Sunday, January 29, 2006

Red is for Remembrance

today our GCC guest is Laurie Stolarz, who is zipping through the blogosphere to promote the latest book in her series of magical teen thrillers, Red is for Remembrance:

Stacey Brown's gift cuts both ways. Her predictive nightmares keep her on the lookout for the marauding maniacs that seem to find her wherever she goes. The folk magic she learned from her grandmother helps protect her and her friends from things that go bump in the night. However, she longs for the quiet life of an ordinary, hormone-plagued high-school girl. Luckily for her droves of dedicated readers, Stacey's nightmares just keep on coming.

When asked what inspired the series, this is what Laurie said:

I first started Blue is for Nightmares in an adolescent fiction writing workshop at Emerson College. I knew I wanted to write a mystery/thriller. I loved suspense novels as a young adult and I really wanted to write something that would have appealed to me at that age. When I started the novel, I had no idea I would delve into the world of magic and witchcraft. That is until I did a free-writing exercise in my workshop class. I had my main character meditating in front of a blue candle, looking for answers. Because I had made Stacey originally from Salem, MA, like me, people in my writers group made the witchcraft connection with the candle. They encouraged me to go in that direction. Even though I grew up in Salem, I didn’t know too much about the formal practice of the Craft, though I had heard growing up that my grandmother had experience with the sixth sense. I started doing research and asking lots of questions. I learned a lot this way. I learned of passed down home remedies, interesting family superstitions, tea readings, card readings, and specific experiences with the sixth sense, some of which find themselves in the novel. I also researched the more formal practices of Witchcraft and Wicca, as well as other folk magical practice/home remedies that pass down within families. Having done this research and seeing the way that Witchcraft is so often negatively portrayed in the media, I wanted to show the true peaceful nature of this earth-based religion, without the hocus-pocus. I wanted to weave an education into the story, using Stacey Brown as a reflective, self-empowering young woman. After writing Blue is for Nightmares, I knew I wanted to create a trilogy, which I did, however, I also knew that the ending of Silver is for Secrets begged for a sequel. That is how Red is for Remembrance came to be.

laurie's web site

Saturday, January 28, 2006

2006 Edgar Awards

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce its Nominees for the 2006 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2005. The Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners at our 60th Gala Banquet, April 27, 2006 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.


The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook (Harcourt)
Vanish by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine Books)
Drama City by George Pelecanos (Little, Brown)
Citizen Vince by Jess Walter (Regan Books)


Die A Little by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
Immoral by Brian Freeman (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Run the Risk by Scott Frost (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Hide Your Eyes by Alison Gaylin (Signet)
Officer Down by Theresa Schwegel (St. Martin's Minotaur)


Homicide My Own by Anne Argula (Pleasure Boat Studio)
The James Deans by Reed Farrel Coleman (Penguin - Plume)
Girl in the Glass by Jeffrey Ford (Dark Alley)
Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie (Hard Case Crime)
Six Bad Things by Charlie Huston (Ballantine Books)


Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece by Edward Dolnick (HarperCollins)
The Elements of Murder: The History of Poison by John Emsley (Oxford University Press)
Written in Blood by Diane Fanning (St. Martin's True Crime)
True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by Michael Finkel (HarperCollins)
Desire Street: A True Story of Death and Deliverance in New Orleans by Jed Horne (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)


Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock 'em Dead with Style by Hallie Ephron (Writer's Digest Books)
Behind the Mystery: Top Mystery Writers Interviewed by Stuart Kaminsky, photos by Laurie Roberts (Hot House Press)
The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels edited by Leslie S. Klinger (W.W. Norton)
Discovering the Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade: The Evolution of Dashiell Hammett's Masterpiece, Including John Huston's Movie with Humphrey Bogart edited by Richard Layman (Vince Emery Productions)
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak (Harcourt)


"Born Bad" – Dangerous Women by Jeffery Deaver (Mysterious Press)
"The Catch' – Greatest Hits by James W. Hall (Carroll & Graf)
"Her Lord and Master" – Dangerous Women by Andrew Klavan (Mysterious Press)
"Misdirection" – Greatest Hits by Barbara Seranella (Carroll & Graf)
"Welcome to Monroe" – A Kudzu Christmas by David Wallace (River City Publishing)


Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
Wright & Wong: The Case of the Nana-Napper by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz (Penguin Young Readers – Sleuth/Razorbill)
The Missing Manatee by Cynthia DeFelice (Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers)
Flush by Carl Hiassen (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
The Boys of San Joaquin by D. James Smith (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)


Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams (HarperCollins – Laura Geringer Books)
Last Shot by John Feinstein (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Quid Pro Quo by Vicki Grant (Orca Book Publishers)
Young Bond, Book One: Silverfin by Charlie Higson (Hyperion/Miramax Books)
Spy Goddess, Book One: Live & Let Shop by Michael Spradlin (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

River's End by Cheryl Coons (Book and Lyrics), Chuck Larkin (Music) (Marin Theatre Company)
Safe House by Paul Leeper (Tennessee Stage Company)
Matter of Intent by Gary Earl Ross (Theater Loft)
Mating Dance of the Werewolf by Mark Stein (Rubicon Theatre)


CSI – "A Bullet Runs Through It, Parts 1 and 2", Teleplay by Richard Catalani & Carol Mendelsohn
CSI – "Grave Danger", Teleplay by Anthony Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Naren Shankar. Story by Quentin Tarantino
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – "911", Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson
Sea of Souls – "Amulet", Teleplay by Ed Whitmore
Wire in the Blood – "Redemption", Teleplay by Guy Burt


Crash - Story by Paul Haggis; Screenplay by Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (Lions Gate Films)
A History of Violence - Screenplay by Josh Olson, based on the Graphic Novel by John Wagner & Vince Locke (New Line Productions)
The Ice Harvest - Screenplay by Richard Russo & Robert Benton, based on the Novel by Scott Phillips (Focus Features)
Match Point - Screenplay by Woody Allen (BBC)
Syriana – Screenplay by Stephen Gaghan, based on the book by Robert Baer (Warner Brothers)


Eddie Newton
"Home" – EQMM May 2005 (Dell Magazine)


Stuart Kaminsky


Brian Skupin and Kate Stine, Co-Publishers of Mystery Scene Magazine


Black Orchid Bookshop (Bonnie Claeson & Joe Gugliemelli, owners)
Men of Mystery Conference (Joan Hansen, creator)

Breaking Faith by Jo Bannister (Allison & Busby Ltd.)
Dark Angel by Karen Harper (MIRA Books)
Shadow Valley by Gwen Hunter (MIRA Books)

separated at birth?

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Friday, January 27, 2006

publicity photos

there's been some talk about publicity photos, and now it's time for me to send in a permission form if i want to change my current photo. the photo has to be black and white, and now i'm wondering if the second one is too sinister. what do you think? the friendly pose with missing upper lip, or the sinister pose with partially missing face?

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

frey fray

i was going to stay out of this because quite frankly it's become tedious and boring, but then i came across this article by emily carter, one of my favorite minnesota writers and author of glory goes and gets some.



Sunday, January 22, 2006

I am trying to break your heart

just watched the documentary i am trying to break your heart.
it follows Jeffy Tweedy and Wilco through the recording and release of a new album.
Warner paid them 200K to record Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Once it was mixed, Warner demanded new recordings and mixes. Wilco refused, and 24 hours after delivering the album the band was dropped from the label.
The incident got a lot of press, some of the songs went online. Pretty soon 20 labels were making offers.
The band decided to go with Nonesuch, a subsidiary of Warner. They ended up getting quite a bit more from the new label, the recording was paid for by Warner, and the album did very well.

So that got me to thinking....

Has anything like this ever happened in the publishing world?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Pale Immortal book trailer

Some of you have seen the video in various stages, given invaluable input, and now it's finally finished! we'll also have it on DVD. my daughter did a fantastic job, and you can find her link in the left template under book trailers. The music was done by The Chambermaids. Their first CD comes out next week on Modern Radio. More about that later!

link to my website with author introduction followed by video.

my web site (click on current projects.)

direct link to video: Pale Immortal video

Friday, January 13, 2006

fictional musings

kelly para has started a short story blog called fictional musings.
anybody can send her a short story or flash fiction to be posted on the site. read more about it here:

Fictional Musings

Thursday, January 12, 2006

antiques blogshow!

i picked this up at a yard sale last summer while on a trip to Iowa. paid five dollars for it. woo-hoo! it folds up, and i was actually able to put it in my suitcase to get it home. the tray lifts off. i wonder when it was made. 1940s? anybody have any idea?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

dammit! busted!!!

bread seized by feds.
dammit!! this is the only bread i eat, and 30,000 loaves have been seized by the feds.
damndamndamn!!!! i have two loaves in my refrigerator. OMG!!

