Mystery Authors You Never Heard Of--Maybe

I just returned from Magna Cum Murder, a mystery con in Indianapolis. It's interesting that each year, more people know who I am and more have already read my books. Many of us on what's called the Mid-list (meaning we're not big names that publishers are engaging in bidding wars for) sit quietly at these cons, listening to more famous writers tell their stories.

Some might think that if a book is good, everyone will find it and read it. That's not necessarily true in this age of hype from big publishers. A book might be very good but not quite the thing the marketing people are pushing this year or the fad type of book everyone is supposed to be reading. (For example, when did "everyone" start reading YA lit?)

There's nothing wrong with being a mid-list writer in my opinion. I write what I want to write, and no one argues with me (well, not much) about the direction my career should be going. I feel no pressure to attend twenty conferences a year or write to the expectations of others. Many of us are content being not so famous--and even not so rich--if it means we get to write the way we love to write.

I'd like to introduce you to a few authors who write good but not famous books. Those listed here were at Magna and have now returned to toiling away in the dark, happy to sell enough books to keep a publisher interested in releasing the next one.

Molly MacRae is a librarian who writes a charming series about a haunted yarn shop. The ghost is depressed and a little confused.

Sarah Wisseman is a retired archaeologist who writes art historical and archaeological mysteries. You can guess that they're completely authentic.

Tony Perona writes the Nick Bertetto mysteries and is collaborating with his daughter on a new series from Midnight Ink.

Dan (D.E.) Johnson writes historical mysteries, and his first one features Detroit in the 1910s.

John Desjarlais teaches community college in Illinois and writes mysteries with Christian themes.

These are just a few names--people I've come to know and like. Imagine dozens more, all hoping for a little recognition, all pleased if just one person says, "I read that book. It was really good!"


  1. Peg, I agree with your choice of writers from Magna. I bought books from 3 of these and plan to read something from the other 2 as well. I have been introduced to some very good writers at Magna Cum Murder--including ones on the Mid-list as you say. I found you at Printer's Row--but was very glad to see you at Magna. I became better acquainted with your writing through the discussions at the conference.

    (another) Peg

  2. Thanks, Peg. Sometimes we don't know what we're doing that actually gets people's attention, so it's good to hear where a reader first became interested.


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