Thursday, April 8, 2010

What's Wrong With Being Twisted? by Alan Orloff

Alan Orloff's debut mystery, DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD (Midnight Ink), will be released in April 2010.  The first book in his new Last Laff series, KILLER ROUTINE (March 2011, also from Midnight Ink), features Channing Hayes, a stand-up comic with a tragic past. 

A former engineer, marketing manager, and newsletter editor, Alan lives in Northern Virginia
with his wife and two children.

For more info, visit


What's Wrong With Being Twisted?
by Alan Orloff

Thanks, Kaye, for inviting me to guest blog today--it's a pleasure, even if I have a tough, tough act to follow in Pat Conroy.

Five years ago, I didn't know a soul in the mystery writing community. Sure, I'd been an avid reader of crime fiction most of my adult life, but I never had the opportunity to interact with any real-life writers. I didn't participate in any of the numerous on-line social sites or listservs or virtual water coolers (heck, I didn't even know they existed!). And I'd never been to a mystery convention. No Bouchercon, no Edgars Week, no Thrillerfest. I had no one to discuss crime fiction with except the poor lady at the bookstore, who I'm sure tired of me yapping on and on about wise-cracking PIs with soft hearts and great aim.

But during the past five years, I became more immersed in the craft and business of writing crime fiction. And without a doubt, one of the most satisfying by-products has been my introduction to the wonderful crime fiction community.

I've met scores of people with the same interests as me: in person at conferences, conventions, and in workshops, as well as on-line via blogs, listservs, and discussion groups.

After years of wandering alone, I'd found my peeps! (no, not these peeps).

Now I follow the discussions on DorothyL (mostly as a lurker). Every day, I make the rounds of fifty (or more) blogs to see what's new (aside: one of the best "community-fostering" blogs is this very one--Kudos, Kaye!).  I Facebook and Twitter and blog, connecting with people who share the same love of crime fiction that I do, and I've come to one important realization:

The crime fiction community is a generous bunch of twisted psychos! (Of course, I mean that in only the nicest sense.)

Everyone I've met has been more than willing to help and offer their support. To wit:

I've gotten writing advice from published authors and feedback from agents. I've hammered out plot points and discussed characterizaton with fellow workshop participants and critique partners. I've received promotion pointers and bookselling tips from other writers, publicists, and booksellers. I've gotten a blurb from a NY Times best selling author. I've gotten warm words of encouragement from book reviewers and great recommendations from book lovers.

Most importantly, I've gotten thanks from readers.

So now it's my turn to thank all those who helped me along the way.

THANKS! And I'm sure the poor lady at the bookstore thanks you too.


Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh,Alan, what a nice thing to do! And congraulations no the books. Hurray.

But wait--fifty blogs??? Yikes. That is impressive!

Besides Kaye's of course, which ones do you check out? Okay, you don't have to list all fifty..

JournoMich said...

Busy, busy, busy. And it's only just begun!

I finished Alan's book Wednesday night and I am excited to recommend it to other readers.

Keep it up Alan!


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Well, and thanks right back at you, Alan! You always support us with your comments and tips.

I love the online community of writers--it's so amazing to be able to share ideas and experiences with other writers.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Elspeth Futcher said...

This online community is wonderful. Supportive, encouraging and somewhat twisted. Not that that's a bad thing.

Alan Orloff said...

Thanks, Hank! If it's about writing or mysteries or thrillers, it's probably on my list. Jungle Red Writers sure is!

Thanks, Michele! Nice to know you liked the book. Southern City Mysteries is on my blog list, too.

Thanks, Elizabeth! Sharing is nice. Mystery Writing Is Murder is on the list.

Thanks, Elspeth! Nothing wrong with being twisted at all. It's A Mystery is on the list, too.

Meredith Cole said...

And the mystery community is very lucky to have you. It's been great getting to know you on-line and in-person Alan. I look forward to getting your book (and your signature) at Malice in just a few short weeks. Congrats on your launch!

Alan Orloff said...

Thanks for the kind words, Meredith. I love mystery writers!

And thanks so much for hosting me today, Kaye. Your blog rocks and your blog readers rock, too!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I like those little yellow Easter peeps, but like you, I think my writing peeps are the best!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

What an impressive list of blogs to be included with in your daily list! And I always appreciate nice words - thank you, Alan.

I can't wait to read your book, and I hope you'll come back for another visit; this was terrific!