I don't know if I should flush it, smoke it, or sell it at a certain cafe on the west bank.

french meadow bakery bust

Sunday, January 08, 2006

hennepin history museum

the sun made a brief appearance on saturday. people didn't know what it was and they were frightened. fortunately it quickly vanished again.

it was just starting to snow when i got to the hennepin history museum -- a dark, gothic building that smells of very old things. upstairs the post mortem photo room is even darker.

it's a perfect setting for the current collection called A SEMBLANCE OF LIFE -- THE ART AND CULTURE OF THE POST MORTEM PHOTOGRAPH. 1850s - 1940s.

i've seen a lot of post mortem photos, but i don't believe i've seen ones in which the children are posed with live siblings in an attempt to make the dead child look awake and alive. i guess so the family could hang the image on the wall and pretend it had been taken before death.

a sad delusion.

so many post mortem photos were taken with the dead child appearing to be asleep that it actually became taboo to take a photo of a sleeping child. that taboo wasn't broken until cameras became a household item.

notice anything odd about this photo?

if you guessed the mother is dead, you're right. it's a chillingly strange twist on the more common construction of live mother and dead infant.

i stared at this photo until i started to feel dizzy. a mannequin in a black mourning dress startled me and for a moment i thought i wasn't alone. it was at least eighty-five degrees in there, and i was wearing a winter coat. all easily explained. really.

if you live in the minneapolis area, the show closes in about a week and a half. two bucks to get in.


Friday, January 06, 2006

party for kelly!!!

kelly has a two-book deal!!! let's have a party!!!

read all about her sale to bombshell here:

kelly parra's publishing adventure

what would you like to drink?

did you say chocolate martini?

cheers, kelly!!!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


This is so cool. I want one!!
popular front is testing PHLOGS on mnspeak. instead of typing your response, you call it in and it's recorded. shows up in about 30 seconds. some of the replies are hilarious.

go to the box on the right under our sponsors.

and if that doesn't work:


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

United States Postal Service

When it absolutely never has to get there in your lifetime.

yesterday I sent in my revised manuscript overnight with a noon guaranteed delivery. Not cheap. So my editor emailed tonight to tell me that it never arrived! I check the tracking number online, and it says a delivery attempt was made and a failed attempt notice left at the address. Will attempt second delivery tomorrow. Okay, this is a publishing house. I waived the signature. How can they not deliver a package at 10:36 a.m.? I'm guessing some clown was running late and didn't even attempt the delivery. Just said he did. Or he didn't know where the mail room was and stuck the notice on the revolving door. Idiot.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wisconsin Death Trip

Two years ago I received Michael Lesy's WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP for Christmas.

The following April I visited Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and stayed at the Brumder Mansion.


Carol, the owner, immediately began telling me about a weird, artsy documentary that had recently been made there called WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP. I told her I had a copy of the book. She actually handed me her copy to look at, and I got the feeling she wasn't used to running into anybody who'd ever heard of it. Carol is involved in local theater, and it turned out she played a few characters in the film and was involved in rounding up period props. I stayed in a room where one of the murders was filmed. While there I watched the video of WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP. Does this seem as weird to anybody else as it does to me? Anyway the book is amazing, and the film is amazing. A lot of great camera shots and music by John Cale.

The Brumder Mansion event served as a trigger for the book I have coming out in September.


Writer/Director James Marsh's first feature, WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP, is an intimate, shocking and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. The film is inspired by Michael Lesy's book of the same name which was first published in 1973. Lesy discovered a striking archive of black and white photographs in the town of Black River Falls dating from the 1890's and married a selection of these images to extracts from the town's newspaper from the same decade. The effect was surprising and disturbing. The town of Black River Falls seems gripped by some peculiar malaise and the weekly news is dominated by bizarre tales of madness, eccentricity and violence amongst the local population. Suicide and murder are commonplace. People in the town are haunted by ghosts, possessed by devils and terrorized by teenage outlaws and arsonists.
Wisconsin Death Trip