mysterious Bookshop, Talks About Sniffing Out Mystery Hits


Otto Penzler, renowned editor, publisher and proprietor of ‘The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City.

Multi-award winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler, proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City and founder of The Mysterious Press, an imprint at Grove/Atlantic, is to be Special Guest of Honor at the upcoming Mystery Fest Key West, set for June 22-24 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West. In advance of the annual celebration of sleuthing, he has agreed to answer a few questions:

Q: You are widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on crime, mystery and suspense fiction. What does it take to hook you? Is there a #1 feature or characteristic that tells you a book is a hit? And how long do you stick with a one that does not pull you in from the very start?
 
Otto: It takes the same thing to hook me that any work of literature does. Good writing. A unique and compelling style. Characters that I want to hang out with and HAVE to know more about. A compelling premise can hook me even if the writing is kind of ordinary, but it’s harder to do these days since I’ve read so much.
 
There is never one thing that tells you a book will be a hit—and I’m usually wrong when I think one will be. Big hits are uncommon, and some of the greatest writers I’ve ever read never made the best-seller list.
 
I used to finish a book if I started it. But P.D. James, who was about 65 at the time, broke me of the habit. She guessed she had about ten more years to live. If she could read a book a week, that meant only about 500 books for the rest of her life. Why waste your time with something you don’t love. I adopted that philosophy from that day on. I think I now read one of five books that I start from cover to cover.
 
Q: Do you have a hands-down favorite crime fiction character? One that you feel is by far the best written to date?
 
Otto: No, I don’t. So many disparate characters bring so many different pleasures to the page. I’d read any Michael Connelly Bosch book, any Lee Child Jack Reacher. But also John Harvey, James Carlos Blake, Thomas Perry, Nelson DeMille, Charles McCarry—no matter who the character is. I think McCarry is the greatest espionage writer that America ever produced, though I think the early John le Carre was also brilliant. To try to name THE best is hopeless because there are so many different criteria for picking it, and mine may be very different from yours.
 
Q: What author among your discoveries has become the most widely read?
 
Otto: James Ellroy. I’ve discovered some outstanding writers, and published some outstanding writers but no one has surpassed Ellroy. “The Black Dhalia” became the first bestselling book that The Mysterious Press ever published, as well as our first New York Times bestseller.

Appearing with Penzler at Mystery Fest Key West 2018 are some two-dozen crime-fiction and true crime experts, including Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels; New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham; New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Diane A.S. Stuckart, and Charles Todd; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; award-winning authors Patrick Kendrick and Lewis C. Haskell and many others.

Event highlights include workshops on the business of being an author, how to write and sell a first novel, crisis negotiation and the forensic use of fingerprints, multiple panel discussions on subjects ranging from the state of the publishing industry to book marketing and promotion, plus author book signings, a Keynote luncheon with Ace Atkins, a Conch Train mini-tour of Key West, an ice-cream social event with Atkins and Penzler at the historic Key West Lighthouse, and a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast courtesy of Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter, at the Schooner Wharf Bar at the Key West Historic Seaport.

 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 Helmerich Foundation, and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts. Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon and the Bloody Mary morning breakfast. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

###
 Photo Caption:

Friday, May 25, 2018

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Heather Graham Talks About Writing, Karaoke Singing, and Why She Loves Mystery Fest Key West


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham will appear at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West as Special Guest Presenter at the 5th annual Mystery Fest Key West, taking place June 22-24.



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than 150 novels and novellas. She has more than seventy-five million books in print, published in more than twenty languages. The wildly popular author will appear at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West as Special Guest Presenter at the 5th annual Mystery Fest Key West, taking place June 22-24. In advance of the Fest Heather has agreed to answer a few questions:


Q: Can you tell us a little about your writing process? Are you an outliner or do you let the story reveal itself to you as you go?
Heather: My writing process just flows along with life. I tend to like mornings because we have five children and I spent years waking up at five-thirty to get people to school. I still like the morning. But, thanks to five children, no amount of noise bothers, and, so, while they're now grown, my style is something like a Dr. Seuss book . . . I can write in a car, going far, up in a plane, or on a train, by morning light, or the darkness of night . . .


Q: Have you ever sung Karaoke in Key West and if yes, would you do it again?
Heather: LOL -- surely, you jest. Having spent my first make-a-living adult days in musical theater, I am happy at any time to head to a karaoke bar. Yes, I've had many a great night and met many interesting people in Key West's karaoke bars!


