Author: Cate Holahan

The Perils of Writing From Home

by Cate Holahan A man died on my dining room table. His blood seeped into the honed concrete slab becoming an indelible stain on the surface. To the untrained eye, the mark might appear red wine, sloshed on the table by some drunken dinner guest. But the spot is darker. Deeper. I see it. Anyone that has ever read The Widower’s Wife and then attends a dinner party at my house sees it too. In truth, there isn’t any stain on the table. (When I host Thanksgiving, I put plastic underneath the tablecloth like the OCD aunt that covers all the furniture). The mark is all in our minds. It got there because I staged a murder scene in that book in my actual house, and a character does die on the table. My real dining room table. Scenes from this book are set in my house. Folks say “write what you know.” Since I work from home, sometimes that entails snatching details from where I live and incorporating them into my work. My protagonist’s apartment in Lies She Told is a copy of the first place my husband and I lived as a married couple in New York City, […]

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Better, Faster, Stronger…

by Cate Holahan Welcome to the new and improved MissDemeanors site, powered by WordPress. Our goal here is to provide mystery readers and enthusiasts a behind the scenes look at how writers create novels in the genre. We share sources of inspiration, blogs we are reading, walks we are taking, and things we are thinking about. Daft Punk … Inspiration of the day We also have plenty of conversations about craft. How much backstory is too much? How can an author effectively vary language without seeming as though she was combing through a thesaurus? What makes a character compelling? How much of the mundane aspects of living should stories include for characters to be believable? How unlikable can a character be for an individual sub-genre? What makes a plot interesting? Red herrings–how to do them right. We’ll provide our opinions, and we’d love to hear yours. But why should you care what we think? Who the heck are we, am I right? Every regular writer and contributor to this site is a traditionally published author that pens mysteries. We run the gamut of sub-genres: intense cyber thrillers, plot-twisting psychological suspense novels, character-rich supernatural tales, emotional mysteries, and laugh-out-loud cozies. There […]

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