By Kelli Stanley
So today we're supposed to supply six "gotcha" questions ... you know, the kind 60 Minutes used to zing some sleazebag with, whereupon the sleazebag would yank off the mike and walk off camera.
That would happen at least once a year, and it was always a highlight of the season.
So, to riff on my fellow CMs' panel dystopia, a 60 Minutes-style Panel from Hell (with me as an innocent victim) would be ...
1. You've been writing for, what--over five years now? And yet you admittedly haven't made a profit of any kind ... no, don't bother, here's your IRS return. So let me ask you--why are you doing this?
2. I've read that mystery writers are usually emotionally unstable, obsessive-compulsive control freaks, many of whom suffer from borderline personality disorder. Where do you fit in?
4. How do you respond to charges that you're a hack?
5. Please tell us--and remember, you're on camera--what are you hiding underneath that hat?
Of course, I'd wake up from the nightmare at #3, since I've never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Patterson, and I'd realize it was all just a bad, bad dream, and Mike Wallace wasn't really persecuting me.
Now, as for real life ... today I'm actually on my way to a REAL conference with REAL panels (the wonderful Murder in Muskego), where I'm looking forward to answering questions about, among other things, whether I outline, how I do my research and where I get my ideas.
Let's just hope I don't run into Mike Wallace ...
Kelli Stanley is the award-winning author of the Miranda Corbie series, the newest novel of which is CITY OF SECRETS. Rumor has it that copies are out in the wild, roaming the country and looking for good homes. She also writes a Roman Noir series, various short stories and the occasional limerick. Visit her at http://www.kellistanley.com.