Wicked Wednesday- Author Events

Jessie- In NH where the crocuses are blooming and the robins are frolicking with abandon!

In a rare turn of events all the Wickeds are together today for two author events. We will be in Nashua, NH for both, first at Rivier College for a R.I.S. E. presentation at midday and then at the Barnes and Noble in the evening. We are ridiculously excited about gathering together for these two occasions and would love to have you all join us. It promises to be memorable. Which got me to wondering about memorable events the other Wickeds have held. So, any favorite memories you’d love to share?

maxwellEdith: Other than my double launch party a couple of weeks ago, I’d have to say my first launch party was an unforgettable evening, for all the right reasons. Speaking of Murder had just released in September 2012 (written as Tace Baker), and I’d invited everyone I knew. The young man managing the Newburyport bookstore had set out ten chairs. I said, “Um, I think you’re going to need more chairs.” I was right. 55 people were there from all different areas of my life: church, work, town, family, and Sisters in Crime, including several Wickeds. The bookstore sold out but I had a box of books in the car to supplement their order. The whole night was touching, exhilarating, just perfect.

Liz: I have to say my first launch party, for Kneading to Die, was also my most memorable. Full of family, friends and dogs, it was held at The Big Biscuit in Franklin, Mass. Shaggy even got her own doggie cake for the occasion!

Sherry: I’ve had so much fun going to author events that it is so hard to pick one. The first time I was on a panel as an author was at Left Coast Crime in Monterey, California in 2014. The women on the panel with me have become friends — Lori Rader-Day (doing a post here on Friday), Carlene O’Neil, Martha Cooley, and Holly West. I was so nervous I don’t think I said much. Afterwards we had a signing time and this was the order of the table Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, Jan Burke, then me. I didn’t even have a book out yet, but a couple of people had me sign their programs. It’s an experience I’ll never forget and Jan Burke was very gracious the one second she didn’t have someone in front of her.

Barb: I enjoy author events, too. Most memorable was the launch of my first book, The Death of an Ambitious Woman. It seemed like everyone I’d ever mentioned I was writing a book to came. Porter Square ran out of books. I did a little talk and a reading and thanked my friends and family. My sister-in-law pointed at me and said to my daughter, “This is what it looks like when your dreams come true,” which is such a lovely, heartfelt sentiment.

CAKE KILLERJulie: My launch party for Just Killing Time was a blast. Friends and family packed the New England Mobile Book Fair. Three of my mentors–Hank Phillippi Ryan, Kate Flora, and Hallie Ephron–sat right up front, and cheered me on. My friend Courtney made me a cookie cake decorated to look like a clock. It was just lovely. This year Liz and I both have August and September books–2 women, 4 names, 4 books, 2 new series being launched. We are going to do something to celebrate, so stay tuned.

Readers: Do you like to attend author events? What’s your most memorable one?



Westward Ho — Julie and Sherry go to Left Coast Crime



The view from our room!

Julie and Sherry were so excited to attend Left Coast Crime not only to spend some time with each other but it’s a fabulous conference. The weather was perfect and February is a great time to leave the northern tier and visit the West!

It didn’t take long to start running into friends!

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Sherry reunited with the women from her very first panel at LCC in 2014. It was a panel for debut authors and what an amazing bunch of women and writers.

Holly West, Sherry Harris Carlene O'Neil, Lori Rader Day and Martha Cooley

Holly West, Sherry Harris Carlene O’Neil, Lori Rader Day and Martha Cooley

Guppy Karragh Arndt left a message on the Guppy list serve that she wanted some pitch advice. We met her at the bar. Julie and Dru Ann Love gave her some great advice.





Julie and Sherry were both on panels, and enjoyed others!

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What to do between panels? Run outside and enjoy the warm weather!

So many fun things to do!

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What a fun night! We sat at the table sponsored by Lori Rader Day and nominee Jim Ziskin.



Where Are They Now?

By Sherry from Hotsville aka Northern Virginia

IMG_3472In March 2014 I was on my first panel as an author, Deadly New Voices, at Left Coast Crime with four fabulous debut authors: Martha (M.P. Cooley), Carlene O’Neil, Lori Rader-Day, and Holly West. At the time only Holly had a book out so I thought it would be fun to catch up with everyone and see what had happened since the panel. Each of us (except for Carlene whose book just came out May 2015) have been nominated for a best first novel award and some for multiple awards!

Martha_Cooley-31-retouched_web_(2)Martha Cooley: Our debut panel at Left Coast kicked off what was an amazing year!  Well, not quite a year–Ice Shear came out last July.  Everything between May and September  was a hazy blur of promotion, but when I emerged on the other side I found myself with a BEAUTIFUL book in my hand and part of a fantastic community of writers. Ice Shear had a nice reception when it came out–Oprah had it on her list of best thrillers of summer 2014, it received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, and was named one of the best books of FlameOut0x420the year by the Sun Sentinel.  The book has picked up some awards nominations, including the Barry Award, The Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award, the Anthony, and the Strand Magazine Critics Award.

In the last few months, I’ve published a prequel and sequel to Ice Shear. FAINT TRACE is an e-book novella that shows what June lost before Ice Shear began–a home, her husband, a career, California.  FLAME OUT is a sequel that investigates past crimes. June is working to solve an attempted murder in abandoned factory that had been set on fire and digs up secrets that hit close to home for June and her family.  Currently, I’m hard at work on Savage Gods, my next book with William Morrow.

