More About Magna

I posted last week about Magna swag and part of the events and panels I attended there. Here’s the rest of my convention report:

When last we left my reminiscences, it was 11:25 am on Saturday, October 27, 2012. After my one panel, I sat at the far end of the signing tables. Astonishingly, I had a couple of people buy my books and ask for my autograph. I was very full of myself until I looked up and saw the length of the lines waiting for the other authors. Ah, well! I appreciated mine as much as they appreciated theirs, and that’s that!

At lunch, Terence Faherty interviewed Guest of Honor S. J. Rozan, author of the Bill Smith / Lydia Chin mysteries. We were amused to learn that her rare method of alternating novels told from each partner’s POV was accidental. Mom and I were disappointed to learn that the book of hers we read before coming to the convention, GHOST HERO, was uncharacteristic in its light tone and humor. We enjoyed it very much, and were looking forward to another similar one.

Then came my favorite part of Magna: the roundtable discussions. We begin with three authors sitting at a table, talking about writing. We might discuss our work, or somebody else’s work, the writing life, the writing process, marketing, editing…. Other people are welcome to join in, as listeners and participants, writers and readers. Every 15 minutes, one author is scheduled to leave and another to join. What usually happens is that more tables and chairs are crammed into the group, and we have one big running conversation for four hours.

Meanwhile, there was a panel on thrillers and one about using the past as “an active agent”. I missed both of those.

I tore myself away from the roundtable, though, to hear Luci Zahray (The Poison Lady) talk about alcohol as poison and antidote. I blogged about that last week at Fatal Foodies.

The banquet’s keynote speaker was Eric G. Wilson, author of AGAINST HAPPINESS: IN PRAISE OF MELANCHOLY. Naturally, your dear old MomGoth was enchanted. Here’s a quote from him: “To repress death is to lose the feeling of life. During gloomy pauses, we often discover parts of ourselves we never knew we possessed, talents that, properly activated, enrich our lives.”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Two panels: Writing Murder, a panel by the authors of a book by the same name, essays on “the art and craft of mystery writing”. I bought the book. The other panel was Beyond Here Be Monsters, but it was about using international/exotic settings, not monsters, so bah.

Why Private Eye? was a wonderful panel of private eye writers. All of them had been private eyes or cops. All of them said the PI business was boring, and they didn’t really use much of their real-life experience. :/ Brandt Dodson told a great story about how he nearly got arrested four times within the course of one hour in Las Vegas, trying to do research for a novel.

Then, alas, the festival was over, and we had to come home. But we look forward to next year’s Magna cum Murder. Hope you join us there!

BTW, it’s Tuesday, so I’m posting at Fatal Foodies today on the subject of beer.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character gets into trouble trying to snoop.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “More About Magna

  1. Jane

    November 7, 2012 at 1:32pm

    The discussion table sounds raelly interesting.

    Although…I usually do mine in the bar. 🙂

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 8, 2012 at 7:47am

      In this case, they were in the same place: there was a cash bar in the same room. They KNOW their WRITERS at Magna! lol

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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