Conferences

Rene Denfeld - The Child Finder (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 7:30pm

2017 Mystery Writers Conference Opening Night Event

Please note: this event is free & open to the public. Priority seating for all Mystery Writers Conference attendees.

Rene Denfeld’s exquisitely-wrought second novel, The Child Finder, is a compelling, atmospheric literary page-turner centered on Naomi, an unforgettable young woman with an extraordinary talent: locating missing children. Denfeld, whose award-winning debut, The Enchanted, was hailed as “a stunning first novel from an already accomplished writer” (Publishers Weekly), takes readers to dark places—both the remote forest primeval of the Pacific Northwest where a child has disappeared, presumed dead, and into Naomi’s own murky past, where the seeds of her singular gifts were planted. As the at-once elegant and disquieting narrative unfolds, the alternating perspectives of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child reveal its surprising truths.

Naomi has found thirty children—but not all of them alive. In her current case, she has been hired by the family of Madison Culver, who went missing three years before while her family searched for a Christmas tree in the wilds of Skookum National Forest. It seems highly unlikely that Madison survived the harsh winter terrain—unless she was abducted—and Naomi offers her parents little hope, even as she keeps it kindled in her own heart. As she scours the mysterious forest and the secrets of its reclusive denizens, Naomi is determined to find what happened to the missing girl. Though she generally only takes on one case at a time, Naomi is drawn in and takes on another—finding a baby who has vanished while in the care of its mentally-challenged mother. Both disappearances reveal hidden truths for Naomi, with her uncanny ability to inhabit her victims’ worlds.

Her own childhood experience, which she wrote about with great poignancy for the New York Times, informs this new work: “I went on to become a journalist and to adopt three kids from foster care. I took a day job, working as a death penalty investigator. I am hired by the lawyers representing men and women facing execution to examine their backgrounds in hopes of persuading a judge or jury to extend them mercy. It is the gift of my history that I can understand these people and their families. I can see their humanity even as I witness the harm they have done to others, and the harm done to them.”

Denfeld’s first novel, The Enchanted, won numerous honors, including the prestigious French Prix, an ALA Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and Book of the Year from The Oregonian. She has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Oregonian, and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is also the author of The New Victorians: A Young Woman’s Challenge to the Old Feminist Order, Kill The Body, The Head Will Fall, and All God’s Children: Inside the Dark and Violent World of Street Families. Rene lives in Portland, Oregon. 

 

The Child Finder Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062659057
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Harper - September 5th, 2017

A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.

"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or--is it possible--you are still alive?"


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Robert Holmes - Travel Photography in Point Reyes (Point Reyes)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:00am to 6:00pm

2017 Travel Writers & Photographers Pre-Conference Class
$120 for Conference Participants, $170 for General Public

Join award-winning landscape, food, and wine photographer Robert Holmes for a day of exploration and photography. Throughout the day, he will demonstrate the art of finding, framing, and capturing photos. Participants have time to wander and photograph one of Marin County’s most scenic open spaces, coming together over a picnic lunch to talk about their experiences and share their work. Lunch and round-trip transportation provided.

Robert Holmes is one of the world’s most successful and prolific travel photographers. The Society of American Travel Writers named him “Travel Photographer of the Year” four times, and in 2016, he was voted “Wine Photographer of The Year” by an international panel of judges. He has contributed to over 40 books and worked for National Geographic, Geo, Saveur, Wine Spectator, Life, Time, and hundreds of other major magazines.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Don George - Travel Writing in Point Reyes (Point Reyes)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 9:00am to 6:00pm

2017 Travel Writers & Photographers Pre-Conference Class
$120 for Conference Participants, $170 for General Public

Join acclaimed National Geographic and Gadling.com travel writer and editor Don George for a day of exploration and travel writing in beautiful Point Reyes. George demonstrates the art of finding, researching, and note-taking in the field. Participants will explore the shops and sites of this seaside town, as well as the rolling hills and sweeping ocean views. The group gathers over a picnic lunch to talk about the writing experience and to discuss their work. Lunch and round-trip transportation provided.

Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust and of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing. He’s the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast and The Kindness of Strangers. Don George writes the monthly "Trip Lit" column for National Geographic Traveler, and edits the BBC Travel’s literary travel column, “Chance Encounters.”

