Monday, February 15, 2010
Who in the WORLD is Molly Weston?
You're probably wondering why I'm a guest blogger—but if you've ever been charged with finding someone to write for free every week for a year, you know what Ellen's up against! Probably the first reason she asked me to write is that I'm the new editor of Sisters in Crime's newsletter, inSinc. She wanted me to introduce myself to you.
I'm a long-time member of SinC even though I don't write mysteries. I read them—lots and lots of them. More than 20 years ago I began reviewing them for a local independent bookstore, then another. FInding that I really liked writing reviews, I started a review publication, "Meritorious Mysteries," which I mailed free of charge to local bookstores and libraries that had agreed to duplicate them for their patrons. After the internet made its way into people's homes, I developed a website for my reviews, still called "Meritorious Mysteries."
In the meantime, I got a job at the FPG Child Development Center at UNC-Chapel Hil as editor of an in-state magazine aimed toward the early childhood profession. The position required a lot of traveling and involved providing training, so I wasn't able to write as many reviews. I let Meritorious Mysteries fall by the wayside—but I never stopped reading mysteries—usually around 250 a year.
After providing workshops and training in my work, I realized I could do the same for mysteries—and I began giving lectures at libraries and other events. I'd pick a topic and talk about 20-25 authors whose work fell somewhere under that umbrella. I found that readers loved to see photographs of these authors and to hear personal stories about how I had met them.
I attended mystery conferences every chance I got—and everywhere I went, I met authors, always adding photos and stories to my repertoire.
Once when my husband and I were going to Tunica, Mississippi, I told Noel, "I'm going to call the librarian there and see if she wants me to do a program for them."
Noel, who goes to Tunica to gamble, said scornfully," They don't have any libraries in Tunica!"
Totally determined now to give a mystery talk SOMEWHERE in Tunica, I searched the internet. Of course, there was a library there—and it was beautiful. When I spoke with the librarian, she said, "I'd love you to give a talk. You have made my day. No, you've made my WEEK!"
Surprisingly enough, she chose the topic, "Sweet Tea and Murder," and we had a delightful event, with the Friends of the Library bringing in a tea party spread to die for.
This year, I've begun having guest bloggers on Meritorious Mystery (http://mysteryheel.blogspost.com) — all mystery writers. I'm giving monthly programs at the Cary Public Library, and teaching a six-week mystery course at the Encoré Program at NC State University. I'm looking forward to hosting July Hyzy, Karen Olson, and Hank Phillippi Ryan at the end of this month. Then, in June, Rosemary Harris, Meredith Cole, Donna Andrews, and Elaine Viets will roll into North Carolina for a mini tour.
So, you can see why I was overwhelmed to be chosen to edit your newsletter. Thanks for allowing me to have an opportunity to work with more of you in SinC. I look forward to meeting and renewing friendships with you at Malice and Bouchercon!
In the meantime, keep on writing!