You Matter

I’m up to my ass in alligators this week, so Stacey Cochran, up and coming King of All Media,  graciously steps in…

Hey folks,
I need you.
I have recently started a new television show in Raleigh, North Carolina called The Artist’s Craft. We provide a half-hour interview format that reaches 90,000 Time/Warner subscribers. Additionally, we stream the interviews online through YouTube and Google video.
Last Friday, we had Murderati’s own J.D. Rhoades on the program with Vicki Hendricks as well.

A few weeks ago, we had another Murderati member, Alexandra Sokoloff…

In addition to the TV program, I’m an assistant organizer with the 350-member strong Raleigh Write 2 Publish Group. The group meets monthly at the Cameron Village Regional Public Library in Raleigh for a speaker-centered 90-minute discussion. We’re able to sell books through an independent bookseller (Quail Ridge Books and Music) and can usually draw an audience of 50 or more attendees.
Here are some photos from our most recent panel discussion with Dusty, Alex, and Vicki…

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

For all the writers in the house, I’d love to have you visit Raleigh this fall, winter, or even next spring. I’d be happy to line up a panel with the Write 2 Publish Group and arrange for an Artist’s Craft TV interview as well. Just let me know that you’d be interested.
And so my Murderati guest blogger questions are as follows:

1) What is the best panel you’ve ever been on?

2) What is the best panel you’ve ever seen?

3) if you could see an interview done with any one author of your choice (alive or dead) who would it be?

Stacey Cochran

Thanks, Stacey!It was a lot of fun.

19 thoughts on “You Matter

  1. Jacky B.

    Best panel: James Lee Burke and his daughter Alafair. Both were highly engaging, witty, and informative. They were also kind enough to field questions from the audience for well over an hour.

    Interview? Jim Thompson. Because of his amazing wordcraft, also because of his history. Guy’s life was totally fucked. How did he manage not only to produce, but just to keep on keeping on.

    Jacky B

  2. Naomi

    One of the best panels I’ve ever seen also involved Alafair Burke. She and Erin Hart were on a panel with their editors at one of the Bouchercons (maybe Las Vegas?). As a yet to be published writer (I did have the contract in hand, however), I learned a lot about the authors’ relationship with their editors. Erin specifically had an interesting publishing story to tell–I think she was only able to sell domestic rights to her book after her agent sold multiple foreign rights.

    I usually prefer one-on-one interviews like pairings of James Lee Burke with Michael Connelly, Walter Mosley with Paula Woods, etc. Panels seem to work best when people know each other well; it becomes more dynamic.

    To tell you the truth, I’m starting to tire of the same old, same old panel topics at mystery conventions. You all know what they are. Seems like we could stir a pot a little differently for each event. But maybe I’m just a troublemaker.

  3. Stacey Cochran

    Jacky B. and Naomi, I’ve heard nothing but good things about James Lee Burke.

    As a writer myself, who just finished novel #10 (and am still unpublished), Burke’s personal story of struggling for like 13 years to find a publisher is inspiring.

    Great answers! Keep ’em coming, guys.

  4. Louise Ure

    Great interviews, Stacey. And a wonderful format and narrowcast opportunity you’ve set up.

    One of my favorite panels was at Bouchercon Chicago … watching Ken Bruen discuss poetry in writing.

    Or the “First Blood” panel at LCC in Bristol. So many wonderful new writers! Nick Stone, Dreda Say Mitchell, Alex Barclay.

    Like Naomi, I like the “intimate” style of panel/interview. You’ve given us good examples of that here.

  5. B.G. Ritts

    Best panel was Guilty As Charged last September in Madison with John Connolly, Dan Fesperman, Mark Billingham, Karin Slaughter, and moderator Laura Lippman. It was outrageously funny and very adult.

    (Panel I wish I’d seen was The Liars Panel at LCC this past February.)

    I agree with Naomi’s one-on-one pairings for interviews and would like to see two, with any combination of Barry Eisler, Laura Lippman, S.J. Rozan and Keith Snyder.

  6. Alexandra Sokoloff

    I’d also like to urge authors to consider making Raleigh a tour stop. Stacey is a great interviewer and there are many local bookstores who are happy to host authors (Quail Ridge and the Regulator are fantastic local independents), there’s a very active mystery community thanks to Molly Weston, Margaret Maron and Sarah Shaber, and Raleigh is only a four-hour drive from the DC and Arlington areas if you have events planned there.

    Plus if I know you, you can probably stay with me. And if I don’t know you but you buy me drinks, you could probably stay with me, too.

  7. pari

    Stacey,It’s great to have you on Murderati!

