It’s spring in Arizona, so beautiful that it’s hard to believe. We’re enjoying it while we can, because it won’t be long before it’s too hot to go outside.
Lots of activity coming up over the next two weeks. I’ll be participating in a one-day writing workshop on How to Write Crime Fiction at Scottsdale Public Library this coming Saturday, April 26, sponsored by the Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime. I’m teaching the 1:00 session on character development. The workshop is FREE, so come on along and say hi. You’ll get lots of freebie handouts and a lot of good tips. You can get the full skinny by clicking here
Then the very next weekend I’m returning to the Motherland (Oklahoma) for the first time in years. I’m part of the teaching faculty for the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation International annual conference which will be held at the Embassy Suites in Oklahoma City on May 2 and 3. I’m teaching three sessions — one on “The One Thing Nobody Told Me About Living the Writing Life”, and two sessions on how to write crime fiction, from choosing the characters to plotting to adding suspense to crafting an effective ending. This annual conference is a big one, and covers all types and genres of writing, so if you’re serious about your craft, this is the place to be. Everything you need to know is spelled out here.
The in June the new Alafair book comes out. Early reviews are very good. In fact, the book received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, which is the premier publication for bookstores and libraries. I couldn’t be happier about that. I’ve copied the review below.
A huge tornado brings unexpected trouble to the people of Boynton, Okla., in Casey’s excellent seventh Alafair Tucker mystery (after 2012’s The Wrong Hill to Die On). One day in the summer of 1916, a twister blows Jubal Beldon’s body into a field, but no one is very sorry, since he was a most unpleasant man. When it’s discovered that Jubal was murdered before the tornado, suspicion falls on 17-year-old Ruth Tucker’s beloved music teacher, Beckie MacKenzie. Alafair, a farmer’s wife, uses her innate knowledge of human nature to help, while Sheriff Scott Tucker and his deputy, Trenton Calder, follow their own theories. As the action builds to a surprising denouement, Casey provides an engaging portrait of the close-knit society that was commonly found in the rural Midwest at the time. Alafair Tucker, her large family, and their friends are a pleasure to spend time with. Publishers Weekly, April 2014