Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Jersey, State of Mystery

Tomorrow evening at 7 pm (free pizza at six), The Famous Author and I will participate in a mystery writers panel at the Bound Brook Memorial Library at 402 E. High St. in Bound Brook. The subject: New Jersey as a source of material for crime writers.

Librarian Paul Schroeder has come up with some interesting questions: What makes the Garden State such an interesting backdrop for so many mysteries? How is New Jersey different from other areas? Why do we writers choose New Jersey as our locale?

Participating with TFA and myself (I'll be hiding in the computer case) are Chris Grabenstein, Jeff Cohen, and Ken Isaacson, NJ crime writers all. Chris's series, which takes place on the Jersey shore amidst the cotton candy and boardwalk rides, recently moved to St. Martin's from Carrol & Graf. Jeff's latest book was a finalist for Left Coast Crime's Lefty Award for funniest mystery of the year. And Ken's thriller has taken quick wings and is selling like hotcakes. All of them are members of the New York Chapter, Mystery Writers of America.

TFA and I were discussing the subject last night:

"Why IS New Jersey such a great place for writers?" I asked him.

"Are you kidding? The mob? A U.S. Senator 'elected' without appearing on the ballot? A gay governor who hired his lover as security chief? Lindburgh? The only Nazi act of sabotage? New Jersey is the crime capital of the world!"

Gee, I never thought of it that way. Rock on, Jersey!

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