I’ll be congealing out of writerly fog for the next Arizona Mystery Writers’ meeting in three weeks. We’ll have a police crime scene investigator tell us about a cold case he recently solved. In 1987 a body was found in the desert near Tucson. It was unidentifiable, but the police were able to reconstruct the skull and then in the computer, rebuild the whole head, based on anthropological principles. Recently the case has been solved and the principal investigator will tell us how. Great detail for writers of mysteries!
The second speaker is a an author of true crime stories who’ll talk about the technical differences between writing fiction and true crime, and about dealing with hostile investigators and prosecutors, reluctant witnesses and arrogant police.
I enjoy these monthly lectures, and my writing colleagues, and the luncheons, and, since I’m the emcee, I control the microphone, so that gives me plenty of opportunity to promote my own books. Naturally I invite others to do the same. Lately I have taken to offering a free copy of each title to any member who promises to write a review. The response has been enthusiastic. The two reviews I’ve received so far have been positive.
In exchange, I offer to sign the review copy, and to reciprocate by reading the other member’s book. Sometimes that presents an interesting challenge, but there’s always something good to be said if you look hard enough. Sometimes I’m reduced to declaring that the scenery was wonderful, but that still counts as a positive review. Who knows, maybe my colleagues are thinking the same about my books. But it’s how the game is played. Reviews are hard to come by.