Announcing the Cuentos!

On February 24, 2011 · Comments Off

Congrats to all the Cuento competition winners AND our gratitude to everyone who submitted a proposal.

The descriptions below are in the presenters’ own words. These descriptions will not be in our program book, so take note of them now.



1. Mike Befeler     Mixing Humor, Mystery and Older Characters
The art of combining humor and dead bodies in a way that keeps the reader reading by pointing out the foibles of the aging process, using quirky characters, employing unexpected twists, showing people acting in unique ways, uncovering  flaws in the protagonist and honorable traits in the antagonist.

2. Vicki Delany      The Changing Role of Women in Mysteries as Reflected in Fiction
Author of a modern police procedural series with a female protagonist, a series set in 1898 featuring a woman with a shady past, and standalones partially set in World War II, Vicki discusses the changing role of women as characters in her fiction live it.

3. Chris Eboch     What I learned from Nancy Drew
Generations of fans can’t be wrong. “Grab you by the throat” openings, cliffhanger chapter endings, a little danger, and a lot of drama keep readers coming back for more. A ghostwriter shares tricks she learned while writing about the famous sleuth and explores the difference between Nancy *then* and Nancy *now*.

4. Christine Goff     Killer Birds: Explore the Newest Trend in Wildlife Mysteries
There are only eight mystery novelists truly writing birding/birdwatcher fiction. Goff will introduce you to the authors and their series, share some true-life stories of some killer birds, and send you forward with a list of birds to look for while visiting Santa Fe.

5. Joan Hansen, Stacey Aaronson & Tracey Kaehler
Men of Mystery

One elegant ballroom …Fifty Men who know how to kill …and get away with it … 450 guests dying to know their secrets. Sneak into a preview of our Raven Award-winning Men of Mystery Event with cameo appearances by celebrity authors who probe the twisted minds of their cryptic characters .

6. Robin Harlick     The Crime Hot Spots of Canada
What do the mountains of British Columbia, Canada’s Capital City and the forests of Quebec have in common? Find out as Vicki Delany, Barbara Fradkin and R.J. Harlick take you on a tour to some of the crime hot spots of Canada. Door prizes and uniquely Canadian delicacies.

7  Barbara Peters & Keith Kahla      Wisdom from Industry Pros
What do you get when you combine decades of publishing and editing experience? These two pro! Join St. Martin’s longtime editor Keith Kahla and Poisoned Pen’s co-founder Barbara Peters for a discussion of everything you might want to know about mystery publishing, trends and more. Come with questions.

8. Maria Hudgins     The Detection Club
The club for Mystery Writers was founded in London in 1930 by Sayers, Christie, et al. Today, it still meets 3 times a year, tongues still firmly in cheeks. I’d like to talk about this club, include quips from current members, and conduct an ersatz induction ceremony complete with Eric the Skull. I’d bring my own skull. . . . well, you know what I mean.

9. Bob  Levinson     Hollywood from the Inside Out
Robert Levinson is the only author writing about show business icons who knew hundreds  personally, worked alongside them, and can share uncensored memories of Mae  West, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, James Dean, John  Lennon, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Alan Ladd, Paul Newman, Tony Curtis, Marlon  Brando, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley; more.

10. Kris Neri     Humor Will Discharge Our Anger
We know our society is splintering apart, but Kris Neri will show that it’s not false civility we need, it’s humor that will bring our polarized country together, make us laugh together at our oddities, help us shed our fears, and embolden us to rid ourselves of the Boogeymen that keep us apart.

11. Katherine Russell
Designing Winning Protagonists for Today’s Mystery Market

What do reader demographics and buying patterns tell us about what the contemporary reader wants? How do you design characters to appeal to big segments of the market? Can fictional characters be positive role models for readers, especially younger readers? Let’s have some fun predicting what future ‘break-through’ protagonists will be like!

12. Zoë Sharp and J.T. Ellison      You Can’t Run in High Heels
Zoë Sharp and JT Ellison demonstrate the gentle art of self-defence. A practical and entertaining look at how to avoid being stabbed, strangled, or even aggressively chatted up. Two kick-ass writers show you the moves and discuss how to avoid putting yourself – or your characters – in danger. (No audience members will be harmed.)

13. Sue Trowbridge Who Wants to Be An E-Book Millionaire?
Do you own the rights to your out of print books? Have you thought about making them available as ebooks – but don’t know where to begin? Learn everything you need to know from someone who’s already done it. We’ll cover buying ISBNs, formatting text, designing the cover, and more. Bring questions!

14. John Vorhaus  My Favorite Con Games and Scams
Join John Vorhaus, author of the grifter mysteries: The California Roll and The Albuquerque Turkey, for an insider’s look at how con games work. Learn about the Fiddle Game, Penny Skim, Nana’s Attic, and especially the Golden Rule of Con Artistry: If you think it’s too good to be true, it is!

15. Lea Wait     Ten Things I’ve Learned Since I’ve Been Published
Before Lea’s first book was published in 2001 she was a corporate manager. She didn’t know about stalker fans or dangerous giveaways or discontinued series or lonely signings or fanatical copy editors. Now, 9 books and 10 years later, Lea’s ready to share what she’s learned. Be ready to laugh, groan, and nod.