Friday, March 16, 2012


Stepping out with Lady Luck!

I had my second gig on Wed. night, or rather Erika Chase did. I/She was guest speaker at the monthly meeting of Capital Crime Writers, the vibrant mystery writers association here in Ottawa. (My first time out was speaking to the Ottawa Regional Booksellers Assoc. -- very odd after being one of them for so long).

Anyway, it dawned on me that what may have been the most useful tip for many CCW members is that as an unpublished writer, you should never give up. In a lot of instances, it's luck that steps in and leads the way to a publishing contract. So hang in there and be open to it.

Some examples come to mind: Mary Jane Maffini selling what was to become an award-winning short story, at a bar in Omaha, at a Bouchercon conference; Peggy Blair talking to Ian Rankin, at the end of a conference, and being given the name of his agent; and I remembered in the early 90's, while attending a Malice Domestic conference, being stuck in a glass elevator with Nancy Pickard for close to half-an-hour. She just happened to be one of my favourite authors at that point. We got to talking and before things got moving again, she'd offered me the name of her agent. Had I been further along in my writing at that point, I would have taken her up on it. I should have anyway.

That's not such a difficult task -- attending conferences and schmoozing. We all like to do that. You never can tell when lady luck will get in on the conversation and there's your entry into the publishing world.

Bloody Words is coming up June 1-3 in Toronto; Malice Domestic happens before that on April 27-29 in Bethesda, MD; and, I received the registration package for Left Coast Crime, March 21-24, 2013 in Colorado Springs, CO. I'll be attending them all. I expect they'll all be informative, eventful and a lot of fun. Plus, Lady Luck may be registered, also!

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime

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