Archive for the ‘D.C. Events’ Category

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Homicidal Holidays Launch—Rounding Out Three New Stories

October 6, 2014

HomicidalHolidaysThis Saturday, October 11, the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime hosts a launch party for the new anthology Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. The fun begins at noon in the party room just next door to the bookstore, and it’ll be a true party with snacks and treats provided for all to enjoy. I’m very pleased to be among that last group with a new story, “Premonition,” set on Halloween night—and pleased too with the great advance review of the anthology by Lynn Farris in the Examiner, who wrote, “The anthology offers a mystery for everyone, there are stories that are funny, sad, terrifying and thought provoking…. This is a great book to give for any holiday.” (The review called my own tale “a master class in how to create tension.” Thanks much, Lynn!) Other contributors include Donna Andrews, Tim Bentler-Jungr, Shaun Taylor Bevins, Carla Kaessinger Coupe, Elaine Davis, Barb Goffman, Clyde T Linsley Jr., Linda Lombardi, Debbi Mack, Rosemary and Larry Mild, Meg Opperman, Shari Randall, and Cathy Wiley, who’s promised to dress like a pirate in honor of the holiday at the heart of her story. Arrr! The stories were selected by Christina Freeburn, John Gilstrap, and Alan Orloff; the anthology was edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, and Marcia Talley; and Rhys Bowen provided an introduction.

I’ve also had two more stories appear just recently—both available now:

  • Gargoyle 61 features “Precision,” about a safecracker who has tried to put his criminal ways behind him but gets pulled into one more job—possibly his last one. Told from two perspectives, the story delves into the troubled past, tense present, and uncertain futures of two characters with radically different plans for themselves.
  • Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine has published “The Odds Are Against Us” in its November 2014 issue. In this story, an easy chat about old times feeds into fresh conflicts at neighborhood bar. This is one of the shortest stories I’ve contributed to Ellery Queen, but I hope it still packs a punch.

Happy reading—and look forward to seeing folks on Saturday! — Art Taylor

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Event: Sisters in Crime Holiday Gathering, Saturday, Dec. 7

December 3, 2013

EQMMar-April 2012CoverOn Saturday, December 7, ten mystery writers from the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime will be appearing at the party room next to One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia—talking about their recently published and upcoming crime fiction. Participating authors include Donna Andrews, E.A. Aymar, Meriah Crawford, Barb Goffman, Peggy Hanson, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Sujata Massey, Eileen McIntire, Lane Stone, and me! And just in time for the holidays, you can get autographed books by each participating author to help round out your gift-giving list. I don’t have a book of my own, of course, but I’ll be giving away—yes, for free—some recent issues of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine featuring my stories.

The program officially begins at 12:30, but come out by noon for informal talk with the authors. You can also bring a brown bag lunch or pick up something from one of the restaurants just across the street: Le Marché at La Cote D’or or Little City Gourmet. In addition, cookies, fruit, and light refreshments will be provided. The event is free—though a $5 donation by other SinC members certainly wouldn’t be turned away (to help cover the cost of the room).

One More Page Books is located at 2200 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington; the party room is just next door. Limited free parking is provided in the lot behind store. Otherwise, meter parking on street is available.

Hope to see a good turn-out! — Art Taylor

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Event: Waterbear Reading Series, Saturday, October 26 at One More Page Books

October 10, 2013

One More Page BooksI’m thrilled to be taking part in the October edition of the Waterbear Reading Series at One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia. The series, which began earlier this year, has already featured some terrific writers—including both friends (Jen Michalski, Laura Ellen Scott, Amber Sparks) and family (Tara Laskowski!)—and the October event will be the last reading of 2013, given the holidays ahead, so fingers crossed for a big audience to help round out the year with a bang!

I’ll be reading on Saturday, October 26, at 6 p.m., along with three other very distinguished writers:

John Copenhaver placed as a quarterfinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Dodging and Burning.  The last two summers he attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference as a general contributor in fiction.  In 2011 he was invited to be a fellow in genre fiction at the Lambda Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. He graduated with his BA from Davidson College, MA in literature from Bread Loaf, and MFA in fiction from George Mason, where he served as executive editor of the literary magazine Phoebe.  He also spent a summer interning in the literature department of the National Endowment for the Arts.  He has published in several regional journals, including Timber Creek Review and The Roanoke Review, and was the first runner-up in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest.

Mark Cugini’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Melville House, Hobart, Sink Review, Barrelhouse, NOÖ, Everday Genius, and other publications. He’s a founding editor of Big Lucks, a contributor to HTMLGiant, and the curator of the Three Tents Reading Series in Washington, DC. His chapbook I’M JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE will be released in March 2013.

Jonathan Harper received his MFA from American University in 2010 and was a staff member of the Lambda Literary Foundation from 2002-2005. His writing is scattered about in places like The Nervous Breakdown, Chelsea Station, Icarus Magazine as well as the anthologies: Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader, The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered and Best Gay Stories 2013. He really-really loves Period Pieces and Gillian Anderson has yet to answer one of his fan letters.

