MISS DEMEANORS

Grab Your Idea and Run

People always ask writers, “Where do you get your ideas?” The answer is probably different for every writer, but what I want to talk about is how exciting it is when a new idea pops up.             Lately, I have been attending to the business of writing. Publishing details, publicizing, copy editing, etc. Frankly, it’s not my favorite part about writing and I often try to avoid it. But that only works for so long. So, I slog away at the drudgery until magically in a moment, I get an idea for a new story. The embryo of a book. It may be a character whispering in my ear, begging for her story to be told or it may be that Greek Gothic house I drive by every week where I am certain events are unfolding that readers have to hear about.  It’s an energizing catalyst for me. I am quickly inspired to finish up the busyness of the business of writing so I can return to the joy of playing make-believe.             So, what is buzzing in my brain that has me so excited?  I’ll share a little, but you’ll have to wait for the book for the full […]

Read More

Psychological Barriers

I teach a class for Gotham Writers called Novel First Draft, which is about helping writers power through a first draft. Over ten weeks, people will write anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 words, and it’s exhilarating. Nothing more inspiring then seeing writers in the flow. But invariably, around week five, (or sometimes week two), certain psychological barriers crop up that can slow things down. Here are a few of them. Carping Critic: You’re no good. Your writing’s no good. Have you ever read Charles Dickens? Do you think he’d write a sentence like that? There are so many writers out there so much better than you. Why do you think anyone would want to read what you have to say? Arghh. How are you supposed to deal with that? By reminding yourself that you have your own unique thing to say. And it doesn’t need to be perfect. This is just a first draft. You can do it! The Betrayer: My family will hate me when they read this. My friends will hate me. How can I write something if it’s going to hurt the people I love. How to respond? This is a tough one because it can happen, […]

Read More

Happy Birthday, Raymond Chandler

If Raymond Chandler were alive today, he’d be 113. Still, he lives on, not only in his own massive oeuvre but also in the books and short stories of writers who read Chandler and were never the same.

Read More

Hot Sellers

What does Reese Wither

Read More

Novelizations

A novelization offers the opportunity to deepen the characters, show backstory, introduce tertiary characters and really give us an insight into a character’s soul. More than anything, a novelization well done will improve the experience of the film’s storyline, broaden the world.

Read More

What I Learned from Hosting the Tart Words Podcast

“Welcome to the Tart Words Podcast. I’m your host, Linda Gordon Hengerer, and today I’m talking with…”

Read More

Read Where You Are

On the Road Again I move around. A lot. My day job has taken me from the southeast to the northwest, down to the southwest, over to the Midwest, up to New England, and now to the west. Each place has had unique characteristics that distinguished it from the others. No two places felt the same. In each place I wondered, what would a book set here be like? Read in Place Setting, for me, is an important part of the reading (or viewing) experience. I don’t much care for stories that could happen anywhere. On the contrary, my favorite stories are the ones where the setting, even if fictitious, is a character. I also enjoy reading stories that are set in the place I happen to be. When I was in New England, I found myself in the mood for tales of foggy mornings and rocky shores. Down South, I wanted gothic tales filled with decaying grandeur, the scent of magnolias, and tense humidity. Your Turn What should I read now that I’m out west? A cowboy story, historical or modern? A tale of the desert’s harsh beauty? A yarn about a ghost town? Or a story of transformation […]

Read More

Close Criminal Encounters

This was my question for Miss Demeanors this week. What they told me that can’t be published was astounding! But what can be put in print is pretty amazing too. Michele:         We write about crime, we read about crime. But do we know criminals? Tell our readers about at least one criminal you have met, either professionally or personally (related to?), and whether that influenced your writing. If you haven’t encountered a criminal (seriously?) tell us about someone who doesn’t quite play by the rules. What my grandmother would call a rogue. I’ll go first.  I had to interview a man who was on trial for killing his wife in front of their three-year-old, who was in a crib. I sat alone with the accused in a small room with cinderblock walls at a small table. He hadn’t gone on trial yet and denied killing the wife. I was there on behalf of the child. There wasn’t an ounce of regret or contrition in his voice. He was arrogant and unfeeling. I was reminded why I didn’t practice criminal law (Keenan feels this way about family law). When I think of that interview, I wonder why I write crime. I […]

Read More

Are you cozy?

This week all sorts of cozy mystery writers and readers are huddling around our screens to take part in the More than Malice (virtual) Conference. There will be a an assortment of writers talking on such topics as Seeking Agatha: The Christie Tradition and It Happened: True Crime ( which will include fellow Miss Demeanor, Alexia Gordon.) There will also be an Author Speed Dating event at which I will be participating. One minute to talk about my book! One of the panels I’m most interested in, pictured above, is an analysis of the intellectual underpinnings of cozy mysteries. I’m so excited to hear what these scholars have to say. When we talk about cozy mysteries, we’re talking about mysteries which do not have hard-core violence. Think Miss Marple, who is the patron saint of cozy mystery writers. (By contrast, Jo Nesbo is not a cozy mystery author, though he is quite entertaining.) What I love about writing cozy is that the focus is on characters and community. These crimes are not anonymous. They’re committed by people the protagonist knows. And, in some cases, loves. It gives me a chance to think about what pushes people to commit crimes. How […]

Read More

Ten Words We Need To Save

Every year new words are added to the English language. And every year words are lost. Here are my top ten words we need to save.

Read More

Recent Posts

Grab Your Idea and Run
  • July 27, 2021
Psychological Barriers
  • July 26, 2021
Hot Sellers
  • July 22, 2021
Novelizations
  • July 21, 2021
Read Where You Are
  • July 19, 2021
Are you cozy?
  • July 15, 2021

Search By Tags