Let me get the worst part out of the way first. My lunch on Saturday was a lettuce sandwich. I ordered turkey, but I guess they ran out, so I had only greens with no dressing. In a couple of days I will think this was really funny, but right now I can still feel the crunch as I bit into the offering that even a vegetarian would have scorned.
Highpoints for me were meeting two authors who have influenced my work.
I met Linda Barnes at a previous Crimebake, and found her delightful. I had been reading her work for years and loved the setting and the character of Carlotta Carlisle.
When my mother was in a nursing home in Brighton, I gave her a Linda Barnes book to read and then drove her to all the sites in the book, ending with lunch in the restaurant where the protagonist ate. I don’t know how impressed my mother was, but I loved it.
I read all of the Carlisle books with map in hand and even decided that I had lived in one of the houses in a story. Or maybe across the street from it.
I hadn't started writing yet when I met Carlisle, but had when I met Barnes. I was really impressed by the character, and there was no question that I was going to use the setting. My Emily lives in Cambridge in the late 1800s. She is short and bland, the exact opposite of Carlotta. Emily would not be what she is if I hadn’t met Carlotta first.
Thanks Linda. (Hint, hide your money under your kitty litter.}
The second author was someone I thought I had never heard of. He was listed in the program as Peter Abrahams, and he writes as Spence Quinn. The panel was Hide: Using your own life in fiction.
I listened intently as Dana Cameron talked about being an archeologist, since I have often handed her books, when I finish them, off to the archaeologist I work with. Then it was Peter’s turn and I don’t remember a thing he said except, “And when I wrote Dog On It…”
Goodness me. I had picked Dog On It off the shelf in the library for no particular reason. Maybe because it had “Dog” in the hilarious title. I instantly thought I can write from a dog's point of view. My dog is in training to be a service dog. My dog doesn’t do novels, only short stories. Nor is he quite as adventurous as Chet, in part because he is afraid of being sent back to the pound. Chet knows what that is like.
Thanks Peter and Spence.
I guess Crimebake was worth going to in spite of the sandwich.