Does anyone remember the forums in Harper's Magazine, that great feature in which a moderator and five or so panelists discuss a topic of current interest?
I'd like to do an online forum here on Mysterious Matters, and I'm seeking panelists. I'm hoping this will be the first in a series. If all goes well with the first, I'd like to do a few per year, each on a different topic.
For the first, I'd like to talk to writers who have at least one book published and who are trying to increase the awareness of their work. The ideal candidates will:
- Be published by a small or independent press. (Poisoned Pen is independent and therefore a part of the universe.) I'm not saying I'll definitely discriminate against those published by larger houses, but everyone who reads Mysterious Matters knows that I'm an advocate for small presses, so my choices will most likely be guided by my prejudices.
- Have a Yahoo account with Yahoo messenger, by which I'll conduct the forum. (The good news is, if you don't currently have an account, you can get one for free.)
I'd like to get a mix of writers in different sub-genres: police procedurals, cozy, etc.
The topic of the first panel will be: ORIGINALITY. I haven't come up with all the questions yet, but I'd like us to talk about unique or interesting plot ideas, narrative structures, characters, and situations. I'd like to talk about some of the "greats" and "firsts," as well as ideas for how mysteries can resonate with the reading public by taking chances or doing something new and exciting.
If you'd like to take part, please send me an email at agathomystery AT yahoo DOT com by January 30th. I'll choose the panelists by the first week in February, and we'll schedule the online chat for mid-February. I'll try to schedule the chat on a Saturday or Sunday so that people don't have to do too much juggling with their work schedules. I'll record the chat, then edit out the boring bits, and post it here on Mysterious Matters, along with a mini biography of each panelist and a book shot.
In your email, tell me a little about yourself, your work, and your publisher(s). I'll buy a book by each writer chosen to participate, so getting chosen means a sale of at least one book, with the potential for more sales among the Mysterious Matters readership.
The volume of mail I get means that I'm not able to respond individually. Hope to hear from you.
To those who blog, post, etc.: Please feel free to spread the word, share this link, or cut and paste this entry into whichever fora mystery writers and readers congregate. Future topics will include, I hope, a readers' panel and an editors' panel.