Sunday, November 15, 2009

Murder and Mayhem in Muskego V, Part 2

Other than that photo of me swathed in a towel and just out of the shower already posted elsewhere on the Internet, Murder and Mayhem in Muskego V was everything I'd grown to love about crime-fiction conventions.

Intelligent people talked seriously about interesting matters, and those same intelligent people then mingled in warmth and good fellowship. This time they did not even have to pay for their own food or drinks.

I liked Laura Lippman's criticism of the oft-given advice that beginning writers write what they know. She said the advice served her poorly in one of her own embryonic, excessively autobiographical early efforts. "Write what you know," Lippman said, is "well-intentioned, but it's poorly put. [Better to] write what you want to know about."

Brian Azzarello said his characters "become really special to me after I kill them." Azzarello, author of, among others, the graphic novels 100 Bullets, The Joker and Filthy Rich, also said, "I don't write protagonists. They're all antagonists." Based on the first trade paperback collection of 100 Bullets, that's an accurate description.

(Judy Bobalik, Jeffrey Deaver)

Sam Reaves told one aspiring writer that "You don't want a tender-hearted agent, you want someone who will tell you the truth." And, for professional reasons, I had to enjoy Jeffrey Deaver's account of what happened when he rented a porno movie called Blonde on Blonde as research for a book he was setting in the porno world:

"Except in the editorial community these days," Deaver said, "the e [at the end of blonde] signifies that it's a woman." It did not so signify to the labellers of Deaver's porno movie, he said, and he and his girlfriend received a surprise when they slipped the tape into the Betamax. It's always pleasant to be reminded of what happens when copy editing goes bad.
***
The convention, largely centered on the efforts of the most excellent Ruth and Jon Jordan, also included its lighter moments. Here are my three favorite utterances from outside official conference proceedings:

"They've got your cookies."

"I'm a dick as a father, but people still like me."

"Sleeping and passing out aren't the same."
(More Murder and Mayhem snippets from Sandra Ruttan here.)

Finally, here's the picture referred to above. Don't blame me; I didn't take it.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may have taken the photo, but you didn't have to link to it. ;)

(I loved Brian's response: "Peter doesn't have any pants on." Ah, the things that happen at Casa Jordan...)

Sandra

November 15, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Sorry, but I am unaccustomed to receiving audiences before breakfast.

November 15, 2009  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Actually, it's the hairline that's reassuring. Gives the rest of us hope. ;)

November 16, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Your comment will give the first commenter a good laugh. I visited with Sandra last year and was treated to a 7-year-old-girl standing behind and above me chanting, "Bald spot! Bald spot!" But she said it with affection, I know.

November 16, 2009  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

My family keeps reassuring me that mine is invisible. They're all two-three inches shorter than my 5'10".

I'm turning into my father, hair-wise.

November 16, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

One cure for male pattern baldness is to spend time with shorter people the older one gets. But receding hair does not seem to have hurt the sales of at least one author at Murder and Mayhem.

November 16, 2009  
Blogger Julie Hyzy said...

Boys, boys, boys...
Bald can be sexy. Trust me on this one.
;-)

Peter - I visited here yesterday and read a bunch of posts. Then found your comment on my blog today. I *love* your title suggestion! Now I'm generating plot ideas for Book #5...
;-)

Great to meet you. I really enjoyed our chat.

Julie

November 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Julie, are you married to a bald guy? And if bald guys can be sexy, then what am I doing with all this hair? (Though I salute your choice of words: can be sexy. Care with words is a fine thing for a writer.)

One thing I love about these conferences is seeing cozy, hard-boiled and even noir authors mingle in good fellowship. That's good in a family-of-man way. It can't hurt book sales, either.

November 17, 2009  
Blogger Julie Hyzy said...

LOL - no. My husband still has *most* of his hair. But he is developing a shiny spot in back. It's all good.

I know what you mean about everyone mingling. It's great, isn't it? What an amazing, inclusive, and generous community. I feel lucky to be part of it.

November 17, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

My current post quotes with approval Laura Lippman's suggestion during her Muskego discussion: "In the next year, read something out of your comfort zone." Even if noir readers don't pick up a cozy this year and vice versa, it's always good to see that the other side is human.

Two authors I know whose work is decidedly hard-boiled with excursions into noir do not drink. And I heard one cozy writer make a salacious remark at Murder in Mayhem on Saturday. Such defiance of sterotypes is wonderful comedy.

Yes, the dreaded shiny spot. I have noticed that the sun seems hotter on my head in recent years. Must be global warming.

November 17, 2009  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

"Sorry, but I am unaccustomed to receiving audiences before breakfast."

Don't you mean lunch?

November 21, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Before high tea, as the rest of the world would see it, but breakfast in my corner of the universe.

November 21, 2009  

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