Saylor's Goodreads Bookshelf

Saylor's books

Animal Farm
Where the Sidewalk Ends
The Great Gatsby
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Of Mice and Men
The Alchemist
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Lord of the Flies
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Little Women
A Tale of Two Cities
The Count of Monte Cristo
Les Misérables
Moby-Dick or, The Whale
The Joy Luck Club
The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Saylor's favorite books »


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Friday, March 30, 2012

LCC/2012 Social Media

Blogs, Twitter, Networking. Check, Check, and Check

Panel from the Publicity, Reviewing and Social Media had some great pointers.
(Left to Right) Hillary Davidson, Dana Kaye, Janet Rudolph, Terry Jacobsen, and Sue Trowbridge

So here we are at The Killer Thriller Panel. Oo oo what are we going to talk about?  I mean what kind of panel is this going to be?  It's being moderated by Robin Burcell, who is a trained FBI forensic artist, hostage negotiator, cop, detective, all the goodies.
First up we are introduced to William Kent Krueger who (wait for it!) is talking about Hemingway's underwear...or lack of. (What?)  Apparently, he read Papa at age 18 or 19 and then something about underwear and we confirmed everyone was wearing some.  John Lescroart warned against taking children away from parents. Thomas Perry spoke about his main characters - oh P-AH-LEASE soooo that's pedestrian! and learning to write for female protagonists. - I mean c'mon! Show us your panties!!!! Oh and James Rollins, who's a big brainy handsome geek? He wants to put lasers on cats.

Bottom line here, (Double points for dual pun.) is these guys are not a bunch of scary police/security hyped paranoids - like one might think.  Nope, they were a humble and gracious and fun.


AND NOW...The Birthday Song

Killing Imaginary People

I sat through the Tea and Cozy Panel and those women scared the hell out of me. Oh! Waaay more than joksters over at the Killer Thriller Panel. We had a retired parole officer who called interpol, oh sure, who's not chums with interpol? The Moderator is a retired physicist who makes quips to her male counterparts, "Oh I did't know there were male physicists." Seriously, the cojones on that one! And one of the panelists proclaimed "It's not illegal to kill imaginary people!" and "I've thought about killing someone with a cell phone...yes."
I think I, like a lot of people, thought 'well those cozy mystery writers aren't they a quaint bunch'. Yea, I was wrong. If I go missing anytime soon, please check these ladies alibi's first.
(L TO R) Camille Minichino, Elaine Macko, Barbara Graham, and Patricia Driscoll

Morning at a Convention

So Friday morning at the LCC/2012 Convention. Writers who had new books out in 2011 were honored with a breakfast. So, here's the thing...I had a table for Saint Charles Place, which was really-really nice, but March 30 is my sister's birthday. What's the problem you ask? Well, I always call my sister with a birthday song on March 30...because it's her birthday. What'd you think I randomly chose March 30 every year to...

Anyway we were all given a moment or two to stand up and speak about our new books that had come out in 2011 and introduce ourselves to the crowd. Do I call sister or go to the breakfast and give my little dog and pony spiel?

I go to the Breakfast and use my introduction to create THE GREAT WEST COAST MYSTERY TABERNACLE FLASH MOB! Yes, I did. This was a completely foolish idea, to throw away my spotlight...or was it? Everybody joined in and laughed. It was great. I got it on tape an will post it under a Flashmob heading. Turns out all through the day people would stop me and say, "You know, you really stood out during breakfast..." It was great. In one of the afternoon panels I heard people in the row ahead of me talking about it. (Nicely, thank goodness.)

This was a great lesson to me. It's true, it could have sunk faster than the Titanic and that's the thing about taking chances, you never know.
Here's a picture of the breakfast people:


Thursday, March 29, 2012

LLC/Sacramento: New FRIENDS

Meet Toni and Maggi of Western Mystery Hysterions Book Club. They're at .
Toni, shown on the left, was just talking about kinda having a blah day so I gave her one of my books. Then after the panel she won the raffle and got another book. Honestly, she was SO HAPPY about getting books. Whether or not you're an author, how can you not love that about a person? I'm so glad I met these two ladies.

