Sunday, December 31, 2006

Murder I Write

Check out the latest interview we did with April Star, author of the Wanderlust Mystery Series.

We will also be featured on April's other site, Writer to Reader in January. We'll let you know when it's posted.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Favorite

If you haven't been wandering around our author website, you may have missed this piece on one of our favorite artists, Caravaggio.
Maria Magdalene1596-1597, Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome

Check out more of his work.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Who loves you San Diego??


Mysterious Galaxy, fabulous independent book store in San Diego, sent a note saying that I was on their best seller list for November!

I already had a soft spot in my heart for Mysterious Galaxy from the great time I had at the reading in early November.

Check out Mysterious Galaxy's myspace.

Here's their list of best-selling paperbacks:
1) SHOOTING GALLERY by Hailey Lind *
2) COOKING UP MURDER by Miranda Bliss
3) BUBBLES ALL THE WAY by Sarah Strohmeyer
4) ASHES AND BONES by Dana Cameron *
5) MRS. MALORY AND A DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Hazel Holt
6) HIGH HEELS ARE MURDER by Elaine Viets
7) NAIL BITER by Sarah Graves
8) THROUGH THE DARKNESS by Marcia Talley *
9) WHO'S SORRY NOW? by Jill Churchhill
10) DEATH OF A MUSKETEER by Sarah D'Almeida

* signed first editions available while supplies last

The DEADLINE for the PORTRAIT CONTEST is TOMORROW! Don't miss out on this great opportunity. Just send me an email with your contact info!! Also, check in at http://www.haileylind.com/.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Picasso

The story of Steve Wynn's unfortunate elbowing of a masterpiece has certainly gotten around. I am not sure that this is the kind of story that will make it into book 4, but you never know.

My favorite part of the story:
"Everyone had agreed to take what one participant called a “vow of silence.” (The vow lasted a week, until someone leaked the rudiments of the story to the Post.)"

Just in case anyone was wondering about the safety of telling or keeping secrets. Well, where would all us detectives, professional or not, be if everyone kept secrets??

Read the article that got this story so much coverage here.

The DEADLINE (12.8.06) for the PORTRAIT CONTEST is fast approaching! Don't miss out on this great opportunity. Just send me an email with your contact info!! Also, check in at http://www.haileylind.com/.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

THANK YOU READERS!!!

Thanks to all you loyal readers, Shooting Gallery made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA) October BESTSELLER list. Check it out:

Paperbacks:
1) GREYWALKER by Kat Richardson
2) DOLLED UP FOR MURDER by Deb Baker
3) SHOOTING GALLERY by Hailey Lind
4) A DANGEROUS MAN by Charlie Huston
5) THE DEATH AND LIFE OF BOBBY Z by Don Winslow
tied with THE MOURNFUL TEDDY by John Lamb
7) DEADLY YARN by Maggie Sefton
8) CHINA BAYLE'S BOOK OF DAYS by Susan Wittig Albert
9) A FATAL APPRAISAL by J.B. Stanley
10) A PEACH OF A MURDER by Livia Washburn

The DEADLINE (12.8.06) for the PORTRAIT CONTEST is fast approaching! Don't miss out on this great opportunity. Just send me an email with your contact info!! Also, check in at http://www.haileylind.com/.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Radio Daze

I just got off the air with a fellow who goes by the moniker of “Crazy Dougie” – a radio personality, of course, who turned out –despite the silly name!-- to be a charming man, an avid reader, and a wonderful interviewer.

wanbnewlogobanner

His station is WANB AM (Pennsylvania), and he taped the show for a later broadcast. Here's a picture of Crazy Dougie with a country music artist:

doug.wanbam

Crazy Dougie paid me a wonderful compliment: apparently his wife snatched his copy of Shooting Gallery off the nightstand when she wasn’t looking, and then wouldn’t give it back. Now she’s hinting broadly for him to buy her a copy of Feint of Art, and wondered if there were more to come in the series (of course there are! Brush with Death is in production and will be released this summer; Book 4 is currently being written).

Stories like that just warm my heart!

I think the interview went well, though I may have been a bit over-caffeinated because I awakened at 4 am for a live 5 am (8 am in New York) interview on the Frank Truatt Morning show on

WTBQ_72dpi_color

As many of you may know, I try to get up at 4 most mornings to write, but last night I wound up staying up until midnight so the pre-dawn wake-up came right in the middle of a REM cycle. Frank Truatt had more than one person asking me questions…I had a sense that there were several people in the recording booth with him, but I couldn’t be sure. Might have been that I was half-asleep.

Last month I spoke with Baron Ron Herron from KZSB, Santa Barbara, and had a nice long half-hour chat with Megan Willingham on the satellite station, AdviceRadio.com Writers, Authors, n' More. megan_portraitI am working on linking the interview here so you can listen in.

