Faces from the Past

I’ve decided to return to my little collection of images from the past,  including many faces that have provided inspiration and guidance of one type or another for my fictional forays.

It’s a Mystery: Wise Words About Writing

I recently received in the mail a copy of the 70th Anniversary Edgar Allan Poe Awards Dinner Annual publication from Mystery Writers of America. I’ve never made it to the Edgar awards dinner, but I always read the Edgar Awards annual from cover to cover. Every year it is full of articles written by famous, […] Read More →

Building Blocks for Mystery Writers

  I’m flying high over this post. Literally, because when it goes live I’ll be in the air on my way to Mykonos and the start of my writing summer. So, what to write about on the cusp of such an off-to-the-clouds sort of moment? Something grounded no doubt. Perhaps an elaboration of my take […] Read More →

Plot Construction Advice From Dr. Tom Greenslade

In The Three Hostages, Dr. Greenslade has useful advice on constructing plots and he offers it to Richard Hannay, protagonist of The Thirty-Nine Steps and several other novels by John Buchan. The First World War is over and Hannay, now married and the father of a young son, has settled comfortably into life at Fosse […] Read More →

Walk-Up Songs for Mystery Detectives

Time for my annual baseball post. Last year I wrote one on the Top Ten Baseball Walk-up Songs in Literature. For the uninitiated, a walk-up song is that hard rock, hip hop, or country tune that blares over the speakers throughout the stadium as the ballplayer walks from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box.

Understanding Literary Collaborations

The great Fats Waller said it all.  “One never knows … do one?” Way back in 2010, when I finished writing my ragtime historical mystery trilogy, I had an idea for my next book: a mystery set in ragtime history and involving time travel.  But I’ve never been a sci-fi or fantasy reader, and I […] Read More →

Can Tattoos Be Crucial to the Story?

I got my first tattoo when I was thirty-seven. It’s a simple infinity heart, inscribed in black lines on the inside of my left wrist, right at the pulse point. I got it during a particularly rough summer, one of those seasons of turmoil and grief, and I needed the reminder that love is indeed […] Read More →

Another Journey to the Next Mystery

If there is such a thing as writer’s block, that may be what I’m going through now. My next book, Return to Umbria, is being copy edited as you read this, and is scheduled for November publication. It will be the 4th Rick Montoya Italian Mystery. So my thoughts now turn to the next book […] Read More →

Purple Rain

For no particular reason I can recall, I never quite connected with Prince, except that every time I happened to hear ”Purple Rain”, I thought, Whoa, that’s some mighty fine blues. And now Prince has died. I read a few articles and watched a couple U-tube performances the articles linked to, and learned to appreciate […] Read More →