Third Blogoversary Celebration: A Nerdfest and Giveaway

This Saturday, October 1, is the third anniversary of the day I woke up and decided to start this blog, despite knowing nothing about blogging. I did have loads of experience in being a nerd, though, so PCN was born.

I never imagined it would lead to my life being enriched and my world being expanded so greatly. I shudder to think of all the wonderful people I never would have met and the experiences I would have missed out on if I had, oh, gone back to sleep on that day three years ago instead of spending hours researching WordPress and dashboards and HTML and such. To all those who have read, commented, supported, and hung out with me this long, I thank you deeply. I hope your therapy bill hasn’t increased much because of it.

To help me celebrate, I asked a group of kickass ninja crime authors to answer the question: What’s one of the nerdiest things you’ve ever done? For I believe no matter who we are, we’re all united in nerdiness.

The giveaway: I’ll run the authors’ responses all week, a few a day, and have you guess whose story is which. If you leave your guesses in the comments and get at least one right each day, you’ll be entered to win four ARCs of your choice from my stash (see list here). I’ll randomly choose two winners from all those eligible; first name picked gets first dibs on the selection. If you’re international, you’ll receive a $20 gift certificate from Book Depository, which offers free worldwide shipping. The giveaway ends this Friday, September 30, 9 p.m. PST because answers will be revealed Saturday.

You can enter once daily, but if you’ve been following and commenting before today (and not only when I had giveaways), each of your entries will count as three. Call it a bonus for putting up with me longer.

I’d like to thank all the generous authors who contributed nerdy anecdotes. Some even dug up photographic evidence that will be featured in a slide show on Saturday with the answers. Knowing they were all busy, I had no expectations when I sent my requests, but the enthusiasm with which some responded confirmed that crime fic writers are among the nicest in the business.

OK, let’s start the Nerdfest!

Today’s participants are:

* Karin Slaughter—Karin received the Silver Bullet Award at this year’s ThrillerFest. She writes the popular Atlanta and Grant County series (which were recently merged) about Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Will Trent, his partner Faith Mitchell, and his paramour Sara Linton. She’s an advocate for saving libraries, and isn’t overly fond of the Danish word for author—forfatter.

Brad Parks—Brad is the creator of the Carter Ross mysteries and was the first author to win the Nero and Shamus awards in the same year for his debut, Faces of the Gone. He believes that advertising his books on bikinis worn by small Asian women would be a wise marketing strategy.

Colin Cotterill—An international guest of honor at this year’s Bouchercon, Colin writes the Dagger-Award-winning Dr. Siri series, among many other books. He introduced a new series character this year, a young female journalist named Jimm Juree, in Killed at the Whim of a Hat. He’s also a cartoonist and questions the necessity of a 27-inch penis.

* Elizabeth Duncan—Elizabeth’s series, set in North Wales, features Penny Brannigan. Her first book, The Cold Light of Mourning, won both the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant for unpublished writers and the St. Martin’s Press/Malice award for best first novel. Her third, A Killer’s Christmas in Wales, comes out October 25. Elizabeth loves ice cream and sandwiches and her lavender disco pants.

* Brett Battles—Brett is the Barry-winning author of the Jonathan Quinn thrillers, as well as the Logan Harper series, the Project Eden series, the YA novel Here Comes Mr. Trouble, The Pull of Gravity, and several short stories. It’s possible he also wrote whatever you read right before coming here, even if it was just graffiti on a park bench or the instruction manual for your ShamWow.

The stories:

A. In high school, not only did I participate in our school theater program, I was drama club president. As such, it was my job to direct the fall children’s theater production. In the past we’d done Hansel & Gretel, Rip Van Winkle (I was Rip), and Tom Sawyer. I, of course, wanted to do something on a grander scale. So what did I direct? The musical version of The Hobbit. That’s right—musical version. We went all out: the dwarfs marching in from the audience, a giant head and neck of Smaug the dragon operated by ropes and pulleys, and an ogre fight on our wicked 3-D set! I know you probably didn’t retain any of that last part, so let me reassure you: yes, a musical version of The Hobbit.

B. My amateur sleuth somehow got nominated to be part of an online competition to determine the world’s greatest sleuth. Because I teach writing in a college lab with about 40 computers, I thought I’d switch them all on and vote. For myself! After about two rows, the task seemed monumentally tedious so I packed it in. I figured, what’s the point? Jack Reacher’s in the competition.

