Ever since I began writing the Cajun Country Mysteries, a highlight of publication has been my annual panel appearance at the Louisiana Book Festival, which takes place in Baton Rouge either the last Saturday in October or first in November. I always combine the trip with a visit to New Orleans, especially now that our daughter has followed my path and is attending college there. … Continue reading A New Orleans Halloween
Yes, it’s another post about virtual appearances. But this one has pictures! And links! Because… if you’re promoting a book these days, it’s gonna be an online experience. Which can actually offer some great opportunities from the comfort of your own home, in pajamas from the waist down. (Then again, I’ve been wearing men’s pajama bottoms as pants for ten years, so I was ahead … Continue reading Virtually Yours, Ellen…
Despite the fact that I’m on the internet so much it probably looks like I live there, I’ve never been completely comfortable trumpeting my own work. But I have to. All authors do. Publishing economics dictate we handle the majority of our own promotion these days. So, to publicize a new release in a way I could live with, I decided I needed to call … Continue reading Shameless Shilling, Byron Style
When you write mysteries, you tend to gravitate toward the macabre, which is how I ended up on the Creole Mourning Tour offered by St. Joseph Plantation in Louisiana. Continue reading What I “Borrowed” From a Creole Mourning Tour
Yesterday, I did a cover reveal of my second Catering Hall Mystery (written as Maria DiRico). On September 8th, my sixth Cajun Country Mystery will be released. And it got me thinking about how each book’s title came to be. The journey to Catering Hall Mystery #2 was easy peasy. It just came to me. Long Island Iced Tina – a title so tongue-and-cheek-cozy it … Continue reading A Tale of Two Titles
For the last few years, I’ve worked from home. Many’s the project I could have tackled during those halcyon days of Before Times, but I avoided tasks like cleaning out junk drawers (yes, plural) like they could give me, well, coronavirus. But put me under pandemic house arrest and suddenly I’m a whirlwind of productive activity. I’ve documented my triumph over mismatched plastic containers on … Continue reading Pandemic Projects
“My cousin is a suspect in the Master Detective edition of Clue,” June, one of my closet friends, told me one day. Continue reading A Game of Clue with a Special Suspect
My new series – written under the name Maria DiRico, my Nonna’s maiden name – officially launches tomorrow and I am beyond thrilled. It was inspired by my real life. Cousins by marriage ran two catering halls in Queens, the Astoria Manor and the Grand Bay Marina. (Which ended up as headline news story in New York when it abruptly closed, leaving hysterical brides stranded. … Continue reading Introducing… The Catering Hall Mysteries!!
Today, we welcome the five finalists for this year’s Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery (three of whom just happen to be Chicks on the Case). Congrats to all! The winner won’t be announced until the Left Coast Crime banquet on March 14th, but in the meantime we thought it would be “humorous” to find out from the nominees which of their characters from their … Continue reading Who Are the Lefty Award Nominees’ Most Humorous Characters?
Which author’s real name is Kate? Whose is Mary, Marilyn, or Mariella? Pen names are a literary tradition. (Hello, Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.*). The reasons for them are manifold. A publisher may request an author assume a new identity for business or financial reasons. An author might use a pseudonym to write in a totally different genre. (I’m talking to you, J.K. Rowling and … Continue reading The (Pen) Name Game
We hear the roar of engines. Not jets. Propeller planes. Jer and I run to our bedroom window just in time to see an inspiring sight… WWII trainer planes flying in formation over the San Fernando Valley. Jer and I clap and cheer like kids. This scenario has been enacted every Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veteran’s Day, as well as a few other … Continue reading Heroes of the sky… and land and sea.
Robert Frost once wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” To paraphrase him in the clunkiest way possible, good neighbors also make good neighbors. And for years growing up, my family was blessed with great neighbors: the Kimbriels. We moved to Scarsdale, a New York City suburb, when I was ten. Not long after that, the Kimbriels moved next door: Dad Harry, Mom Betsy, and their … Continue reading Good Neighbors