Carlene O’Neil: Thank you Sherry for inviting us to spend time with the Wickeds. All of you are such fantastic writers and I feel like an honorary Wicked; I was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, so, although I grew up in California, I come from “good Yankee stock,” as my grandmother was fond of saying.

It’s been such an amazing year since Left Coast Crime. My first book, One Foot in the Grape, was published by Berkley and came out on May 5th. This was the culmination of a life-long dream, and I’ve been having a lot of fun, even when standing in the middle of a Barnes and Noble crying my eyes out.  It’s there (sob), on the shelves (hiccup.) Since Left Coast Crime, I’ve also been on panels at Bouchercon and the San Diego Writers Conference. I’m kind of a ham. Who knew.

OneFoot2_s260x420In addition to writing and the Dreaded Day Job, I’ve managed to clear some free time to devote to research. I need to make sure the wine tasting, growing, tasting, bottling, and tasting details in the book are accurate. In fact, I’m so excited to be in Paris as you read this, getting a combined vacation/research trip in. Also, last month I had a chance to spend the weekend in Temecula, California, a wine growing region a short drive from San Diego, and I’m hoping to revisit Monterey and Carmel, a beautiful part of the state. If you are familiar with the town of Carmel, my fictional town of Cypress Cove may sound familiar.  Just saying.

What’s next? I just got word from my editor that the next book in the series, Ripe for Murder, will be out March 2016. This time my protagonist, Penny Lively, gets to travel to the Napa Valley where she manages to get involved in a murder on the Wine Train.

Rader_Day_Lori_2Lori Rader-Day:
What l remember from our panel was laughing. We had so much fun — so much has happened since that day! The Black Hour launched on July 8, 2014, and I spent the rest of the year going wherever my Google Calendar said to go. I had a launch party in Chicago with about 80 of my nearest and dearest friends, and then another launch party in my hometown, at the library where I first learned to be a voracious reader. In all, I did about 30 events.

The Black Hour had an embarrassingly good year, getting some good reviews and earning nominations for the Mary Higgins Clark Award (I got LittlePretty2_s260x420to go to the Edgars! Stephen King was there!), the Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award for Best First Novel, the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original, and the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. The Black Hour even managed a couple of wins: the Lovey Award for Best First Novel and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association Mate E. Palmer Award in Communications for Fiction.

The biggest news is that The Black Hour has a little sister! Little Pretty Things will be released on July 7. I’ve also already sold my third book, still in progress, for next July. So here we go. I’m just really glad to have had that deadly first panel with you ladies. We had so much fun—and we’re just getting started.

Holly West: It’s been a great year and a half since our panel at Left Coast Crime in 2014. The second book in my Mistress of Fortune series, Mistress of Lies, came out in September 2014 and in 2015, the first in the series, Mistress of Fortune, was nominated for a Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award for Best First Novel. Now, after a whirlwind debut year, I’m back at my writing desk, working on a new Mistressv8_s260x420book set in modern day Venice, California, featuring amateur sleuth Mia Bartlett, a bartender who works at the oldest bar in Los Angeles. It turns out that walls can talk when a renovation turns up a mysterious case of champagne set aside by the bar’s gangster owner during Prohibition. It’s a discovery someone will die for. In the meantime, look for short stories from me in a few upcoming anthologies–publishing dates to TBD.

longestyardsaleSherry: Thanks for stopping by ladies. It was so great to hear about all of your achievements. I think you all must be good luck! My first book Tagged for Death came out in December 2014 and was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. The Longest Yard Sale comes out June 30th. And I’ve turned in All Murders Final which comes out in May 2016.

Readers: I hope you add these books to your summer reading piles! What else are you looking forward to reading this summer?


You Know You’re a Mystery Writer When…

[Missi Svoboda won the paperback copy of A TINE TO LIVE, A TINE TO DIE from Edith’s A Second Life post last week. Missi, contact Edith, and congratulations!]

By Sherry Harris

You know you’re a mystery writer…


Half of your friends have aliases but they haven’t committed a crime.

You have perfectly normal conversations about the best way to kill someone in a crowded restaurant.

Your husband is nervous when you say the Poison Lady is going to be at a conference you’re attending.

Julie with Patrick Towle right before our police ride along.

Julie with Sgt. Patrick Towle right before our police ride along.

You know how to sink a body and make sure it stays that way.

You have an anonymous source.

You’ve been on a police ride along.

Your friend’s husband, who’s a police officer, answers your questions after he decides you aren’t really planning to commit a crime.

You hear an interesting crime story and you start analyzing to see if it would work in your manuscript.

You can’t wait to:

See your cover.

Hold an arc.

Hold the book.

Sign your first book.

Make the first sale that isn’t to your mother or some other close relative.

You try to:


My first panel at Left Coast Crime with Martha Cooley, Lori Rader-Day, Carlene O’Neil and Holly West.

Be funny and interesting when you’re on a panel at a conference.

Be witty and ask insightful questions when you moderate a panel.

Figure out how many appearances you should make and if you should have a launch party.

Promote but not over promote your book on social media sites.

You force yourself out of bed in the middle of the night because something has come to you and you want to remember it in the morning.

You wake up in the morning wondering what the heck you thought of in the middle of the night that you were sure was brilliant and you’d remember it without forcing yourself out of bed in the middle of the night.

You have to cover the word count on your computer so you don’t check every few minutes to see if you’ve reached your goal.

Liz in book jail on our recent retreat.

Liz in book jail on our recent retreat.

Your friends put you in book jail and yell at you if they see you’re online when you should be writing.

Your friends give you word counts, deadlines, and encourage you.

Anyone have something to add to the list?