Q: Have you ever cried over a character that you killed off?
Heather: There’s a character in a book called “The Dead Room” I was very sorry to see go. But then again, I do often write about ghosts.


Q: In 2017 you co-authored “The Rising” with Jon Land. How did the writing partnership come about and do you have any thoughts/insights to share on collaborative book projects?
Heather: I had been with Tor books editor Bob Gleason at NASA facilities many times and it was there that the concept of NASA-inspired books for young people originally came about. Jon is a dear friend and we came up with the idea for “The Rising” over dinner one night. I've also written a book with actor Chad Michael Murray. I'd first declined the offer since I am under contract, but, Chad turned out to be earnest, wonderful, and a great dad—and, when we first met, had to excuse himself to talk to his vet. His dog—he'd lived with the dog in his car when he'd first moved out to L.A. —needed surgery. I love animals even more than karaoke and therefore . . . animal talk turned into me saying yes. Both were wonderful experiences! Now, you can't write with just anyone—if you want to co-write, you need a kindred soul!


Q: Heather, you have appeared at every Mystery Fest Key West since the inaugural one in 2014. What keeps you coming back?
Heather: I love this con! The community support in Key West is like no other. I have loved Key West all my life, and it’s been a refuge and get-away for me forever. To have this con, with such fantastic information from experts in so many fields is amazing. I will always be there!

Appearing with Graham at Mystery Fest Key West 2018 are some two-dozen crime-fiction and true crime experts, including Keynote Speaker Ace Atkins, the multi-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels; Special Guest of Honor, the multi-award-winning editor and publisher Otto Penzler; New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Black, Diane A.S. Stuckart, and Charles Todd; bestselling and award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen; award-winning authors Patrick Kendrick and Lewis C. Haskell and many others.


Event highlights include presentation of this year’s Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition Award, workshops on the business of being an author, how to write and sell a first novel, crisis negotiation and the forensic use of fingerprints, multiple panel discussions on subjects ranging from the state of the publishing industry to book marketing and promotion, author book signings, a Keynote luncheon with Ace Atkins, a Conch Train mini-tour of Key West, an ice-cream social event with Atkins and Otto Penzler at the historic Key West Lighthouse, and a Bloody Mary Morning breakfast courtesy of Mystery Writers of America, Florida Chapter, at the famous Schooner Wharf Bar at the Key West Historic Seaport.


All who register for the Fest by midnight June 1 will be automatically entered in a drawing to win a cameo walk-on role in author Diane A.S. Stuckart’s as yet untitled second release in her Tarot Cats cozy mystery series from Midnight Ink, due out in 2019.


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 Helmerich Foundation, and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts. All panels and presentations will take place at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key in Key West. Event registration is $195 and includes all panels and presentations, a luncheon and the Bloody Mary morning breakfast. For a full Fest schedule, online registration, and links to accommodations visit MysteryFestKeyWest.com.

Monday, May 21, 2018

FRW May Meeting June 9, 2018 10:00am to 12:00pm


Tigertail Lake Recreational Center
580 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach FL 33004

SPEAKER: Nancy J. Cohen – Ingram Spark vs CreateSpace
Multi-published author, Nancy J. Cohen, will discuss the differences between IngramSpark and CreateSpace for indie authors and how to navigate either site. Should you get your own ISBNs? What about pre-orders and proof copies? What other options are available? Whether you are reissuing backlist titles or publishing original material, this workshop will enlighten you.

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as the best cozy mystery, won a Reader's Favorite Gold Medal, and earned third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. These books have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi-Fantasy at The Romance Reviews.  A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy has served as president of Florida Romance Writers and president of the Mystery Writers of America Florida chapter. Visit her at NancyJCohen.com.
 
$10 for FRW members
$15 for non-members

Paypal buttons on the bottom of the page at:
http://www.frwriters.org/events/monthly-meetings/

If paying by PayPal, please bring the receipt/confirmation number to the meeting. Checks made out to Florida Romance Writers are mailed to: c/o Tina Stitzer, 12600 SW 5th CT, # L207, Pembroke Pines, FL 33027-6734.  
Please RSVP janetfrankslittle@gmail.com by the Wednesday prior to the workshop so enough tables and chairs will be available.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Florida Romance Writers: Meeting and Speakers for Summer 2018


Florida Romance Writers

Meetings and Speakers 
Summer 2018

All meetings are held at Broward College, Tigertail Lake Recreational Center
580 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, FL 33004
Monthly meetings are $10 for FRW members, $15 for non-members and include coffee and continental breakfast.

