Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Weekly Roundup - and Input Requested

Wow! Where in the world did August go? It seems to have just zoomed by. The days are getting shorter again, which means the cold weather is just around the corner. I saw some leaves turning colors, and I was stopped by the school bus twice this past week on the way to work. It wouldn't be bad if the stop was ONCE, but no, it's about 5 times in less than 50 yards. The bus usually has 20-30 cars lined up behind it before it turns off that main road. I didn't miss the school buses over summer. Going to have to leave about 5 or 10 minutes earlier again so I can have a better shot at beating the bus now.

In book news, however! This was a fun week with another great six-word memoir round-up and a guest post on "Madcap Noir." And this week the visitor counter topped 19,000. That's amazing to me. After year #1 of Jen's Book Thoughts it hadn't quite hit 5,000. So, yes, I'm doing the requisite little happy dance over here in Lorain, Ohio. But there's fun stuff going on elsewhere that I'd like to tell you about, too.

My friend Corey over at The Drowning Machine has announced a crime fiction short story contest called "The Watery Grave Invitational". And he's rustled up some big time judges for this contest, too. So, all you writers make sure you hustle over to Corey's blog and find out the details to enter your short stories!

I know it may seem like a long way off, but the blog for Bouchercon 2011 in St. Louis is live now. I, of course, am already making plans for this one since Robert Crais will be one of the guests of honor! The hosts include David Thompson and Jon Jordan; I have a feeling it will be a hoppin' time in St. Louis Sept. 15-18, 2011!

I've started to hear rumblings about panel assignments for Bouchercon 2009 in Indianapolis, so if you've been assigned a panel, let me know so I can start making out my plan. Since this is my first B'Con, I'm a little obsessive! ;)

Also don't forget that Tim Hallinan is going to be in Westerville at FOUL PLAY Bookstore on September 23rd. I hope you'll make plans to come out if you are in the vicinity. I'll look forward to seeing you there!

This week has also been full of Book Blogger Appreciation Week work. I will again be participating in the blogger interview exchange, so I'm getting to work on that. I'm working on one of the award panels and that's keeping me busy. I submitted my links for my own award nominations. That was a killer! I appreciate all the input people gave me on what posts they most enjoyed. It helped me a lot; I discovered that trying to pick your favorite posts is like trying to pick your favorite child! Again, I thank all of you who submitted nominations for me. I'm not really expecting the nominations to turn into me being on all the short lists - there are a lot of great blogs nominated. It's an honor just to receive a nomination. Thank you.

Thanks also to everyone who voted for Hershey and Nestle in the Dog Days of Summer photo contest. Hershey managed to snag 2nd place and Nestle got 3rd. The two of them together actually had 50% of the votes. Maybe I should have found a picture of them together, huh? Literate Housewife, Jennifer, did an awesome job on coordinating the theme week. And she planted some seeds in my little brain as well.

And finally on tap for today is a question for you all. I've been doing author interviews for about a year now. I enjoy doing the interviews and hope to keep highlighting fun crime fiction writers for you. So, I'd like to know what kinds of questions you enjoy hearing responses for. A lot of the questions I develop have to do with my own curiosity. But what types of things are you curious about? Are there questions I seem to have stopped asking that you'd like me to fit back in? Are their questions I ask that you couldn't care less about? What peaks your interest? You can leave your responses in the comments section or you can always feel free to email me.

And I think that's about all I have for today. Hope your weekend is a great one, and happy reading!!

Bouchercon countdown: 47 days!!


Corey Wilde August 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM  

Well, it makes more work for you, but I always like questions geared toward that author and that book. In other words, not generic questions like 'where do you get your ideas' (and I know you've never been guilty of asking that question). I like that you always have the 6-word memoir - it may be the same question but no two authors will ever answer it the same way. I like to know what prompted a certain story or character; if there's a theme I like to hear the author expound on that. I even like to hear about their experiences in getting published.

Tim Hallinan August 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM  

I'm sure you're going to get the recognition you deserve, and I'll send you a cake (or something) when you do. Promise.

Yesterday I got two reviews on BW that I can put next to yours. Here they are:

I have to say, this has been the general tone of the reactions. I've never been reviewed like this in my life. It goes beyond wish fulfillment.

beauvallet August 30, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

Any question that elicits a passionate response from an author, that works for me. Whether they hate something or love it, when their passion shows in the answer, that's the kind of question I like.

Not very helpful, am I?

♥Jen♥ August 30, 2009 at 1:43 PM  

Tim, the reviews are long overdue and well deserved! I did see the Book Reporter; I have to go and check the other out. Enjoy it - you've earned it!

♥Jen♥ August 30, 2009 at 1:44 PM  

Naomi - more helpful than you know! :) Thanks!

le0pard13 August 30, 2009 at 7:42 PM  

Way to go, Jen! Great round up. I'm pulling for you and Corey in the BBAW. Thanks.

Serena August 31, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

Great roundup indeed. Congrats to Hershey and Nestle. Those great little competitors!

As for questions for interviews, I really like to hear about writers' routines and habits! I also like to know if they've thought about a 5 song playlist for their novels and if now, what would they consider to be on a playlist for their books?

♥Jen♥ August 31, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

Hey Serena,

That music question is great. I'll have to snag it from you and make use of it. I know a lot of authors are strongly influenced by certain music when they write their books. That's excellent!

Corey, I love those kinds of questions. That's probably why it takes me so long to prep for an interview. I, too, prefer questions that are specific to the writer and not necessarily interchangeable with every writer. You always have great input. Thanks!! :)

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