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: Hallie Ephron - Writing the Wave (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2017 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

Writing the Wave: Investigation, Suspense, Action, Reflection

Typically, mystery novels unfurl in accelerating waves of establishing narrative (often investigation), building to suspense, building to action, resolving reflection, and then thrusting forward to the next wave. In this workshop we’ll examine each element of this “ISAR” wave, and learn how to construct scenes that end with a hook, grab readers, and move the story forward. Topics include: dissecting the waves in a mystery/thriller; strategies for writing investigation; strategies for writing suspense; strategies for writing action; strategies for writing reflection; hook and grab scene structure; writing the waves across a book length work, modulating the pace, building to a dramatic climax, and resolving in a final coda.

Hallie Ephron is a bestselling author of Never Tell a Lie; Come and Find Me; There Was an Old Woman; and most recently, You’ll Never Know, Dear. She is also the mystery reviewer for the Boston Globe. The daughter of screenwriters, she grew up with her famous writer sisters, Nora, Delia, and Amy.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: David Corbett - The Deeper Mystery (Corte Madera)

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

2017 Mystery Writers Pre-Conference Class
$90 for Conference Participants, $125 for General Public

The crime-mystery-thriller genre is often thought of as principally a form of entertainment, but it is also a great deal more. In this pre-conference class, award-winning author and conference co-chair David Corbett guides students through a number of techniques and thematic considerations to reach deeper into the material of their stories. The goal is to reach the more meaningful and dramatically powerful elements within the genre. Topics will include moral argument and the Unity of Opposites, the will to justice vs. the will to power, realism (and its limits), the elusive nature of truth, what is a just society, individual freedom vs. social responsibility, Satanic Villains vs. Monsters, and (as Conrad put it) man’s “miserable ingenuity in error.”

David Corbett worked 15 years for the famed private investigation firm of Palladino & Sutherland. He is the author of several novels including Done for a Dime (A New York Times Notable Book), His latest is Thirteen Confessions: Stories. His writing text, The Art of Character, has been called “a writer’s bible.”

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

TWPC Event: Suzi Eszterhas - Photography in the Wild (Corte Madera)

Friday, August 12, 2016 - 7:00pm

This event is part of the 2016 Travel Writers & Photographers Conference, but is open to the public. Conference participants recieve preferred seating. 

Suzi Eszterhas is an award-winning wildlife photographer best known for her work documenting newborn animals and family life in the wild. Suzi's unique ability to earn the trust of her subject leads to touching imagery including groundbreaking work with tiger cubs at a den in India, newborn cheetahs on the African savanna, and brown bear cubs seeing the world for the first time in the Alaskan wilderness. Her photographs have been published in over 100 magazine cover and feature stories in publications such as TIME, Smithsonian, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Popular Photography, Ranger Rick, and National Geographic Kids.

Suzi has won awards in many competitions including the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, National Wildlife Photo Contest, and Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition. She now serves as the jury chair for the prestigious Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition.

As an author, Suzi has nine books in print with another four in progress. A Future for Cheetahs, created in collaboration with Dr. Laurie Marker, is an intimate portrait of the cheetah's life and its race against extinction. Suzi's series of children's books, Eye on the Wild, follows the lives of wild baby animals from birth to adulthood. Her new book series, Wildlife Rescue, debuts in late 2015. Her books have been featured on GoodMorningAmerica.com and TodayShow.com.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

TWPC Event: Anthony Marra - In Conversation with Don George (Corte Madera)

Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 7:30pm

This event is part of the 2016 Travel Writers & Photographers Conference, but is open to the public. Conference participants recieve preferred seating. 

Anthony Marra is the author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, which won the National Book Critics Circle's inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and appeared on over twenty year-end lists. Marra's novel was a National Book Award longlist selection as well as a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and France's Prix Médicis. He is the author most recently of The Tsar of Love and Techno (2015). He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he teaches as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and now resides in Oakland, California.

Don George (Travel Writers and Photographers Conference Chair) is the author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing and editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, Better Than Fiction, and An Innocent Abroad. George is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, where he writes feature articles and the monthly Trip Lit column. He is also Editor of BBC Travel’s literary travel site, Words and Wanderlust.

 

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780770436421
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth Press - February 4th, 2014

"New York Times "Notable Book of the Year * "Washington Post "Top Ten Book of the Year In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night and then set fire to her home.


The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780770436438
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hogarth Press - October 6th, 2015

From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" dazzling, poignant, and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war, and the redemptive power of art. This stunning, exquisitely written collection introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

MWC Event: Laurie R. King - The Murder of Mary Russell

Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 7:30pm

In conversation with Jacqueline Winspear
This event is part of the 2016 Mystery Writers Conference, but is open to the public. Conference participants recieve preferred seating.