C. I was, it has to be said, a jock, and a skinhead jock at that. We were the sworn enemies of nerds mainly because we could beat them up without fear of them pulling switchblades on us. But there was a dilemma in my soul for I was a closet Boy Scout. Not only did I don my little shorts and woggle my scarf once a week, I had arms full of badges. I was a walking billboard of proof that I could tie knots, rescue small animals, make an emergency bivouac out of discarded underwear…and cook. Then, one Sunday, as my troop marched gayly to a jambouree, we rounded a corner and came face to face with the boys from my football club…armed. It was ugly. A massacre. I was the last nerd standing.

D. I had an interview in Amsterdam during the Month of the Thriller a few years back. It was a pretty big deal—a packed house, lots of cameras. The lights were dimmed low, and as I was being introduced, I kept looking at the stairs going up to the stage and thinking, “Don’t trip and fall on your ass in front of all these people.” Which of course I did. I still think the risers were higher to better accommodate freakishly long Dutch femurs.

E. I’m a peculiar subset of nerd: a community theater nerd. At least once a year, I hop up on a local stage to sing, act, and dance my heart out. Yes, I’m basically Corky St. Clair from Waiting for Guffman, except I comb my hair to the side.

Think you know who said what? Hit the comments! Stumped? Visit their websites to maybe find helpful hints.

Come back all week for more nerdy stories and chances to win! (UPDATE: Stories from day twothree, and four are now up.)

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth F
    September 27, 2011 at 5:16 am

    What fun!!! I’ll have to come back after I get past this week’s work deadline to see if I can play along.

    Happy blogoversary — love it that we started our blogs about the same time.

  • Reply
    Laura Benedict
    September 27, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Happy Blogoversary, Elyse! Sleep is lovely, but I’m glad you stayed awake that day! xo

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Duncan
    September 27, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Thanks so much for including me and you are right about everything! Just yesterday I was thinking I could live the rest of my life on sandwiches and ice cream! The lavender pants I save for special occasions, like the Oscars and a night out at the disco.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    September 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

    What an excellent group of nerds for week 1 of the celebration! Here are some rather unlearned guesses:

    A: Colin Cotterill
    B: Elizabeth Duncan
    C: Brett Battles
    D: Karin Slaughter
    E: Brad Parks (Really wanted to put BP for the Hobbit story, but quickly remembered that would have been waaaay too much work for him to want to take on).

  • Reply
    le0pard13
    September 27, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Hearty congrats, Elyse! If you hadn’t jumped on this blogging thing, we never would have met. And I’d have considered that a sad thing, indeed. Thanks so much for what you do and who you are, my friend.

  • Reply
    Erin
    September 27, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Congratulations, Elyse–and THANK YOU for keeping us all up-to-date and constantly entertained. This is a brilliant series…and I’m going to be extremely embarrassed if Ii get any wrong…but that’s not to say I won’t try 😉 Here goes:

    A: Going for Elizabeth Duncan here. And would have loved to see THAT musical!

    B: This is Brad Parks. Which I know because it’s possible I might have reset an IP address or three to vote in said contest.

    C: Ok, finished laughing. Long enough to guess this is Brett Battles.

    D: Gotta be Karin Slaughter, based on the “freakishly long Dutch femurs” turn of phrase.

    E: Hmmmm…ok….well, the dude with enough hair to make combing it to the side newsworthy has to be Colin Cotterill, right?

  • Reply
    EIREGO
    September 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Good lineup and great way to celebrate 3 years. Happy Blogoversary!

    A)Brad Parks (just a wild guess here)

    B)Elizabeth Duncan (she seems really nice in real life, but she’s gotta have a sneaky side the way she writes)

    C)Colin Cotterill (because I was a boy scout as well and we didn’t wear short pants in the US, so since he’s foreign and male….)

    D)Karin Slaughter (because of the Dutch angle)

    E)Brett Battles (because he’s the only one left)

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    September 27, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Beth F—Yes, do play! When’s your blogoversary? (I feel so goofy every time I type that word.)

    Laura—I LOVE sleeping but I’m glad I stayed up that day, too. Also glad the HTML business didn’t scare me off because, boy, I had no idea what I was doing. Still not sure I do.

    Elizabeth—You need to send a pic of you in those famous pants. In fact, it’s not too late to submit it for the slide show I’m putting up on Saturday!

    Lauren—There are more excellent nerd stories coming! Thanks for playing.

    le0pard13—Thank YOU for being such a good friend to me, online and in real life. If I hadn’t started blogging, I’d be sitting here in my shorts right now doing something much less interesting.