Hope to see lots of friendly faces there—and pleased that my parents and brother will be making the trip up for the event as well! — Art Taylor

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Upcoming Event: Northern Virginia Writers Club Workshop

July 22, 2013

This coming Saturday—July 27—from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.—I’ll be leading the workshop “Bring Life to Your Characters and Shape to Your Plot” for the Northern Virginia Writers Club. The workshop distills a number of lessons that I’ve used at times for my semester-long fiction and creative nonfiction workshops at George Mason University: the benefits and drawbacks of character inventories; direct and indirection presentation of character; the direct relationships between character and plot; stories as conflict versus stories as connection/disconnection; linear versus modular storytelling…. While it’s likely going to be a lot to cover perhaps, my plan is to introduce concepts and idea for folks to both work on during the sessions themselves and then to develop later on their own. We’ll see how it goes!

Please note that the workshop is free for members of the Northern Virginia Writers Club, the regional chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, but registration has already closed. — Art Taylor

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Story a Day: “Kept in the Dark” by Sheila Connolly

May 2, 2013

shortstorymonth320x320Second up in my promise to read a story a day in the month in the month of May is Sheila Connolly’s “Kept in the Dark.” A nominee for this year’s Agatha Award for Best Short Story, the story—set against the backdrop of a mushroom growing operation in Southeastern Pennsylvania—offers a dead body, a couple of investigators (including a tall, dark, and handsome forensics expert), and a surprise solution to the crime, but the tale makes a couple of nicely twisty departures from the expected trajectory of the whodunit. Juliette Adamson, owner of the mushroom farm (actually caves, as she points out), is both charming and clever—and a nice match for “Mr. CSI-GQ,” as she calls him early on. Plus, the background info on mushrooms that Connolly weaves into the story is fascinating in its own right. I’m not a fan of fungi myself (yuck!), but the story itself proves simply delicious. — Art Taylor

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Story A Day: “Mischief in Mesopotamia” by Dana Cameron

May 1, 2013

shortstorymonth320x320May 1 kicks off the “first organized international Short Story Month,” inspired by the StoryADay in May writing challenge. There’s simply no way for me to write a story a day myself (though I’m planning to have my current story-in-progress finished by the end of the month). But I do plan to try to read a story a day this month and post about them here—and having said that, I’m committed now, I guess.

First up today and tomorrow are a couple of stories I should’ve read long before now, given the circumstances. On Saturday, I’ll be among the finalists for this year’s Agatha Award for Best Short Story, and while I’ve already read and enjoyed Barb Goffman’s “The Lord is My Shamus” and B.K. Steven’s “Thea’s First Husband”—terrific tales each—the other two finalists have been waiting far too long on my TBR pile.

I’ve always admired Dana Cameron’s stories, and her Agatha-nominated tale “Mischief in Mesopotamia” proves a delight as well. Archeologist and part-time sleuth Emma Fielding is desperately trying to escape all her work duties while on vacation in southeast Turkey but quickly finds her time taxed by the thoughtless members of her tour group (those tacky Americans!)—and then finds her investigative skills challenged too, when at least one of them seems to be behind the theft of ancient artifacts. Suspects abound, false clues are liberally planted, and the real clue that solves the mystery is both subtly folded into the storyline and, ultimately, completely satisfying.

Tomorrow, Sheila Connolly’s “Kept in the Dark.” And my nominated story is available too, of course: “When Duty Calls.” Art Taylor

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Event: Malice Domestic, May 3-5

April 25, 2013

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I’ll be part of several events at this year’s Malice Domestic Convention, May 3-5 at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland—thanks in part to my story “When Duty Calls” being an Agatha Award finalist for Best Short Story!

  • On Friday, May 3, at 10 a.m., I’ll take part in my first “Malice-Go-Round”—billed as “like speed dating, with authors.” (I’ll start practicing my pitch soon.)
  • On Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m., the panel discussion “Make It Snappy” will feature this year’s nominees for the Agatha Award for Best Short Story: Dana Cameron, Sheila Connolly, Barb Goffman, B.K. Stevens, and me (!!!). Steven Steinbock, a good friend and gifted critic, will moderate.
  • Saturday night at 7 p.m. is the Agatha Awards Banquet—wish me luck! (Last I heard, I’ll be hosting a table, too. Folks signing up for my table should expect bourbon of some sort as party favors… and free-flowing wine, of course.)
  • On Sunday, May 5, at 11:15 a.m., I’ll be taking the moderator role at the panel “Murder With A Little Education on the Side: Mysteries That Tackle Social Issues,” with John Billheimer, Joan Boswell, Donis Casey, and Edith McClintock.

Looking forward to the whole program—and to seeing so many fellow writers, readers, and friends throughout the weekend! —Art Taylor

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