Notes From Murder & Mayhem in Chicago

It’s pretty amazing to witness the birth of a new event. Even more so when it’s so perfectly executed. Murder & Mayhem in Chicago might have been in its first year, but you would never know from the size of the crowd, the quality of the panels, and the caliber of authors in attendance.

I was there along with my podcast co-host and M&M in Chicago emcee, Eric Beetner (who, based on his performance last Saturday at Roosevelt University, might have a future in comedy). We did interviews with talented writers like Sara Paretsky, William Kent Krueger and Shaun Harris. And checked in with several dynamic duos, from M&M in Chicago masterminds, Lori Rader-Day and Dana Kaye, to Crimespree magazine’s Ruth and Jon Jordan, and on to a hilarious conversation about book tours with Sean Chercover and Marcus Sakey—not to mention our fearless reviewers, Kate and Dan Malmon. You can look forward to hearing most of that and a few other little surprises on a future episode of Writer Types.

I also got to hang out with members of my extended crime fiction family including Holly West, Angel Colon, Lance WrightBryon Quertermous and Gretchen Beetner, while sharing some inappropriate laughs with Erica Ruth NeubauerThomas Pluck, Hector Acosta and Gregory Rossi (among others). And many of us feasted on some truly insane deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s thanks to Chicago native and masterful panel moderator, Danny Gardner.

Jealous yet? Well, don’t be. Murder & Mayhem in Chicago will be back next year and, based on what I experienced over the weekend, for many years to come. So give Murder & Mayhem in Chicago a LIKE on Facebook and make sure to sign up for next year’s conference when registrations open up again. And register for sister event, Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee, in the meantime. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see you there this November!

crossedbonesx2700-2S.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available from Rare Bird Books. The second Greg Salem novel, GRIZZLY SEASON, was published in October 2016. His first Tommy & Shayna crime caper, CROSSWISE, is available from Down & Out Books. The second novella in that series, CROSSED BONES, will be published in May 2017. He is also the co-host of the crime/mystery podcast, Writer Types.

Interrogation—Lori Rader-Day (Murder and Mayhem in Chicago)

chicagoWho: Lori Rader-Day

What: Lori Rader-Day is the co-founder of Murder and Mayhem in Chicago (March 11, 2017), along with Dana Kaye. Day’s debut mystery, THE BLACK HOUR, won the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the 2015 Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her second novel, LITTLE PRETTY THINGS, won the 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award and was a nominee for the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original. LITTLE PRETTY THINGS was named a 2015 “most arresting crime novel” by Kirkus Reviews and one of the top ten crime novels of the year by Booklist. Her third novel, THE DAY I DIE, will be released by Harper Collins William Morrow in April 2017.

Dana Kaye is the founder of Kaye Publicity, Inc, a boutique PR company specializing in publishing and entertainment, and the author of YOUR BOOK, YOUR BRAND: THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO LAUNCHING YOUR BOOK AND BOOSTING YOUR SALES. She also founded the Chicago Literati Networking Event, which brings local authors, booksellers and publishing pros together for an evening of mingling and swapping business cards.

Where: Chicago

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Why is 2017 the year to launch Murder and Mayhem in Chicago?

LRD: Chicago is a great mystery-writing town, with so many active authors, independent bookstores, and mystery writer associations. But our only mystery conference, Love Is Murder, faded away last year, sort of unexpectedly. Dana and I had been talking about trying to start something like this, but then suddenly, there was a hole in the mystery conference schedule. And Chicago deserves a great mystery event. I mean, come on: Capone?

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