    Three panels stand out as the best I’ve been on:LCC in Monterey:Women Writing the West with Penny Warner (M), Lora Roberts, Taffy Cannon and Margaret Coel

    Margaret and I got into a really interesting discussion about what the “West” is and was.

    Same for the panel at Malice with Camille Minichino, Jacqueline Winspear, Ann Parker, Margaret Dumas. Jacqueline and I got into a fascinating discussion of the relevance and flexibility of the tradional mystery.

    Finally, I was on a humor panel at the Hillerman Conference last year with Craig Johnson, Virginia Swift and Susan Slater and it was a total gas.

    Best Panel I’ve seen? There’ve been many of them that stand out for one reason or another. One of my favorite recent ones was at LCC Seattle with Deborah Donnelly, Hailey Lind, Leanne Sweeny and Susan Slater talking about the “Chick Lit.” They soundly dismissed this pejorative in an intelligent and humorous way.

    Dream panel? I, too, prefer one-on-one. I’d love to see S.J. Rozan and our own Ken Bruen for a session.

  8. Mark Terry

    Stacey,If I remember correctly, James Lee Burke’s story is even more inspiring than that. He published a novel, “The Lost Get-Back BOogie,” which was short-listed for the Pulitzer, THEN went 13 years without a publishing contract, writing the whole time.

    I had a weekend of panels, one of which I moderated at the Kerrytown Book Fest in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I thought all of them went reasonably well, but two of them were about 6 authors and one was 3. Six authors can be a bit unwieldy, not matter how good they are. I thought the one I did with Marcus Sakey and William Wallace Green went particularly well just because there were only 3 of us. (Well, yeah, we WERE scintillating…)

  9. Stacey Cochran

    Thanks, Louise. BTW, I’d love to have you and Michael Jackson on the show:) …. didn’t you tell me once he said that he thought of himself on par with Michaelangelo?

    B.G., I saw a very similar panel at B-Con Chicago with Laura, John, Karen, and someone else. Very funny panel, but it seemed like everything that they were making fun of was something I would do. I just sort’a sat there going “Hey, I’ve done that!” And they’re saying it was something that pissed them off.

    Made me very paranoid. (I’ve since met both Karen and Laura, and they’re both great, of course.)

    Alex, thanks so much. She’s right, folks! We’ll make visiting Raleigh worth your time!

    And, Pari, so what the is “the West” in this day and age anyways? What was the consensus?

  10. Stacey Cochran


    Great point.

    So what the hell were the editors that kept rejecting him all those years thinking?

    These stories of perserverance usually end up with the writer becoming like one of the bestselling authors of all time. JLB kind’a epitomizing this.

    How can editors get it so wrong for so long?


  11. pari

    Stacey,Alas, we reached no consensus. Californians think of themselves as Westerners. I think of myself as a Westerner, too. Or, a Southwesterner.

    But the discussion was fascinating. People’s internal cognitive maps rarely surface into the sunlight.

  12. Will Bereswill

    Panels? I’ve only been to a handful and none have stuck out as being all that great. It seems like Vince Flynn would be a great interview and the immortal Stephen King.

    I am looking forward to a program being held right here in St. Louis in November called Forensics U. Its hosted by the St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime and will host Dr. D.P. Lyle, Jan Burke and Eileen Dreyer.Nov. 1 – 4

  13. Stacey Cochran


    Great suggestion. Vince would be great, and I actually met him (and got in a good ten minutes worth of bar chat about world affairs) at Thrillerfest.

    His wife ended up rescuing him from me….


    P.S. Steve would be great as well, but that ain’t happenin’ in this lifetime I’m afraid. Not unless I start sellin’ books like the Pope and get a TV show on NBC or CBS.

  14. JT Ellison

    Stacey, welcome back to Murderati!

    Great stuff you’ve got going on in NC. I will definitely look you up and make a special trip. And since I can get Alex drunk and crash for free…

    My favorite panel is still the sex panel from Thrillerfest in Phoenix. Barry Eisler offering me a screaming orgasm??? Need I say more? Okay, I will. The topic of sex in novels was very helpful in terms of my own writing — I was never comfortable with where to draw the line before I heard what they had to say.

  15. Will Bereswill

    Oh Baby, Alex, if you like beer, I work for the perfect company and have a nice beer buying credit card perk. And with getting 2 cases a month free, I can haul as much as you like to NC.

  16. Stacey Cochran

    JT, Will, Alex, JD, BG, Naomi, Pari, Mark, Louise, and Jacky B., thanks for the feedback. I had a blast reading your comments throughout the day.

    Now, how does one make this a more regular gig?



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