And next Thursday, December 7, I’ll be taping The Two O'Clock Show with host Ken Johannessen on KPQ radio. I’m told KPQ is broadcast in parts of Washington state, including much of Seattle and Spokane.
kpqbanner4

It’s always tough to decide what to talk about on the air. Sometimes there are only a few minutes to get the ideas across. Mostly I try to give people a sense that art doesn’t have to be boring—I can’t tell you how many people’s eyes glaze over as if I were talking about history, for heaven’s sake—and give them a little tease about the books. Then I try to mention my website address a few times, , and invite them to enter the free drawing for a portrait, to be painted by Yours Truly….by the way, the deadline is coming up! December 8 is the last day! Enter today!!! It only takes a minute to send me your information.

Anyone out there have any advice for what to talk about on the radio or (gasp!) TV?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ripped from the Headlines...

If you ever wondered where I get the inspiration for all the fascinating tidbits about forgery, stolen art and restoration, wonder no longer.

It seems like every day there is another incredible story dealing with art, art theft or forgery. Yesterday, I came across another fabulous tale of an art work, missing for 25 years, that not only was stolen and nearly destroyed, now it has been restored and is back on display. There are so many interesting plot turns, it could be a book in itself; but I usually just keep the techniques in my back pocket to use in my novels.

For instance, this news piece highlights the plight of art stolen from small unguarded churches.
This one is in Italy, but it could be anywhere in the world. This story certainly makes finding "lost" art plausible. More fodder for future books! But, perhaps the most exciting part for me is the importance of the restoration process for this piece. Here is what it looked like before it was restored.


Here is what it looked like after the restoration.
Even though it was cut in half, the restorers were able to put it back together. Once again underscoring the importance of copiers. 25 years after it was stolen, it's nearly good as new, maybe better. Georges would have been so proud.

Here is what it looks like installed at the temporary exhibition in London. Just wanted you to get a sense for the size of the work.
guercinoST081106_243x263

You can read all about it. I just may have to include a crazy art fan/mystery lover in one of my upcoming books! I think Arsene would make a wonderful addition to my cast of characters!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Just another Thursday?

"I'm working in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving morning and going to my sister's house in Concord for dinner. But I'll be home after that. Or, if you don't have plans for Thanksgiving, you'd be welcome to join us."
Shooting Gallery, said by Josh, otherwise known as hunky contractor.

May all your holiday weekend be full of thanks and giving, and hunky contractors, if appropriate.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Holiday Giveaway

Mystery Lovers Corner is sponsoring a holiday giveaway called In the Spirit of Christmas. Along with many other wonderful titles, you could win Shooting Gallery or Feint of Art.

All you have to do is send an email with your mailing address and how you want your book signed! See contest details for a list of all possible giveaways. Enter as soon as possible, though, because the last day to enter is December 3rd.

Speaking of deadlines, the Portrait Contest deadline is December 8th. If you haven't sent me an email, you still have a few days to get that in.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

CANCELLED: Spellbinding Tales

CANCELLED: We will be rescheduling this book discussion for a later date!

Thursday, November 16, 7pm, Alameda: Book Discussion and signing at Spellbinding Tales, 1910A Encinal Avenue

Don't forget to enter the PORTRAIT CONTEST. It only takes a minute to send me an email!! Also, check in at http://www.haileylind.com/ for all the latest and greatest news. We are adding links and fun stuff regularly!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Feint of Art

Just in case Shooting Gallery was your first Annie Kincaid experience, I thought I would post some info on my first book, Feint of Art.



Summary:

Annie breaks the news to her curator ex-boyfriend Ernst: his museum's new $15 million Caravaggio is a fake. Then the janitor is killed, Ernst disappears, and a dealer makes off with several Old Master drawings. If she breaks the case using her old connections, Annie can finally pay the rent. But doing so could also draw her back into the underworld of forgers she swore she'd left behind.


Here is a round up of the reviews we posted on our www.haileylind.com.

Julie Lewis also reviewed Feint of Art on allreaders.com.

You can read Dawn Dowdle's Mystery Lovers Corner review from October 1, 2006.

Rachel Hyde also reviewed the first book on myshelf.com.

Don't forget to enter the PORTRAIT CONTEST. It only takes a minute to send me an email!! Also, check in at http://www.haileylind.com/ for all the latest and greatest news. We are adding links and fun stuff regularly!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fall Fest of Books

Sunday, November 12, 2pm, Corte Madera: Reading/Signing (A Sisters in Crime Event) at Fall Fest of Books at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., (415) 927-0960. Directions here.


