Day L: Literary Terms They Don’t Teach in English Class #AtoZChallenge

Have you ever made notes on a subject and later discovered you have no idea what they mean? It happens. It happened.

On Day I, I wrote about a book I’d seen at a bookstore earlier that day, Joshua Hammer’s book, The Bad-Ass Librarian of Timbuktu.

While at the store, I also made notes about a second book about libraries. Three days later, they look like runes, though not nearly so attractive or so organized.

So. I’ll wait till I’ve looked at the book again.

Fortunately, another L topic popped up this morning when I read a post recommended by Abbie Johnson Taylor, a Writing Wranglers and Warriors blogger: WORDWALK

Poet Alice Massa asks, “What Is the Name for a Group of Poets?” She answers the question in a poem–and if you read all the way to the end, you get more than just the answer.

I like the term she chose very much, but I wondered if there are alternatives.  So I went to the glossary of literary terms–several of them, in fact, since they’re all over the Internet–and came up with some possibilities:

  • a verse of poets
  • a rime of poets
  • an iamb of poets
  • a lyric of poets (although lyric is more suited to songwriters)
  • a scansion of poets
  • a prosody of poets

The search sparked a new question: What is the name for a group of mystery writers?

  • a plot of mystery writers
  • a conspiracy of mystery writers
  • a complication of mystery writers
  • a murder of mystery writers (perhaps to close to a murder of crows)
  • a grit of mystery writers
  • a cozy of mystery writers

And another question: What are the members of a critique group called?

This one is easy. Borrowing from an unkindness of ravens, I choose to call members of a critique group a kindness.

For more Day L posts, click here.

Murder on Wheels: 11 Tales of Crime on the Move

murder on wheels largeMURDER ON WHEELS, Austin Mystery Writers’ first crime fiction anthology, has been released by Wildside Press.

Since it appeared, the Writers have been difficult to live with. We’ll get over it, but only after a decent interval of frolicking.

The cover copy reads–

“The eleven stories in MURDER ON WHEELS put the pedal to the floor and never let up! Whether by bus, car, tractor, or bike, you’ll be carried along at a breakneck pace by the talented Austin Mystery Writers. These eight authors transport you from an eighteenth-century sailing ship to the open roads of modern Texas, from Alice’s Wonderland to a schoolbus yard in the suburbs of Dallas.”

For a sample of what’s between the covers, see below.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION, by Kaye George

A NICE SET OF WHEELS, by Kathy Waller

FAMILY BUSINESS, by Reavis Wortham

ROTA FORTUNA, by Valerie Chandler

MOME RATH, MY SWEET, by Gale Albright

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND, by Kaye George

BUON VIAGGIO, by Laura Oles

APORKALYPSE NOW, by Gale Albright

HAVE A NICE TRIP, by Kaye George

DEAD MAN ON A SCHOOL BUS, by Earl Staggs

HELL ON WHEELS, by Kathy Waller

RED’S WHITE F-150 BLUES, by Scott Montgomery

Reavis Wortham and Earl Staggs aren’t Austin Mystery Writers–they’re Texas authors who kindly contributed stories to the anthology. We’re pleased they joined us.

Kaye George, a former member, now lives in Tennessee, but she hasn’t managed to escape the AMW. Before she left, we named her Grand Pooh-Bah Emerita. Now we email every day. (See Kaye’s certificate, here.)

When Austin Mystery Writers was formed twelve years, members had no intention of publishing anything together. They (and we) simply wanted to improve their writing.

The idea for MURDER ON WHEELS came from banter via email late one night.

In the midst of our silliness, we began naming as many vehicles as we could think of. Then we switched to using them in titles for mystery novels:

Crime in a Convertible; Victim on a Velocipede; Garrotted in a Gas Guzzler; Whopped in a Wheelbarrow, Bumped Off in a Barouche-Landau…

Then Kaye said, “Let’s put together an anthology.”

So we did.

Ramona DeFelice Long edited the manuscript. Wildside Press published it.

Modified rapture! And now we frolic.

The moral–must be a moral!–of the story is this: Creativity begins in play.

This morning another group email arrived: When will we begin the next anthology?

Well, one thing does lead to another. . .

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

Get a Clue! Mystery Authors Crombie, Hallinan, & Koenig @ Texas Book Festival

Mystery authors Deborah Crombie, Timothy Hallinan, and Minerva Koenig will appear on the panel Get a Clue at the Texas Book Festival on Saturday, October 25, at 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., in Capitol Extension Room E2.014.

