It’s been a long time since the last Rozan Report and I’ve missed you all! I hope you’ve been happy, healthy, and productive. (Yes, I still use the Oxford comma and I don’t care who knows it.) For my part, I’ve been traveling, writing, teaching… oh, all kinds of things. And sometimes, all of them at once.
Sweet tea, espresso, Mongolian salt tea??
For the first time in my life I was in Mississippi. That leaves only four states I haven’t at least set foot in. (Should we have a contest on the website to guess which ones?) My friend Eric Stone (http://www.ericstone.com/) moved down there, to Clarksdale in the Delta, so I went to visit. After two days of tooling around with Eric (the world’s best tour guide) and local hero Ace Atkins (http://www.aceatkins.com/), I woke up with a hangover and an idea for a new Lydia Chin book. Luckily the one that faded was the hangover. The book, to be called SWEET TEA, is underway.
In July I was in Assisi, as usual, teaching a writing workshop. An awful lot of you keep saying “maybe next year” about coming to Assisi to take a workshop and I want to say, THIS YEAR! Come to Assisi! This summer’s dates are July 27 – Aug. 9. Room, breakfast, dinner, and workshop in a four-star hotel with a very friendly staff; plenty of time to relax, to explore the beautiful town, and to GET SOME WRITING DONE! http://artworkshopintl.com/
My big trip this year was in August, when I went to Mongolia for the third time. (And how many people do you know who can say that?) Went with a bunch of traveling buddies, had a fabulous time. We hit the Gobi, where we climbed a big giant sand dune and then had a picnic dinner in its shadow as the sun went down;
to the wild east where we camped in the middle of a thunderstorm and woke up in the middle of a herd of migrating gazelle;
and further into the wild east to a pine-surrounded lodge built by a Mongolian man who spent a few years in the US as a rodeo bull rider. There’s a book coming out of Mongolia, too, THE KHAN’S KEY. Stand by.
Assisi, Martha’s Vineyard, or Wisconsin?
While you’re standing by, and if you can’t come to Assisi (come to Assisi!) here’s where I’ll be teaching in the US in 2016.
I’ll be in West Bend, WI, for the third annual Writers’ Bookcamp (like Bootcamp but for books, get it?) for a week, May 15 – 21. A week in a beautiful quiet retreat, hills, pond, walking trails and other writers. No specifics on the Wisconsin Writer’s Association website yet, but keep checking back. And no, you don’t have to be in, or from, or ever have seen, Wisconsin, to come.
Then June 19-25 I’ll be doing a Crime Writing Workshop on Martha’s Vineyard, MA, at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts. Again, beautiful and serene, a great place to focus and work.
Now, if you need something to help you keep track of the days until your workshop starts, I have three new 2016 calendars. (Because of what use is an old 2016 calendar?)
Pick them up and never be confused again. At least, about what day it is.
Listen up! Bill Smith’s music recommendations
In preparation for a trip to the Mississippi Delta, Bill Smith has been spending time with some of BB King’s recordings, particularly “Live at the Apollo.” BB King recently died at 88. He and his guitar, Lucille, are well worth any number of hearings. Here they are — King and Lucille — doing “The Thrill is Gone.”
Ma Chin’s Kitchen Table
I know many of you have been following the stories of my daughter’s cases. I would certainly rather she had chosen a path that did not lead her into association with the type of person she encounters in her detecting work. I mean, of course, both the criminals, and the other investigators. I am sure that soon she will outgrow the foolishness of her current career and realize how many other more respectable possibilities are open to her. However, until she does, I am still her mother and it is my duty to assist my children in whatever way I can. To this end I have recently begun to investigate some cases myself, ones involving people too distasteful for me allow to associate with my daughter. If you are interested, two of my cases are chronicled in these publications.
“Chin Yong-Yun Meets A Ghost,” by S.J. Rozan, in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, March-April 2015.
“Chin Yong-Yun Makes a Shiddach,” by S.J. Rozan, in MANHATTAN MAYHEM.