Friday, October 28, 2016

On the Road Again with Michele Drier and SNAP

On the Road Again

It’s closing in on Halloween and time I put on my costume.
That’s right, I dress up like an author.

What does an author look like? A bit frazzled, somewhat frantic, putting on a happy face while begging “please buy my book.”

Maybe it’s because of the long summer when much of California takes a vacation away from the heat, but every year September, October and into November is the travel season. The one where you load up the trunk of your car with books and hit the appearance road.

This year it began in New Orleans with two panels at Bouchercon, the world’s oldest and largest mystery fan and author convention. As the co-chair for Bouchercon 2020, here in Sacramento, I spent six days taking notes, shadowing people, being on panels, talking, talking talking. I was reacquainted with old friends, met some new ones and came home exhausted.

The Great Valley Book Fest
with (left to right)
Catriona McPherson
Cindy Sample
Cherie O'Boyle
Michele Drier
moderator Danna Wilberg

Packed up the car and took off for a presentation in Fresno, 170 miles south. Home again, I reloaded the car and drove to Manteca (50 miles south) for the Great Valley Book Fest, a one-day fair of all thing bookish. Talked to a lot of people, met William Kent Kruger, award-winning author of Ordinary Grace.

Then closer to home, I drove to Face in a Book, an independent book store in El Dorado Hills to take part in a Sisters in Crime mystery panel. I’m the president of the local Sisters chapter, Capitol Crimes, and with four other members, regaled the audience with tales of being a writer. How do you come up with your plots? Do you have a regular writing schedule? Are you like your characters?

Odd, no one asked what we wear to write in. They probably knew that a writer’s uniform is jammies…or in my case either a t-shirt or sweatshirt, depending on the temperature. One author confessed to writing every morning in her recliner and another said she stands at her kitchen counter. Me? I sit in my office and stare, waiting for inspiration to leap out from the walls.

I‘m winding up this sprint on Nov. 5 when I teach a writing class at a local Adult Ed program.

At the bookstore, I fell into conversation with a young woman who’s just finished her first novel, a YA coming-of-age set in the supernatural. I gave her some resources, encouraged her to polish her book and to see it through to be published. Having the passion to write, to finish a novel, or short story or essay is a wonderful thing. And to sell it, to share your stories with others, to amuse, challenge, scare, teach others through the persuasion of your own words is heady stuff.

But being a writer is scary, also. Putting your thoughts, ideas and words out there for perfect strangers. Letting people you don’t know into your world. And then hoping they’ll pay to hear and read that story, those words.
And what’s even more scary? I still have a trunk full of books in my car.
I tell myself that John Grisham and Stephenie Meyer started out this way.

Book Blurb
In book nine of the Kandesdky Vampire Chronicles, Maxie Gwenoch, LA-based media star, VP for International Planning for the multi-national gossip conglomerate, SNAP, has finally agreed to marry Jean-Louis Kandesky, a 500-year-old Hungarian vampire a leader of the family that owns SNAP.

Is marriage a big change? Not as big as the fact that Maxie is now a vampire, as well. When munitions from the Kandesky Enterprises weapons plant in Slovakia turn up at the bombing of a Royal's house in England, Jean-Louis and his "brother," Nik, are hot on the trail of shadowy terrorist groups dealing in international weapons sales. Are the Kandesky arms being sold to terrorists groups? Should Maxie use her new-found vampire strengths to ferret out the scum?

More About the Author
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home.  During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.

She is the president of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of Bouchercon 2020.
Her Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries are Edited for Death, (called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review), Labeled for Death and Delta for Death.

Her paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was the best paranormal vampire series of 2014 from the Paranormal Romance Guild. The series is SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, Danube: A Tale of Murder, SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After?, SNAP: White Nights,  SNAP: All That Jazz, and SNAP: I, Vampire.

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