Back in NYC after a glorious time at Crime Bake in Woburn, MA. We arrived a week ago, expecting a traffic jam signing in at the Hilton. Not at all. It was done flawlessly. We wanted to get to Ann Cleeves’ talk on setting and how it affects characters, followed by Paula Munier’s and Joanna Schaffhausen’s talk about the High-Concept Crime Novel. There was a break for the Welcome Buffet and then we practiced our pitches for Saturday. The evening ended with Vera. Ann Cleese had brought a special segment of her show for us. On Saturday, after a sinfully delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs, we heard a panel discussing Getting and Staying on Top, Making a Thriller Thrilling. We sharpened our queries and had a break for book signing. After lunch, there was the first page critique. In the late afternoon there was the pitch session. It was so different from pitch sessions I’ve attended in NYC. At Crime Bake you share meals with agents and editors.They get to know you. When you show up with a pitch, both agent and writer are relaxed (sort of). I’ve left out other wonderful talks. Thank you, New England Sisters in Crime!
Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder.
Millie Fitzgerald applies for a Windsor School teaching job, faints on a dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.
Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who accuses her of lying? Her father who’s fled to Singapore? She tells Millie.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner was stabbed. He feels remorse over screwing up an important case. His corrupt boss is a trustee of the Windsor School. His girlfriend married his boss. And his daughter quit college.