2013 got off to an exciting start for me with the launch of my paranormal mystery Dark Music. Though it came out in January, I had my first signing for the book on St. Patrick’s Day at the new age store Practical Magick II in downtown Pompton Lakes, N.J. http://www.practicalmagick2.com. The date worked well since the novel, though set in contemporary New Jersey, features a turn-of-the century Irish ghost. Sales were brisk and many guests hung around to share real-life ghost stories — either their personal experiences or those of friends and relatives. Practical Magick’s mystical décor provides the perfect setting for such tales—a touch of Halloween in March!
Dark Music is intended as the first in a series of Quinn Matthews Haunting Mysteries featuring a psychic amateur sleuth. (For more about the book and its heroine, please check out the separate page devoted to the series on this website.) I’m creating these books for fans who have told me they dislike hardcore “horror” but still enjoy a bit of paranormal eeriness mixed with their mysteries — as I do, too. I won’t guarantee no bloodshed, just a bit less than in some of my previous books!
This May, for the first time in many years, I traveled to Maryland for the annual Malice Domestic mystery convention (http://www.malicedomestic.org/aboutmalice.html). A bit intimidating to encounter so many talented writers in one place, and so many fertile imaginations! One of the things I love about the mystery genre is that it includes so much variety. I enjoyed hearing about and browsing through all the different types of books, from clever cozies to gritty thrillers, humorous to hardboiled. I shared a panel called “Me and My Dead Shadow‐Sleuthing with the Dead” with several other authors who also include ghosts in their plots. Even among us, each took a very different approach to the subject. Another great thing about Malice is that it also draws a large number of fans, which of course makes for better sales!
I’m looking forward to two more conferences this year—Deadly Ink, Aug. 2-4, in New Brunswick, N.J. (http://www.deadlyink.com/conference.html) and Bouchercon, Sept. 19-22 in Albany, N.Y. (http://bcon2013.com). I have never been to Bouchercon before, because it’s usually held someplace far from New Jersey, but I understand it’s the big mystery con and I’m really looking forward to it.
Other appearances will be listed below as they become scheduled. If you’re in the vicinity of any of these events, please drop by and say hello!
Writing Advice Articles by E.F. Watkins now available in PDF format on the new Articles page.
5/3-5 — Signed Dark Music and took part in panel on “Sleuthing with the Dead” at Malice Domestic Conference, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bethesda, MD.
5/25—Gave talk on how to “Keep ‘Em in Suspense!” 10 a.m.-noon at the Howell Branch of the Monmouth County Library, 318 Old Tavern Rd., Howell, NJ. (http://www.monmouthcountylib.org/images/PDF/calendar/calendar_may.pdf)
6/9—Taking part in Books NJ 2013. 1-5 p.m. at the Paramus Public Library, Paramus, NJ (http://www.booksnj.org/)
8/2-4—Taking part in Deadly Ink 2013 mystery conference at Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick, NJ. (http://www.deadlyink.com/conference.html)
9/20-22—Bringing Dark Music to Bouchercon 2013 in Albany, NY. (http://bcon2013.com/)10/26 — Giving talk about fiction research, “Keeping It Real,” at meeting of Sisters in Crime/Central Jersey, Jamesburg Senior Center, Jamesburg, NJ. (http://www.sistersincrimenj.org/)