Author: Emilya Naymark

Emilya Naymark is the author of the novels Hide in Place, out now, and Behind the Lie, out February 8, 2022. Her short stories appear in A Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koryta, Secrets in the Water, After Midnight: Tales from the Graveyard Shift, River River Journal, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017, and 1+30: THE BEST OF MYSTORY. She lives and writes in the Hudson Valley

Sentient AI–a Mystery or Not?

A few days ago, a Google engineer had been put on leave for publicly saying the chatbot they’ve been developing is sentient. After months of testing it, which involved trying to see if it could turn murderous or hateful, he’d come to the conclusion that it was an independently “thinking” entity. With feelings. Although this is more a story about a very smart person who clearly needs to get out more and chat with real humans, it sent me down a rabbit hole of ethical, psychological and scientific questions.

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Writing Awards

This past weekend saw the presentation of ITW’s 2022 awards for books and stories published in 2021. I’ve read two of the winners and can wholeheartedly say they deserved every accolade.

So, in honor of award season, and if you’ve published or will publish anything in 2022, here’s a list of industry recognized awards you can submit your work to for next year. I mean, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

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An Interview with thriller writer Jaime Lynn Hendricks

Jaime Lynn Hendrick’s debut, Finding Tessa released last year to great success and greater reviews. I caught up with this extremely prolific author (how prolific? VERY), and asked her to share a little about her publishing journey and writing practice. The answers are delightful, intimidating, and inspiring.

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In person events, signings, book tours

I’m only now beginning to realize the wealth and breadth of in person events that are available to authors. From what I’m hearing, online launches and panels aren’t going away either, and podcasts are on the ascendancy.

In other words, there’s a plethora of ways to get the word out about your book baby.

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9 Mystery Writers Confess to Guilty Pleasures

What is your current guilty pleasure? 

Let’s assume we’re talking books or television :-). I’ve been bingeing season 2 of Bridgerton, which is very silly, predictable, and can best be described as a young lady’s wildly historically inaccurate fantasy of Regency-adjacent alternate universe. But every night, I look forward to watching it. I don’t even understand why I do. There are two “teenage” characters played by women in their thirties and some of the characters who are meant to be in their twenties look twice that old. I don’t care. 

It’s fluffy and relaxing. I don’t have to think too hard and I know nobody will be hurt too badly. There will be a happy ending, lots of pink and lavender dresses, and everyone is buff. 

And you?

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The Value of Free Things (Part 2)

Have you all heard of this? Amazon has a policy where customers can return an e-book, even after reading it, for a full refund. Readers, no fools they, are beginning to use Amazon as a lending library, at great cost to authors. Don’t like this? Neither do I! Well, there’s a petition you can sign.

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Vacation Reading: a Mystery Novel, a Memoir, another Mystery Novel, and Vampires

I finally got to travel last week, and I loaded my kindle with plenty of reading material. Four in one week is not my personal best, that is reserved for the vacation where I read a book a day, ran out of books, and had to find a bookstore in a panic before the flight home. Obviously before kindles. I read a mystery novel (times 2), a memoir, and a sliver of vampire fiction by Octavia Butler, who never disappoints in the “taking a trope and turning it inside out, on its head, and sideways” department.

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The Point of Words

Although many living things communicate with each other (my dog certainly feels a burning need to let me know the mail has arrived the very moment it does), humans, at least on this planet, are the only ones who have language. And novels. And stories. And Instagram.

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Free Stuff

As writers (at least as writers in the U.S.), we are expected to give away a portion of our product. We give away signed books, ebooks, short stories, novellas, etc.

And I don’t even want to put in writing what someone asked me to give away today. Let’s just say the request that landed in my inbox made me think long and hard about the value of a FREE THING.

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