Thursday, October 25, 2012



by Jodie Renner
New England Crime Bake
I'm compiling a list of resources for crime fiction writers and readers, and I'd love your help with it! So please, if you have any organizations, conferences, blogs, or other resources to add, let me know in the comments at the end and I'll add them.

Part I – Organizations, Conferences, and Conventions in North America and Great Britain, and a short list of good Blogs

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 2012 News from Love is Murder

October 2012

Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang!


The latest news and mystery trivia from the  

Love is Murder  
Mystery Writers & Readers Conference 
February 1-2-3, 2013 
Intercontinental Hotel, Chicago
Register today!
In This Issue
Author Spotlight
Interview Augie Aleksy of Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore
Chicagoland Mini-Cons Update
What's New at LIM 2013?
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Our Sponsors
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A!A! logo

IG logo
Image Grille 
3D Architectural Illustration & Graphics

Open Books
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Free Gift from the LIM Mystery Closet
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Meet characters like these! 
We're sending everyone who registers by
Oct. 31, 2012 
 a FREE GIFT from the LIM Mystery Closet!
It could be a T-shirt.... a souvenir.... 
a sweatshirt.... a book....  

it's any body's guess

Luisa + Ray
Run into old friends!
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Participate in author panel discussions!

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Enjoy a laugh!

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Discuss your favorite books!

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Pitch your
book to agents, editors and publishers!

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Network with fellow authors & writers!

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Get advice from published authors!
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Get plenty of exercise walking to and from events all weekend!

So banner


Lee Goldberg for interview"There Isn't a Lot That a 
Legacy Publisher Can  Offer a Midlist Author:" An Interview with Lee Goldberg





 by Joanna Campbell Slan


JCS: You spoke at Sleuthfest about a book you wrote that never earned back its advance of $1,500, but that you've since re-released as an e-book, and that has gone on to earn $80,000. Please tell us about that-and about what you see as the future of publishing. Do you still want to work with legacy publishers? What direction are you taking your career? Is it possible that this direction is open to you because you've already built a following?


LG: That book was The Walk ... which was a bomb in print but has been a huge success for me as a self-published e-book. There's no question that most of my initial success self-publishing came from having an established name, a large backlist, and lots of current titles in print. I had a pre-existing platform to build upon. Scores of midlist authors who were dropped by their publishers, or saw their entire backlists go out of print and thought their careers were over, are enjoying huge success now self-publishing their books. In fact, I know lots of midlist authors who are earning more from their books today than they did when they were originally in print. Amazon's KDP platform ... the ability to put your books on Amazon for free ... changed everything for authors. I know authors who are turning down three-book contracts from "legacy" publishers because they can make far more money, and have much more control, self-publishing their books. And I know authors who have actually bought their backlists from their publishers, for as much as $50,000, and earned out on that investment within as little as 90 days.


There isn't a lot that a legacy publisher can offer a midlist author in return for their massive share of the royalties and what essentially amounts to permanent ownership of your book ... which is why you see guys like Brett Battles, Paul Levine, Blake Crouch and Joel Goldman moving into self-publishing and enjoying enormous creative and financial success.


Unless you are a major league author-a Janet Evanovich, James Patterson, Michael Connolly, Stephen King, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, etc.-it doesn't make a lot of sense to work with a legacy publisher anymore, not unless they radically change the way they do business and their relationships with authors, which doesn't seem to be happening yet.


For superstar, A-list, brand-name authors, legacy publishers are still the way to go because they have the deep pockets, marketing resources, corporate media partnerships and global distribution to make the most out of their literary franchises.


But that doesn't mean I am walking away from the Big Six. I recently signed a four-book deal to co-write a series of novels with Janet Evanovich for Random House and I couldn't be happier to be in business with them.


Read the interview in its entirety at


J. Slan 

Love Is Murder interviewer Joanna Campbell Slan is a multi-published author whose most recent work is Death of a Schoolgirl, the first book in a new series featuring Jane Eyre as an amateur sleuth. Kirkus Reviews has noted that Slan "refashions a beloved heroine as a surprisingly canny detective." Visit Joanna



  Author Spotlight 

Take a look at these recent releases by Love is Murder authors  




By M. E. May

A young woman's desperate search for her missing mother reveals life-changing secrets and lies.


Seeker of Truth
by C. L. Shore
A psychic nun teams with her late husband's partner to find 
her childhood friend's killer.


A Nose for Hanky Panky  

by Sharon Love Cook

Who killed Vivian Klinger, Ph.D., a woman who had everything  

but a sense of humor?



No Less in Blood  

by D. M. Pirrone

Adoptee Rachel Connolly's search for her family  

makes her a target for murder.

Quest for the Crystal Skull  

by David Ciambrone

Virginia Davies-Clark encounters killers and an old crystal skull  

with something important in it.



