Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Free Download - Lye in Wait by Cricket McRae

Free Download!!!

Don't miss out on your chance for a free download of Lye in Wait by Cricket McRae.  This is the first book in the home crafting series.  And after you've read her book, you will most likely be inspired by all her crafting skills - so check out her blog, Hearth Cricket, to for all kinds of great stuff.

The free download will only be available thru the end of August.  It is available on most ebook platforms.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bouchercon Schedules

Bouchercon, the world's largest mystery convention is just around the corner!  B'con is incredible and hard to describe.  This four day event is packed full with opportunities to meet your favorite authors, here them discuss the craft and how they work, get books signed and photos taken.  If you lucky, you might find yourself standing at the bar next to Sophie Littlefield.  Or John Connolly.  Or William Kent Krueger.  Or SJ Rozan.  Or, gasp! you could be standing next to me!  :)

Check out the Guests of Honor:

American: Robert Crais & Charlaine Harris
International: Colin Cotterill & Val McDermid
Life Time Achievement: Sara Paretsky
Fan Guests of Honor: Kate Stine and Brian Skupin
Special guests (local living legends): Robert Randisi and John Lutz
all brought together by...
Toastmaster: Ridley Pearson

And if meeting Charlaine Harris or Sara Paretsky (both of them wonderfully generous and gracious women) isn't enough for you, check out the complete author list here.  As for our Inkers, we are going to have a pretty good showing!  Thanks to our very organized Publicity Director, Steven Pomije, here is a list of our events:

Friday, Sept 16
 11:00 am—12:00 pm: Alan Orloff, DEADLY CAMPAIGN (Advance Reader’s Copy)
Saturday, Sept 17
 11:00 am—12:00 pm: Lois Winston, DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL (Advance Reader’s Copy)

In-booth MEET THE AUTHOR events:
Friday, Sept 16
 9:30—10:30 am: Joanna Campbell Slan, Make Take Murder
 4:00—5:00 pm: Sebastian Stuart; Dead by Any Other Name
Saturday, Sept 17
 9:30—10:30 am: Darrell James; Nazareth Child
 12:00—1:00 pm: Jess Lourey; October Fest
 1:00—2:00 pm: Jessie Chandler; Bingo Barge Murder
 2:00—3:00 pm: Alan Orloff; Killer Routine
 3:00—4:00 pm: G. M. Malliet; Death at the Alma Mater
 4:00—5:00 pm: Kathleen Ernst; The Heirloom Murders
Sunday, Sept 18
 10:00—11:00 am: Lois Winston; Death by Killer Mop Doll, Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun

Author PANELS:
 Thur, Sept 15 o 8:30 am, Alan Orloff, Laughter of the Clowns: Comedy in crime fiction; Landmark 5,6,7
o 8:30 am, Jessie Chandler, Hitting the Ground: New writers talk about their first book; Landmark 4
o 2:30 pm, Jess Lourey, To Love is To Bury: Finding new ways to get rid of the body, Landmark 1,2,3
 Fri, Sept 16
o 8:30 am, G. M. Malliet, Bad Blood: Celebrating Agatha Christie; Majestic D
o 8:30 am, Darrell James, Fresh Blood: New writers talk about their first book; Majestic A, B, C
o 10 am, Kathleen Ernst, The Darkness of Light: Developing diversity in our characters; Landmark 1,2,3
o 11:30 am, Joanna Campbell Slan, Death By Good Intention: Doing away with characters; Landmark 5,6,7
 Sat, Sept 17
o 8:30 am, G. M. Malliet, Nocebo: Playing fair with your readers; Landmark 1,2,3
o 4 pm, Lois Winston, Time to Murder and Create: Listening to the voices in your head; Landmark 4
o 4 pm, Sebastian Stuart, Time to Murder and Create: Listening to the voices in your head; Landmark 4  

Charity Bowling Tourney: The Midnight Inkers
 Midnight Ink authors and staff (the Midnight Inkers) take on 12 other Bouchercon teams to raise money for the St. Louis Public Library system.
 Fri, Sept 16th at 12:30 PM at the Flamingo Bowl, 1117 Washington Ave, downtown St. Louis

So come check out our booth in the book room, or drop in on one of our author panels.  We'll be glad to meet your acquaintance.  I can't wait to see you in St. Louis!

Title Give-Aways in our booth: 
 Mind Over Monsters; Baited in Blood

In-booth Drawings:
 1st prize: The full 2011 Midnight Ink collection
 2nd prize: A limited edition Midnight Inkers Bowling Tee from the Bouchercon Charity Bowl
 3rd prize: The Agatha Award winning St. Just mystery series by G. M. Malliet

In-booth Coupon for Online Order Only:
 Get 20% off all Midnight Ink titles; Visit and use promo code BOUCHERCON2011. Offer expires 12/31/11. Standard shipping fees apply.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Does Midnight Ink = Cozy?

I need feedback people - the more the better!

While at the writers conference in Portland, I was often asked what Midnight Ink publishes.  When taking pitches, it goes something like this, "I don't know if this is the right book for you, but I have a 120,000 word thriller..."

At this point, you could insert historical mystery, suspense, hard-boiled, etc for thriller...  So just what is it do we publish?  Midnight Ink has had a great history with cozy and soft-boiled mysteries.  But we've also done well with a few thrillers. I've acquired quite a few that fall in the middle of the road -what we call medium boiled.

Here is my question to you, dear readers - what is your perception of Midnight Ink?  Do you see us as a cozy publisher?  A plain old mystery publisher?  What comes to mind when you think Midnight Ink?  What would like us to publish that we aren't currently?

To foster conversation, I will send a couple random commenters a new book from our 2012 list.  Comments need to be of substance.  Thanks!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taking Pitches at Writer's Conferences

Sorry I have been away so long folks!  Work (sales conference) followed by playtime (visiting family and celebrating my mom's 60th birthday with her) followed by more work (Willamette Writers Conference) kept me from blogging and sleeping!

The Willamette Writers Conference was exhausting but fun.  Friday, Saturday and half of Sunday I took pitches from writers...  I was pitched cozies, historical mysteries, thrillers and even a memoir.  Ooops... that guy signed up for the wrong editor!  To me, conferences are always energy draining simply because of the effort of giving each person I talk to my full attention.  Even if the book wasn't for me, I did offer the writer advice, either on the pitch (what to focus on, refining catch phrases, etc) or my opinion on the plot or who it should be pitched to.

At the same time, conferences invigorate me.  To be surrounded by fellow editors, writers and agents is amazing.  I flew in a day early and hit Powell's with my friend and author Lori Lake.  My buddy, editor and publisher Ben LeRoy and I made silly facebook videos when we had some down time.  I caught up on life with agent Christine Witthohn.  I met and got to know agent Miriam Kriss.  And of course the writers drive the whole thing.

One note to take away from this conference was that it really felt like a get down to work sort of conference.  They had sessions for improving your pitch, manuscript critiques, and all kinds of writing seminars.  The entire weekend felt professional and business like (which is why Ben and I had to create videos for our own amusement.)

Even though taking time away from the office is hard, and now I have even more submissions piled up, it was well worth the trip.  And when I saw this picture, I just had to laugh...  the telling of tales is indeed a beautiful thing...  All you writers - keep writing!  Keep telling stories and continue to improve on your craft.  One day you'll give a pitch or send in a submission and an agent or editor will fall in love with your story...  you just have to keep writing.  :)

and den dat puppy opened hiz mouf dis beeg to bite me!