Saturday June 9 at 10:00 am.

Nancy J. Cohen - IngramSpark vs Createspace

Indie authors have several choices in preparing their books for print editions. Multi-published author Nancy J. Cohen will discuss the differences between IngramSpark and Createspace and how to navigate either site. These questions will also be addressed: Should you get your own ISBNs? What about pre-orders and proof copies? What other options are available? Whether you are reissuing backlist titles or publishing original material, this workshop will enlighten you.

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery, won a Readers' Favorite Gold Medal, and earned third place in the Arizona Literary Awards. Nancy has also written the instructional guide Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. These books have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy has served as president of Florida Romance Writers and president of the Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter. Visit her at NancyJCohen.com

Saturday July 14
No Meeting

Saturday August 11 at 10 am.

Shannon Bell – Marketing on the Cheap

Learn about ways to market your book, regardless of whether you’re traditionally or indie published, that is free or cheap. Find out about social media, newsletters, and growing your followers. Discover a few sites you may not yet know about.

Shannon Bell is the author of six paranormal romances, and three marketing books.  She grew up in Florida and has always dreamed about vampires - and still secretly hopes they exist. She is married to someone who tolerates her crazy story-telling about Romania and has a daughter she hopes will have the same enthusiasm for vampires when she grows up that her mommy does.

Shannon has a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida as well as an online degree in vampirology. She loves writing about vampires, romance, food and drink, as well as travel. She is a full-time writer and currently hard at work on her next novel.

Writer's Block Bookstore and Quantum Leap Winery Present Fit Couple cooks with Stephanie Tornatore and Adam Bannon

WRITER’S BLOCK BOOKSTORE AND QUANTUM LEAP WINERY PRESENT: FIT COUPLE COOKS WITH
STEPHANIE TORNATORE and ADAM BANNON


Writer’s Block Bookstore, in partnership with Quantum Leap Winery, is proud to announce YouTube health and wellness superstars “Fit Couple Cooks” (comprising husband and wife duo Stephanie Tornatore and Adam Bannon) as the third speakers in our series of book talks,  ine ◊ Wisdom ◊ Words on May 23rd, at 6:30PM. A discussion and signing will round out the evening!

About the book: Achieve your diet goals, maximize your time, and save money with meal plans and recipes. Planning ahead is the best way to ensure success when you’re trying to eat healthy, but figuring out what to make and eat each week can be overwhelming. Healthy Meal Prep is the first full-color cookbook devoted to meal prep strategy with 12 weekly meal plans, each with 4 unique recipes for 6 days of breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Each week includes step-by-step guidance on how to execute your meal prep, including time-saving shortcuts, simple strategies for making meal prep work for your diet, budget, and lifestyle, and complete nutritional information for every recipe to help manage diet goals. Healthy Meal Prep does the work for you with meal plans and recipes that guide you through preparing a week’s worth of wholesome, balanced meals in just a few hours.
About the authors: “Fit Couple Cooks” is the creation of fitness enthusiasts Stephanie and Adam who are passionate about clean eating and maintaining a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. Their channel is packed with videos of delicious, easy-to-follow recipes, and occasional daily vlogs, which gives their viewers a glimpse of their personal life.

About Quantum Leap Winery: Quantum Leap is a local winery with a global reach and sustainable focus, and the only sustainable winery in Orlando. Committed to bringing quality, environmentally-friendly wines at a great value to the community. Quantum Leap is open for tastings, tours, and retail wine purchases Tuesday to Saturday, from 12 to 8PM—and is also a great venue for private events!

About Writer's Block Bookstore: We are Central Florida’s local, full-service, independent community bookstore, in beautiful downtown Winter Park. Serving the Orlando area since 2014, we have all your favorites, New York Times best-sellers, and Indie Next picks. We host author events, monthly book clubs, coordinate author school visits and offer discounts for educators and loyalty club members.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Call for Submissions from the Writer's Atelier

Please consider the call for submissions below from Writer's Atelier:

Writer's Atelier is currently accepting submissions in the following categories: 

Blog posts
Flash Fiction Monthly Contest
The Everyday Writer

Please see the submission page on the WA website for more info and a link to their Submittable page. Link: https://writersatelier.com/submit/

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Events at Murder on the Beach Bookstore June 2018


Booksignings & Events
-------------------------------
Sat June 23 at 1 pm.  Richard Conrath will speak and sign Coopers Moon $14.99

Writers Workshops
--------------------------
Sat June 2, 10 am - Noon.  Scenery and Place.  The relationship to storytelling and character development. Instructor: Nina Romano. $25.