Has Laurie R. King followed in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s footsteps and killed off her protagonist? Sherlock Holmes is back in the latest in the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child has hailed as “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today”—but is Mary Russell?

When The Murder of Mary Russell opens, the shabby carpet of 221B Baker Street is drenched in blood—and no one knows the fate of Mary Russell. Could this be the final performance for the world’s best-known Holmesian author?

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen Mary Russell mysteries, five contemporary novels featuring Kate Martinelli, and the acclaimed novels The Bones of Paris, A Darker Place, Folly, Keeping Watch, and Touchstone. She lives in Northern California, where she is at work on her next Mary Russell mystery.

 

The Murder of Mary Russell: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780804177900
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - April 5th, 2016

"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER Laurie R. King's Mary Russell Sherlock Holmes series weaves rich historical detail and provocative themes with intriguing characters and enthralling suspense. Russell and Holmes have become one of modern literature's most beloved teams. But does this adventure end it all?


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

MWC Event: John Lescroart - The Fall

Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 5:00pm

This event is part of the 2016 Mystery Writers Conference, but is open to the public. Conference participants recieve preferred seating. 

From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart comes a riveting new novel of legal suspense featuring Dismas Hardy and his daughter, Rebecca, now grown up and an associate in Hardy’s law firm.

Late one night, a teenage African American foster child named Tanya Paulson plummets to her death from the overpass above San Francisco’s Stockton tunnel. But did she fall…or was she pushed?

Rushing to produce a convictable suspect in the glare of the media spotlight, homicide inspectors focus their attention on a naïve young man named Greg Treadway. Greg is a middle school teacher and he volunteers as a Special Advocate for foster children. At first, the only thing connecting him to Tanya’s death is the fact that they shared a meal earlier that night. But soon enough, elements of that story seem to fall apart…and Hardy’s daughter, Rebecca, finds herself drawn into the young man’s defense.

By the time Greg’s murder trial gets underway, Dismas and Rebecca have unearthed several other theories about the crime: a missing stepfather who’d sexually assaulted her; a roommate who ran a call girl service; a psychologically unstable birth mother; and a mysterious homeless man who may have had dealings with Tanya. Or Greg Treadway himself, who is perhaps not all that he first appeared. But how will they get these theories in front of a jury? And if they can, what price will they have to pay?

With signature suspense and intricate plotting, The Fall puts Dismas Hardy and his only daughter in the middle of one of John Lescroart’s most complex and thrilling cases yet. 

John Lescroart is the author of twenty-five previous novels (seventeen New York Times bestsellers), including The 13th Juror, Damage, The Hunter, The Ophelia Cut, and The Keeper. His books have sold more than 10 million copies and have been translated into twenty-two languages in seventy-five countries. He lives in Northern California. 

 

The Fall Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781501140662
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pocket Books - July 26th, 2016

From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, The Fall is a riveting novel of legal suspense featuring lawyer Dismas Hardy and his daughter Rebecca who become involved in the case of a pretty inner-city girl who plunges to her death from an overpass into traffic below. But did she fall...or was she pushed?


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Pre-Conference Class: David Corbett - The Character of Crime (Corte Madera)

Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Registration: $125 ($90 for Conference participants)

In this pre-conference lecture and workshop, award-winning crime novelist David Corbett will guide students in exploring the key roles that make crime fiction work, with specific focus on the specific demands of the three major subgenres of crime fiction—mystery/detective, crime, and thriller—and an emphasis on maintaining dramatic tension, creating moral complexity, and avoiding cliché.

In particular, students will learn:

  • How to create strong, compelling protagonists who push the action forward and serve the story’s theme—instead of victims of circumstance, intrepid boy scouts, ciphers, stiffs, or sleepwalkers.
  • How to create equally compelling opponents or villains who aren’t just another iteration of Lucifer or the Creature from the Black Lagoon—with the purpose of gaining an understanding that the hero’s only as compelling as his enemy, that evil must be justified to be dramatically interesting, and that there’s “no beast so fierce” as man.
  • How to create secondary characters—from sidekicks to gunsels to femmes fatales to sympathetic heavies—who elicit nuance and subtlety from the main characters, flesh out the values in conflict in the story, create moral complexity through ‘four-corner conflict,” serve the hinge points of the plot, and bring to life the story world.

David Corbett worked as a private investigator for fifteen years before becoming the widely acclaimed author of four novels, with short fiction twice chosen for Best American Mystery Stories. He has taught at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, 826 Valencia, Chuck Palahniuk's LitReactor, and the San Francisco Writers' Grotto.

 

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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