As the year winds down, awards season heats up. And since I’ve yet to be approached about becoming a member of the Academy—nor have I ever voted in the People’s Choice Awards, despite my being clearly qualified as a Person—I’ve created my own awards. Herewith, the Cooper’s Choice Awards. The envelope, please….
Best True-Crime Show on TV
I have to admit, I’m fascinated with crime shows, but more than occasionally I end up feeling kind of squeamish about the details. But this TV show focuses on the part that I love: the justice part. Former Harris County Prosecutor Kelly Siegler is like an ass-kicking, crime-fighting superhero who also happens to have a huge heart—plus, she’s a Texan, so I love her accent. Watching her working the cases, along with crime scene investigator Yolanda McCleary, who was the real-life inspiration for the character of Willows on CSI, is utterly fascinating and occasionally thrilling—especially when the bad guy ends up behind bars.
Best Adjunct Event to Left Coast Crime
When I walked into the Left Coast Crime mystery conference and saw a large sign announcing there was a cat show going on next door, I thought it was a prank meant to poke fun at cat-loving mystery fans—either that, or an extremely shrewd exercise in capturing their core audience. Of course I went—are you kidding me?—and as my reward, I got to meet a hairless cat who is pink. My life is now complete.
Best True-Crime Binge-Watch
Tie: The Jinx and Making a Murderer
Netflix has taken up hours of my life this year with these two completely fascinating series. In The Jinx, millionaire/murderer Robert Durst (since I’m not a reporter I don’t have to use allegedly, do I? Okay, fine, allegedly…) twitches and burps his way through a series of startling revelations, ending with the bombshell that got him arrested. And the December release of Making A Murderer had us binge-watching for three grim days right in the middle of the holiday season and questioning the entire justice system.
Best Inspiration for a Super-Creepy Short Story
Ghost Town Serial Killers (allegedly)
While showing a friend of mine a ghost town in central Oregon, a creepy couple started talking to us and following us around. After barely making it out alive (at least to hear us tell it), I excitedly spent the next twenty minutes transcribing every detail. I just stumbled across a first draft of a story I started writing based on the experience, and now I can’t wait to finish it.
New Favorite Social Media Obsession
When you’re a writer, there’s lots of talk about building your social media platform. But it’s hard to tell what’s working, what isn’t, and whether any of it ultimately matters at all. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be able to translate my Pinterest obsession into a thriving social media outlet, but it appeals to the collector in me. I collect beautiful antique books, as well as modern books with book covers I love. I collect cozy mysteries by the dozens. I collect inspiration for my novels, like this mood board I made for Terror in Taffeta. And instead of doing craft projects, I can pretend I’m going to do them one day by collecting them all on my Move over, Martha board.
Blog Commenter of the Year
Kate Focke Pearson
A few months back, when we first started this blog, Kate was the very first person to leave a comment. I told her I’d buy her a drink one day if we’re ever in the same city — I believe we settled on a whiskey sour — but until that day comes, I thought I’d honor her with a special shoutout for being our first and most frequent commenter! We love it when you guys say hi, so thanks to everyone who’s ever left a comment!
Favorite TV Watching Tradition
Contradicting the Opening of Fargo
My husband and I have watched both seasons of Fargo in their entirety, and during the opening of each episode, as the opening title sequence fades up one sentence at a time, we have a little ritual that involves yelling at the TV in unison.
This is a true story:
“No it isn’t!”
The events depicted took place in Minnesota in [year].
“No they didn’t!”
At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed.
“No they haven’t!”
Out of the respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.
“No it hasn’t!”
Every. Single. Time.
Best Midsize Hotel Chain
After the Left Coast Crime awards ceremony, I may or may not have “accepted” some of the hotel’s awards that were on display in the lobby (allegedly). The wine they served at the awards ceremony may or may not have played a factor. Although I didn’t get to keep the trophies, it was an honor just to be nominated.