Friday, April 26, 2013

Five on Friday - Craig McDonald

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you've been having a great week and that you have something fun planned for your weekend.

Thought I'd mention some events you may want to keep in mind for possible attendance.

Coming up very quickly is Malice Domestic in Bethesda, MD. If you want to attend you need to kick it into gear as that convention will be May 3-5. This year's Guests of Honor: Peter Robinson and Laurie R. King. 

May 6th brings about Mystery Lovers Bookshop's annual one-day Festival of Mystery, featuring over 40 authors in Oakmont, PA (right outside Pittsburgh)

June 8-9 in Chicago is Printers Row. This is a fun festival in the heart of Chicago. Among the names I saw listed for this year's festival: Michael Harvey, Marcia Clark and Marcus Sakey.

Thrillerfest has a pretty hefty line-up July 10-13. I've actually not had a great desire to attend this one primarily because it's geared more to the writers than the readers--and New York is quite pricey. But it may be something you want to check out.

September 8th brings about the Kerrytown Book Festival up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Some of the authors attending this year include Cara Black and William Kent Krueger.

Of course Bouchercon will be in Albany, NY, this year. But if you're not able to make your way to Albany, you can check out the National Book Festival in DC that same weekend (September 21-22). While many crime fiction writers will be in Albany, Brad Meltzer is slated to be at the National Book Festival.

November 9th in Muskego, WI (outside Milwaukee), the spectacular one day event Murder and Mayhem in Muskego will take place. Great line-up is expected, including Marcia Clark, Gregg Hurwitz, Megan Abbott...

And speaking of Gregg NE Ohio friends, be on alert. Gregg will be making an appearance here this year. I am SO EXCITED!! As soon as I have the specifics, I'll let you know. This is an event not to be missed. You must come meet Gregg and hear about his amazing new book.

O.k. that's that. Now the round-up of contests to check out this week:

  • Don't forget today's the last day to enter to win Sara J. Henry's A COLD AND LONELY PLACE here at Jen's Book Thoughts
  • For those who love the lighter side of crime fiction, Lesa has two cozies in her contest this week.
  • Criminal Element is hosting two giveaways right now (a third if you high-tail it over before 9:30a.m. Eastern time)
  • If you want to improve your chances of winning A COLD AND LONELY PLACE, you can check out this week's Friday Reads contest. They have ACaLP as well as two titles from Peter Robinson.
  • And finally, my friend George, who blogs over at The 30 Year Itch, is hosting his first book giveaway. He has a copy of Bill Loehfelm's upcoming THE DEVIL IN HER WAY. Head over and support George's giveaway so he'll host more! ;-)

Sheesh, that should have been a post in itself, right? Sorry about that. I didn't mean to be so long today. Especially given the fact that our guest today is Craig McDonald. Regular readers are familiar with Craig as I'm a big fan of his work. He's also a fellow Buckeye!

Craig has writing in his blood for sure. During the day he's hard at work at one of the few remaining newspapers, he has a regular column in Crimespree Magazine and he's constantly working on a novel...or other crime fiction piece. Recently he's been releasing a series of ebooks in anticipation of his next Hector Lassiter novel.

I'm also a big fan of Craig's work on interviews. He published two collections of interviews with a third one in the works.

Now I know I should be talking all about Craig here. And actually, you can see my interviews and reviews of his work here, but I also have to mention one of Craig's finest accomplishments, and that's marrying his wife Debbie. Talk about a great couple!  O.k. so I'll quit my yammering now and let Craig take over.

Ladies and gents, it is my great pleasure to welcome Craig McDonald today!

Craig McDonald with Svetlana Pironko in Paris

1. My biggest pet peeve is: People who slaughter cliché terms or morph words abusively, typically saying the flat opposite of what they intend or something simply nonsensical. For instance: “I could care less,” or “by the power invested in me,” or “it was so heart-rendering”… And, of course, the always irksome, “irregardless.” The journalist in me also cringes at, “drowned to death,” or “totally destroyed,” among others.

2. My favorite T-shirt that I own is: My daughter picked up a shirt for me in a tourist town a couple of vacations ago. It’s emblazoned with a quote from Hemingway: “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” Runner up would be a shirt earned for a story published by Thuglit. It’s got an image of brass knuckles with the phrase, “Writing About Wrongs.”

3. When I’m feeling under the weather I: Try to write anyway. For instance, doing this now, while under a quarantine triggered by my eldest daughter’s weekend pertussis diagnosis. We’ve had calls from the CDC, all been ordered out of school and work for the week, and put on some very large and nasty-looking antibiotics. This is all very dramatic stuff to be sure, but it also makes for being very tediously housebound. So I’m catching up on writing columns, owed articles and doing fun things like this Five On Friday exercise.

4. My five favorite movies of all time are (in no particular order and based on number of repeated watchings):
  1. The Moderns 
  2. Night of the Hunter 
  3. High Noon 
  4. From Russia With Love 
  5. The Third Man

5. The #1 item on my bucket list right now is: I strongly resist the whole bucket list premise. First, it requires you to think about death, a lot, in order to generate a list. Thinking about death isn’t the best idea for an inherent melancholic (which I believe most writers to be). Second, it forces you to think about all the things you haven’t got done in your life. That is also pretty depressing. Third, presumably bucket list items are going to be activities or pursuits of some scale or inherent risk that will likely hasten the actual need for a bucket list. Having said that, one thing I would like to do sooner rather than later, is to get myself back to Paris, the greatest city on Earth.

The great picture that Craig included for his Five on Friday was taken by his above-mentioned wife, Debbie. And Craig mentioned this for the caption: "This is my foreign rights agent, Svetlana Pironko, and I in Paris, shortly before midnight. Svetlana was doubling as my guide and translator. It was my last night in the City of Light, so she took me to Les Deux Magots, one of Hemingway’s favorite cafés and the place where Hector Lassiter first met Brinke Devlin in ONE TRUE SENTENCE." What a perfect photo for this post!

Well not that I wish Craig any ill will, but I'm glad that diagnosis resulted in his being able to participate in Five on Friday. Craig's been a regular on my year-end favorites lists and he's a regular name I recommend to readers as well. If you haven't checked out his work yet, I highly encourage you to rectify that situation!!

Thanks to Craig for his great contribution to the series. And thanks to you all for stopping in again this week. Have a super weekend and happy reading!


Les Blatt April 26, 2013 at 6:47 AM  

Jen, FYI Malice Domestic closed its registration last week - the conference officially is sold out.

Jen Forbus April 26, 2013 at 3:28 PM  

Thanks Les!! Obviously I'm not in the loop on that conference, thanks for keeping me in line. :-)

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