Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Veterans Awards Ceremony

Recently, I was invited by NY State Senator Serf Maltese to attend the 15th annual Veterans Awards Ceremony, a patriotic tribute to distinguished veterans in the NYC area. Since I have been active in veterans' affairs I knew that Senator Maltese was on the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, but I was not aware that he's also the Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on The Arts and Cultural Affairs. Conversely, Senator Maltese was not aware that I am an OTP author...

The upshot here is that the Senator has graciously made arrangements for me to set up a table in the reception area where I will be able to sign and sell books, and he's also decided to give me mike time at the podium during the actual ceremony.

I'd like to think the reason I'm getting this access is that I'm a silver-tongued salesman, but the reality is that it's for a good cause: The contributing authors of Scurvy Dogs, Green Water and Gunsmoke: 50 Years in US Navy Destroyers (OTP 2008) are donating all of our royalties to the Navy- Marine Corps Relief Society in honor of a young Marine, the nephew of a Scurvy Dog, who was killed in Iraq.

Bob Cohen

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Prose in the Park

I had an absolutely wonderful time. Taylorville IL is a fascinating small town.

The conference itself was small, but the people who attended were attentive and anxious to learn more about writing. I love giving writing workshops. So many people helped me when I was starting out--and I still do get lots of help--that I enjoy giving back some of what I received.

Best was spending some quality time with Billie--we had two nice dinners together and guess what? I signed a contract with Oak Tree Press for the next in my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, No Sanctuary. Might exciting and well-worth the uncomfortable plane rides to and fro.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


OTP arranged a number of radio interviews about my Mid Life Mojo, and all were enjoyable, though the guy from Iowa was pretty clueless. But I have no way of knowing if these had any effect on sales. Was there any kind of feedback, or is that just too hard to check? Bob Davis

Friday, September 19, 2008


It has taken me a while to post here, and I had an amazing amount of trouble- all my own fault. But I'm really excited to be posting on the blog and receiving the newsletter.

I am a virgin to publishing, my novel Gumbo Justice scheduled for the end of summer '09 or early fall '09, so I think have enough time to learn the things I need to know by the time it comes out. The newsletter is particularly helpful to me. For instance, today I learned what an ARC was.

I also enjoy reading the blogs of other writers, many who have quite impressive writing resumes. It's pretty awesome posting on the same blog as some of the other writers!

I am going to try to add my new blog to the list of other blogs, but only technology will tell if I am capable. I should have time to figure it out, as I currently am immobile due to a head-on collision with a drunk driver in early June. I should be walking again by the end of the year, but until then I have an abundance of computer time. Also on the plus side, the experience has given me insight for another novel.
I wrote a script at the urging of my agent and against my better judgment and then shopped it around on InkTip, a sort of dating site for writers and producers. One producer asked me to send the script, but I haven’t heard anything yet. Even if I don’t sell the script, the experience has been worth the effort. In a recent InkTip Newsletter, Bradford R. Youngs described what led to his latest project: "My wife told me that all my projects were action thrillers, with no films you could really take the family to see. So I sat down with my six-year-old daughter and asked her what sort of movie she'd like to see, and she said ‘how about a story about a dog sent from Grandpa in heaven?' I pitched the idea to Jan Militello, who knocked out three drafts in just a little over a month!” A dog sent from Grandpa in Heaven. Who knew seven words could be pitched? Then I saw another producer seeking a “high concept action/thriller or action/comedy screenplays. Please note that a high concept script should have a strong hook and shouldn't have an overly complex plot. In addition to these elements, if your story cannot be described in one short simple sentence, it is not high concept.” The most difficult writing I’ve ever done was to write a one-page abstract of a 75,000 word book. I guess I’m a low-concept guy.

Getting Excited

Congratulations to Heather Mosko, Sherry McGinnis, Norm Maher, and Alan Bower, on their new books!

I'm getting excited that my Vegas Vixen is nearing publication. I think it will be an entertaining read for mystery and Las Vegas buffs.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back Again

Just home from a most successful book launch--you can read all about it on my own blog

I'm looking forward to the Prose in the Park (hope that's the right name) writing conference put on by Oaktree Press--and seeing Billie again. Billie and I don't get to see each other often, but we do enjoy being together when we do.

Not looking forward to the plane trip or driving to Taylorville from the airport--but I'm sure it will be well worth it.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yoohoo Librarians! --A Rant

Over the past month or so, I have taken a number of day-trips around Central Illinois, looking for places to post flyers promoting our conference (which is next weekend...Yikes!) I stopped in cafes, visitors' bureaus, supermarkets, bookstores, quick-marts...and libraries. Some places were delighted to take flyers, some ho-hum, just okay with it, some reluctant and maybe a little suspicious, and some were just plain negative and at times rude.

Guess where I was unilaterally welcomed to leave info? The quick-marts! They all had a bulletin board near the front door where public notices were posted. And at the bottom of the welcome-wagon list? Libraries!

Silly me, so naive in my idea that a publisher and a library would have books in common. And to be fair, there were a few locations where the librarian was very cordial and happily put my materials on a table with other handouts. But a clear majority refused, citing the fact that this was not a event sponsored by a non-profit organization. After a half-dozen or so of these experiences, it began to sting! I yearned to say, "Hey, I'm not selling snake oil, or shares in a Ponzi scheme! We're talkin' books here!"

Over the years OTP has been at it, there have been a number of times a library has refused to host an author event. Also, there were other times, the author was invited to make a talk, but not allowed to sell books afterward. To some extent, I can understand the thinking. If each library lecture or Kiwanis meeting ended up with someone pressing their goods on you, it would certainly detract from the experience. But jeez...these were just little flyers, for heaven's sake!

And isn't one of the roles a library plays to be a place for information to be exchanged?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Here I am Again

Don't want to be a blog hog, but--

The fall issue of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA) is now available on the website:

The website also contains information about the writing contest–be sure to read the article in the newsletter written by the contest chairperson–and the PSWA conference coming in July of 2009. There is an early-bird price break on the registration fee until September 30. I hope a lot of you will take advantage of this.

I’ve been a member of PSWA for over ten years and watched it evolve into an organization with great resources for anyone writing either fiction (mysteries, thrillers, etc.) or non-fiction about crime, law enforcement or any other public safety entity.

I’d be glad to answer questions about the conference or the organization either on list or off: mmeredith@ocsnet.net


Monday, September 1, 2008

Putting in Another Two Cents

Not going to take up too much time here. I've been spending most of the day watching Gustave.

We experienced Hurricane Isabel when we were visiting the Eastern Shore of Maryland. We were staying at relatives who have a house situated back from the bay with their lawn, the road, and short expanse of grass and a small dock (which disappeared after Isabel.)

Of course we lost electricity. When we woke in the morning the whole house was surrounded with water and our rental car was floating. A neighbor tied it to the porch because when the tide went out the car would've gone too.

People went up and down the road in boats. Kids swam in the water. The water didn't go down until afternoon. That evening Hertz brought us another car and took the other one away.

Much too exciting! I can't imagine living where you have threats of hurricanes every summer. I'll take a good old earthquake anytime.

I received two interesting comments about my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series via email this weekend. One bad one good. I blogged about this on Marilyn's Musings.