Spring in New Mexico
It’s spring in New Mexico! I know it’s not appreciated like it is back in North Dakota, where they got lots
of snow this winter, and now it’s flooding. I plan to visit my friends and family there in June and July,
when it’s finally warm!
I’ve been busy with my book and with the New Mexico Book Association (NMBA). I recently attended
the New Mexico Writer’s dinner, where 200 authors and fans gathered to share their publishing
journeys. After living in Santa Fe for almost five years, I found that I knew many of the authors at the
In May, I will attend the Santa Fe International Literary Festival where I’ve registered for talks by Gillian
Flynn (Gone Girl), Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North), and John Irving (The Last Chairlift). I’ve
read each of the books by these authors and can’t wait to hear them in person. Last year, one of the
authors I heard was John Grisham, and earlier this year I was able to attend an event where Tommy
Orange (There There) spoke. Santa Fe is a wonderful place to be for an avid reader like me!
In February, I was a featured speaker for NMBA where I gave a workshop on “My Self-Publishing
Journey”. If you are interested, you can link to the presentation on the New Mexico Book Association
website. In March, I attended the Tucson Literary Festival with five other NMBA members and 100,000
book lovers. Snowbirds from up north who are also book lovers and avid readers might enjoy attending
this event on the University of Arizona campus next year!
I have been invited to speak to a book club in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota on May 3 through ZOOM. Isn’t
technology wonderful? Then on May 6, I will be at Garcia Street Books in Santa Fe (10:00 a.m. – 1:00
p.m.) to promote my book, along with two other local authors.
I’ve learned that publishing a book isn’t the last step, it’s the first step on a long path. I continue to learn
more about being an author every day!
Connie L. Nelson
Tucson Festival of Books
I attended the Tucson Festival of Books March 4-5, 2023, hosted by the University of Arizona. Over 200 book booths were scattered over the entire mall area along with food vendors and entertainment stages. The campus is beautiful and includes cactus gardens, palm trees, flowers, and unique architecture. The best part was the 75-degree weather!
Over 300 author presentations were scheduled, although I only saw a couple, since I was working in the New Mexico Book Association booth with five other NMBA members representing the 32 NMBA authors who submitted books.
It was fun to participate with authors from all over the southwest. I sold some of my books, “Cavalier – The Story of an Unsolved Murder in a Small Town” (and bought some, too). This was the 14th year for this event. I’ve read that it is one of the largest book events in the U.S. Another feature of the event was that it was inter-generational, pet-friendly, and free to book lovers!
Here’s a link to more information in case you want to attend next year:
My grandson John is a student at the University of Idaho located in Moscow, Idaho. His brother attends
Washington State, just 20 miles away. Since I have grandsons living near the site of the murder, I have
had a special interest in the news reports. I’m happy to report that the boys have returned home for
the Thanksgiving holiday, so they are safe!
For readers who haven’t followed the college student murders in Moscow, Idaho, it’s been eight days since the murder of four coeds in their apartment late Saturday night, November 12, 2022. At this time, neither the police nor the FBI investigators have released any names of a person-of-interest, thus the entire community is “on edge”.
There are so many similarities to the murder I wrote about in my book, “Cavalier – The Story of an
Unsolved Murder in a Small Town”. I hope that this murder doesn’t remain unsolved for many reasons.
Here are some of the reports I’ve heard that align with the 1986 murder I wrote about:
- Moscow, Idaho is a small town.
- Moscow investigators have little or no experience with murder investigations.
- A knife was utilized to kill the students. The murder weapon hasn’t been found.
- Murder with a knife is so personal since the murderer is touching the victims while killing them,
rather than shooting them from a distance.
- The students left their apartment door open for visitors, it was not secured.
- There are few cameras in the area.
- The students sound like they may have been drinking and may have passed out.
Thankfully, the FBI is assisting the local investigators. The FBI didn’t help with the investigation of my
friend Jack’s murder, except for some lab analysis.
Regardless, a week has passed since these terrible murders in Moscow, Idaho. My research shows that
unless there are solid leads uncovered within the first 72 hours, the case may go cold. I hope not.
My grandson and his college friends will never forget this experience, just like my friend’s murder has
impacted my outlook on life for the past 36 years. I feel bad for the students, the roommates, the
college and of course the families involved. They will never be the same.
Connie L Nelson
Meet Connie Nelson - an author, a true crime memoirist, and a lifelong writer. In her book, "Cavalier - The Story of an Unsolved Murder in a Small Town," She tells the story of her friend's unsolved murder, and her journey to publishing the book. Through her experience, Connie learned that asking questions and utilizing resources are key to success.