Don't forget to enter the PORTRAIT CONTEST. It only takes a minute to send me an email!! Also, check in at http://www.haileylind.com/ for all the latest and greatest news.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hooray for HOLLYWOOD! (part 2)

Hollywood.daytime


Before arriving in LA, I drove to San Diego, where my sister (not the one I write with – the other one!) had baked up a storm in preparation for an evening reading/signing at Mysterious Galaxy.

MysteriousGalaxies


The staff, Patrick and Sam, made me feel so welcome and explained that since the store was turning 13 they were having a sort of bar mitzvah, and were donating a portion of the evening’s proceeds to local charities in my name. What a wonderful thing to do! There was only a small group in attendance, but they bought lots of books and peppered me with questions…or at least they let me go on and on about art forgery, one of my favorite topics.

One man who came for the talk is dubbed “Signing Bob,” because he tries to attend each signing of every author he likes. He had a fabulous smile and an impressive collection of signatures. He said meeting authors was much more interesting than watching TV, and he always learned something. In the LA area, I attended a signing (along with Rhys Bowen and Gay Kinman) at Book ‘Em, a charming mystery bookstore in South Pasadena. I had met the owner, Jean Utley, at the LA Festival of Books last spring, so I was thrilled to renew our acquaintance in a more tranquil setting. There was a football game, so we didn’t get much foot traffic, but it was a great chance to speak with Jean and Mary and a lovely reader named Wilhelmina (what a great name!). The Sisters in Crime conference itself took place primarily at the Writers’ Guild (West), on Third Street, directly across from the Farmers’ Market and The Grove.

farmers.marketla.2


The Grove is a sleek conglomeration of pricey retail stores surrounding a fountain with dancing water jets, a la the Bellagio in Las Vegas. It is a lovely monument to consumerism…but being the kind of gal I am, I much preferred the old-fashioned Farmers’ Market. Chock-full of stalls offering everything from produce to pharmaceuticals to hot sauces, the Farmers’ Market was the happening place for an informal dinner to be enjoyed outdoors in LA’s famously temperate evening air. There were stands with Brazilian barbeque, sushi, crepes, falafel, dolmas, burritos, pizza, ice cream, and handmade chocolates. I also got the distinct impression that a lot of L.A.-style deals were sealed over a drink at the outdoor bar…but maybe that was my imagination run wild. Still, there were a few celebrity sightings in those crowded, food-filled alleys….

farmers.market.la

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Hooray for HOLLYWOOD! (part 1)

hollywood

Aaah, the lure of Hollywood…. I drove down to southern California last weekend, thinking that maybe, just maybe, I was on the brink of making it big. After all, The Art Lovers’ Mystery series seems like a natural for film: all those sumptuous visuals, quirky characters, and plenty of action. And if they paid me just, say, one-twentieth of what they paid the stars, I would be all set. In my mind I toyed with casting the roles…was Sandra Bullock too old for the part of Annie? Reese Witherspoon too blonde? Who in the world would play Michael? Someone suggested Jude Law, but was he too slick? And what about Frank…?

These Hollywood delusions did not develop out of thin air. The Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime was hosting “SinC Goes to the Movies,” a conference for published Sisters (and Brothers) in Crime to learn about the movie and television business. Starting with an in-depth tour of Sony Pictures Studios on Friday, we learned how to develop and deliver a “pitch” worthy of a second thought by studio execs. Later we were treated to panels on everything from screenwriters to TV writers to the realities of making deals in today’s competitive market. One favorite moment: listening to a panel of six TV writers (Lee Goldberg, Matt Witten, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Jan Nash, Jeff Melvoin, and Paul Levine) talking over one another as they conveyed the live-wire, adrenaline-driven atmosphere of producing scripts –week after week-- for hit television shows.

stars.hollywood.walkoffame


Unfortunately, the screenwriters and agents panels painted a discouraging portrait of the likelihood of getting a project all the way through “development”. The consensus seemed to be that people in Hollywood don’t read, and if they do, they want the rights to the story and then for the writer to go away and stop bothering them. And apparently the best way to have one’s book bought by the studios is to have it ranked in the top 10 on the NY Times Bestseller list. Hmm. Not there yet.

If you manage to get noticed despite less-than-bestseller status, the first step is for your work to get “optioned”, which used to pay some real money. However, the recent trend is toward “free options” wherein authors are paid a symbolic amount, as low as $1. The real pay-off is when a novel is actually turned into a script by a screenwriter, adopted by a producer, and able to attach an actor or two…in which case the studios might be willing to take a look. A veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long shot! So much for dreams of the Tuscan villa I was going to purchase (or at least rent!) with all those easy Hollywood dollars.

hollywoodsign.green


The weekend ended up with five minute pitch sessions with a number of producers and development folk. One nice thing about the previous discouraging news: it made the stakes pretty low when pitching to executives. I figured, what do I have to lose? I met with one independent producer who seemed intrigued with the premise of my series –at least enough to take the books—and a woman from Dreamworks who said she would read my novels. It’s worth a shot.


