Sleuthing Women boxed set cover

Six-Degrees to Success

by Vinnie Hansen

Misterio Press authors Kassandra Lamb and Shannon Esposito both live in Florida and are dealing with Hurricane Irma. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Since I’m safely located in California, I’m filling in today for Kassandra with an updated repost. 

Authors, even well known ones, can find themselves at events where few people attend. I once did a book talk and signing with the famous Laurie R. King at a local bookstore. The audience was fewer than a dozen people.

Laurie King and Vinnie

Laurie R. King and me

It’s comforting at such moments to remember the six-degrees-of-separation theory–that everyone is connected, by six or fewer steps, with everyone else. A friend of a friend of a friend knows your friend… At some events, we might not sell a single book, but who knows where the connections might lead.

Last year, I was invited to join in Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries, a boxed set of 10 full-length books featuring murder and assorted mayhem by 10 authors. The collection offers 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuths, capers, and cozy mysteries, with a combined total of over 1700 reviews on Amazon, averaging 4 stars!

I am not nearly as well known as the other authors in this collection. I can only speculate how my name was thrown into the hat for this great, good fortune.

I could have been chosen for my scintillating personality. However, I suspect the invitation arose from my participation in some past event.

Sleuthing Women boxed set cover

There’s my Murder, Honey, all the way to the right

The initial contact about the boxed set came from Camille Minichino, a fellow member of the Northern California Chapter of Sisters in Crime. We first did an event together back in 2005, a book-signing fundraiser for a high school library! So maybe this current opportunity was set in motion on that long ago, and long April afternoon.

While Camille informed me of the project, if I were to lay a bet on how I came to be accepted in Sleuthing Women, it would be that I guest-blogged—twice—on Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers, the site of Lois Winston, organizer of the boxed set. I wrote decent pieces, met my deadlines, and persuaded others to visit the posts.

Guest blogging can seem like a dead-end with no obvious sales bump. On the other hand, in this case my participation may have pushed the first domino that led to my inclusion in Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries.

To go back to that sparsely attended high-school fundraiser, I shared a table that afternoon with Cara Black. Cara later became a very well known mystery writer, who supplied me with a blurb that I use on everything.

I could list for pages, the lackluster events that manifested valuable friendships and worthwhile connections. So even on those rainy evening book talks with five people in the audience, I give my all. You just never know which of those people might know someone who knows someone….

And now my participation in Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries has led to Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas. One thing leads to another.

What about you–have you ever had some seemingly mundane connection lead to something bigger? Do you believe in the six-degrees-of-separation theory?

Available now for just $.99 on  AMAZON    APPLE    KOBO    BARNES & NOBLE

Sleuthing Women II: 10 Mystery Novellas is a collection of ten mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novella is a tie-in to an established multi-book series—a total of over 800 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, cozy, and female P.I. mysteries.

Posted by Vinnie Hansen. Vinnie is a retired English teacher and award-winning author. Her cozy noir mystery series, the Carol Sabala mysteries, is set in Santa Cruz, California.

We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not lend, sell nor otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses. 🙂 )

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Shannon Esposito
    May 10, 2016 at 9:04 am

    What a fabulous boxed set! Actually, I’ve joined the brand new Gulf Coast chapter of SINC and one of the ladies in the set with you, Susan Santangelo with the Baby Boomer Mysteries, is in our group. I just love her, she’s so fun. It is a small world, especially in the writing world. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vinnie Hansen
    May 10, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Oh, Shannon, welcome to Sisters in Crime! Such a great group. And, how cool is it that Susan is in your chapter? One-degree of separation, huh?

  • Reply
    Heather Haven
    May 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    As usual, Vinnie, I just love everything you do.

  • Reply
    Vinnie Hansen
    May 10, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you, my dear pal. I almost wrote about our connection formed by going to listen to music during Killer Nashville, but the post was getting long.

  • Reply
    Kassandra Lamb
    May 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I am so jealous that you’ve met Laurie R. King! I’ve often had a connection with one person lead to other connections that turned out to be life-changing. meeting my husband through a friend of mine, who happened to be stationed in Turkey in the Army with him, is the one that immediately jumps to mind.

    • Reply
      Vinnie Hansen
      May 12, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Laurie R. King is Santa Cruz County’s literary treasure, although we have other heavyweights living here, too, like Jonathan Franzen.

      Cool how you met your husband, Kassandra.

  • Reply
    Kassandra Lamb
    September 12, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Thanks for pitching in, Vinnie! Shannon and I both evacuated with our families, so all are safe. Shannon’s neighbor reported to her that her house is okay too. Yay! I’m waiting to hear from my brother who was going to go over today to check ours. We’ll be driving home tomorrow.

  • Reply
    Vinnie Hansen
    September 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    You’re welcome. I’m relieved to hear you, Shannon and your families are okay. I hope your house fared well. Kathy has already volunteered to do a re-post of one of her pieces for next week if you’d like.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.