The Dreamer Gambit  

by Kathryn Flatt

A troubled detective helps a singer in trouble for  

mentioning a dead man's name on TV.



What's Going On at the Montcliff?

by Linda Stone

Seniors turn detectives in a new cozy mystery for all ages.




by Sharon Woods Hopkins

Rhetta McCarter locates the perfect "barnfind" '81 Camaro - except for the body buried beneath it.




Are you an author attending LIM 2013? Then take advantage of a terrific opportunity to advertise your work to nearly 850 readers, writers, authors and fans who receive Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang!  


Option 1 ($10 per title/newsletter issue): Book title and name.  

 one issue = $10; all six issues = $60


Option 2 ($15 per title/newsletter issue):  

Book title, name, and brief description or series information (15 words max).

One issue = $15; all six issues = $90   


Authors may advertise their books in one or more newsletters, up through the final January 2012 issue. To participate in Author Spotlight, email the information with your request for Option 1 or 2 to Diane Piron-Gelman at Payment may be made on our website via PayPal, or you can send a check or money order to:  


LIM, c/o Terri Stone, 1009 Iroquois Ave., Naperville, IL  60563 


Love Is Murder 2013

Featured Authors

goldbergLee Goldberg (see interview with Lee above)



harvey 2 




Michael Harvey



mayer cropped

Bob Mayer






 David J. Walker 



 "Bookselling Isn't a Job. It's a Lifestyle":  

An Interview with Augie AleksyAugie   Centuries & Sleuths











By Diane Piron-Gelman 

Last month, I sat down for a chat with Augie Aleksy, owner of Centuries & Sleuths bookstore in Forest Park, IL. Augie and his store have become an institution in the greater Chicago area over the past couple of decades, especially in the local mystery community.


DPG: What made you decide to get into the book business, and why history and mystery?


AA: I always wanted to run a bookstore ... I worked in banking, this was in the late '80s. I was laid off, and my wife Tracy got me copy of What Color Is Your Parachute. I read it and thought, "Why not?"


I already had an MA in Business Administration, so I knew how to put together a business plan. Tracy and I talked about it, the impact of switching careers and all ... I was making a fair amount of money in banking, and we knew running a bookstore was likely to be very different. It's kind of like being an author-you're ceding control to another person.


I was realistic enough to know I had to check the market out first, so I did things like I went to the Oak Park library and checked circulation numbers for history and mystery. They were pretty high. Then I did this half-day session downtown, a marketing thing in September or October, this was 1989. It was mostly marketing people from the North Side and the suburbs, and they recommended doing a survey of what people were buying. The idea was to cover three months, including Christmas shoppers.


So I did that; I sent out a 3,000-piece mailing to Oak Park and River Forest [the two closest suburbs to Forest Park], and each piece had a quarter in it. You know, give people a little something to do the survey. I got a lot of response, and the funny thing was that some people sent the quarter back. They said, "If you're opening a bookstore, you'll need the money more than I do."


DPG: In a time when brick-and-mortar bookstores-especially independents-are suffering, and online giants like Amazon seem poised to drive physical bookstores out of existence, what does a place like Centuries & Sleuths offer that Amazon and others can't?


AA: Really, a personal connection. Like sometimes, people come up and ask, "I need a gift for So-and-so," maybe a friend or a relative. So you have to be kind of like a doctor, asking questions: where did the person grow up, what did they read in the past, that kind of thing. And then you can help the customer out. That's the fun part, helping people. You kind of put things in priorities-what's going to keep me around. If a customer comes to me with a question, then that's my priority.


My son was nine when we made the decision [to open C&S], and he would brag about this store, try to sell books to his teachers. Bookselling isn't a job-it's a lifestyle.


DPG: As part of that, you do a lot of things besides just sell books. Give us a rundown of the kinds of events you hold at Centuries & Sleuths, and how they got started.


AA: We host book groups, author signings, also history discussion groups and dead-author chats. People pay for it-the author chats used to be free, but when we started charging ten dollars, you'd be amazed how attendance perked up. History is my forte... I've started to lead some of the discussion groups. It's so interesting, finding out good things about people in history you didn't know about before... discussion groups are great ways of shaping what you get out of a book.


Author signings are great, of course, because people tend to buy books. Depending on the author, those can be a big draw. One woman came all the way from Ireland to see Andrew Vachss. We also just had a signing for Lori Andrews, her book on social media [I Know Who You Are And I Saw What You Did], which was well attended. That was with Sisters in Crime. Sisters in Crime and MWA [Mystery Writers of America] hold meetings here, and I give them the space free because they buy books. It can go the other way, though. For example, I also host the G.K. Chesterton Society, and they pay $65 to rent the space because they don't buy books. Sometimes I've run out, too. Penguin arranged a signing for Clare O'Donohue, and I bought fifteen copies of her book. But her entire high-school class came, and they all wanted one ... The nice thing was, they ordered the extra books from me. Clare was gracious enough to come back and sign them when they came in.