Hollywood_365_208249m


All in all, selling to Hollywood seems a lot like trying to get published: rather a quixotic effort, though a lucky few might make it. And, as in writing, if we’re not having fun in the process, it’s not worth it!

Friday, November 3, 2006

Georges de la Tour

For the art lovers, here is a little more information about the painter, Georges de la Tour, from whom I copied the detail for my profile picture. From time to time, I am going to profile an artist on this blog. I will offer you some basic details on the artist's life, share some of his/her paintings and give you links for more info.

Georges de la Tour was born in 1593 in Vic-sur-Seille, France. He painted at his studio in Luneville. He died there in 1692. Though he was given the title of "Painter to the King" in 1638 or 1639 (depending on who provides the information), his introduction to the world came after his death thanks to a German scholar in 1915.

The rest of what is known or said about him is mostly the best guesses that art historians can make given what they see in his paintings and know about the time in which he lived.

There are many sites with information about de la Tour, but there is little info about his life. Most of the sites give information about his style; they venture guesses about his influences; and they talk about the paintings that can be attributed to him.

De la Tour is in many museums around the world. Here are a few, but there are many more.

The Penitent Magdalen
1638-43
Oil on canvas
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Met, as it is affectionately called, is a must see if you are ever in New York.




The Dream of St Joseph
c. 1640
Oil on canvas
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Nantes (France)




The Card Sharp with the Ace of Clubs.
c. 1620-1640
Oil on canvas
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX, USA
There are several versions of this painting, another is at the Louvre.


The Musician's Brawl
about 1625 - 1630
Oil on canvas The Getty Trust (currently on view at
The Getty Center Los Angeles)

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Portrait Contest

If you haven't signed up for the Portrait Contest yet, you may be wondering why you should.

So, I thought I would share with you some of my portrait work.

Check out more examples of my portraits and other art work!

And don't forget to send me an email with your contact info to register for the portrait contest.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

November Readings/Sightings

Thursday, November 2, 7pm, San Diego: Book Reading and Signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite #302, Tel: 858.268.4747.


Sunday, November 12, 2pm, Corte Madera: Reading/Signing (A Sisters in Crime Event) at Fall Fest of Books at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., (415) 927-0960. Directions here.



Thursday, November 16, 7pm, Alameda: Book Discussion and signing at Spellbinding Tales, 1910A Encinal Avenue

Don't forget to enter the PORTRAIT CONTEST. It only takes a minute to send me an email!! Also, check in at http://www.haileylind.com/ for all the latest and greatest news. We are adding links and fun stuff regularly!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Heading south...

First stop: SAN DIEGO

Would love to see you there!

Thursday, November 2, 7pm, San Diego: Book Reading and Signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.Suite #302

Tel: 858.268.4747

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 30, 2006

GHOST WALKING

The Chapel of the Chimes at night is a sight to behold...for those of you who missed walking through at night, viewing the stars through the skylights, and looking for spirits, here are a few pictures (of the place in the daylight):



Sunday, October 29, 2006

THE COLUMBARIUM

I hope to see you all tonight at the GHOST WALK!

The Chapel of the Chimes is an incredible place. If you have never visited, tonight's event with Sisters in Crime is a great opportunity to see this building rebuilt with designs by Julia Morgan.

For the history buffs, you might want to check out the politicians buried at Chapel of the Chimes. There are other famous and noteworthy people buried at the Chapel. There really is something for everyone at this MUST SEE!

If you can't get out to the GHOST WALK tonight, and you are local, you will want to make a trip sometime. The Chapel sponsers events monthly including a guided tour.

I have a soft spot for this beautiful gem in Oakland partly because I appreciate its beauty and historical significance. I also thought it would make a great backdrop for some intrigue in BOOK 3. So, a little field trip to the Chapel will help get you ready for Brush with Death. If you can't wait, please see the sneak peek for book three on my website.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

GHOST WALKing in Oakland

Ghostwalk and Graveyard Tales

Sunday Oct. 29th 7- 9pm.

Join Sisters in Crime authors this Halloween at the Chapel of the Chimes for a ghost walk through Oakland's historic mausoleum and a couple of graveside tales from our authors.

Candlelit tour and stories in the catacombs of Chapel of the Chimes by and the Northern California chapter of Sisters in Crime. First a scary stroll through the columbarium, led by Allison Rodman. Then everyone will settle in for an eerie storytelling session featuring author, Simon Wood who will be reading “The Ladies Room” and “My Other Sister”.

