Friday, May 04, 2007

Texas Mystery Month is Here

Well, May is here. That means it’s Texas Mystery Month.

For those of us working for the last six months on this, it means one more committee meeting later today. After that, it’s events, events, events, then a final wrap-up meeting.

There are events going on across Texas, but the concentration is here in Austin. You can find out what’s happening here in central Texas by going to the website for the Austin chapter of Sisters in Crime (the Heart of Texas chapter).

Lots of authors participating. And it takes a lot of people to pull it together. There is the committee which does most of the legwork, but you also can’t overlook the bookstores and CRMs participating and coordinating events. And, in many cases, it’s the authors themselves who plan and organize their own events.

As for the committee – there’s someone who pulls together information on the participating authors and their books, then compiles it into a multi-page handout to be given out at the events. There’s someone who has to oversee everything, including working with bookstores and writing organizations who are interested in putting on events. I worked with the aspiring authors for the Barbara Burnett Smith Aspiring Writers Event to be held on May 20th. But if you’ve got aspiring writers, then you have to have mentors. So there’s someone who works with the authors, both those who are willing to act as mentors and those doing workshops or talks. That’s a time-consuming job.

We have someone who does the publicity for the chapter. This year we also had a professional who did media marketing – pro bono.

In fact, all the work is pro bono. It’s all volunteers. Even the author who is doing a multi-day class on writing the mystery. Even the author who is hoping to pull together a day of spotlighting aspiring writers with a reading of their in-progress work.

Like with any volunteer project, it’s difficult to find volunteers. If you’d like to get involved, go to the website and email the chapter to let them know that next year you want to help. Or go to an event and talk to someone.

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