Monthly Archives: October 2009

Introducing Ms. Cain

Finally got to introduce myself to Chelsea Cain. At long last.

We have so much in common. She’s a former journalist from Portland who gave up daily print journalism and signed a multi-book deal with St. Martin’s Press. I’m a former journalist from Portland who gave up daily print journalism and signed a multi-book deal with St. Martin’s Press.

She’s fabulous and famous, vivacious and hilarious, and a New York Times best-selling author. And I’m…ah, learning a lot here.

OK, and while Herself could have been all-that and above it all, she was great. Seriously happy to hear about another Portlander taking a stab (as it were) at the thriller field. I think I just found myself a field guide whom I can turn to as this roller coaster really starts rocketing.

You can catch Chelsea’s hyper-dynamic Web page by clicking here.

Changes in publishing mysteries

Attended a very good panel today featuring editors and agents discussing the mystery genre. Kelley Ragland, executive editor for Minotaur, talked about the qualitative change in the biz. Fifteen years ago, a “pretty good” first book could get published. Today? “Books that we buy have to be spectacular,” she said.

One myth she busted is that is author has to START as a hot commodity. You have to be a New York Times best-seller right away or not at all. She pointed out that both Janet Evanovich and Michael Connelly started small. Ain’t neither of them doing too poorly these days. I should be so lucky…


I’m in Indiana

It’s about 6 p.m. on a Thursday and there are some World Mystery Convention goings-on tonight but I’ve been up and running since about 4 a.m. so I just want to meet my agent and editor for a drink, then get some rest for tomorrow.

Chelsea Cain, the former Oregonian columnist turned mystery writer, speaks tomorrow at around 10:30 a.m. I think I should go introduce myself, since she’s also with St. Martin’s, and we share a Portland-area journalism background.



Indiana, here I come

The World Mystery Convention is in Indianapolis this year. It’s a city I’ve never visited before and, if this convention is like most, I probably won’t get to see much of the town.

I did get a panel this year. It’s on writers who hit a dry spell. My dry spell lasted about 15 years. I kid you not. There’s also going to be a Minotaur cocktail party. I pretty much would attend an al-Qaeda cocktail party of there’s an open bar, so this ought to be fun.

Heading to World Mystery Convention

OK, two days until the World Mystery Convention in Indianapolis. This will be my first convention in, um, 15 years (yikes!). I’ll post daily, although not one living soul is actually reading this.

Also found out yesterday that I’ve got a publicist! Who knew? Nice young woman from Minotaur called to tell me she’d be promoting my book in 2010. My first reaction, obviously, was, “Did you get the right number? My name’s Dana.”

OK, more to come.


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