The event is free, but you might have to make a donation to the Ferryman if you want to leave. So come join us at the Chapel of Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611. 510-228-3207

There's plenty of on and off street parking.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Fortune Teller

Many people have asked me about the painting of the mysterious woman you appears on my profile. She comes from The Fortune Teller by Georges de La Tour. Here is a picture of the original:

The Fortune-Teller. c. 1632-35. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.
You can zoom in on the painting at the Met's website.

Here is the original, highlighting the detail:

Here's my rendition:


Imagine how gorgeous you will look in a portrait done in this style! Enter the Portrait Contest. All you have to do to enter is send me an email hailey@haileylind.com with your name, mailing address and phone number. Or you can send snail mail with the same info to this address:

Art Lovers Mystery Series Portrait Contest
871 N. Greenbrier Street
Arlington, VA 22205

THE PRIZE: Winner’s Portrait by the Author/Artist [that's me, Hailey Lind] in the Style of an Old Master or Impressionist

The deadline to enter is December 8th.
Check my website for full details on the contest.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mystery Lovers Unite

I am a member of Sisters in Crime. It is an eclectic group of mystery writers (published and unpublished) and fans.

Sisters in Crime was founded by Sara Paretsky and a group of women at the 1986 Bouchercon in Baltimore.
There are chapters all over the US and in Canada, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. I am part of the Northern California Chapter. They coordinate events where writers sign/read from their works as well as perform community service.

If you are an aspiring mystery writer, you may find their workshops and conferences useful. I attended an exciting luncheon with a forensic pathologist. Besides the informative, and graphic, presentation, she took any and all questions regarding murder and death.

If you are a mystery fan, you get the chance to see the mystery writing process from the inside, meet some writers, and participate in great activities like the upcoming GHOST WALK (more on that later in the week!)

I will be attending the Hollywood Conference to see if anyone wants to make Annie Kincaid into a screen star.

Don't forget to enter the PORTRAIT CONTEST. It only takes a minute to send me an email!! Also, check in at www.haileylind.com for all the latest and greatest news. We are adding links and fun stuff regularly!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Watch Out Orinda!

Northern California Sisters in Crime (more on this group to come) will be in Orinda on October 25th!

The Orinda Library is hosting a special book discussion, (and book signings)! I will be joining three other Sisters-in-Crime authors in the Gallery Room for a free special literary event. Camille Minichino will serve as moderator.

I will have copies of my books in the Art Lover’s Mystery Series. I can't wait to sign your copies!

Here are the specifics:
Wednesday, October 25, at 7:00 p.m.
Orinda Library, 24 Orinda Way, Orinda, CA 94563-2555
925-254-2184

You can read reviews on Feint of Art and Shooting Gallery.

Don't forget to enter the PORTRAIT CONTEST. It only takes a minute to send me an email!!

For more info on Hailey Lind and Shooting Gallery, please visit www.haileylind.com

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Part 4 - End of the Article

A portrait of a contest
After spending years of sweat and tears writing, then enduring the nail-biting process of finding an agent and landing a contract from a major publisher, the newly minted author finds that her book is but one of thousands lining the bookstore shelves. Though we’re lucky enough to have a great, supportive publisher, it is still up to the new author to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, most authors would rather sit at a clackety typewriter (or, more likely, a computer keyboard) for a week than spend a single hour on marketing. Still, the novelist must find a way to get her books into readers’ hands.

Shortly after the release of our first novel, Feint of Art, Julie painted a reproduction of a Georges de la Tour painting –aging the canvas, just as Annie Kincaid does in our books-- to attract attention at book signings. Our agent, Kristin Lindstrom of Lindstrom Literary Management, loved the portrait, which is of a beautiful woman looking slyly out of the corner of her eye. She called one day with a proposal: there are a lot of writers out there, she said, but I don’t know many who can paint. Why don’t we take advantage of that?

And so the Art Lover’s Mystery Series Portrait Contest was born. With the launch of Shooting Gallery on October 3, we invite readers—and other interested parties, no purchase is necessary—to send us their names and contact information, either by post or e-mail, by December 8, 2006. The following week we will draw a winner, and Julie will work from photographs to paint an Old Master or Impressionist portrait of a subject of the winner’s choice.

Portrait painting is time-consuming and a lot of work, but there’s a special kinship between the subject of a portrait and the artist, making portraits Julie’s favorite thing to paint. She is looking forward to working with the lucky winner to create an heirloom that will only grow in beauty and value over time. As authors, we hope the contest will connect our art mysteries with mystery lovers. For more information on the Portrait Contest, see our website. And please spread the word!

