And next…

Two things to put on your calendar (after April 1st, that is): Edgars week in NY, at which yrs truly will be part of a panel—take a look at the brand spanking new MWA page about Edgars week, and think about joining us.

And, you’ve got nothing planned in September, have you? Here’s Dana Stabenow, head honcha for BoucherCon 2007 in Anchorage, telling you why you should sign up:

Those at Left Coast Crime 2007 in Seattle recently were edified by my Friday panel called “Like Watching the Grass Grow” which I have so classily nicknamed “the Boobs panel.” In fifty minutes and with enthusiastic audience help Larry Karp, Deni Dietz, John Daniel, Chris Kling and I improvised a setting, characters and plot, involving the murder of one Victoria Secrete, aspiring stripper, who dies when the bomb in her breast implant explodes. She’s on a roller coaster in an amusement park at the time. Yes, this is the kind of good time you can expect when you attend a crime fiction convention, so go immediately to www.bouchercon2007.com and register to come to Anchorage in September!

I can only add, it you don’t come, you’ll feel like one of those kids at the loser’s table in the high school cafeteria. Come to Anchorage and sit with the cheerleaders!

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And by the by, thanks for all the comments regarding the virtual book group. Few suggestions there, so if you’ve thought of any in the meantime, send ahead.

Also, I had wondered about the intimidation factor of knowing the author was looking in, and can see that some people would find it a problem. All I can say is, although I’ll be available for clarification and direct questions, I’m not about to correct anyone when it comes to the books. For one thing, generally other readers jump in first, and for another, if there are “corrections” to be made, I figure it’s probably my own fault for not writing clearly enough in the first place. I’m not actually very possessive about my work, so if you visualize me sitting in the background, it’s with a look of interest on my face, not of disapproval.

Comments

  1. I don’t know how well Dana’s references to the loser’s table and the cheerleaders will work outside the US, but it certainly carries loads of meaning for most of us in the US.

    One sub-genre in the mystery field I like are mysteries at high school reunions. While I don’t keep score, my impression is that the high school stars frequently show up in those as alcoholics, battered wives, or general losers, if not as the main dead body. And aren’t we all secretly glad? And in many, the “losers,” frequently nerdy brains, are often the rich and/or famous people — and again, don’t many of us feel vindicated, even if we ourselves are not rich or famous?

    Isn’t there something a bit wrong about an educational system that can propagate such miserable times for so many, through so many generations? (I’m class of 64 for high school.)

    For an outstandingly miserable time, see Jane Haddam’s next to last, or maybe two from the last, book. (I forget the title, sigh.)In her preface she mentions thinking of some “girls” without fondness — presumably those played larger than life in the book. Or at least one hopes, for Ms. Haddam’s sake, they are larger than life.

  2. Of course there is something wrong with the educational system! Having taught for most of my adult life, I could start by mentioning the abysmal pay that most teachers garner… Or perhaps the lack of nurturance in many a home… Or perhaps that the whole culture is seriously skewed toward materialism and one-up-manship. But somehow the school is supposed to wave a magic wand and produce caring students. Heaven knows they try. Perhaps if parents would put more interest into watching over their children’s friends and pastimes there would be an upswing in the production of caring children, but bullying has been a problem as long as authors have written books. Are you aware of what C. S. Lewis went through as a young student? The list of victims and bullies stretches back through the ages and is a reflection, I think, of the state of human kind, not necessarily the state of education. The little twist on the old story now is that sometimes the victims strike back by firing weapons at those who have allowed bullying to go on.

    My, I am getting on my high horse on this coment thread! I look forward to the book club, though. Onward and upward!

  3. Belizegial says:

    I would like to participate in the book club. That sounds interesting. Can anyone join in? I am situated in the tropics.

    Enid

  4. I find it interesting how people picked up on the “one of those kids at the loser’s table in the high school cafeteria” comment. As a long-standing “loser’s table kid” myself, I also still remember (and feel) the pain of the popular kids’ barbs. Until quite recently I had thought that (for the most part) I’d overcome my stultifying introverted nature–until, that is, I met Laurie King in New York and found I could not even string together two coherent words. How disappointed (in myself) I felt! Alas, it seems you can take the kid away from the “loser’s table,” but not the “loser’s table” away from the kid … Ah well, I still have my books and my animal friends, as always. 🙂

  5. Roxanne, you are NOT a “loser” just because you became tongue-tied in the presence of a favorite author (i.e., Laurie.) The French phrase “l’esprit de l’escalier” applies to that. Literally it means “spirit of the staircase” — it really means “thinking of just the right thing to say, too late –as you are leaving, or after you have left” — as you can see, there’s no exact idiom in English. While it often means the appropriate comeback, it can refer to anything. I’m sure you knew just what to say after the fact.

    And, you weren’t a loser in high school — just considered one, for incorrect reasons, which is quite different.

    At a recent high school reunion we had some of our former teachers and the vice-principal from the school. When the vice-principal encountered me he said “Oh, the brightest kid in the school” and I literally flinched and looked around to see if anyone else had heard — my reaction surprised me, as I thought that I, too, had survived being unpopular.

    I guess it’s like going home — all the old behaviors/thoughts return from the past.

    One high-school hangover: several friends and I agreed that we absolutely could not now call a former teacher by his/her first name. One friend had been asked to do so by a former teacher who is now a travel agent she uses; after several tries she said “mr. (last name) I just can’t call you (first name.)”

  6. I would really like a book group that focused on mysteries. I belong to a group now, but we read all types of books. This year the focus is “banned books”, which is interesting. Anyway, count me in!

  7. I’ve only read a couple of your books so far, Ms. King, but I want to read more and a book club would be a great motivator! And since it’s online, even shy little me might delurk now and then.

    I’m assuming you’ll announce the selected book a few weeks ahead of time so we can get our hands on a copy, right?

  8. iyMost readers probably won’t be intimidated by an authorial presence. I hang out on another author’s board and it gets pretty free-wheeling. She does do the border collie thing when posters veer too far into polarizing political or religious territory, but everybody is otherwise uninhibited to a somewhat alarming degree.

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