Supporting Cast

Friday night was the local book launch party for my new Stella Crown book, LEAVE TOMORROW BEHIND. The fun of the evening got me thinking about all of the people necessary to bring a book to life. Not only my wonderful publisher, Poisoned Pen Press (yay!), but all of the local folks who give me [...] Read More →

I’m Making a List, Checking It Twice…

On Monday, a blogmate of mine on Murder is Everywhere did a piece describing her variation on the “bucket list” of things to accomplish in life.  I shall not repeat the name she ascribed to her version but it substitutes the “b” in bucket for one falling four letters later in the alphabet.

Lighting Literary Fires Spontaneously

by Mary Reed Shocking events occur in sixth century Constantinople as our Byzantine mystery Two For Joy opens. Our protagonist John, Lord Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian, is showing his former philosophy tutor around the city when a storm produces a downpour as they pass within sight of one of the city’s stylites, one of those [...] Read More →

Open With A Bang!

Somewhere toward the end of my recent blog posts exploring great opening lines and favorite narrators, I had one of those Homer Simpson epiphanies: to lure in your reader you will need more than just a snappy opener or a distinctive voice. Sure, both of those help. But the key is that opening paragraph. You need the magic occur [...] Read More →

Time to hunker down…

Whereas Tammy Kaehler found October to be a phantom month for her (she talks about it in her Nov. 2 post here), I have to say I’m feeling like “hunker down” time is approaching for me. Maybe it’s the coming holidays (looking forward to them, but well, they roll over like a tidal wave and [...] Read More →

Mystery, Folklore, and the Problem of Evil

          In a crime issue, Newsweek (August 10, 17, 2009) included yet another rebuttal to what the writer called Edmund Wilson’s eye-rolling put-down of the mystery genre. This rebuttal is based on the superior writing that can now be found in good mysteries. About the content of crime fiction—Wilson asked who cared who killed Roger [...] Read More →

…in Spite Of Our Best Efforts

Once upon a long time ago, two kids, Casey and Erin, took clarinet lessons. As they practiced, their Siamese cat, Seymour, watched them, switching the jog at the end of his tail back and forth. When one of the clarinetists hit a squeaker, Seymour stiffened, gave the offending performers a five-star dirty look, and stomped [...] Read More →

Feeding on Feedback

The first draft of the next Rick Montoya Italian Mystery is almost finished. When I began it, the first book had been accepted but not yet been published. Now, however, I have a stack of reviews (thankfully mostly good ones), as well as anecdotal feedback from real people who have read Cold Tuscan Stone, both [...] Read More →