Saturday, January 06, 2007

Texas Mystery Month Update

Yesterday was not quite the full day I expected. It started off with a serviceman telling me I would be better off buying a new washing machine than fixing the old one. Bummer. Now I have to decide whether to spend the money to buy one or just wear dirty clothes. Decisions, decisions. Then I went to the meeting for the Texas Mystery Month committee. Then I did NOT have to go watch more lasik eye surgeries. Yea! The place was having trouble with one of their machines, so they re-scheduled my husband’s appointment for next week. I’ll get to do my cringing then.

But on to news about Texas Mystery Month.

Things are gearing up now. Different members of the committee are working on their part of the month. Author Dave Ciambrone will be coordinating with authors. If you’re a mystery author and would like to do an event in your area of Texas, he’s the person you’d want to talk to. The idea is that you set up your own event. You can do a class for an organization or find a place and set up the class yourself. Or you can talk to other mystery authors in your area and work with a bookstore to have a panel discussion. You could do a mini-seminar or whatever. Then you talk to Dave. He’ll work with the people here in charge of marketing. If you set your gig up in time, it can be included in advertisement for Texas Mystery Month and you can be included in the “Books in Print” of involved authors.

Dave is your point man who can give you ideas for classes, if you’re having trouble thinking of what you could do. He can make sure you get your books in print information to Kimberly Sandman, who is in charge of putting that together. He can make sure the right information gets to the marketing committee.

If you’d like to mentor an aspiring author, there is an opportunity for that. Mentoring is not a long-term commitment. Mentoring means you’ll be given the name, contact info and opening pages from an unpublished author’s manuscript. At the big Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Author Event on May 20th, you sit down with your aspiring author and talk with them about their pages, about the publishing business, about working with agents or editors, or just answer their questions. That’s it. Not a big commitment on your part, but a great opportunity to help those climbing the ladder behind you.

My part of the committee is working with those aspiring authors. By the end of this month, I expect to have all the information and guidelines on the Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime website. I’m hoping this year, submitting your pages will be even easier. It will all be done electronically, and, if possible, it’ll all be done via a form on the website. It’s FREE. There’s no fee. There’s no catch. There’s no judging. It’s first-come first-serve, though. How many aspiring authors we can match up with published authors depends on how many mentors we have. I’m expecting we’ll have between 6 and 8 slots. That’s not many, so send in your stuff ASAP, or as soon as I have the guidelines up on the website. You do have to attend the BBSAWE on May 20th here in Austin.

As soon as I work with our webmaven and have the page of guidelines and, hopefully, a submittal form, I’ll let you know. So, check back often with this blog – it’ll be posted here first!

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