Monday, February 22, 2016

Mystery Panel- Writing about other Cultures

 When I signed up for the Left Coast Crime Conference, I sent along a note saying if they had a panel on writing other cultures I could be on it since my main character in my Shandra Higheagle Mysteries is half Nez Perce. And I'd checked the box saying I could be a moderator.

Lo-and-behold, they put the two together! I am moderating a panel titled: Writing about other Cultures. We have a great panel.

William Kent Krueger- Writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O'Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage--part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers.

Jeffery Siger - an American living on the Aegean Greek island of Mykonos. A Pittsburgh native and former Wall Street lawyer, he gave up a career as a name partner in his own New York City law firm to write mystery thrillers that tell more than just a fast-paced story. His novels are aimed at exploring serious societal issues confronting modern day Greece in a tell-it-like-it-is style while touching upon the country's ancient roots.

Shannon Baker - Is the author of the Nora Abbott mystery series from Midnight Ink. A fast-paced mix of Hopi Indian mysticism, environmental issues, and murder. The first in the series, Tainted Mountain, is set in Flagstaff, AZ, where she lived for several years and worked for The Grand Canyon Trust, a hotbed of environmentalists who, usually, don’t resort to murder. It is a 2013 finalist in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards.

Timothy Hallinan -His fourth thriller set in Bangkok, THE QUEEN OF PATPONG was nominated for the Edgar and the Macavity Award and was chosen a "Ten Best" book by half a dozen publications. The most recent in the series, THE HOT COUNTRIES, was chosen a Best Book of 2015 by Library Journal and the Strand Magazine, among others. The series' protagonist, travel writer Poke Rafferty, is now an expat living in Bangkok and literally married to the culture, with a Thai wife and an adopted daughter, a former street child. In Tim's other current series, the Junior Bender mysteries, about a burglar who moonlights as a private eye for crooks, he writes about another "exotic" culture, that of Los Angeles criminals. Tim has homes in California and Bangkok, and in 48 hours he'll be on a plane back to the Big Mango.

As you can see, I've got my work cut out for me working with these great authors. I read their bios, read a book from each of them, and then came up with questions that will not only tell the audience a bit about their books but get to the reasons behind their characters, cultures, and settings.

They are all wonderful writers. If you haven't picked up a book by them, I would encourage you to do so.

I'll be one of the featured authors at the Chanticleer Reviews Blue Rooster Saloon no-host cocktails from 6:30 -9:00 PM at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix. My book Double Duplicity is a finalist for the Mayhem and Murder award. If you come to the Blue Rooster Saloon event, I'll have a Shandra Higheagle coffee mug for you.  

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