Writing is hard work, no two ways about it. But if you find the right person to share your voice, the collaborative writing process can be mostly enjoyable, occasionally frustrating, but ultimately fulfilling. My sister and I stumbled upon a winning recipe by writing, together, about a subject we love. We hope you will give the Art Lovers Mystery Series a try – you’ll laugh, enjoy the romance, learn a little about the art world… and you might even win an original portrait!

*Register for the Art Lovers Mystery Portait Contest send an email to the author, or by mailing a postcard with your name, email address and phone number to Art Lovers Mystery Portrait Contest, 871 N. Greenbriar Street, Arlington, VA 22205.

Hailey Lind’s Art Lovers Mystery Series: Feint of Art (January, 2006); Shooting Gallery (October, 2006); Brush with Death (July, 2007).

Friday, October 20, 2006

Part 3 -- On Finding the "Hook"

Art forgery, bounty hunters, the FBI weapons room…all in a day’s work

Every new author faces the challenge of finding a “hook” for a novel or series that will make it stand out from the crowd. For us, this was easy. Our protagonist, Annie Kincaid, is based on Julie’s professional life running a mural and faux finishing business in the San Francisco Bay Area (though as Julie often insists, the autobiography ends there – we do not have an unrepentant art forger for a grandfather!) Furthermore, the world of art forgery and theft is full of stories much stranger than fiction. The ideas for Annie’s most outrageous adventures are often “ripped from the headlines.” Finally, Julie’s clientele, a quirky bunch, own some of the finest homes in the Bay Area, which gives her access to the rarified, fascinating world of moneyed San Franciscans.

Carolyn had always encouraged Julie to write down some of the funny stories that arose from her work. One day Julie actually called Carolyn’s bluff by writing the first chapter of a book, featuring a faux finisher named Annie Kincaid. Intrigued, Carolyn sat down and tore it apart, creating a more interesting, vivid story. A novel-writing team was born.

That original chapter was later thrown out in its entirety as we learned to write fiction, a difficult and sometimes painful process. Both of us had penned scholarly works—Carolyn wrote a book on women in New England and Julie authored numerous articles in anthropology and social welfare. But we had a lot to learn; academic writing is an entirely different animal than commercial fiction. The hardest skill for us to learn was how to “show, not tell” the story so that it grabs the reader’s attention from the start and promises a great ride for the next three hundred pages or more. We dissected our favorite books, chapter by chapter, line by line. We researched. We went to writers’ conferences.

Now that we’ve finished our third novel in the series, Brush with Death, (July, 2007), fiction writing has become almost second nature. Still, one complication we never anticipated was that the characters take on a life of their own. It sounds like a bunch of hooey—how can the author of a novel not know what her characters will do? But it’s true! Annie Kincaid is very independent, and no matter how much we try to bend her to our will Annie makes her up her own mind, as when she found herself attracted to her landlord, Frank DeBenton, who wasn’t supposed to be a romantic interest at all! Now she’s stuck in a love triangle, and we have no idea how it will turn out. Still, we’re confident Annie will let us know as soon as she makes up her mind. (We love to hear readers’ thoughts on this, by the way—please feel free to weigh in at www.haileylind.com!)

Being published authors allows us remarkable latitude, a perk we hadn’t anticipated. We’ve spoken with FBI agents, interviewed experts on art and criminal enterprise, and spent a memorable evening drinking with a real-life bounty hunter who told us hilarious stories he swore were true. We also get to ask weird and creepy questions about how to kill people – mystery writers get an odd reputation amongst law enforcement personnel!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Part 2 - on writing together

Are we insane?

So how did a history professor and a faux finisher living on opposite sides of the country manage to write a mystery series? We’re not the only writing team active today; in fact, numerous duos write under one name: PJ Parrish, Charles Todd, PJ Tracy, Nero Blanc, A.E. Maxwell. Some own up to it, while others try hard not to be “outed,” but surely all are subject to these frequent questions: How do you do it? Why do you do it? And the ever-popular: are you insane?

In fact, it has been a remarkably easy transition for sisters who in real life tend to finish each other’s sentences (nobody in their right mind will play charades with us). We start the process with a division of labor. Julie collects ideas for art forgery scams from daily art news networks. She sends them to Carolyn, and on the weekends we use free cell-phone minutes for lengthy brainstorming sessions. One sister’s ideas tend to spark the other sister’s imagination, and when we have a nugget of a story in place we hang up. Indeed, one of the critical lessons we had to learn was when to stop talking and start writing. Julie retires to her computer to draft the first chapter, which she sends to Carolyn as an e-mail attachment. Despite our roots in the Silicon Valley we’re both a bit computer-phobic, but even the most committed Luddite must admit that e-mail makes it possible to maintain our bicoastal writing relationship with a minimum of time and money spent at the post office.


