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Story Tools

Date of Issue: June 04, 2008

Sandscript

Mystery lovers to converge this weekend for Mystery Florida conference

It’s that most favorite time of year - the Mystery Florida conference is coming up.

June 6-7 at the Lido Beach Resort will host a conference of mystery writers, readers and fans of Florida fiction, sponsored in part by The Islander Newspaper. It’s the fourth event held, with part of the proceeds going to the Tingley Memorial and Longboat Key libraries.

Authors scheduled to attend include, in no particular order, Jonothan King, James O. Born, Tim Dorsey, Kristi Montee (who is half of the P.J. Parrish writing team,) Tom Corcoran, Jim Swain, David Hagberg, Don Bruns, Wayne Barcomb, Blaize Clement and Barbara Parker.

Michael Connelly is the key speaker at noon Saturday, June 7. He’s a top-selling author who’s written a slew of books and attained about all the awards that can be attained. His serial character, Harry Bosch, is a classic of the mystery genre.

There also will be a presentation by John D. MacDonald guru Cal Branch. MacDonald is generally regarded as the godfather of Florida fiction and his serial character, Travis McGee, starred in 19 books. MacDonald, also wrote something like 65 mysteries, some science fiction and one non-fiction book.

There will be panel discussions by the authors. There also will be a half-day session Friday afternoon on publication and self-publishing and, of course, a special author dinner at the Columbia Restaurant Saturday night for patrons.

Here’s the good part: Mystery Mingle, to be held Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., free to the public, where all the authors will be present to chat and sign books.

Cost of the event on Saturday is $125. Patrons may sign up for $250, which includes dinner.

Oh, and Jim Born will give a gun demonstration during the Saturday presentation. It is hoped that things go well so he doesn’t have to shoot anybody.

Florida is rapidly becoming a highlight in the mystery world of writing. Mystery Florida offers an up-close and personal chance to meet some of the best writers around.

To register, go to mysteryflorida.com, or pay at the door, 700 Ben Franklin Drive, Lido Beach.

 

Book yuks

The genesis of Mystery Florida was a John D. MacDonald conference held many years ago. The conference was a critical success, but a financial disaster for its organizers.

By the way, we’ve at least broke even on our Mystery Florida conferences and have been able to give some money to the libraries since we attained our not-for-profit status last year.

At the first of the John D. conferences, there was a huge panel of all the authors at the closing event. Questions were asked, proposals proffered and ideas bandied about.

At one point, Vicky Hendricks was asked something or other and she launched into a diatribe about taking a trip to South America and venturing into the jungles there.

“I’ve had more fun and seen more animal life in my boyfriend’s back yard while I’m sunbathing nude,” she said.

Hendricks is unique in Florida fiction in writing what can only be described as “Florida mystery porn,” by the way.

Florida author James W. Hall, seated down the row from her, leaned over and interrupted.

“Naked?” he asked.

The hall erupted in laughter as Hendricks blushed.

 

More naked

From the topic of naked comes this missive from the St. Petersburg Times, from which the article is quoted exactly as writ, with some names excluded. Kudos to the writer.

“Nude maid cleaned house, then cleaned out jewelry.

“A 50-year-old Lutz man told investigators he hired a nude maid to clean his 2,281-square-foot home. A Hillsborough sheriff’s spokeswoman said the woman arrived at the man’s home in north Tampa wearing a one-piece, light-colored dress. She took off the one-piece, light-colored dress. She cleaned the house per their $100-per-hour agreement. Four bedrooms, three baths. She dressed and left. Shortly after, the homeowner said, his wife came home from vacation to discover $40,000 in jewelry missing from the bedroom. The nude maid, whom the man said he found on the Internet, is described as a white female in her early 20s.”

So the question is: Where did she hide the jewelry?

 

Sandscript factoid

From the Washington Post comes this missive: ROAT is the environmentalist's new word for Ridiculously Oversized American Transportation.

Hey, I’m sorry, but I like my ROAT-sized SUV.

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