Elizabeth Zelvin's Blog (18)

Agatha nomination for "Death Will Trim Your Tree"--and the full list of nominees

I'm thrilled to announce that my short story "Death Will Trim Your Tree" is one of this year's Agatha award nominees. You can read it at http://www.elizabethzelvin.com/PDF/Zelvin, Death Will TrimYour Tree PDF.pdf .

In a way, I owe it all to CrimeSpace. I'd never written a short story (well, not since college 100 years ago) when Daniel Hatadi announced a short story contest here with… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on February 20, 2010 at 4:58am — 1 Comment

A welcome review nine months after publication

I'm beginning to tool up for publication and promotion of my new mystery, DEATH WILL HELP YOU LEAVE HIM. My debut mystery, DEATH WILL GET YOU SOBER, is gone from most bookstore shelves, though it's in the computers and booksellers can easily get it for a customer who wants it. And of course it's still in libraries and on Amazon and B&N. But I was surprised and thrilled to get a Google Alert that told me the book had just been reviewed on something called The AA Blog.



I know… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on January 27, 2009 at 4:00am — 2 Comments

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL MY CRIMESPACE FRIENDS!

I'm still getting email replies to the Happy Valentine's greetings I sent out one at a time to all my CrimeSpace friends, so I've decided not to do individual messages this holiday season (though you got one if you're also my friend on MySpace). But I wish you all an abundant and joyful Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and/or Solstice. I'm celebrating my deal with St. Martin's for DEATH WILL HELP YOU LEAVE HIM, the follow-up to DEATH WILL LEAVE YOU SOBER. So I'm ending a year of tough up-and-downs… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on December 14, 2008 at 1:05am — 1 Comment

A poison ivy cure that works!

Poison ivy won't kill--unless, maybe, ingested internally?--but it's a great way to torture a victim, although Mother Nature is the only perp in real life. I came down with a virulent case after 2 1/2 weeks of book tour in which I spent a lot of time in bookstores and libraries and none in woods or even gardens. So it's a mystery to me how I got it, but I was looking at two weeks of agony ahead till I got on the Internet and found out about Zanfel, an over-the-counter product you can get at… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on May 21, 2008 at 12:21am — No Comments

Off to Malice

See you there, traditional mystery lovers! Hugs on request to any CrimeSpacer who attends my Saturday 10:30 am workshop or the signing right after it. :)

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on April 24, 2008 at 11:29pm — No Comments

Last call for my launch and birthday party

If you're in New York City on April 15, come join me at the Mysterious Bookshop, 58 Warren Street, at 7 pm for what I hope will be a veritable lovefest as I celebrate the launch of DEATH WILL GET YOU SOBER and my 64th birthday. Yep, I'm telling the world my age--going for shock value and the possibility of inspiring others whose road to the first published novel may seem interminable. It's my night to howl, and I'd be happy to have you all come and party with me.

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on April 15, 2008 at 12:00pm — No Comments

I love librarians: PLA report

I just got back to New York from Minneapolis, where I had my first mystery signing ever at the Sisters in Crime booth at the Public Library Association's biennial meeting. What a kick! PLA is known as the best library convention for adult fiction, and ten thousand librarians showed up to confirm that. A good number of them passed by our booth--hey, do you suppose what the Sirens really yelled out to Odysseus and his crew was, "Do you like mysteries?"--and were delighted to accept free… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on March 30, 2008 at 4:00am — No Comments

Ken Bruen liked my novel. KEN BRUEN LIKED MY NOVEL!!!

It wasn't Christmas or my birthday, but I got the most incredible present yesterday: a message from Ken Bruen in my CrimeSpace email telling me in lyrical terms how much he liked DEATH WILL GET YOU SOBER, which he'd just read. The first thing I said after "REALLY???" (who sez you can't screech in text?) was, "Is this a joke?"--just like the people who can't believe it's really Ed McMahon from Publishers Clearinghouse at their door with the check for $10,000,000.



After Ken reassured… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on February 25, 2008 at 12:40am — 2 Comments

My first review

I've been waiting anxiously to hear what the Big Four of advance reviewers think of Death Will Get You Sober. Booklist weighed in first with a nice review. After summarizing the plot, the reviewer said, "This entertaining debut novel by a psychotherapist will give readers a view of the recovery process as they turn the pages to a good surprise ending." The person who sent it on to me grumbled a little over the scarcity of adjectives, wishing we could edit just a little: why… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on January 31, 2008 at 2:30am — 5 Comments

The Great American Mystery: What's your pick?