Carolyn “re-writes” the first draft, which can be something of a bloodbath, and develops the humor, dialogue, and the descriptive passages. Often this involves Internet research to be sure the details are right (she once find an on-line camera through the California Department of Transportation that allowed her to count the number of toll booths on the Oakland Bay Bridge). Julie re-writes this second draft and sends it back to Carolyn, who rewrites the rewrite. Over the next weeks or months the evolving text flies back and forth so many times that neither of us can remember who wrote what, which is our goal. We want Hailey Lind to speak with a single, consistent voice.

Another advantage to partnership is that, as similar as we are in many ways, we are individuals with different temperaments and attitudes toward the writing process. When one of us gets bogged down or discouraged, more often than not the other is raring to go and energetic. And we play to our strengths: Julie, the artist, has at her fingertips a wealth of art information but has a hard time knowing when to stop (“For the love of God, get on with the story!”). Carolyn, a detail-oriented historian, catches inconsistencies but occasionally has to be reminded of the overall picture (“Hmmm—what was that storyline again?”).

To be sure, there are times when we wonder if we are insane--we butt heads occasionally, and have been known to stubbornly reject the other’s changes. But we have a long history together and a huge store of trust and goodwill, which help us to work through these moments. If one sister feels strongly about something the other will generally yield, but by and large we take great delight in the other’s contributions to the story. At the end of the day, we never forget that we’re sisters first and co-authors second.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Collaborative Writing, or Sisterhood Ain’t for Sissies -- Part 1

I was excited to find out that romance novel lovers have discovered the Art Lovers Mysteries. It would seem that Hailey Lind is a cross-over artist in more ways than one!

Here is PART 1 of an Article I am working on for Affaire de Coeur. It is the background on both halves of Hailey Lind...more to come on our writing process. STAY TUNED.

Collaborative Writing, or Sisterhood Ain’t for Sissies

What comes to mind when you imagine an author at work? A solitary wordsmith tapping away on a clackety old typewriter in a lonely garret, perhaps wearing fingerless gloves? Much has been written about the writing process, and many of these discussions focus on the loneliness of the long-distance author. But writing doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor. After years of thinking, talking, and dreaming about writing fiction, my sister and I became published mystery novelists by blending our strengths, balancing our weaknesses, and encouraging one another through the hard times. Together, we are the author known as Hailey Lind.

Our path to publication has been difficult but entertaining, full of obstacles we expected—finishing a marketable manuscript, finding an agent, pursuing a publisher—and challenges we had not anticipated—hawking one’s wares wares at bookstores, begging for reviews and hoping they’re positive, giving readings at Tupperware parties. Indeed, one might ask why (and how) we are now offering a Portrait Contest in conjunction with the release of Shooting Gallery, our second novel in the Art Lover’s Mystery Series. What does a Portrait Contest have to do with fiction writing? Read on, gentle reader, read on!

Of Yankees, Southern Belles, and Apricots
There was little inkling that Carolyn and Julie would eventually form a sister-writing team. We grew up with an older sister and doting parents in Cupertino, California, a comfortable bedroom community at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay. When we were young our neighborhood was surrounded by walnut, cherry, and apricot orchards, and one of our fondest memories is collecting the sun-ripened fruit that had fallen to the ground. Cupertino is now best known as the birthplace of Apple Computers, and we grew up literally down the street from its first headquarters--Carolyn remembers spotting the Apple logo and thinking the Beatles had moved in! (Carolyn was a little confused.) The booming computer industry gradually replaced the orchards, and many of our classmates went on to become wildly rich. Not so the stubborn Lawes girls, who pursued careers in the fields of art, history, and the social sciences, much to the amused chagrin of their parents.

Dad is a Yankee from New York, a retired Navy pilot who loves motorcycles and camping; Mom is a Southern Belle, a former teacher and editor, who adores reading and “bun berrying”—exploring the countryside, antiques stores, and quaint teashops. There must be something to the old maxim that “opposites attract”, for our parents recently celebrated their fiftieth anniversary. Our childhood was filled with stories, laughter and really, really bad puns. We grew up surrounded by books and read constantly: anything from the Borrowers series to the back of cereal boxes. Mysteries by Elizabeth Peters became a particular favorite. On long family car trips we would entertain ourselves by making up our own stories.

