by Jennie Bentley
We were supposed to have another guest blog here today, but my friend Beth, for whatever reason, didn't get one to me yesterday. I guess it's up to me to save the day.
The thing is, I don't really have anything to say. Nothing pithy or pertinent, anyway.
I think Beth may have decided to talk about Killer Nashville, our local mystery/crime writers conference taking place here in Tennessee August 15-17. She's the conference coordinator - you'd enjoy swapping war stories, Annette, and I'm sure you, at least, can understand why a guest blog might slip her mind a month or so before the conference is set to go off.
She's working on the panel topics right now, and sent me a list of them a week or so ago. The only two I feel supremely confident talking about, is Animal Mysteries - there are two cats in the DIY-series - and the Relationships in Mysteries panel. (It has another, more euphonious name, but I can't remember what it is.) The relationship-panel replaces the sex-panel, and I'm sort of sad to see the sex-panel go, since it's always good for some entertainment. Especially at 8:00 in the morning, which is when they usually schedule it. Then again, if it was still the sex-panel, I couldn't be on it, since I don't get to write sex, and unlike last year's panelists, I'm not sure I could talk about BDSM at 8:30 AM on a Sunday morning, anyway.
Another interesting one is the social commentary panel. I think that might have been suggested by Liz Zelvin, whom I know is attending. Liz writes about recovery, i.e. alcoholism, which is one of those social commentary things.
The thing about social commentary, is that you have to be careful how you put it. My first book, A Cutthroat Business - the one that has finally found a home and will be coming to a store near you in June 2010; yay! - has some social commentary. Unfortunately, it's the kind of social commentary that some people find hard-to-swallow, which I think is part of the reason why that particular book was so hard to sell. Racial prejudice is ugly stuff, and only OK to tackle as long as it's the bad guys who suffer from it; but give the heroine's family reservations about the fact that she's getting involved with someone of a different race, and suddenly you're in deep s***.
I think the most fun panel I've ever been on, was last year's Humor in Mysteries panel. We got to tell jokes and talk about people like Terry Pratchett and Janet Evanovich and Donna Andrews and Carl Hiaasen. There's no humor panel this year. I guess maybe not enough funny people are attending the conference this year. Sobering thought.
Let's get interactive. What's the most fun/interesting/challenging/amazing panel you've ever been part of, or attended, and why? The schedule isn't set in stone yet; and I'm sure Beth can always use another suggestions.
Till next time!