This is my second year at the Mystery Writers Conference hosted by Book Passage in nearby Corte Madera. Last evening Laurie R. King (right) was interviewed about various aspects of her career -- everything from sustaining her Mary Russell series to her favorite kind of fountain pen (Namiki. She wrote her first seven novels in longhand with a fountain pen). The interviewer was Jacqueline Winspear, herself author of the multi-award-winning Masie Dobbs series. We are in stellar company here.
I enjoyed workshops on writing craft and workshops on the current state of book publishing, but my biggest thrill was a consultation with the legendary Otto Penzler. The editor and publisher of such writers as Patricia Highsmith, Donald E. Westlake, Joyce Carol Oates and many more marked up the first twenty pages of my book, suggested changes and told me why. He also found a few things to like. I now know how it feels to be edited by one of the best. It feels great.