I’m off to Mount Hermon today. As soon as I arrive and get settled, I’ll find a stack of manuscript excerpts waiting for critique. These excerpts are sent in before the conference and sorted and assigned to various folks on the critique team. I like to tackle these manuscripts and get them done before the conference officially starts Friday at lunch, because after that it’s a whirlwind of activity until closing Tuesday afternoon. I also have ten folks in my fiction mentoring clinic. We will meet every morning as a major track, with each person’s excerpted manuscript being critiqued. It’s an in-depth study of fiction, with personal attention to your manuscript—a good choice for those who may have sat through the fiction track for a number of years running. Gayle Roper and Randy Ingermanson are also leading fiction mentoring clinics. Mount Hermon began offering this track a few years ago, spearheaded by Gayle. It has become so popular that it expanded to two clinics, and now three. In addition, Mount Hermon held a fiction conference last fall (a new one) that was nothing but these types of fiction clinics. New Christian novelists are definitely on the rise. Kudos for working hard at the craft.
While I am at MH I must also proof Violet Dawn. The galleys arrived on my desk as soon as I finished Coral Moon. They’re due upon my return from Mount Hermon. They look great! The interior design for the book is very nice, with some interesting graphics.
Next week after Mount Hermon in Coeur d’Alene—the infamous Mysterious-But-Warm-Don’t-Look-Too-Glitzy-But-You-Can-Wear-That-Flashy-Pin-On-Your –Black-Velvet -Jacket Photo Shoot. It’s supposed to be raining that day. Oh, joy. I suppose that could add to the whole mysterious aura thing, but I look like a drowned rat with wet hair.
Enough with my updates. Today I want to alert you to an interesting book coming down the pike. Just got a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Thriller: Stories to Keep You Up All Night, edited by James Patterson. Westbow suspense novelist Robert Liparulo (Comes a Horseman) boasts a story in this hardback (retail price $25). Here’s the review:
“The blurry line between mysteries and thrillers gets even fuzzier in this outstanding anthology of 32 new stories by such top genre names as Lee Child, James Grippando, Denise Hamilton and David Morrell. Patterson, in his introduction, talks about the "intensity of emotions" that thrillers share—as well as "the force with which they hurtle the reader along." This description fits such fine efforts as Gayle Lynds's "The Hunt for Dmitri," which takes the heroine of The Coil, Liz Sansborough, into an adventure involving her father, the infamous CIA assassin known as the Carnivore. But other extremely readable stories, like Alex Kava's "Goodnight, Sweet Mother," would qualify as straight mystery. Readers who favor one category or another may at first be a bit baffled, but lovers of crime fiction in general and well-told action tales in particular will be well rewarded. Would-be thriller writers can learn a lot about research and technique from Patterson's introductions to each story. Many of the contributors will be attending the first International Thriller Writers convention in Phoenix in June.”
Over thirty authors have contributed stories. This book sounds like a great way to provide the reader (and aspiring suspense writers) with a look at many different authors and their styles. It’s on my to-buy list.