We’ve said it over and over again. In fact, it’s the whole point of this blog — Maine and it’s rich load of mystery writers are a great mix.
And April is the coolest month for fans of mysteries, writing, Maine and all that other stuff. Two really neat events are coming up in the next few weeks, and it’s a great chance to meet some writers, hear writers read from their works and talk about writing, and soak up all that’s great about Maine crime writing.
The first event is Noir at the Bar, this coming Sunday.
The twice-a-year event features writers, most of whom post on this blog, reading two-minute passages from their works. The writers run the gamut from hard-boiled and police procedural to traditional mystery to cozy and everything in between. And since it’s at a bar — Bull Feeney’s on Fore Street in Portland — what’s not to like?
The event is free and open to the public, and is 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 2.
If that’s not enough, the headline event of the month — the season opener of Maine writing, in fact — is the Maine Crime Wave on April 22. The day-long conference features workshops, panels, lunch, schmoozing, books for sale and a lunch address by Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.
The event is at the University of Southern Maine’s Glickman Library in Portland, right off
Interstate 295. There’s plenty of free parking, and lots of bathrooms.
Writers and aspiring writers can take advantage of manuscript critiques and craft-specific workshops. And you don’t have to be a mystery writer to get something out of those sessions. There is plenty for non-writers, too, included Tess Gerritsen and agent Meg Ruley, talking about “The Life of a Book,” authors who were recently published — me included! — talking about how they got there, a panel by some of the former law enforcers who now are part of Maine’s great writing community, and a lot more.
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about Crime Wave is the chance to schmooze with the writers and participants. The writers are right there with you, drinking coffee, listening to panels, lurking by the coat rack — it’s a great chance to get to know your favorite writer better and to meet new ones.
As part of the event, the night before, on Friday, April 21, Gerritsen — who’s the internationally best-selling writer of the series that sparked the “Rizzoli and Isles” TV show, if you weren’t aware — will be honored with the first annual Maine Crime Master award, also at USM.
Barbara Kelly, of Kelly’s Books to Go will be selling books by all the authors at both Noir at the Bar and Crime Wave. To find out more about Crime Wave and to register, go to the Maine Writers and Publisher’s Alliance website, mainewriters.com. Find Noir at the Bar on Facebook, or just show up. We won’t turn you away!
Spring is a great time in Maine, and these events are a great way to get out of the house and take advantage of some of the best our state has to offer, make new friends, talk about and hear about writing and writers and … did I mention get out of the house?
The first person who approaches me at Crime Wave and tells me they decided to come after reading this blog post, will get a signed copy of my first book, Cold Hard News. I’ll give it you right there. So how can you turn down an offer like that?
Maureen Milliken is the author of the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. Follow her on Twitter at@mmilliken47 and like her Facebook page at Maureen Milliken mysteries. Sign up for email updates at maureenmilliken.com. She hosts the podcast Crime&Stuff with her sister Rebecca Milliken.