Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools with the Agatha Award Nominees for Best First Novel

All five nominees for Agatha Award for Best First Novel are visiting today to tell us what the best thing that's happened to them as a result of their writing. The award will be given out May 2 in Bethesda, Maryland at the Malice Domestic Convention

And the nominees are...

Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris (Kensington Publishing)
Finding Sky by Susan O'Brien (Henery Press)
Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran (Berkley Prime Crime)
Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink)

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you as a result of your writing?
Without a doubt, finally being able to buy the beachfront property on that Caribbean island and discovering my next door neighbor is Johnny Depp! 

April Fool! 

Yeah, I wish. The truth is the best part has been getting to meet so many wonderful people—no, not Mr. Depp—but the generous members of the crime-writing world as well as all the lovely mystery readers and fans. I’m an introvert by nature, so to be embraced by the mystery lovers, who have made me feel welcomed and truly a member of their family, is beyond my wildest expectations. 

What is the best thing that happened to you as a result of your writing? 
I'd love to take the time to answer your question but managing the staff has become a real issue at Villa de Harris here on the Mediterranean Sea. Really, you'd think by now the cook would know how I like my salmon prepared, the maid would iron my socks properly, and the pool boy would work on his six pack instead of drinking one. Sigh, such are the problems of an author. In reality, meeting people has been the best part of the experience from the 107 year old woman who was one of the first African American women to enlist in the army to the 8 year old who wants to be a writer some day. I've heard such great stories from people at events I've been a part of -- it's been a blessing to me.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you as a result of your writing?

Beyond being able to hire a full-time mother’s helper and a part-time personal trainer (I wish! April Fools!), I’m especially thankful for connecting with readers. After spending so many years working on Finding Sky alone, it’s a blessing to see readers’ reactions to it. I’m so grateful to those who write reviews, attend events, and send messages online. I treasure those connections more than I can say. 

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you as a result of your writing?

I no longer have to waste my time in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. When I have an appointment, my doctor greets me at the front door and ushers me right inside. My examination doesn’t begin until I sign the hundreds of copies of Well Read, Then Dead he bought as gifts for his other patients… 

If only! In reality that’s me sitting in the corner of the waiting room skimming a two month old copy of People Magazine.
The real blessing my writing has given me is the friends I have made along the way, other writers, readers, reviewers, editors, all the wonderful folks who are sympathetic when I say “I’m having a problem with chapter six.” And who understand that really means “No, I can’t spend any more time on Facebook today.”

What's the best thing that's happened to you as a result of your writing? 

The fame, of course. 

My “made it moment” was the day Louise Penny stopped me at the bar at Malice Domestic to ask for my autograph.  Or at least that’s the story I plan to tell my grandchildren.  In reality, I did meet her at the bar, and she is a delightful woman.  A fan of hers asked me to take a photo of her with Ms. Penny using her smart phone.  Being a certified techno-klutz, I accidentally held the camera backwards and handed her a photo of my own chest! Lord only knows what random body part I’ll photograph the day I meet Stephen King.


  1. Thanks for inviting us! A fun and funny group of writers!

  2. So happy to be here, Deb. Thanks for helping us celebrate. A jest filled April Fool's Day to all.

  3. Thanks so much for hosting us! Happy fools day, everyone!

  4. What funny April Fool's stories, and what poignant real ones. You girls are a class act!

  5. Such fun! I love hearing everyone's stories. Thanks for inviting us!

  6. Thanks so much for having us here and letting us have some April Fool's Day fun! I'm honored to be part of this fabulous group of women.

  7. A really fun post to read and thanks for introducing us to some additional books. I'm sure to nominate one or two to my mystery book club!

    1. We love book clubs, Amy! Thanks for reading.

    2. Thank you, Amy. Book club meetings and libraries are my favorite places. Just can't talk my own book club into reading all cozy all the time. ;)

  8. Very nice! Good Luck to you all----no fooling!

  9. Thank you to all of our wonderful nominees!

  10. Thanks for having us here, Deborah!