Monday, October 24, 2011

Anyone in the Phoenix Area?

I'm headed to Phoenix this weekend for a couple neat events.

Saturday, October 29, I'll be presenting a session at the Avondale Writers Conference in Avondale, AZ. If there's a writer out there looking for inspiration, I hope you'll join us, because it looks like a fun day.

Sunday, October 30, I'm going to the mothership. That's right, I'm visiting The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, foundation of Poisoned Pen Press. I'll be talking with my editor, Barbara Peters, about writing and racing and more. The store even promises Halloween candy! What more could you ask for? Here's the info from their calendar.

And here's the guest blog post I wrote for the bookstore's site, about Books as Comfort Food. Check out the blog to see what chocolate and horse racing have in common.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Heartbreaking Day in Racing

(cross-posted from Two For The Road)

I write fiction. Murder mysteries set in the racing world. Which means that I cheerfully plot how and why someone dies. Sometimes it's someone who deserved to die. Sometimes it's not. Typically, the bad guy who did it is caught, and always in mysteries, readers have the satisfaction of knowing why it happened.

We say truth is stranger than fiction. The racing world today knows it's significantly more heatbreaking than fiction, too. A very good racecar driver died Sunday in the opening minutes of the last IndyCar race of the season. He won this year's Indy 500 (his second win). He'd tested the new 2012 IndyCar chassis, and one tweet I saw said he was excited about its safety measures. He was 33 and leaves behind a wife and two children.

Racing's an extremely dangerous sport and business. And sometimes there are no reasons why, bad things just happen. One such happened Sunday.

Rest in peace, Dan Wheldon.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Very Different Kind of Interview

Not long after the publication of Dead Man's Switch, I had the opportunity to talk with a friend of mine (thanks, Shane) who collects conversations with interesting people for the Web site Travels of John. No amount of protesting on my part that I couldn't compete with the likes of George Steinbrenner, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, and other real notables would dissuade him. And I'm very grateful, because it was a fun interview and I'm honored to be part of a group of fascinating people featured.

Here are an excerpt and links to the post:

Whodunit? Danger, murder, paranoia and… race car driving?

Tammy Kaehler is hardly the first to divine career direction in a corporate hospitality suite. It’s near-certain that many a deal has been forged amid the celebratory clinking of complementary beer bottles, hands shaken only after proper removal of wing sauce via Wet-Nap. She may, however, be the first for whom the glad-handing and overwhelming noise of a professional auto race served as inspiration—for a version of the Great American Novel.

Was your writing career destiny or coincidence? 

The writing itself was destiny. The racing part of it as subject matter was coincidence. I mean, I can’t draw a thing, I can’t paint, I couldn’t design a birthday card for the life of me. I understand the value of visuals, but I don’t have that skill; I am intellectually formed by words. Words create the pictures; they create the shapes; they create, I don’t know, memorization for me. In college, my mother suggested I become a writer for TV or something, and I remember looking at her and wondering where in the world she would have come up with something like that. It just didn’t make any sense at the time, but I look back now and think, “Well, of course.”


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

See Me Wednesday, October 19, in Signal Hill!

Anyone in the Long Beach or Signal Hill area? Join us at the Signal Hill Library for a "first-timers" (newbie authors) panel!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Elvis, Alien Babies, and Me

(aka, Where I've Been, Part 1)

It's been a while. But the particular madness known as book-promotion-plus-full-time-job is wearing off, and I can think again (I won't claim other madness won't set in). And what's clear is that I've neglected to post news, thoughts, and updates here. So I'll work on fixing that.

One of the silliest (and possibly farthest reaching!) places my book turned up last month was in a tabloid. Yes, I was in a TABLOID. How awesome is that?!?! And I didn't even have to have to have an alien baby or see Elvis in my moldy bread. It was the National Examiner, and I got a brief review in the lower right corner (photo taken by me at supermarket checkstand) that included "This amazing debut novel..." and "Pulse-pounding excitement...." I'll take it! In fact, I took three copies.