distal muse

observations, opinions, ephemera, and views

September 14, 2011

New Directions

I’m attending Bouchercon this week, here in St. Louis.  In the last few years I’ve been drifting toward crime fiction, partly in an attempt to cultivate new fields with a view toward getting my rather stagnant career moving, partly because I’ve always written something like it.

The Robot Mysteries were, as advertised, mysteries of a sort.  Crime was happening in them, investigators investigated, macabre stuff occurred.  There was a bit of it in Metal of Night and a couple of major thefts (and murders) were integral to Peace & Memory.  Certain Remains was a mystery, even with noir elements, and the one, poor orphaned Terminator novel I wrote, Hour of the Wolf, was very noirish in tone.

The alternate history, now making its newly-launched circuit in search of publisher, is very much a murder mystery, wrapped around a bit of steampunk.  I moved on from there to write a novel set in the 18th Century that is pretty much a murder mystery and the last book I finished is a straight up and down contemporary murder mystery.  Plans exist to continue all three into future novels.

So when I wondered to my agent if I should maybe attend Bouchercon (after being reminded by good pal Scott Phillips that it was, y’know, right here in town this year) I got a loud, forceful “Well, yeah!”

So in view of a potential new career, I’m updating my image a bit, trying it on for size, as it were, and seeing how it fits.  I asked Scott what to expect and he said “Well, for one thing, there are no costumes.”

“Yeah,” I said, “but really all we have to do is dress well and we’re in costume.”

To which he laughed and informed me that on average the women dress to the nines and the guys show up in jeans and t-shirts.

Well.  I think I’ll just go as myself.

But there are so many of them that it can be hard to choose…

Tonight the festivities kick off with a pre-Bouchercon get-together in University City at a place called Meshuggah’s where monthly readings take place, a gig called Noir at the Bar.  I’ll be there.

So will my new agent. (One of them, that is—I have two, which is kind of…wow.)  Yeah, despite my attempt at a cool demeanor, I’m jazzed about that.  Of all the “agents” I’ve had, I have only ever met two of them, both shortly before they left their respective agencies and me.

Anyway, I probably won’t post anything till next week.  I’m stepping off the platform to head in a new direction.  Here’s hoping it takes me where I want to go.

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