I attended several panels on Saturday at SleuthFest. Here are the points I took away.
Michael Barson spoke about book publicity. In looking for interviews, does your book have a theme related to what’s in the news? It may take six or seven books to gain traction. For a writer, the radio is your best friend. Put links to your shows on Facebook and elsewhere online. Amplify your publicity. “You are capable of amplifying any coverage you get.”
“If there’s no solid answer to what happened, we fill it in with imagined actions.” That’s a conspiracy theory. For example, here are some theories related to Amelia Earhart’s disappearance: captured by the Japanese as a spy; landed and died as a castaway; came home and disguised herself as a New Jersey housewife. People believe things that seem to make sense. The speakers discussed presidential assassination attempts. There were fourteen presidents with known attempts to assassinate them plus two questionable deaths.
Abraham Lincoln may have been the target of a “decapitation strike.” This is a tactic to kill off the heads of state. The conspiracy would have included a plot to kill the vice president. James Garfield was shot, but he died from an infection to his wound. William McKinley was shot. Regarding John F. Kennedy, the question remains if there was a second shooter.
Lunch came next with auctioneer Cynthia Thomason leading an entertaining and productive author auction.
Set your scene up according to the genre. In a mystery, the fight will be protective while for a thriller, it might be more purposeful. Learn your weapons. If in doubt, ask an expert. Build tension so the reader knows a fight is coming. If your hero can talk his way out of a situation, do it. Don’t rush the fight scene. Physically act it out. Use your senses. Your senses are sharpened when you’re scared. Use short sentences. Your perspective narrows and you focus on survival when frightened. If you’re part of a team, you don’t want to let your friends down. The characters should have a reaction to the violence after the scene is over.
Then I was on the supernatural panel wherein we talked about world building and how to make your paranormal elements seem real.
Saturday night , after another entertaining talk by James W. Hall, we headed to the cocktail party. Here we enjoyed appetizers and a potato bar while the FlaMANgo Award went to—no big surprise—James W. Hall.
Sunday morning held the new Flamingo Pitch Tank where attendees could pitch their work to a panel of editors and agents all at once.
Brunch with humorist Dave Barry concluded the weekend. He had us laughing out loud at his hilarious presentation.
Now we’re all back home having a rest before we begin planning for next year. My husband missed me, as evidenced below. Isn’t he a sweetheart?
View the photos in my SleuthFest 2015 album on my Facebook page. Please Like the page while you are there: https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor
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