- Penny Warner's The Code Busters Club, Case #2: The Haunted Lighthouse is nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Children's/Young Adult Novel! You can view the full list of nominees in all of the Agatha categories here. Winners will be announced at the upcoming Malice Domestic convention on Saturday, May 4, 2013.
- Penny also has a number of events this coming week, including Ladies of Charity on February 11, at 9:30 a.m. in San Jose, California; the Crow Canyon Club on February 14, noon, in San Ramon, California; and the San Francisco Writers Conference, February 14 – 17, in San Francisco, California.
- Michael A. Black had a very busy January with releases of his The Incredible Adventures of Doc Atlas, and short stories appearing in a number of anthologies. Lest we miss one or the other of his releases, we're pointing you to his January 2013 update, with all the latest greatest news. (The same page has some great photos of the Loop in Chicago, so you can browse the photo gallery as well while you're there...)
... Is the topic for this coming week.
So who has touched your heart, as a writer or a reader? The following LadyKillers offer up their own sources of inspiration:
- Priscilla Royal: There are many who inspire me by their work or have offered encouragement when I lost confidence. Teachers Katherine Forrest, Judy Greber, and Michael Nava enlightened me on craft. From the "golden age of the medieval", I bow to the stars: Paul Doherty, Margaret Frazer (may she be sharing a goblet of celestial wine with Richard III), Sir Bernard Knight, Sharan Newman, Sharon Kay Penman, Ellis Peters, Candace Robb, Peter Tremayne. And I can never thank friends enough...
- Pat Morin: Who has touched my writer's heart? My grandfather. We lived in Newark, NJ during the race riots. My grandfather was my friend, my confidant, and although I had to get him a beer when he damanded it, because he could only walk baby steps down to the basement to his beer refrigerator, my TV buddy. I would let him watch "The Life of Riley" with William Bendix, and he would allow me to watch "Astro Boy" with Astro Boy. :) He went out to bring in the American flag one night in the rain. The police were never sure whether he fell and hit his head on a brick, or one of the angry African American boys threw a rock and hit him in the head and killed him. His shop was already burnt to the ground, but he had built the house they lived in and refused to move (He was a carpenter). A neighbor was killed by stones the week before. I wrote about him. I wrote a poem. I wrote an essay about hatred. And my short story, "Pa and the Pigeon Man" in my first story collection, Mystery Montage, was for Grampa. Hatred was the murderer. It was nominated for a Pushcart. No matter how corny it sounds, I was crazy about him and missed him for many years. With him more than anyone else, I wrote from my heart.
- Michael A. Black: Let's see, there are so many people who've inspired me, I'd be hard pressed to come up with only one or two. How about: My parents, who always encouraged me to read and write.
- Susan Shea: Award-winning author Louise Ure, who mentored me with plain talk and kindness; agent Kimberley Cameron, who stunned me by saying in her sweet voice, that she liked my 20 pages so much she wanted to take me on; and best-selling author Cara Black, who shares everything she knows about this business (which is a lot) with such generosity and encouragement.
- Ann Parker: Well, it's hard to narrow down the names down to just a few... When it comes to encouragement to write fiction, Camille Minichino and Penny Warner are top of the list. When it comes to sparking a fierce appreciation for the flow of the written language and to bestowing a passion for the "message behind the words," I would need to reach back several decades to UC Berkeley English Lit professor Janet Adelman. Upon searching the Internet, I was saddened to read that Professor Adelman died of cancer a couple of years ago. She was an amazing teacher and lecturer, who brought Shakespeare in all his nuances to life in a way that lives with me to this day. In this posthumous article about her, another professor noted that Adelman had the ability “to bring the immediate experience of a text to life, to show you how word and affect and sound and tone and meaning and communication are all wrapped up together. She made reading and thinking about literature, for those of us who don’t do it professionally, into something that is just part of you, part of being human, rather than being something that you do.” I agree, one hundred percent.
- Terry Shames: There are almost too many to mention. But a few stand out. First was my seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Kelly, who read my first "real" short story aloud to the class. Then there was Marilyn Wallace, who encouraged more than one aspiring writer, and Judy Greber, with the famous "Price Club talk." I will explain that one in a future post. My favorite, though, is Susan Shea, who insisted that I join the writers' group that she was forming and kept up a constant drumbeat of praise and encouragement. And finally, my agent, Gail Fortune, who confessed to me that her colleague at Talbott Fortune Agency had urged her to drop me after the big six passed on my book. But she insisted that she believed in me, to fine results.