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
FATAL CAJUN FESTIVAL, My fifth Cajun Country Mystery, launches tomorrow and I cannot believe I’m saying that. But I am. And it’s awesome. There are people who say covers don’t sell books. I heartily disagree. I know I’ve stumbled upon an author only because I was seduced by a great cover. My series is the lucky beneficiary of some gorgeous art painted by Stephen Gardner … Continue reading Cover Me
When I began writing mysteries, I knew that a lot of the promotion would fall on me. What I didn’t know is that I’d have to pick up some new skills. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are useless if you don’t have cool stuff to post on them. The thing is, I have the attention span of a gnat, which gives me a pretty shallow … Continue reading I can’t believe I know how to…
Not long ago, mystery author and Sisters in Crime president Sherry Harris wrote a wonderful post decrying a disdainful attitude on the part of some in the mystery community toward the cozy genre. The post hit home for a lot of cozy authors, including yours truly. https://wickedauthors.com/2019/05/09/can-we-just-stop/ Since embarking on a career writing mysteries, I’ve noticed there are organizations and conferences that don’t seem to … Continue reading “Cozy” is not a four-letter word.
Recent news in the mystery community has sparked a conversation about male authors using female pseudonyms for books specifically targeting women readers. While pseudonyms have been around for years – I’ll be using one myself on my next series – using them to lure a specific gender of reader is a textbook case of false advertising. Worse, though, is the message it sends… Women aren’t … Continue reading Thoughts from a Second Class Citizen
My Cajun Country Mystery series contains recipes, but I’ll be honest. Sometimes coming up with them, whether as originals or adaptations, is the hardest part of writing the books. Still, when KCRW, our local public radio station, announced their tenth annual Good Food Pie Contest, hosted by Good Food‘s Evan Kleiman, I decided to be adventurous and enter a recipe I’d created that I like … Continue reading Pie not?
When my mother told me that the daughter of her old friend Adia would be speaking at the Orsogna Mutual Aid Society’s Women’s Day luncheon, and that Adia herself would be there, my first response was, “You have to go!” My second response was, “And I want to go with you!” My mother is from Orsogna, a small town in Italy, and Orsogna M.A.S. looms … Continue reading Mama mia, what a mama!
On a recent trip to New York, my hometown, I bookended a day by having breakfast with one cousin and drinks with another. But these are more than cousins. To me, they are “frousins” – cousins who’ve become dear friends. I had breakfast with Felicia, who’s a cousin from my father’s side of the family. Hi, Felicia! Felicia, who very patiently allows me to call … Continue reading Is “frousins” a thing? It should be.
Wiley, painted by Eliza when she was 9 A sentence uttered by Eliza when she was five years old paved the way for a little dog named Wiley to enter our lives. We already had Lucy, a basset hound rescue. But Lucy was a sweet, sedentary creature with a lot of emotional baggage who basically lived in our closet or on our bed, making … Continue reading Fond Farewell for a Darling Doggy.