DPG: Centuries & Sleuths won the Raven Award in April 2010-meaning it was honored as that year's best independent bookstore. What was that like?


AA: It was such a great weekend. People from Mystery Writers of America were so gracious, they really made you feel like a big shot ... Sara [Paretsky]'s Grand Master Award went to her in that same year, and she and I were joking, "Chicago's taken New York by storm!" Customers sometimes bring in their families and show them the Raven. It attracts people.


DPG: Were you expecting the Raven?


AA: I had no idea. A couple months later, at the Printers' Row dinner in June, I asked Tony Perona-he was the MWA President then-how they pick the winner. He gave me this deadpan look and said, "I can't tell you."


DPG: You've become a fixture in the Chicagoland mystery community, showcasing authors and offering meeting space for local chapters of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. What has that partnership been like?


AA: Really good. That's the unique thing-the camaraderie with mystery authors, how much they support each other. Sara [Paretsky] has been such a loyal author, and others are, too. Like I said before, people from MWA and Sisters in Crime usually buy books when they come for meetings or signings. Sisters in Crime also runs email blasts for their members, which are good PR for Centuries & Sleuths.


It's so entertaining, the stories you hear from authors. Their experiences about people, where they get their ideas... You don't read a book in a cave, usually. You like the style, you like the subject matter, people want to talk about it.

Chicagoland Mini-Con November 8

November 8th at the Schaumburg Public Library is "Cozy Chicks and Edgy Broads," a fun and informative discussion featuring women who write in the cozy and thriller mystery genres.  


Participants to date include Libby Fischer Hellman, author of SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE and A BITTER VEIL plus two mystery/thriller series, one featuring amateur sleuth Ellie Foreman and the other starring cop-turned-PI Georgia Davis; Gail Lukasik, author of The Lost Artist, Death's Door and Destroying Angels; and Clare O'Donohue, author of theSomeday Quilts cozy series and the edgier Kate Conway series.  

Sneak Preview
LIM 2013:

What's Coming, 
What's New 

Featured Authors:

Lee Goldberg

Michael Harvey

Bob Mayer  

David J. Walker  


LIM 2013 has several programming tracks in the planning stage --   

here's what we have coming for you!


dead dummy 





Expert Witnesses forensics track: Back by popular demand, with an all-new lineup of experts. Past highlights have included the Blood Spatter Guy and experts in fields as varied as fingerprinting, cyber-crime and financial skullduggery. This year's entries promise to be just as exciting.     




MWA Writer's TrackMWA logo Poe

Mystery Writers of America will repeat its writers track from LIM 2012, with another exciting line-up of authors to offer valuable tips and insights into the writing process. Join us on Friday, February 1 for this day-long writers' workshop.



lunch 2 

Plus.... master classes with featured authors.... Lovey Awards.... author meet- and-greets.... Saturday afternoon tea party.... dozens of panals and discussions.... mingling with featured authors, writers, readers and fans.... Pitch-Perfect, a chance for you to pitch your projects to editors, agents and publishers... and more!  


Visit the Love Is Murder websitefor updates.


TWTD signThose Were the Days Radio Players Return to LIM

The Those Were the Days Radio Players are back for LIM 2013, with an all-new line-up on Saturday night. The evTWTD playersening kicks off with familiar openings of various old-time programs: Little Orphan Annie, Jack Armstrong, the Shadow, and Gangbusters.  Audience members are invited to sing along with the jingles. Next comes the Lights Out show, titled "Poltergeist". Three women are walking through a cemetery when one of them dances on a grave, causing dire consequences.  

Question of the Month

costume harlequinIf you could invite any characters from the mystery/thriller, romantic suspense or paranormal genres to a Halloween party, who would be on your guest list, and why?
Kiss! Kiss! Bang! Bang! is written by Diane Pirone-Gelman and edited by Juli Bridgers-Schatz. We welcome your comments and contributions; if you have news, or thoughts to share about Love is Murder, please send us an email at If you're a registered author for the 2013 conference and would like to publicize appearances you're making between now and February, send the information

OUR MISSIONskyline logo

Love is Murder, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit organization  

that presents an annual convention  open to writers, readers,  

educational groups and for-profit vendors. In addition,  

Love is Murder, Inc., provides an educational forum to writers and readers to further their knowledge of  writing, publishing,  

and the business of book production.   

Love is Murder, Inc. endeavors to sponsor other educational  and/or writer-focused programs throughout the year.

Love is Murder 2011 Conference | 164 Division St. | Suite 702 | Elgin | IL | 60120
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