You’ve heard of dinner and a movie? Well, here at the Upstate Sisters in Crime, we do dinner and a guest speaker. This month 19 members and guests met at the Runway Café in Greenville for an evening of fantastic food, writer talk, and information.
Our president Sally Handley started the meeting as is our custom, with a quick go-around the room of introductions. It’s always nice to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of our writing journeys—especially the good! Sally reminded us of our upcoming 30th anniversary celebration on June 10th, and also invited any member with news to share—such as contests, conferences, etc, to e-mail her, and she’ll be sure to spread the word to the rest of us.
And then, drum roll, please, our guest speaker took over. Jamie Mason was a hoot! And SO informative and helpful! Jamie described her books, Three Graves Full and Monday Lies, as “why-dun-its” as opposed to “who-dun-its,” and labeled them literary suspense. She explained that a new trend in publishing is this “blending of genres.” She also shared quite a few amusing anecdotes that inspired her stories, or at least got her imagination in gear. One idea: when she is brainstorming for a new story, Jamie scours newspaper headlines. She DOES NOT read the article, just the headlines, and asks herself if she can see a plot developing…
Soon Jamie was fielding questions, and as a traditionally-published author, she answered a lot of questions about the publishing business. She chose the traditional route because she wanted to see her books in bookstores and indie authors are less likely to have that opportunity. Jamie recommended a few websites such as AbsoluteWrite.com and AgentQuery.com, gave us tips about finding and working with an agent, and some more amusing and informative quips about the trials and tribulations of both good and bad reviews and working with a screenwriter. As far as the writing process, Jamie uses the “8-sequence screeenwriting” approach. She used to be a pantser, but now is a plotter. Jamie believes it saves a lot of time and effort and heartache to know where you’re going.
After thanking Jamie for her wisdom, insight, and humor, the meeting was adjourned until next time. We meet the first Thursday evening of every month. Come on down!