Sue and Me

I got wild and crazy Monday as I went to BookPeople for a Sue Grafton book signing at 7:00 pm. That’s 7:00 pm at night!

Sue Grafton signing books

Sue Grafton signing books

Myself, I’m an early riser. And with that goes the early-to-bed routine. But I am a fan of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone “alphabet” mystery series. I figured this would be the only time in my life I’d get to meet the author, so I decided to Stay Up Late.

I’ve read all of Sue Grafton’s “alphabet” books. I never guess who did it. I am in awe of anyone who can write more than one story and not have the subsequent ones be just a re-hash of the first one. How does one figure out how and why the murder was committed, then how, when, and how much to leak into the story so that as few readers as possible figure it out but the protagonist still does? Tricky writing, indeed.

Sue Grafton's latest book in her Kinsey Millhone "alphabet" series

Sue Grafton’s latest book in her Kinsey Millhone “alphabet” series

I have started writing crime short stories. Notice I said “crime” stories, not “mysteries.” I’m not sure I can write a mystery, because I never know who did it and that seems to be somewhat of a requirement for a mystery author.

I started reading X Monday night after I got home late (!) and finished it Tuesday. I’m ready for Y is for ….

Sue Grafton explaining the title to her latest book

Sue Grafton explaining the title to her latest book

Oh. If you also read Sue Grafton’s “alphabet” series, you may be wondering why the title isn’t X is for … just like all the other titles (e.g., A is for Alibi). She explained that the working title was X is for Xenophobe (I hope I remember that right), but quite a ways into writing the story, she noticed there weren’t any foreigners in it. She didn’t want to create one just so she could kill him off and keep the title. So it ended up just as X.

Sue and me!

Sue and me!

Lots of people were there for the book signing, and the BookPeople employees used our smart phones to photograph us with the author. Sue Grafton was friendly and gracious with each and every one of us. I’m so glad I went.

A slew of books, at the ready

A slew of books, at the ready

Yep, I’m just one wild and crazy woman.

Paradise: Fiction Friday

Friday Fictioneer Challenge: Write a 100-word story based on the photo.
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Copyright Douglas M MacIlroy

Copyright Douglas M MacIlroy

Paradise

“Commune with nature,” they said. “See polar bears walk by,” they said. “Your very own cabin,” they said. “A veritable Arctic Circle paradise,” they said. She signed up, wanting to be away from everything and everyone.

No one had said anything about summer snow storms. She could barely see the next domed cabin.

She was grateful for the heating that worked, the fully-stocked kitchenette, and the electric blanket. In the bookcase, she found the complete works of Agatha Christie, PD James, and Ruth Rendell. Maybe paradise is white, cold, and isolated, she thought, reaching for Murder on the Orient Express.
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