Carolyn, four years Julie’s senior, had a remarkably unhappy sojourn as an administrative assistant in the Silicon Valley—a former pianist, she has fast fingers and types a blue streak. She graduated from the University of Santa Clara, a Jesuit college on the site of a Spanish mission, before continuing on to graduate school at the University of California at Davis. She ran away from grad school to teach history at the University of Paris-VII (Jussieu), and while in France enjoyed a series of adventures, at one point having lunch in an eleventh-century castle with a count and countess (they served pizza) and cheering on the racers at Le Mans, before throwing in the ex-patriot towel and going home to complete her doctorate. She is a specialist in nineteenth-century American history at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Against all odds, Carolyn now lives in an adorable little white house with a huge yard and a picket fence, and dotes on three dogs and two cats, all of whom were rescued from the street and in dire need of a loving home. She swears she doesn’t know quite how it all happened.


Julie completed a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, then a Masters in Social Work and another in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Albany. While she was supposed to be finishing her dissertation in cultural anthropology, she worked as a tavern waitress, lived in Spain, Italy, and Mexico, taught English to immigrants and medical anthropology to college students, spent a summer at the Florence Academy of art, and made a documentary film with the BBC about Vietnamese refugees in the Philippines, Boston, and rural Texas. She never quite got around to the PhD.

Upon moving back to California, Julie stumbled into a faux finishing project, taught herself how to glaze walls only after accepting the job, and finally established her own mural, faux finishing, and portrait studio in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco. She lives with her fourteen-year-old son, a big brown mutt, an old college friend, and whatever itinerant artist or scholar is passing through and needs a room. Her son keeps her abreast of rap music and contemporary slang, but he begs her not to attempt it in mixed company—i.e., whenever his friends are within earshot.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Murder and Mayhem at Kepler's

Hailey will be reading from her newest book Shooting Gallery, the second in the Art Lover’s Mystery Series.

When: Wednesday October 18, 2006 7:30 p.m.

Where: Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park CA, 94025
(650) 324-4321

For more information on the Mystery and Mayhem series at Kepler’s.


For more info on Hailey Lind and the Portrait Contest, please visit www.haileylind.com

A fast-paced, thoroughly enjoyable novel...a highly recommended read.

—CE Japhe, Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine

Monday, October 16, 2006

Want to know more about Hailey Lind??

If you have read Feint of Art or Shooting Gallery, you know that Hailey Lind is actually TWO people: sisters.

We put up an official bio with pics on our site. You can also read an interview with the author.

Julia Buckley interviewed us this summer. We talk about writing together, the series and there are pictures of both of us!

When Feint of Art was released, Mystery Lovers Corner put up a little bio.

Berkely Prime Crime did a little profile of us. You can sign up here to be notified when the new book is released.

who-dunnit.com posted what they could find out about Hailey Lind!

Don't forget to enter the PORTRAIT CONTEST. It only takes a minute to send me an email!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Inside THE RELEASE PARTY



For all those folks who weren't able to join us for the Release Party on October 11th, here are some pics for you to get a taste of what you missed.



Varnish is an incredible venue. This shot was taken from the upper level of the gallery.

Art lovers and mystery lovers unite!


Good friends, great food. What a wonderful combination.




...and of course, there was wine.








Sure hope you can make the next one!! We're famous for our parties...

Calling all EAST BAY mystery lovers


Still celebrating the release of my newest book (and my birthday!), Shooting Gallery, the second in the Art Lover’s Mystery Series!

Please join me for a talk on ART FORGERY. I would love to sign your copy of Shooting Gallery!

When: Sunday October 15, 2006 2:00 p.m.

Where: Borders , Emery Bay Public Market, 5800 Shellmound St., Emeryville, CA 94608

510.654.1633

For more info on Hailey Lind and Shooting Gallery, please visit www.haileylind.com

Don't forget to enter the PORTRAIT CONTEST. It only takes a minute to send me an email!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

SF Mystery Bookstore Reading

If you are in San Francisco Saturday afternoon looking for something fun to do....

I will be reading from and signing my newest book, Shooting Gallery, the second in the Art Lover’s Mystery Series.

When: Saturday October 14, 2006 2:00 p.m.

Where: SF Mystery Bookstore, 4175 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

415-282-7444

For more info on Hailey Lind and Shooting Gallery, please visit www.haileylind.com

A fast-paced, thoroughly enjoyable novel...a highly recommended read.

—CE Japhe, Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine

Friday, October 13, 2006

Portrait Contest


To celebrate the release of Book TWO of the Art Lovers Mysteries, Shooting Gallery, we are having a Portrait Contest.

All you have to do to enter is send me an email hailey@haileylind.com with your name, mailing address and phone number. Or you can send snail mail with the same info to this address:
Art Lovers Mystery Series Portrait Contest
871 N. Greenbrier Street
Arlington, VA 22205

THE PRIZE: Winner’s Portrait by the Author/Artist [that's me, Hailey Lind] in the Style of an Old Master or Impressionist
The deadline to enter is December 8th.

Check my website for full details on the contest.