Time to Wake Up!


“Dana… Dana, the alarm went off a year ago…  time to wake up!”

Actually this picture would be more accurate if the prone woman was draped with felines. But close enough to how I feel in terms of putting a lot of my life on hold during the last however many months while working on what was my WiP, but is now finished so I can’t call it that any more.  Now it’s my novel off to the editors waiting for whatever decisions are to be made.

I hate waiting.

But during this time of All Work and No Play Make Dana a Boring Person, I didn’t get a lot of other things done.  One of the tasks I totally neglected was updating the events page on my website.  To look at it, I’ve been one lazy writer/promoter during 2010.  Well, not so!  I’ve just been a lousy web-page updater.   So to prompt myself to get it updated in retrospect (gaze upon my past glories, all who visit!) and add events still to come, I figured I’d get it down in front of me in a post, thus accomplishing another task I’ve been really bad about doing regularly.  That being posting.

 So, over the last eight months I have:

A SinC panel for an AAUW fundraiser at the San Jose Historical Park. The event took place in an old firehouse and was an absolute blast.  With me on the panel were Kelli Stanley and Penny Warner.

A panel at A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair with Janet La Pierre, Diana Orgain, and PennyWarner.

A presidential face-off at the Concord Library for their Mystery Sunday between me (current president of SinC NorCal) and Simon Wood (current president of MWA).

A Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues panel at the West Hollywood Book Fair with editor Loren Rhoads, Del Howison (owner of the fabulous Dark Delicacies Bookstore), and JD. (Here’s the link to the wonderful MC book trailer!)

Another MCCtB panel at Pegasus Books with A.M. Muffaz, Allegra Lundyworf, and Darren Mckeeman.

A fantabulous evening of entertainment at the Hypnodrome with the Thrill Peddlers and a slew of MC authors: Jill Tracy, William Selby, Gravity Goldberg, Dana Fredsti, Russell Blackwood reading M. Parfitt, and Will Freitas reading Frank Burch.  (Note: If I don’t have a link to an author, it’s because I don’t currently have their website info!) 

An interview for Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues here

A reading with co-author Cynthia Gentry at the Center for Sex and Culture from our book Secret Seductions (I wrote under the name Roxanne Colville for this one).

A WOMBA book event at West Portal Books for Secret Seductions.

And a couple of other events I can’t find the info for.  Sigh.  See what happens when I put things off?!  Looking at my website, I haven’t even managed to get the two books I co-wrote with Cynthia up there yet.  That would be Secret Seductions and What Women Really Want in Bed, btw.

Finally, coming up in October I’ll be at Bouchercon by the Bay, Oct. 14th-17th.

And that, my friends, is all I’ve got at the moment.  But looking back at the last 12 months, I’d say I’ve kept busy.  I just sort of kinda forgot to mention it.

And now to very nicely ask my lovely Web Mistress Leslie to transfer this to the Word on the Street page of my website…

Contest to Win Free Copy of MURDER FOR HIRE

Hey, all!  My cyberpal Adele is having a contest to win a free copy of my book, MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon (for those of you who still don’t know the title) on her lovely book review blog UNBOUND.  Go check it out and give Adele (otherwise known as Hagelrat- you’ll have to ask her why) some love!   And while you’re there, check out the links to her other blogs.  If you’re a reader or a writer, I guarantee you will be glad you did!

The Mystery of Mysteries

Tonight I was part of a panel of mystery writers at the West Portal Library.  I actually instigated the panel when Jess Lourey and I were on the first leg of our Thelma and Louise book tour and hitting all the bookstores and libraries in the Bay Area that we could hit in one day.  Terri and Melissa were the librarians on duty and they were as friendly and receptive as any non-famous author could desire.  They were definitely interested in having a mystery themed panel at the library and I was up for putting one together.  The panel included:

Kelli Stanley, (Nox Dormienda, the first Roman Noir mystery.

Melanie West (Conflict of Interest),

Peter Gessner (The Big Hello and the Long Goodbye);

(this was the biggest jpg of Peter’s cover I could find);

and (bats eyelashes demurely) Yours Truly,

Dana Fredsti (Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon.)

(I had a BIG jpg on hand)

Dave Fitzgerald was the moderator at my request  – I knew he’d make sure all four of us had equal microphone time and keep things moving along.

See, depending on the personality of the authors, panels can be highly entertaining and informative, or great cures for insomnia.  Sometimes one panelist will monopolize the entire session, the alpha wolf in the author pack, snapping and snarling if another writer dares to get to close to the kill (i.e. audience attention). If they don’t snap and snarl, they just don’t. stop. talking.  And if the moderator can’t take control, things spiral out of control, less extroverted panelists get shut out and no one is happy except the narcissist who wouldn’t shut up.

I am pleased to announce that not only did Dave keep the panel moving after first giving each of us well researched introductions and a chance to say a little bit about ourselves, but all four writers understood the concept of give and take.  No one tried to monopolize the panel, answers to questions sparked comments from the rest of us, and the audience members (some of whom none of us had met before, always exciting) were responsive and had plenty of questions of their own.

The only glitch for me was having it held in the children’s room of the library and the only reason that was an issue was because a ‘bitch’ slipped out during one of my answers (why did you write your mystery in the first place?  Because I worked with a total bitch and wanted to kill her) and there were still a couple of kids squirreled away in a corner with the computers.  I quickly changed my reply rating from PG to G.

So my question to my fellow bloggers and authors: what’s the worst panel experience you’ve ever had?  The best?   And if you’ve never been on one, but attended as an audience member, same questions.  Add to that, what makes a panel enjoyable for you?  And what makes you want to throw bricks at the panelists?

Inquiring minds want to know.