A bevy of top-notch crime writers will be in Maine this weekend and we writers and readers of crime fiction get to hang out with them. Virtually, that is.
Maine Crime Wave is tomorrow. It’s happening on Zoom, and as much as we all wish we could be together in person this year, there are distinct advantages to an online conference:
- You won’t have to drive into Portland, which is a relief, because the whole city is a giant road construction zone right now.
- Given that the forecast is for a spectacular early summer day, it will be perfectly fine to participate from a chaise lounge on the deck.
- Thanks to the miracle of technology, there’ll be opportunities to schmooze (and buy books!) between events.
At 9 a.m, five powerhouse authors will be talking about building their protagonists.
MCW alum Barbara Ross, author of the wonderful Maine Clambake Mysteries, will moderate the discussion among Lou Berney, who has won every crime writing award ever invented for The Long and Faraway Gone and November Road, Maine’s own Paul Doiron, whose 12th (!) Mike Bowditch novel Dead by Dawn will be released not soon enough in my opinion, New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Carla Neggers, known especially for her Sharpe & Donovan series, former police officer Isabella Maldonado, whose new series featuring FBI special agent Nina Guerrera is drawing raves, and the fabulous Tess Gerritsen, who lights the path for so many of us with her medical mysteries, Rizzoli and Isles series and recent foray into supernatural thrillers.
At 11 a.m., MCW author Richard Cass, author of the marvelous Elder Darrow series of jazz mysteries, will entice five other superb writers to talk about their top plot secrets.
Jess Lourey, author of award-winning adult mystery novels (Unspeakable Things – wow!) and YA adventure books, will be there. So will NY Times bestseller Michael Koryta (who sets some of his super suspenseful books in Maine), Portland’s own Chris Holm (author of the multi-award-winning Michael Hendricks thrillers and the eagerly anticipated Child Zero), Alexia Gordon (if you haven’t read her Gethsemane Brown series, start with Murder In G Major and trust me, you’ll keep on going) and James Ziskin, whose short story The Twenty Five Year Engagement and most recent Ellie Stone novel Turn To Stone have been nominated for a slew of big awards this year.
After lunch, Kelley Ragland, Vice President/Associate Publisher/Editorial Director for Minotaur Books will give a keynote address after being introduced by our own Julia Spencer-Fleming.
But as they say on those TV commercials for Flowbee™ hair trimmers, wait, there’s more!
At 7 p.m., I get to host a virtual Noir @ The Bar with three of the above-mentioned authors (Tess Gerrisen, Alexia Gordon and Jim Ziskin) and six other fine local writers: Robert Kelley (defending champion of the annual Two Minutes in the Slammer event); Maureen Milliken (author of the Bernie O’Dea series); Jule Selbo (recently relocated screenwriter whose debut novel 10 Days will be out in August); two-time Maine Literary Award finalist Vaughn Hardacker; Stonecoast MFA standout Emily Bernhard and Janet Murch, winner of the 2019 Crime Wave Flash Fiction Award.
Each writer will read a five-minute scene. You can pour yourself whatever you prefer to drink.
You don’t need to be a Crime Wave registrant to tune in. This Crime Wave Noir@The Bar is FREE and it will be fun. I hope to see lots of you in the virtual audience.
Here’s the RSVP link, which will get you a special super secret link to Noir@The Bar itself: https://www.mainewriters.org/events/noirbar
Saturday night at 7 p.m. Join us!