Years and years ago, when I was still in patrol, I once went three consecutive night shifts with an empty gun. This was shortly after transitioning from the revolver to the semi-auto pistol, and you know how young, still new to the job cops are about always fiddling around with their weapons...especially excessive cleaning of them. And that's exactly what I did. I'd gone out and done some shooting...maybe a whole 100 rounds or so...and I just HAD to clean my gun, of course when I got back. Only problem was when I put everything back together on the new fangled, high-tec piece of armanent, I somehow managed to load the two spare magazines and left the one in the gun itself empty. And of course it never dawned on me to "chamber a round" after cleaning it and putting it back in my holster because I was still in "revolver mode" and as you know revolvers don't need that little chambering a round exercise. And how did I eventually discover I was carrying an empty weapon? Well, it was the next time I decided to fiddle around with it again, of course...three days later.
PS: Now I only clean my Glock semi-auto twice a year...whether it needs it or not, hehe.
Yeah, this is my second year as a member of ITW...but as an "Associate Member" member only. My advice? Save your $90 until your Five Star book is out, then join. Thinking back on it now, I'm not even sure why I joined at this early stage of the game. Maybe to get a chance to network with other hack writers? Kidding. It does seem like a pretty good organization but I'm really not sure what value it holds for a "back of the bus" writer until he gets a mainstream publishing contract, and the Publishing Pope sprinkles holy water over his book's cover, or something. Writing is very much a "dues paying" profession, and I'm not talking about money. It's almsot the same as being a rookie cop in police work. You're going to take a lot of kidding and derision and experience a lot of mistrust and downright discrimination by your peers until that magic day arrives when your probationary period has finally ended...and you still have your job and your badge.
Thanks for reminding me. I need to call Alan and arrange lunch. You ever get back this way? I have a nephew in Seattle but unlikely I'll be making the trek to see him until his son graduates from college in a couple of years.
Wow, Doug, you must be one hell of a hack writer to be able to threaten a big name mystery author like that! The reality of POD is there are a lot of terrible writers doing it, but there are plenty of good ones, too, and just like cream as long as they keep churning away they will eventually rise to the top, no matter how they initially got their foot in the publishing world's door. Starting out as a POD author is kind of like Lana Turner playing hooky from school one day and being "discovered" in a malt shop down the street from Hollywood High by William Wilkerson, publisher of the Hollywood Reporter. Except you don't have to look as good as she did in sweaters, hehe.
Hey there, Doug! OMG! I REMEMBER your book back in the day when I was still exploring POD. So glad to see iUniverse gave you a leg up, too. My book was out for five months and I took copies of it to our big conference here in Oregon (Willamette Writers) and walked away with an agent. It's on submission right now and we've come very close with several of the N.Y. biggies, but most have already filled their lists two years down the line, and all have commented that the market is "woefully glutted" with suspense - thrillers at the moment. So, how did you make the jump from iUniverse to Five Star? Thanks for the friend invite.
Both the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference (Colorado Gold), held in the fall in Denver, and the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, held in the spring in Colorado Springs, are excellent. I'm a member of both orgs. and VP of programs for PPW, so I know quite a few folks in both groups. Jimmie no longer participates in either conference. I'll be missing my first PPWC in 10 years to attend Malice this year, but a nominee's gotta do what a nominee's gotta do! ;-) Now that we're friends here and at Goodreads, are you on Facebook, too?
Maybe you can make it next time. It's the greatest. I've been to every Love is Murder conference. Of course, I have an edge since it's one of the few conferences so close to home.
Good luck on your new release.
Congrats on your upcoming release. I have quite a few good friends out East, so Boucheron is doable one day. Until I find a publisher I think doing these conference pitches is a big leg up for new writers. Whidbey was really small and cozy, though I have to say I was still pretty nervous doing pitches.