This year was the 7th annual Writers LIVE! series of author events at the Palm Beach County Library System. A few years ago, I incorporated a new program called “Palm Beach Peril,” a panel discussion hosted by a bestselling thriller writer along with several debut authors. This was done in conjunction with the International Thriller Writers organization and their Debut Authors program, and it has become my favorite event!
Our host this year was the amazing Lisa Scottoline, who has to be one of the most generous authors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. She is on tour for her new book, Every Fifteen Minutes, (which is fantastic, read my review here) and frankly, she really had to go out of her way to get here. She flew in Friday morning, and flew out Friday afternoon. She came to the library an hour early to do a little meet & greet with the debut authors before the main event. After the event, she bought all the debut authors’ books, and had them all signed and shipped them home. She truly is an extraordinary woman and I feel honored to know her.
My favorite “Lisa” story took place back in 2004. I was asked to review Killer Smile that year for Library Journal, and I loved it. It was a very personal book for her, about the little known Italian internment camps during World War II, and the book was amazing. I gave it a starred review and shortly after the review was published, I had a very startled and every excited manager hunting me down as I was emptying the book return. Lisa was on the phone for me. She tracked me down (Library Journal publishes the reviewer’s name & their library affiliation) and she called to thank me for my review. I’d been reviewing for several years by then, and no one had ever done that before (or since, for that matter!)
The nationally syndicated, Raven Award winning reviewer Oline Cogdill moderated the event, and she is such a pro. It is always a pleasure to watch any panel she’s in charge of. She asked great questions, kept all the authors talking and it was a completely fascinating discussion. Please follow her on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with all her terrific reviews.
Special thanks goes to author Amy Christine Parker, who was my liaison to the ITW and who arranged for all these wonderful authors to appear. This year we had quite a variety.
Sandra Block is a neurologist from Buffalo, NY and the author of the terrific debut, Little Black Lies, about madness and memory – and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. You can read my review here. John A. Connell is a former camera operator for films and TV shows who is now living in France and writing full time. His first Mason Collins thriller is Ruins of War, a chilling novel of murder and madness in post-World War II Germany.
Alison McMahon is a documentary maker who wrote her first YA thriller, a historical called The Saffron Crocus, set in the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, 1643. Douglass Seaver is enjoying retirement by writing, and his first thriller is The Fourth Rule, which tells the story of one secret born when a Green Beret returns from Vietnam and disappears.
Finally, Stu Strumwasser, a New York musician who wrote The Organ Broker, the thrilling story of an underground black market organ dealer known as “New York Jack.” It will be available May 5.