Sunday, October 30, 2011

Energized by Magna Cum Murder

I just returned home from Magna Cum Murder and I’m so excited to get started on my fifth Mitch Malone novel. November is National Novel Writing Month and I enjoy trying to pound out the very rough draft in a month. It works for me. But back to Magna, it was a great group of other writers and readers who love mysteries. It was heaven to talk about writing and mysteries nonstop Friday through Sunday. I met and talked with so many great people! Best of all some even brought my books. I’m eternally grateful to them!

Friday night I competed in a game show with Parnell Hall, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Les Edgerton, Con Lehane. The World’s Best Detective show is the brainchild of Austin Lugar who serves as MC. Two detectives are pitted against each other to solve a murder suggested by the audience. Parnell is a very funny guy and I was worried about being able to keep up with his quick wit. I didn’t know the other contestants. The show was funny and we all played off each other well. As for Parnell and I…we didn’t agree on most of the pairings and bantered back and forth. Harry Bosch (created by Michael Connelly) defeated Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, whose name I could never pronounce correctly.

Saturday I could relax and enjoy the sessions and then moderated a panel on Sunday morning on “It’s not a vacation, it’s research.” Not sure why I was tapped to do this because I live in Michigan and my books are set in Michigan put the panelists had books set in Washington D.C., England, Thailand, and Vancouver. They had great stories about their research trips.

Kudos to Kathryn Kennison, Magna Director, her crew and Ball State University for sponsoring this great weekend of Mystery.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Email was HACKED!

I got hacked! I’m not sure why it had to happen today but it did. Funny thing is that I realized it right away. First I got an email address back and was already changing my password, then my husband called and said he got a message from me too. The first message went out at 10:00 a.m. EST. Within ten minutes, sixty messages had been sent.

I caught the error within 30 minutes and reset my password. Then I started sending out apology emails to every email that was sent. The ironic thing is that now I can’t send any more emails because of the suspicious activity on my account. Yes, me sending apologies for the emails of the hacker flagged my account! I still have a half dozen to send. Yahoo hopes my account will be able to work soon and if now within 24 hours to contact them. Where were they when I was hacked?

My second question is how did they do it? All those email were sent in 10 minutes or less. It took me 15 minutes to reply before they cut me off. If I were the suspicious type and I am a mystery writer, then there has to be murder involved. There might just have to be a bit of hacking in my next novel just because I want to understand how this can happen. Anyone know an answer or better yet an expert? Is this some computer somewhere programmed to try every combination for an email without monitoring? This curious mind wants to know and then perform some maiming and murder, fictitiously of course!

P.S.: So sorry if you got one of the emails that had some website on it. Anyone know how to fry a website? I’m still looking for vengeance.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hay Sculptures Decorate Fremont

I wish I could get people to talk about my book as much as Fremont pulls together for the annual Harvest Festival this weekend. The festival features all kinds of events and even a beer tent (a relatively new thing for the community).

While we will not be visiting for the festivities, we did enjoy all the decorations this past weekend when visiting for Homecoming. I can’t count the number of businesses who created a hay sculptures—Fremont’s answer to Art Prize in Grand Rapids.

They dotted the town from end to end and many of them incorporated the business’s theme from the duck at the car wash to the house at the ReMax office. They were so adorable that we kept driving through town to look at them and as the weekend went on more and more appeared.

Fremont is all about enjoying nature whether it is working on the farm or in the apple orchard or swimming in a lake or kayaking down a river. This weekend is about celebrating what it has to offer.

I miss those things, now we leave in a larger city. I miss knowing folks at the grocery store and being able to spend all afternoon in the Koffee Kuppe with good friends! I need to start making local connections and meeting people. Maybe I will build a hay sculpture of a book to tell them a local mystery author has moved in. It works for Fremont!

For more information on the Harvest Festival, check out the Fremont Chamber of Commerce's website at