Friday, April 27, 2007

A Hand Up

It struck me last weekend at Sleuthfest, how generous many of my fellow mystery writers are. They're willing to share writing and marketing tips, inside info about the biz, gossip about which editors and agents are good--and which are bad. It's really a welcoming community.
Not that the journalists of my prior life aren't nice people, too (well, some of them, anyway). And it's not that there aren't egomaniacs and narcissists in the fiction community. I'm thinking of one moderator in particular, who walked all over her panelists, making THEIR panel all about HER! She must not have read The Moderator's Manifesto, the instructions all of us who agreed to run a panel received.
To wit: "The panel is about the panelists, not about the moderator. That's why it's called a panel.''
But, for the most part, these are genuinely nice and giving folks. Starting with Linda Fairstein, the hotshot NYC prosecutor-turned-mystery writer who was the keynote speaker, all the way down to the local members of Mystery Writers of America/Fla. Chapter, the conference host ... all seem ready to offer a hand to those still finding their way.
It's refreshing, especially in these times of the cut-throat contests on Survivor, and the slash-and-burn competitors on Donald Trump's Apprentice.
I hope I never feel I have to climb over somebody else to achieve success.

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