Put Your Parole Officer on Speed Dial, it’s Time for Criminal Crafting

This past week has been a whirlwind tour of fun and mayhem with two fiendishly lovely kick off parties for the Criminal Crafts book at Bridge City Comics and the Someday Lounge.  I’m new to this whole game, but I’m beginning to catch on to some of the rules of author signings and being interviewed by the press.

#1 When someone approaches the table don’t offer them the choice between signing in ink or blood, you might freak them out- just use a sharpie, don’t be a smart ass.

#2 Books featuring flaming cocktails and shiv cozies are actually well loved by children too and if an adult offers to buy it for their kid, it’s between the two of them, you won’t actually be around for the fallout.  Since my kids had a whole lot to do with the making of the book and my daughter has a great idea for the perfect bank job, I’m in no position to judge.

#3 Don’t break the reporter.  I had a lovely interview with a cool guy two weeks ago and we made some flaming drinks for his story.  During the process of filming we managed to: accidentally pour a drink on the owner of the bar we were shooting in, get locked out of said bar, the reporter fractured his elbow scaling a chain link fence attempting to return us to civilization and was ALMOST ARRESTED BY TRI-MET POLICE FOR IMPERSONATING AN OFFICER, and we set some stuff on fire.  I am known to exaggerate on this blog a wee bit and sometimes outright lie, but this one is totally and completely true, all of it.  My agent has asked me to only do interviews by phone from here on out, wise plan.

I am super, super excited for the next big signing event at Murder by the Book which I’ll be doing with the amazingly talented craft author Susan Beal.  I’m a huge fan of her books especially  World of Geekcraft and Button it Up which have cool projects for when I’m feeling less maudlin.  There will be snacks, Susan is bringing along a couple of her most mysterious projects to show off- A Coraline inspired sewing box and Tribbles!  I’ll have a couple projects from Criminal Crafts including invisible ink and a ransom note kit, because we’re all about depraved writing.  Susan was kind enough to do a write up of the event here….

It is an absolute treat to be hanging out at Murder by the Book, everyone in the shop is delightful and I always walk out with my arms loaded down with a stack of thrillers, local ner-do-wells and classic who-done-its.  One things I love about the shop is their excellent selection of mysteries for kids, since my posse is destine for either incarceration or a future in law enforcement I figure it’s never too early to have them bone up on the fundamentals of the criminal world and espionage.  With that in mind I picked up three fantastic books last week:

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was one of the best things that ever happened in spy TV, though the Prisoner will always be 1st in my heart.  U.N.C.L.E. did get the best licensed toys, and spin-off books, I was stoked to find this at the store- not quite sure what a “gentle saboteur” really is, but I’m about to find out.  The illustrations are dope and I love the writing style  “The truth struck her like a tremendous gong.  She was not a soldier but a mercenary, a paid professional.  She was not part of an army but a member of a world organization of professional criminals, covering their crimes by a pretense of political activity, earning huge sums of money as the lackeys, without conscience, of governments that desired unrest and turmoil”  Booyah! That is some good shit!

 Vanishing Acts by Phillip Margolin and Ami Margolin Rome- A mystery story with Jr. High heroine, Madison Kincaid set in the ever sunny Portland Oregon.  I love reading local authors telling stories about the city I live in and Phillip’s books never disappoint.  This is the first project he’s written with his daughter Ami and though it’s for a kid audience, I’ll be reading it 1st because I’m already hooked.  I got the chance to meet Phillip and Ami at a signing last summer and they are both charming people with a quick wit, looking forward to snuggling down with this one!

 Freddy the Detective, the 1st book in the Freddy the Pig series.  Don’t let the title woo you into thinking this is just a book for kids, Freddy is the shiz, love this little guy a whole lot- Super dry humor with the writer, Walter R. Brooks as a contributing author to the New Yorker and Atlantic.  Though the stories were written between the late 1920’s up to late 50’s, the political commentary remains astute and timeless.  Freddy is a dapper hero with a supporting cast of barnyard friends who manage to over-come their animal instincts to demand labor reforms, start their own bank and covert espionage agency and eventually diplomatic relations with the people of Mars.  Since meeting Freddy last month, the kids and I have become obsessed and he’s our hands down favorite read aloud.

Aside from having my head in a book this week, I plan on doing some long overdue crafting.  I’ll be spending a part of Thursday and Friday (10-2 ish) hanging out at Backspace Cafe as the “Crafter in Residence”.  I’ll be making some projects from the book and a few other things on my to-do list.  Drop in and say “hi” bring something of yours to work on or stump me with craft questions or master schemes.  This is an informal meet-up so tweet me if you’re heading over @criminalcrafts I’ll be in the back probably drinking one of the tantalizingly delicious Upright Brewing’s Criminal Crafts Barley Bocks.


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