Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Stepping into the Big Leagues

by Marjorie Brody

When I imagined becoming an author, I visualized book signings, travel, interviews and photo shoots, writing on deadlines, searching for fresh ideas, juggling personal and professional tasks, influencing book cover concepts and designing stickers for book plates, giving presentations, answering readers' emails, teaching craft and encouraging new writers, and even creating a new genre, but I don’t think I ever thought I’d be on a panel with heavy hitters. Oh sure, I envisioned having friends who are best selling authors—and in fact, I do—but to be sitting next to a Hollywood screenwriter and TV staff writer, attorneys with legal thriller series, and a host of a crime and science radio show, well, I guess my imagination didn’t stretch that far.

In July, I’ll be on a panel at the International Thriller Writers conference. The topic is “Ego or Id, Unlock Your Character's Psychology” and the Panel Master will be Dennis Palumbo. On the panel will be D.P. Lyle, MD, Katia Lief, Laura Caldwell, Lynne Raimondo, and oh yes, a little known author whose psychological suspense debuted last year, me.

So how will I not be in tongue-tied awe?

I could remind myself that all of these authors started with a single book. I could remember that they write about what they know (forensics, or criminals and the legal system, or psychopathology and serial killers—well, they don’t need to know about that personally, I assure you, although on second thought, maybe they do!), and I write about what I know (resilient yet flawed protagonists, and self-deluded, maladjusted antagonists). Or maybe I could just see these panelist as colleagues who happen to share with me the same field in our second careers.

Or maybe I could remember why I was asked to join this panel in the first place; someone thought I’d be a valuable addition to the group. So, I guess it’s time for me to knock the dirt out of my cleats, pick up the bat, and step up to the plate. Who knows? I may just hit a home run. And even if I don't, it'll still be fun to play on the team.

Have suggestions for me based on your experience? I’d love to hear them.

Marjorie Brody is an award-winning author and Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her short stories appear in literary magazines and the Short Story America Anthology, Vols. I, II and III. Her debut psychological suspense novel, TWISTED, delves into the secrets that emerge following a sexual assault at a high school dance and features a remarkable teen who risks everything to expose the truth. TWISTED was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2013 Great Midwest Book Festival and won the Texas Association of Authors 2014 Best Young Adult Fiction Book Award. TWISTED is available in digital and print at http://tinyurl.com/cvl5why or http://tinyurl.com/bqcgywl.
Marjorie invites you to visit her at www.marjoriespages.com.

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