I posted a piece about the Great American Novel over on Poe's Deadly Daughters this week. It ended with a call to readers to nominate their choices for the Great American Mystery. As I said over there:



What could be more American than Laura Lippman's Baltimore, Margaret

Maron's North Carolina, Dana Stabenow's Alaska, and Nevada Barr's

National Parks? And few dispute that the private eye novel is an

American form… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on August 10, 2007 at 11:35pm — 6 Comments

What people who don't read read

I've been building up my network of friends on MySpace for a couple of months now, trying to find potential readers beyond the usual mystery crowd. MySpace conveniently asks a lot of personal questions, which helps me play my hunches about who might like a book entitled Death Will Get You Sober. One of the more fascinating discoveries I've made exploring this giant cybercultural petrie dish is that there are a host of people out there who don't read at all. On the lists of interests and… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on April 9, 2007 at 12:21am — 8 Comments

How old is your protagonist?

What got me thinking about this was a great line I heard recently, about Queens being the new Brooklyn. That reminded me of a line that comforted me a lot a couple years back, about 60 being the new 30. And that made me think about how Archie Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe books used to refer to women he considered slightly over the hill as "on the shady side of 30." I suspect I'm not alone in finding the 20s the less interesting side of 30, and hardly anybody thinks 35 or even 40 ushers in middle… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on March 29, 2007 at 5:15am — 10 Comments

The real crime scene investigation

Yesterday I had a chance to spend three hours with real crime scene and other law enforcement professionals, along with 75 mostly mystery writers and including some other Crimespacers, in an event sponsored by MWA-New York, at Katherine Gibbs of all places, where they've branched out from training pink collar workers to offering an associates degree in criminal justice. I use an amateur sleuth precisely so I don't need to master the forensic details, but we all need some artistic… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on March 26, 2007 at 5:21am — No Comments

Lifelong writers and late bloomers: how old are first-time novelists?

I wanted to be a writer from the age of 7, when I first read L.M. Montgomery's Emily of New Moon. At 11, I learned more about the writer's burning desire to write and the travails of trying to publish from Little Women. While I was in college, historical novelist Cecilia Holland published her first novel at the age of 24 to critical acclaim. She became my role model, not as a writer but as a success. I wanted to be a published novelist at 24. It didn't happen. I did… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on March 19, 2007 at 3:49am — 16 Comments

Shades of Moral Ambiguity

Is everybody familiar with the way character is designated along the moral spectrum in the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons? The categories are: lawful good (eg Abe Lincoln), chaotic good (eg Robin Hood), lawful neutral, chaotic neutral, lawful evil (eg Hitler), and chaotic evil. It's an interesting perspective to apply to mystery protagonists and their worlds. Police procedurals usually feature lawful good protagonists: cops who play more or less by the rules and… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on March 15, 2007 at 4:21am — 4 Comments

Where are the women?

I usually back away from controversy, but I'm shaking my head over the discussion over in the Forum about must-read authors. In 48 posts so far, counting my last one, only Sandra Scoppettone and I have dared to ask "Where are the women?" and "Where are the traditional mysteries?" And so far nobody has so much as commented on the fact that the heirs of Hammett and Chandler hold up only half the sky. I haven't felt so invisible since way back near the beginning of the women's… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on March 13, 2007 at 5:28am — 32 Comments

When a traditional mystery isn't cozy

As a reader who loves whodunits, I was rather dismayed when I made contact with other mystery lovers--readers and writers--five years ago, after a period of literary hibernation--to find that while I wasn't looking, they'd acquired a bad name. The bad name was "cozy." It seemed to be widely assumed that if a mystery had an amateur sleuth, it was shallow, poorly written, and infested by talking cats and pots of tea. I had some trouble understanding this. Wasn't Lord Peter Wimsey… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on March 11, 2007 at 1:27am — 12 Comments

Hey, can I play too?

Fellow bloggers on Poe's Deadly Daughters, Sandy Parshall and Lonnie Cruse, turned me on to this sandbox for mystery lovers. I hope readers as well as writers will find their way here. I signed my first mystery contract with St. Martin's yesterday for Death Will Get You Sober, and now I have a year to spread the word to people who'll get a kick out of this traditional mystery that's neither cozy nor hard boiled but over easy and kind of crispy around the edges. My protagonist Bruce…

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Added by Elizabeth Zelvin on March 9, 2007 at 1:05pm — 4 Comments

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