Had a great time this morning while attending local author Glen Ebisch's author event at Blue Umbrella Books in downtown Westfield, MA. He did a program on 10 Mystery Writers who more or less created/impacted the genre which was very interesting and informative. Glen is a former (I believe) philosophy professor and has a relaxed, down-to-earth manner of speaking to an audience from all his years as a professor. He writes what he calls "edgy/cozy" mysteries featuring female protagonists. I have a number of his books in my personal library.
At the event, an author friend with whom I will be working in the near future on a mystery novel, sat beside me. Like students in a classroom, when something Glen said struck me and made me think of something we could use in the soon to be written book, I snatched my friend's program outline right out of his hand and quickly jotted down the thoughts that had come into my head from what we had just heard Glen speak about. I then handed him his papers back and a few moments later earned a nudge of his elbow to let me know he liked the ideas. (Being the age that I am, if I don't make notes when I think of something I tend to forget because there is way too much else going on in my head!) I also scribbled the same note on the back of my outline copy as a back-up (notes are my auxiliary brains!)
I had a nice chat with Glen afterward. I'm not really working on anything new at the moment (although voices are clamoring in my head to tell their stories!), however, I am backtracking and cleaning up interior copy issues at the suggestion of a Writer's Digest judge who didn't like my starting chapters near the top of the page, so I'm lowering them in the novels I've published so far, one by one- a tedious project, but I take good advice when it's given, and like to get things done in a timely manner. I then told him I have five novels on the dining room table cooling their pages while awaiting my further attention. And then I told him many of my novel and story ideas start with a house that is based on a house I've seen somewhere that's caught my eye and interest as a potential setting for a novel or story. Characters come second to populate the house and plot. That's just my quirk.
While at the bookstore I bought a copy of Glen's new book, Stormy Weather. On the way toward the exit, I spotted Shawn Flynn's The Kitty Who Rescued Me After I Rescued Him displayed on the upcoming events shelf and snagged a copy. He was just in Broadbrook, CT at bookclub bookstore & more, but I didn't make it down there. He'll be at Blue Umbrella Books on March 11th, so I'll attend his event here in town and then have him sign the book for me. It's about a rescue/stray cat he bonded with. Having owned nothing but rescue cats since 1994 I can relate to how these cats come into your life and change it for the better.
I'm also looking forward to Jacquelyn Lynch's author event on March 18th from 3-4PM when she talks about her new book, Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain:70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mount Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts. I grew up on the Easthampton side of Mount Tom, used to hike all over up there when I was a kid and into my 20's, and took Kelly hiking there when she was younger (until we ran into a scary guy on a trail near the lake a couple of years prior to the microburst that shredded the Easthampton side of the mountain. He kept apologizing to us, saying, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry for what I did to you!" when he hadn't actually done anything. We didn't hang around to wait to see if he was going to do anything!) I also went to Mountain Park on the Holyoke side when I was younger. I loved the merry-go-round! Kelly is interested in the history of Mount Tom for the Holyoke Street Railway Trolley cars that took passengers up the mountain from the park to the Summit House.
There's always something happening in Westfield!