Pictures from LCC/Sacramento

What do you do at the Crime Writers Convention? Kill off the PANELISTS! Kidding....maybe.
Left to Write are: D.P. Lyle, Lee Goldberg, Kirk Russell, Rebecca Cantrell, Gary Phillips
This panel was titled: Breaking the Rules. I'm not sure if it was a panel of crime novelists or improv players. Led by Lee Goldberg this group could give Upright Citizens Brigade a run for their money! Dear, Poor Kirk Russell juggled the boisterous personalities deftly however and good points were made on everything between writing colorful characters to e-publishing.

Left Coast Crime Convention

"Saylor here, I'll be blogging LIVE from the Left Coast Crime Convention. Oh Wait, the Sheraton in Sacramento doesn't have WIFI? WTF? Oh but the Starbucks across the street does? Free you say? VIVA LE STARBUCKS! Everyone to the Starbucks, all together - no pushing, we'll go in shifts." I mean really. Shame on you Sheraton. I get you wouldn't want non-paying passersby snoggin' off your terabytes but you are a CONVENTION CENTER. You make millions of dollars every year off of conventions. Do you really think people want to pay $2.50 for coffee? No, but they get free WIFI with it. So yes, I'll pay 2.50 for a cup of joe across the street and check my emails, instead of paying for coffee in your cafe.

So yesterday was the registration for the convention. I've been writing like a demon trying to get the 1st draft of The Rot is Deep, book 3 finished. I wanted to get it finished before this shmoozfest - mutual admiration society started. (That's not a dig, I'm genuinely excited to meet these folks.) My partner gets home and starts rooting through my convention papers and says: You know the registration is tonight.
Me: No, tomorrow night.
Her: No, right now.
Me: No, honey. It's tomorrow night.
Her: What day is the trash pick-up?
ME: -- Blank stare.-- CLOSE UP: on the paper she's looking at. CLOSE UP: on the clock. CLOSE UP: on my feet shuffling quickly through the house. Voice over: SSSSHHHHHHIIIIITTTTTTTTT!

At any rate we made it, barely. And now I'm very excited about the whole affair.
Here's a picture of my swag bag:

Now, I have to go or I'll be late...again. I'll blog again as soon as I get to Starbucks!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What is that?

Can you see that? Hanging in the tree. That doesn't belong there. It's a bungee with hooks on it. Exactly, how did that happen? Is that some kind of suburban shoe flinging? Have we been marked by a notorious pram pushing gang targeting our home? It had to be tossed there. It's about 25 feet from the street, about 8 feet up, and 10 feet from our front door. It would be a herculean effort to snap a bungee that far off the road. Unless. Unless it was the birds! Hopefully, it didn't come from a parachuter. That would be most unfortunate.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cops, amateur sleuths find relatives of mysterious twins

Cops, amateur sleuths find relatives of mysterious twins

The link above relates a story of two elderly twins who cut themselves off from the world and eventually died.  The police needed to contact next of kin but had no where to start because they were basically reclusive and only left each other as "next of kin."
I love this story.  It is a sad demise of two elderly twin sisters, which should undoubtably not be overlooked or brushed aside - that's not what I like so much about it. BUT reading a bit further you find out that it was everyday people who jumped in and helped out.
The implications of this astound me.  The first one being that there is a police department out there that cared enough to reach out for help.  There are many of them as a matter of fact, yet many who still do not. (But that's another conversation.)  The second only confirms what a bunch of rubber-neckers we all are! And thirdly, thank Goodness we are.  Good for you amateur sleuths, well done!

Solving mysteries is often compared to putting together puzzles.  It's a lot of logical sequencing and so on but one thing that always bothers me as a mystery/comedy writer is using murder and death in that puzzle.  In real life it's such a touchy and difficult subject filled with religious, cultural, and emotional belief systems.  It's just so easy, as a writer, to gloss over the grieving people attached to a victim.  But the truth is most people are loved and missed deeply.  Lives are affected in waves of loss.  That's what is so interesting to me about this story.

These two elderly women shunned society together.  It seems they voluntarily shut themselves off from the world.  Of course the Mystery of the Mysterious Twins was solved by strangers.  There was no one else.  But why?  Why would these two, entertainers no less, go to such lengths to not have anyone, not one soul be in contact with them.  That, to me, is where the mystery lies.