    Erin—I love the commentary with your guesses!

    EIREGO—Your reasons are funny, too, especially about the short pants!

  • Reply
    Jessie
    September 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Happy, happy, joy, joy! Congrats on your third blogoversary, PCN.

    The two theater stories throw me off and I’m not sure which one to assign to Brad Parks, but here goes:

    A. Brad
    B. Colin Cotterill
    C. Brett Battles
    D. Karin Slaughter (because everyone else says so)
    E. Elizabeth Duncan

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Duncan
    September 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I’ll send you picture of me in the pants — eating ice cream!
    Now that’s what I call a special occasion!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      September 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      I’ll be expecting that photo shortly.

  • Reply
    jenn aka the picky girl
    September 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    That is the cutest little birthday ninja EVAH!

    Love it. Congratulations!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      September 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks! I think she’s cute, too. As always, it’s the work of my great graphics gal Katie at KDCreates.com.

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    September 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Yay! Happy 3rd blogoversary, Elyse {I have to double check myself when I type that word}. I love that we’ve been blogging for the same duration, almost to the day. And I love that we happened upon each other. You’ve made me want to be a better nerd, and even more importantly, you’ve made me laugh long, aloud and often. I’m so grateful for our friendship.

    And now, on to my guesses. I’ve put my best sleuthing hat on and here are my stabs in the dark:

    A. Brett Battles
    B. Elizabeth Duncan
    C. Colin Cotterill
    D. Karin Slaughter
    E. Brad Parks

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      September 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      Isn’t your day tomorrow, the 29th? Or today, the 29th, since it’s already Thursday where you are. Happy 3rd blogoversary to you, too. How can I thank you enough for being here with me from the very start? It’s been a fantastic ride, made even better by our friendship. We owe it to WALL*E!

      • Reply
        Shell Sherree
        September 29, 2011 at 12:58 am

        Yes, it’s the 29th ~ still my today, nearly your today. I’ll be celebrating with tomorrow’s blog post ~ or the day-after-tomorrow’s post for you. That little guy still melts me.

  • Reply
    Paulette
    September 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Congratulations! I am delighted that you did not go back to sleep that fateful day…how else would I learn so much good, nerdy stuff?

    A. Colin Cotterill
    B. Elizabeth Duncan
    C. Brad Parks (gotta be!)
    D. Karin Slaughter
    E. Brett Battles

    So…cheating might work? One correct per day? Should I simply guess one author for all responses? However, this nerd likes competition and likes to win! Thanks for the fun!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      September 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

      Why doesn’t it surprise me that you’d be the one who figured out a way to cheat?

      • Reply
        Paulette Feeney
        September 28, 2011 at 3:36 pm

        What can I say? When you teach high school, you tend to be current on creative shortcuts to success!

  • Reply
    Mary Preston
    September 27, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    So much fun & CONGRATULATIONS!!

    Wild guesses at best.

    A- ELIZABETH DUNCAN
    B – COLIN COTTERILL
    C – BRETT BATTLES
    D – KARIN SLAUGHTER
    E – BRAD PARKS

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  • Reply
    Eric Beetner
    September 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    So glad to see these going up. I’ll take a stab at it:
    A- Brett
    B- Elizabeth
    C-Colin
    D-Karin
    E-Brad

  • Reply
    katie
    September 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I don’t know who wrote what but I’d love to win some of them.

  • Reply
    Christine McCann
    September 29, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Happy Blogoversary, PCN! (How cute is your party ninja?!).

    A. Brett
    B. Elizabeth
    C. Colin
    D. Karin
    E. Brad

  • Reply
    Patti
    September 29, 2011 at 5:58 am

    A. Brett
    B. Elizabeth
    C. Colin
    D. Karin
    E. Brad

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    September 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Not a clue, but Hamlet took a stab and killed the most boring man in the play, so I have a chance at hitting someone, too, right?

    A. Brad Parks
    B. Elizabeth Duncan
    C. Colin Cotterill
    D. Karin Slaughter
    E. Brett Battles

    • Reply
      Paulette
      September 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      Haha….remind me to not sit next to you when you are blindly stabbing!

  • Reply
    Holly West
    September 30, 2011 at 8:34 am

    A. Elizabeth
    B. Karin
    C. Colin
    D. Brett
    E. Brad

  • Reply
    Spav
    September 30, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    A. Brett
    B. Elizabeth
    C. Colin
    D. Karin
    E. Brad

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