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Sean Cregan on MURDER PARK


Wednesday, September 19, 2012
 

Sean Cregan has been a CrimeSpot favorite since time immemorial (in Internet years, anyway). Here he talks about his online novel MURDER PARK.

Graham's very kindly asked me if I wanted to use this spot to talk about my ongoing serial novel (or serialisation of a novel; some people get very fussy over terminology) MURDER PARK. So: I have a more-or-less cyberpunk thriller serial novel called MURDER PARK which you can read twice-weekly at murderpark.seancregan.com. Thank you, and good night!

I'm kidding. There's more.

The book would've been the third one for my last publisher if they'd been able to offer me another deal for similar novels to the first couple I'd given them, but enthusiasm for the unsellable only runs so far and they had to decline when I was just over two-thirds finished. It sat on my hard drive for a year until I had the chance to reread it, edit it, and finish it off with the aim of serialising it in mind. Which I'm glad I had the chance to do; I've never had to down tools on something so far in before and I'm happy it's not been wasted.

The real challenge for this - for any story, but I suspect especially for serials, and for stories which don't have an especially easy genre label to attach to them - is to see it find an audience. Obviously the long runtime helps, but it's hard to find places to say, "Hey, here's a thing to read!"

(Hat tip, obviously, to Graham, who's just allowed me to do exactly that here.)

But that's something to work on as and when. I don't much enjoy advertising, even for something that's primarily a labour of love. The main meat of telling a story is actually telling a story, and on that score, rereading and tweaking each installment as it goes up, I'm happy. I might be the only one, but this thing that I wrote in some parts two years ago is pretty good, I think. To look back, reasonably pleased, on something you've created is always a nice feeling as a writer. If other people end up enjoying it, well, that's all the better.

I should probably end with a bit of bumf about the thing itself, so here goes. MURDER PARK follows the hunt for a stolen child in the slums of Manila. A young assassin framed for murder wants the kid in order to buy her way home to the States. A professional thief needs to find him if he's to avoid the bloody revenge of the criminal clan head who blames him for the death of his daughter. A local gang member is also out for revenge, tracking a third American who wants the child as a pawn in a power play for control of a slumland cult, an American who gunned down his own younger brother. But even if they find the boy, are they all really willing to use a child to save their own skins, or will conscience force them to do right by him? And if it does, how will they get revenge, get out, get home, without the vast forces fighting over him destroying them?

And now: exit, pursued by a bear.

- Sean C.


posted by Graham Powell at 4:37 PM
 
 

This Space Available!


Sunday, September 02, 2012
 
I haven't been particularly good at updating this blog, so I'm throwing it open to you. If you have something to say of interest to the readers here, drop me a line at mail@crimespot.net and let me know. The dozens in the audience thank you.

posted by Graham Powell at 6:58 PM
 
 

How To Ask A Question At Bouchercon


Friday, September 23, 2011
 
Got back a few days ago from the best convention anywhere, and I'm finally returning to normal. I'm almost over the Bouchercon flu, and after playing in the annual basketball game, my knees have almost returned to normal size (my ankle, though, is still fat and full of bruises).

Though I'm shutting the barn door here, I thought I'd review an important etiquette tip, since some people don't seem to get it. Here, then, is the Official CrimeSpot.net Guide To How To Ask A Question At Bouchercon:

1) You must ask a question you want to know the answer to. Don't ask questions just to sound cool*. Ask something you really want to know.

2) You must ask a question other people want to know the answer to. No one wants to listen to you ask probing questions about the bartender who appears on page 46 of your favorite author's latest book, even if he does "sound cute."

3) See all those people around you? You're not the one they want to listen to. So please keep your question short.

4) If you utter the words, "In my own book," or anything similar, your question is disqualified and you will be summarily ejected.

5) Finally, ask a question that lets the author talk for a bit. This is really the most important one - ask something the author can expand on. Give them room to start a conversation.

Although lots of the fun of Bouchercon takes place off stage (at the bar, etc.), the panels can really be enjoyable, especially when it turns into a real conversation, wiht the panelists all talking over each other and sparking ideas. If you have to ask a question, be sure you're helping them out.

* I was guilty of this once, at the late, lamented ConMisterio in 2005. I was listening to a panel called "How To Be Hip" in which all the authors agreed that part of being hip was low sales. So I asked, "Would you rather be hip - or sell out?"

The answer was instantaneous and unanimous.

posted by Graham Powell at 4:49 PM
 
 

Bourchercon Bound


Tuesday, September 13, 2011
 
Tomorrow I head off to St. Louis for Bouchercon (or, as some would have it, Debouchercon). I had a great time in Indianapolis two years ago, and I can't wait to meet some more of the people I only know online, such as the great and magnificent Gerald So, who (if I recall arightly) accepted a submission from me at The Thrilling Detective ten full years ago.

If you see me, just mention how much you love CrimeSpot, and I may buy you a drink. Chances go up the more drinks I've bought myself. See you there!

posted by Graham Powell at 6:58 PM
 
 

I Really Have Nothing To Add To This


Tuesday, September 06, 2011
 
The Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society (not safe for work, natch). Via Christa Faust.

posted by Graham Powell at 11:44 AM
 
 

Spotty Reception


Sunday, August 21, 2011
 
The site has not been updating regularly for the past week, but I have finally fixed the problem. This is why we in Information Technology never make two changes at once: In the same week I moved, and my hosting company changed some of their DNS (name-to-Internet address) servers.

So I spent a lot of time troubleshooting my connection here at the new house, when in fact the problem was that I needed to update CrimeSpot.net to use the correct servers. One of them was still good, which is why it worked sometimes and not others.

Another case of "technician, heal thyself."

posted by Graham Powell at 10:23 AM
 
 

Aaaand We're Back


Thursday, August 04, 2011
 
Sorry about the unexpected hiatus over the weekend. The CrimeSpot Command Center moved to new digs in lovely Euless, Texas, last Friday. I thought about putting up a message warning about a possible outage, but since I had already set up Internet installation for Friday, I though "Why bother?"

Well. When I was administering a wide-area network, my general rule was that any outage could, without even investigating, be blamed on the phone company with 99% certainty. So I should have bothered. But we're back and none the worse for wear.

posted by Graham Powell at 7:01 AM