Vickie, here. I’m thrilled to welcome today’s Guest Chick, Molly MacRae! Molly is special to me, in that she was the very first cozy author I ever stalked! I was at O’Hare Airport in Chicago about to board the plane to attend my very first Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda, Maryland. I had just bought a coffee and was making my way to the gate … Continue reading Guest Chick: Molly MacRae
Most of you already know (especially if we’re friends on Facebook or friends IRL), that my hometown is Memphis, but I now live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I often get questions about where I live. Memphis summary: Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, is there. Half a million people tour it each year. I think everyone should see the Jungle Room once, but once is … Continue reading Snow on Easter or Spring in da U.P.
Like so many things, the writing life is easier if you celebrate the small victories along the way. Example: If I hit 1,000 words in my work in progress – Yay! Although, if you’re like me, it’s more like: I hit 1,000 words – gosh, only 79,000 more to go. It’s that feeling of stepping on the scales at Weight Watchers after being really, really … Continue reading How to tip the word count scales in your favor
Since it’s a safe bet that most everyone reading this blog is either a writer or an avid reader — or both, I thought we’d chat about first lines and drawing the reader in. Prospective readers browse in bookstores, libraries, and online stores stalking their next read. Titles and cover art make them pick up the book. The blurb or log line on the back … Continue reading First lines, last chance
The start of a new year is typically a time to make resolutions and plans. My resolutions are more like wish lists, because if I were truly resolved I’d be thin and have an immaculate and organized home by now. I started last year with a very definite plan and even followed through on my part. But, best laid plans…yada yada. I planned to have … Continue reading Out with the old, in with the new hip — and accepting progress over perfection
“How did you end up writing murder mysteries?” Implication being, “Why would a nice woman like you write about murderers?” I’ve been asked this question more than a few times. It started innocently enough for me. See if any of the telltale signs apply to you. You might be a mystery writer if: While driving you work out scenes, saying the dialogue out loud. At … Continue reading It’s not a mystery
It’s October, which means, well I guess it means a lot of things, but one of those things is Halloween! Here’s one from back in the day, with little sister and baby brother. If you look closely you can see sponge rollers in my hair, which means Halloween fell on a Saturday that year. Mama always rolled our hair into sausage curls for church. When … Continue reading Frightfully fun
I’ve been enjoying all the first day of school posts lately on Facebook of my friends’ kids and grandkids. Standing on the front porch are smiling youngsters holding a sign that says: “Duncan – First Grade” or “Natalie – Kindergarten.” When my sister’s oldest child started kindergarten, the teacher gave the parents little care packages to take home. (One way to get the lingerers to … Continue reading School daze
I believe we should all chase our dreams. But, I’ve come to believe that when your dreams start chasing you, it’s time to stop running. Most of my life I dreamed of being a published author. I’d long had articles regularly published in suburban newspapers ringing Memphis, Tennessee, where I worked the better part of 20 years as a reporter. But I desperately wanted to … Continue reading When dreams chase you
The Chicks are attending More Than Malice (July 14-17)! Some of us will be at the Author Speed Dating events, and our own Ellen Byron is nominated for an Agatha Award (Best Contemporary Novel)–huge congratulations and cheers!–and you can watch the recorded nominee panels here. The More Than Malice schedule offers information about the many wonderful panels happening this week if you are attending. Also, if you … Continue reading Gone to Malice 2021
As you’re reading this, I’m likely sitting at home propped up on pillows with an ice pack, or limping across the room hanging onto a walker. With my patient husband’s attention, and the aid of painkillers, I should be doing okay. I had hip replacement surgery on Thursday. Since I posted this before I checked into the hospital, I can only speculate about how I’m … Continue reading Bad to the bone
What’s the best point in the story to begin a book? I’ve gone through some rigorous writing exercises recently trying to figure that one out for myself! After three false starts, I think I’ve got it nailed down for my work in progress. (Fingers crossed.) With this in mind, I thought it might be fun to do a little writing exercise today on Chicks. Readers, … Continue reading Where to start?