Sue Grafton loved to explain that she kept her private investigator heroine, Kinsey Millhone, locked in the 1980s so that Kinsey wouldn’t have the luxury of such technology as cell phones and laptops to assist in her investigations. And I have to say, I sometimes wish I’d done the same with my sleuth. In fact, at the time I was writing the first in my … Continue reading The Trouble With Tech
When authors are submitting a proposal for a series or for more books in a series, we typically are asked to suggest titles for those books, as well. Sometimes they fly; sometimes they get shot down by the publisher. We think the Chicks have had some pretty cool titles, including The Semester of Our Discontent and Til Death Do Us Party. Ellen’s latest release, Long Island Iced Tina, is a contender for best ever! (Look here for a list of all the Chicks’ books to date.)
But today we reminisce about those titles that didn’t make the cut — or the cover.Continue reading “Chick Chat: What’s in a title?”
This is probably the most common question asked of me by folks hearing for the first time that I write mystery novels. And my go-to answer is generally, “Why, everywhere!” But the other day, when a neighbor—who’s just now reading through my Sally Solari series—asked me this question, after providing the same stock answer as usual (with the addition of, “Hey, you might end up … Continue reading Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
My mother, Smiley Cook Karst—who passed away on January 3rd at the grand old age of 91—was perhaps my greatest inspiration as a writer. Sure, my law professor father, author of three books and many dozens of articles about Constitutional law, was far more famous. But notwithstanding that I, too, worked as an attorney, I was never drawn to writing about the law. No, my … Continue reading Like Mother Like Daughter
So I wrote this post for Chicks a couple of years ago. But it seems wildly appropriate for our current times, so I thought I’d bring ol’ Murphy back for a spin. He’s hard to get rid of, as it turns out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you… Continue reading When Write Goes Wrong: Blame Murphy
My law professor father used to like to say, “There are only two times I’m miserable—when I’m writing and when I’m not writing.” And I have to agree. Because when you’re in the middle of a book, you’re nervous about getting it right and angsting that you should be working on it whenever you’re not. But when you’re not in the middle of a book, … Continue reading Starting From Scratch
All the fiction I’ve written to date—unpublished things, as well as my Sally Solari novels—has been in the first person. However, when I started book one in my mystery series, Dying for a Taste, I actually did so in the third person. There was no particular reason for this choice, other than the fact that most novels seemed to be written that way. But about … Continue reading Which Person is Which?
A couple of years ago, I was in a doctor’s office waiting room doing what I usually do: reading the true crime section of People, perusing Us Weekly to see if stars really are just like me, and considering what height I should claim to be. I was taking a reading pit-stop, thumbing through a piece about the royal family, when I heard the nurse … Continue reading Where the Armenians Are
Kathleen here, and I’m so pleased and honored to welcome Gabriel Valjan today. Gabriel is not only a wonderful, Agatha (and other!) award-nominated author, but also one of the biggest champions of the writing and reading community, continually promoting, encouraging, and cheering on his crime fiction brethren. But enough fan-girling from me. Let’s get into what Gabriel has to say about comedy and crime. Crimes … Continue reading Comedy is Crime Plus A Cat
Kathleen here, and I’m SO thrilled to welcome the talented, award-nominated and all-around amazing author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series, Keenan Powell. Take it away, Keenan! Day Trip to Seward: Trains and Whales Before I started writing Hell and High Water, I had a clear picture of the first scene. Maeve’s fed up with law, so she decides to take a summer job in … Continue reading Guest Chick: Keenan Powell
Lisa here, with my annual St. Patrick’s Day post–because ’tis all life as usual, right? I had planned to fly straight from Left Coast Crime in San Diego to celebrate with my sister in Florida, where she is renting a house near the beach for a month. Things didn’t quite turn out, though, so here I am, lifting a cold mug of badly-brewed coffee to you from a very sober New England. We could all use a little levity right now, so here’s to you and here’s to me– let’s get the party started! Continue reading Cheers, It’s Virtual Almost-St.-Paddy’s-Day!
Yep, it’s cold, brutal, boring February. But there is one bright spot, in addition to watching Groundhog Day on endless loop: It’s International Typewriter Appreciation Month! Maybe you already know that, because I first wrote this post many Typewriter Months ago. But because I owe a lot to typewriters–in fact, I might not even be here on this earth without one–I thought I’d share it again.