*****

Deborah Crombie is the New York Times best-selling author of the Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid/Sergeant IMG_3556Gemma James novels. A SHARE IN DEATH, her first novel,  received Agatha and Macavity nominations for Best First Novel of 1993. She has won two Macavity awards for Best Novel and her books have been nominated for a number of other awards. Her fifth novel, DREAMING OF THE BONES, was named a New York Times Notable Book for 1997, was short-listed by Mystery Writers of America for the 1997 Edgar Award for Best Novel, won the Macavity award for Best Novel, and was voted by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association as one of the hundred best mysteries of the century. The most recent book in the Kincaid / James series, TO DWELL IN DARKNESS, was published by William Morrow in September 2014.

A native of Dallas, Crombie has lived in both Scotland and England, and visits England, where are novels are set, several times a year.

Critical acclaim for Deborah Crombie’s novels

Crombie has laid claim to the literary territory of moody psychological suspense owned by P. D. James and Barbara Vine. – Washington Post

Deborah Crombie is an American mystery novelist who writes so vividly about England, she might have been born within the sound of Bow Bells. (She) gets better with each book…lyrical, biting and evocative. Cleveland Plain Dealer

*****

Timothy Hallinan has written eighteen critically acclaimed novels. He’s been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, and Lefty, IMG_3552among others, and is currently a Shamus nominee for his book LITTLE ELVISES.  He writes two series, one set in Bangkok, where he lives half-time, and the other in Los Angeles, where he lives the rest of the time. The Bangkok books feature an American travel writer named Poke Rafferty, who has married a Thai woman and adopted a Thai daughter, a street child, right off the sidewalk. The books are as much about family as they are about crime. The seventh Rafferty novel, FOR THE DEAD, comes out November 4, and William Kent Krueger described it as . . .”not only a fast-paced, compelling tale, but also, on every level, a fine literary read.”  His Junior Bender series, about a San Fernando Valley burglar, who works as a private eye for crooks, has just been bought by Iddie Izzard as an NBC television series. The fourth and most recent to be published is HERBIE’S GAME. [Thanks to Timothy Hallinan for writing this copy, which appears here unaltered.]

Critical acclaim for Timothy Hallinan’s novels

“Bender’s quick wit and smart mouth make him a book companion on this oddball adventure.” ~ New York Times Book Review

“A modern-day successor to Raymond Chandler.” ~ Los Angeles Daily News

*****

Minerva Koenig is the author of NINE DAYS, published by Minotaur in September of this year. The main character, Julia IMG_3548Kalas, is described as “short, round, and pushing forty, but … a damned good criminal. For seventeen years she renovated historic California buildings as a laundry front for her husband’s illegal arms business. Then the Aryan Brotherhood made her a widow, and witness protection shipped her off to the tiny town of Azula, Texas. Also known as the Middle of Nowhere.” With a local law enforcement officer as watchdog.

Julia has no intention of lying low, but she also doesn’t intend to raise her profile so high that half of Texas—good guys, bad guys, and who-knows-what-kind-of-guys—are either chasing, or being chased, by her. One thing is sure–Julia won’t be pushed around by any of them.

Scott Montgomery, crime fiction coordinator at BookPeople Book Store, says, “NINE DAYS introduces us to a fresh-hardboiled voice. Koenig embraces the genre, yet doesn’t completely play by its rules. I can’t wait to see what other conventions she breaks.”

Joy Tipping of the Dallas Morning news hails Julia Kalas as a successor to Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone, saying, “Let us praise the literary gods, then, that a worthy successor has arrived with Austin author Minerva Koenig and her debut novel, the funny, scary and devilishly twisty NINE DAYS.”

A long-time resident of Texas, Minerva is a licensed architect who runs a one-woman practice in Austin. Among her other interests are sewing, playing chess, and fighting the patriarchy.

Critical acclaim for Minerva Koenig’s novels

“Small-town Texas is vividly brought to life in this atmospheric and entertaining debut that also introduces a memorable and unusual protagonist.” ~ Library Journal

*****

Information about Deborah Crombie and Minerva Koenig was drawn from their websites.

Get a Clue ~ Saturday, October 25, 2014 ~ 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ~ Capitol Extension Room E2.014

 I will be moderator of the panel.