Tag Archive for: Columbia

Looking Forward to Deckle Edge

by Paula
Gail Benson
This weekend, I’ve delighted in reading
about all the activities at Sleuthfest. Next weekend, in Columbia,
S.C., we’re looking forward to our own literary festival, Deckle Edge, on
Saturday, March 23. The “deckle edge” is the rough edge on hand cut
paper, often seen on early printed books. If you’re in the area, please come to
the main library on Assembly Street for a day of celebrating the written word.
I’m particularly excited to be moderating a
panel about the Detective in the South. The panelists are authors David
Burnsworth, Sasscer Hill, Roger Johns, Raegan Teller, and Maggie Toussaint.
Here’s some information about the topic and participants:
To paraphrase Raymond
Chandler, “Down the mean streets a detective, man or woman, must go, who is not
himself or herself mean.” What happens when those mean streets happen to be in
the American South? Does the setting change the crime or detective, or both?
Join us for a lively discussion involving traditional and unique fictional
detectives whose investigations have a Southern flair!
David Burnsworth became
fascinated with the Deep South at a young age. After a receiving a degree in
Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and fifteen years in
the corporate world, he made the decision to write a novel. Having lived in
Charleston on Sullivan’s Island for five years, the setting for his Brack
Pelton novels was a foregone conclusion. He and his wife call South Carolina
home. He also writes a series featuring private detective Blu Carraway. http://davidburnsworthbooks.com/
Sasscer Hill is the author of
the Agatha and Macavity nominated Nikki Latrelle horseracing series. Her latest
novels, Flamingo
 and The Dark Side of Town,
have followed Fia McKee, who after being put on leave for use of excessive
force as a Baltimore police officer receives a second chance working for the
Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. Flamingo Road won
the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan Best in Horse Racing Literature Award for 2018. In
addition, Sasscer, herself and expert horsewoman, has written a Nikki Latrelle
prequel for Young Adults and a number of short stories. https://www.sasscerhill.com/
Roger Johns writes the Wallace Hartman Mysteries from
St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books: Dark River Rising (2017)
and River of Secrets (2018). He is the 2018 Georgia Author of
the Year (Detective·Mystery Category), a 2018 Killer Nashville Readers’ Choice
Award nominee, a finalist for the 2018 Silver Falchion Award for best police
procedural, runner-up for the 2019 Frank Yerby Fiction Award, and the 2019 JKS
Communications Author-in-Residence. His articles and interviews on writing and
the writing life appear in Career Authors, Criminal Element, and the Southern
Literary Review. He co-authors the MurderBooks blog at 
Raegan Teller is the award-winning author of the Enid
Blackwell series. Murder in Madden (Pondhawk Press, 2016) was
her debut novel, followed by The Last Sale (2018) and Secrets
Never Told 
(2019)Her mystery novels are set in and
around Columbia, where she lives with her husband and two cats. Teller writes
about small town intrigue, family secrets, and tales of murder, and while her
books are fiction, her books are inspired by real events. She is a summa cum
laude graduate of Queens University, Charlotte, and a member of Sisters in
Crime, South Carolina Writers Association, and Charlotte Writers Club. 
Maggie Toussaint is a
scientist by training, a romanticist at heart, and an award-winning author of
mystery, romance, romantic suspense, and science fiction. Her series
protagonist Baxley Powell has inherited the ability to dreamwalk in order to
find answers about crime. Through her investigations, Baxley seeks justice for
the dead and solace for the living in a unique lowcountry setting. Maggie is
the Past President of the Southeast Mystery Writers of America and a member of
Low Country Sisters in Crime. https://maggietoussaint.com/
We hope you can join us!

Traveling in the Spicoli Way

by Bethany Maines
Next week I will be making, what is turning out to be an
annual pilgrimage to New York City to visit my editor and watch a friend
graduate from Columbia (Goooo… Lions?). When I started this whole writing thing
I specifically targeted LA agents because I thought it would be a heck of a lot
easier to fly from the Evergreen State to the Golden State. I was absolutely
correct, of course – travel out to the Empire State (that’s your nickname New
York, seriously?) kind of bites, particularly since some dude invented the shoe
bomb. Or the Underwear Bomb.  Next
thing you know there’ll be the Hair Bomber and we’ll all have to shave. And I
swear the 3oz liquid debacle is fully sponsored by the water vendors on the
other side of security, but that is beside the point.
The point is that I didn’t want an agent in New York, but
Fate, as per its usual modus operandi, had other plans and now mocks me with
every trip to the East Coast. Which isn’t to say I don’t heart my agent with
big googly eyes (little hearts going pwap! over my head), and I’m not extremely
grateful to be able to visit NYC, because I am. I just keep thinking that maybe
year my vacation will be someplace
more palm tree oriented than the Big Apple. I miss palm tree vacations – they
come with coconuts and beaches and sometimes giant turtles (See the picture? That turtle swam right by me!).
But there are benefits to visiting a place repeatedly. For
one thing, you know when it’s being faked on television. OK, maybe that’s not
the primary benefit, but it is a good one (Don’t think I don’t remember you Ally McBeal and all your fake Boston sets). Traveling is always a window onto
another place and by visiting it repeatedly you start to really understand the
cultural ecosystem of that town and how far that ecosystem spreads.
It wasn’t until my second visit to New York that I
understood just how very New York Sesame Street was. From Oscar’s crappy garbage can, to the street sign, to the Brown
Stone houses, the main street in every toddlers life is a New York street.  Or the bizarre rubber boot fetish that
currently holds sway in fashion. The that makes a lot more sense when you
realize that even in the summer, New York City is home to a billion disgusting,
fetid puddles waiting to envelop sandal clad feet. Each visit reveals some
further facet of how New York is different, but also how it’s connected to
me.  And while it may not have a
lot of palm trees, the mai tais still taste good, and as Fast Times at Ridgemont High pointed out – “Wherever you are, that’s the place to be.”