Guest Chick: Sandra Murphy

We’re so happy to welcome back the inimitable reviewer and author Sandra Murphy. Today she’s offering very wise words for both authors and readers. Take it away, Sandra! Do’s and Don’t’s of Book Reviews I review over 100 books a year for Kings River Life online magazine, cozies and thrillers, set in the present and in the not-too-distant past which means I spend seven or … Continue reading Guest Chick: Sandra Murphy

Guest Chick: Francelia Belton

Hi, Ellen here. I met Francelia Belton when I visited Colorado to teach workshops for the Sisters in Crime – Colorado chapter and we totally hit it off, both as writers and human beings. 😉 I’m thrilled to welcome her to Chicks with this wonderful post… “First Sentences are Doors to Worlds.” First, I’d like to thank Ellen and the other Chicks for having me … Continue reading Guest Chick: Francelia Belton

Guest Chick: Sandra Murphy

The Chicks are excited to welcome acclaimed short story author Sandra Murphy today, tackling a question we’ve all thought about… Where Do Ideas Come From? Something happens + a question = an idea for a story or book. Writers say, ‘I couldn’t think of anything to write’ or ‘The Muse wasn’t speaking to me.’ I don’t believe in writer’s block or The Muse. Ideas float … Continue reading Guest Chick: Sandra Murphy

The Art of the Elusive Comp

Writing comp titles really is an art form. Boiling a story down to “when x meets y” requires a lot of skill. Some tips I’ve heard before are: Nix the bestselling titles (a.k.a. Please don’t think you’re John Grisham) Try to use semi-current works Use ones in a similar genre (some folks recommend using just books, while others are okay with references to short stories … Continue reading The Art of the Elusive Comp

Agatha Best Short Story Nominees

We asked the Agatha Award nominees in the Best Short Story Category the following question: what can you tell us about your title? Art Taylor: “Better Days,” which appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, is the sequel to another story, “A Drowning at Snow’s Cut,” published in EQMM in 2011 and inspired by a boat trip that my dad and … Continue reading Agatha Best Short Story Nominees