Sat June 9, 10 am - Noon.  Adding Depth to Your Characters.  Desires, motivations, and perspectives.  Instructor: Solange Ritchie.  $25.

Sat June 16, 10 am - Noon.  Building Impressive Stories with CWHO.  An exercise to help move your writing forward.  Instructor: Christopher Hawke.  $25.

Sat June 23, 10 am - Noon.  Write Your Memoir.  Focusing on the first two paragraphs to bring the reader in.  Instructor: Brenda Serotte. $25.

Sat June 30, 10 am - Noon.  Mastering Plot Twists.  Keep your reader on the edge of their seat.  Instructor: Jane Cleland.  $25.

Book Clubs
-----------------
Tuesday June 19  at 6:30 pm.  The Tuesday Murder Club will discuss You Will Know Me by Meg Abbott 15.99.

Sunday June 10 at 3 pm.  The Sunday Sleuths Book Club will discuss Someone Must Die by Sharon Potts 15.95.

-- 

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

Author Publishes eBook, Hits Amazon #1 New Release

Jaimie Engle finds success in a random book release

Melbourne, Florida May 7, 2018- Local author Jaimie Engle has independently published eight books and coached thousands of authors through edits, marketing, and selling their book. This past week, Engle coached a new client who told her she had paid a company thousands of dollars to publish her book and then relinquished on the marketing package. Furious, Engle decided she would self-publish a short instructional manual on exactly how to publish your own book titled How to Publish your Book.

“The truth is it is very easy to publish a book. Unfortunately, most people lack the information or ability to research and are positioned to hire someone else to do it for them,” shared Engle, an advocate for indie authors who speaks at writing conferences throughout the state. “These companies prey on the ignorance of authors with lofty dreams of selling books, willing to pay big for the chance.”

When publishing her book The Toilet Papers, Places to Go, While You Go, which released July 6th, 2017, Engle detailed each step of the process from copyrights, barcodes, and ISBN #s through the uploading, keyword choice, and final release on Amazon.

“People should only pay for publishing assistance if they are taught the process along the way or if they don’t want to be bothered. It shouldn’t be the only solution, and based off the ebook hitting #1, I believe this book was something many writers were waiting for.”
How to Publish Your Book is available on Amazon for $3.99 as an ebook only. For more information about Engle’s author services or to bring Engle to your group to speak on writing and marketing related topics visit www.theWRITEengle.com/contact.

Book Details

List Price: $3.99
File Size: 605 KB
Print Length: 12 pages
Publisher: JME Books
Publication Date: April 29, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07CRJPGDV

BIO:
Jaimie Engle writes and speaks in Florida. Before becoming an author/speaker, she ran a body shop, modeled bikinis, danced in the Aloha Bowl halftime show, and managed a hip-hop band. Her website features more of her work at thewriteengle.com. Follow her on Social Media @thewriteengle.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Blueberries and Coffee: a poetry memoir with commentary by Julio Torres


The poetry memoir Blueberries and Coffee encompasses poetry written by Julio Torres when he was between the ages of 19-22, with added commentary as a 40-year-old. Themes range from surfing, college, punk-rock music, struggling through college, existentialism, politics. His 40-year-old brain meets his 20-year-old poetic brain. The commentary adds context to each poem, and shares revelations from the reflection – lessons learned from reflection, wisdom gained from reflection.
Julio Torres is a middle school teacher in Brevard County and has previously published a coming-of-age surfing thriller My Twisted SummerBlueberries and Coffee is his first non-story structure book.
Middle school students have raved about the book:
“This is an entertaining page turner that shows deep insight on meaningful poetry. The idea of commenting on a younger self is very creative.”
-          Isabella
“This is a great book from a man who has come so far in life. He has embraced his past. A great way to know a man is by poetry. I’ve learned so much about him now. The poems are diverse and all focus on life problems."
-          Connor

Blueberries and Coffee is available at LuLu

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore Voted One of 62 of the World's Best Independent Bookstores By Atlas Obscura