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Home » Books & writing

Third Blogoversary Celebration: A Nerdfest and Giveaway

Submitted by on September 27, 2011 – 12:17 am 28 Comments

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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