Friday, February 06, 2009


Send me your openings

This is only my second Sleuthfest, but I had so much fun last year (and Randy Rawls and his henchmen did such a great job running things) that I had to come back. Besides, I live in New England and grab just about any opportunity to go someplace warm (as did the sleuth in my "Exile" series, who left the northeast for Florida and never came back).

I'll be running the "Openings" workshop at nine AM on Friday February 27th, and I'd like to open this up to as many attendees as possible. I've already got sample openings from several well-known mystery novels to use as examples, but I'd like to ask anyone who's going to be at Sleuthfest to consider submitting an opening of their own. This is open to any writer, published or not, and I promise to keep the group's critiquing professional.

My plan is to put the opening on a slide (two slides max) and then discuss it with the audience (for example: What does this opening accomplish? Is this opening geared to providing the 5 W's or does it have a different purpose?) If you're willing, please send the first page of your opening to me at (not knowing how many responses I'm going to receive, I can't guarantee your segment will be used). Please let me know if you wish to remain anonymous (at least for the duration of the workshop, or until people start raving about your writing) and I will take it from there.

I hope to see you at the "Openings" workshop at 9 AM on Friday February 27th. And don't forget the mock murder trial "Twelve Angry Flamingoes" at 6:30 that evening; Vicki Landis has written a twisted plot and assembled a gifted cast (raffle tickets for jury positions will be sold at the Registration table).

Vinny O'Neil is the Malice Award-winning author of the "Frank Cole / Exile" murder mystery series published by St. Martin's Minotaur. Sample chapters of all three novels are available at his website,

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