Community conversations

For a chance to hear about the new stories, before anyone (well, anyone but my editor…) read on…


I started my college life at a California junior college called West Valley, located near my home in Saratoga. I had no money, no job, and no idea of what I wanted to do–which made community college a sensible choice.

Community colleges, of which California has 113, are the most democratic of educational opportunities. They’re for people who don’t want, don’t need, or aren’t ready for a full four-year institution (especially now, when student debt can cripple families.) Nursing degrees, police academies, technical programs, and other such specific training programs mix alongside high school graduates doing their first two years of college on the cheap—and, even more exciting, adults returning to the classroom for a class or three, in subjects that simply interest them.

So, when I was asked to speak at one of my local community colleges, I gave a resounding YES!

Monterey Peninsula College got its start in the forties, and long served soldiers and their families from nearby Fort Ord (which itself is now a State University, CSUMB.) One of the long-running MPC programs is a Guest Author Series, held once or twice a year, with writers as varied as Joyce Carol Oates and Craig Johnson (see the full list here.)

And now me. I’ll be there this Thursday, working with MPC writing students in the afternoon, then giving a talk in the evening. I’ll be speaking some about The Murder of Mary Russell, naturally, but I’ll also be musing about the writing process itself—and, as I said at the beginning of this blog post, I’ll be reading some snippets from not one, but two works in progress: a short story called “Stately Holmes” (more about that soon!)  and my 2017 novel, Career Day.

If you’re anywhere near the Monterey Peninsula on May 19 at 7:00, do not miss this. Ticket details are here, or for more information write Henry Marchand, here.


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