Hope Within the Violence: An Interview with E.A. Aymar at LARB

So my interview with the awesome E. A. Aymar is up today at Los Angeles Review of Books. We talk about his excellent crime fiction novel, The Unrepentant, which is one of my favorites of this year. Despite its dark subject matter of sex trafficking, it has heart and humor. Ed and I talk about his fascination with violence and the daunting task of examining the impact of violence against women when writing The Unrepentant. It was no small undertaking to tackle this subject yet he pulls it off with grace and wit. As always, I enjoyed our conversation and his stupid jokes.

California Crime Writers Conference wrap-up

Whew! What a whirlwind weekend. I meant to post something sooner but it took me a day or so to recover. Then I took advantage of the momentum and inspiration I felt over the weekend and have actually been plotting. Yes, you got that right – PLOTTING! This coming from a die-hard “I don’t outline” writer.  I’m resurrecting my WIP from a few years ago which is about 3/4 of the way done.  I’m now fired up to finish it. But I need a road map so am pretty much going to have to start over because already, my road map veers way off from my WIP. But I’m excited and that’s what counts.  I even signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo so I have no excuse.

Anyhoo, here are some pics from the conference. You may recognize someone who sat at my table at lunch!  Yup, that’s Walter Mosley.

And here I am moderating the writer – agent – editor panel. It was a full room and nobody seemed like they were falling asleep!

And this was the perfect way to wrap up the conference: fried chicken at Dinah’s with my closest writer friends. Gluten free diet be damned!

 

California Crime Writers Conference June 8 – 9, 2019

It’s almost here! The California Crime Writers Conference is one of my favorite conferences. And it’s in my backyard! Added bonus I don’t have to fly anywhere or stay in a hotel. It’s biennial which makes it all the more exciting when it does arrive. And even though I’m the treasurer, I loved this conference before I became a volunteer.

It’s not a fan conference. It’s mostly learning craft and meeting agents and editors. It’s a chance for me to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while while also meeting new ones. This year the tireless co-chairs, Laura Brennan and Jennifer Younger, have done a stellar job organizing and coming up with cool new panels like the Ask Me Anything panel as well as a Hollywood Insiders track. I always come away from the conference feeling invigorated and ready to get behind that keyboard and start typing!

This year I’ll be on two panels: The Winning Team: Writer, Agent, and Editor (which I’m moderating)…

….and The Art and Business of Short Stories.

Can’t wait!

The Thrill Begins Interview with Dea Poirier

I’m a little late posting about this but I interviewed debut thriller author, Dea Poirier, about her new book, Next Girl To Die. Normally I don’t read serial killer thrillers but this was a good one. Lots of hot and heavy romance too! To learn more about Dea and her book, go to The Thrill Begins.

LitFest Pasadena Noir at the Bar event

LitFest Pasadena is this weekend! It’s a great event filled with all kinds of literary happenings around Pasadena. I’ll be participating at the Noir at the Bar on Saturday night from 7:30 to 8:30 at The Stand. Looking forward to hearing some great readings and seeing folks I haven’t seen in a while! Hosted by Eric Beetner and S.W. Lauden of course. Hope to see you there!

MURDER-A-GO-GO’S out now!

It’s out in the world now! The anthology that I’m in featuring short stories inspired by the songs of The Go-Go’s is available for purchase. My story “Fading Fast” is a revenge tale gone horribly wrong.

All proceeds go to Planned Parenthood which really makes me happy. And the Foreword is written by Jane Wiedlin! Thank you to Holly West for making this happen and for being an amazing editor. Purchase links below!

Amazon

Down & Out Books

BOLO Books Reviews MURDER-A-GO-GO’S

BOLO Books takes a look at Murder-A-Go-Go’s and includes my story “Fading Fast” as one of his favorites.

“Sarah M. Chen also provides a timely story that will stick with readers long after the final word. ”

I was inspired to write this story after I read about a young couple who sought revenge against a man who abused her. The justice system failed her as it does for so many victims of sexual assault and abuse.

I’m so excited for this collection to come out and it’s only in one more week! Edited by Holly West and includes such talented authors like Lori Rader-Day, Hilary Davidson, and Patricia Abbott. With a foreword by Jane Wiedlin herself!

Click on the cover to pre-order!

Off the Cuff with Dietrich Kalteis

Vancouver crime fiction author Dietrich Kalteis hosts me over at his blog Off the Cuff today. He’s the talented author of Triggerfish, House of Blazes, and Zero Avenue. We were both in Short Stack Books’ 80’s anthology Fast Women and Neon Lights.  I first met him at a Noir at the Bar here in L.A. a couple years ago and enjoyed meeting a fellow Canadian (I was born in Vancouver and most of my mom’s family lives there). Plus he’s a super cool dude.

Check out the interview! Dietrich Kalteis: Off the Cuff

The Advocates: Maddie Margarita

Today’s my first post as an official member of Murderers’ Row over at The Thrill Begins. And I can’t think of a better way to kick it off than paying tribute to someone who has done so much for the crime fiction community. The Advocates series is a wonderful feature where each of us write about someone who has supported or championed writers whether it’s bookstore owners, bloggers, or organizations.

For my piece, I chose Maddie Margarita, the hard-working host and producer of Lit Up! OC. Find out why: The Advocates: Maddie Margarita

MURDER-A-GO-GO’S Out Soon!

I’m so excited to be part of this collection of short stories inspired by the music of The Go-Go’s. Editor Holly West has put together an awesome line-up of talent which I’m honored to be included with. What’s really cool is that all proceeds go toward Planned Parenthood.

My story “Fading Fast” is a revenge tale involving young love, regrets, and family ties. And the Foreword is written by Jane Wiedlin herself! I was a huge fan of The Go-Go’s when I was a teen. I ended up not seeing them in concert until 10 years ago at the Hollywood Bowl and they sounded amazing.

And here’s the incredible cover!

And check out the praise this cool little collection is already generating!

“I always suspected that twinkle in the Go-Gos’ eyes was a coded invitation to a darker world. In the hands of these 25 stellar crime fiction writers, ‘We Got the Beat’ and ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’ become evil little gems. A totally rad read.” –Alan Hunter, Original MTV VJ, SiriusXM Host

“Shock and awe, that sums up my reaction to Murder-A-Go-Go’s. Shock to live in times when ‘The Whole World Lost Its Head’ and awe at the response of these gifted writers. Buckle up for a ride that will leave ‘Skidmarks on Your Heart.'” –Sara Paretsky, bestselling author of the V.I. Warshawski crime series

“Who knew those happy songs by one of all-time favorite bands, the Go-Go’s could inspire such dark, noir, spine tingling stories?!! It’s a collection of tales of distinctly female rage–the murderous kind and other wise–to keep you up at night!” –Alison Arngrim, TV’s Nellie Oleson and New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

“This is the music-driven anthology you didn’t know you needed, but after you read it, you’ll realize your bookshelf was lacking without it. This is a killer line-up of writers, and under Holly’s steady hand, they don’t play a single false note. Murder-a-Go-Go’s has got the beat.” –Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse

“With 25 stories from a greatest-hits list of authors, it’s no surprise that Murder-a-Go-Go’s is a fascinating, addictive anthology, with story styles spanning the entire breadth of the crime fiction genre. Like the songs these writers used for muses, each story contains the energy of a pop group and the rawness of a punk band, with some of the darkness and vulnerability that underscores the Go-Go’s themselves thrown in for good measure.” –Steph Post, author of Miraculum

Out March 25, 2019 through Down & Out Books!

Preorder here:

Down & Out Books

Amazon