Author: Keenan Powell

Keenan Powell is the Agatha, Lefty, and Silver Falchion nominated author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series. While still in high school, she was one of the illustrators of the original Dungeons and Dragons. Art seemed an impractical pursuit – not an heiress, wouldn’t marry well, hated teaching – so she went to law school instead. An Air Force brat, she was ready for a new place to go upon graduation so the day after commencement, she moved to Alaska where she continues to practice law. Her career has spanned the gamut from criminal defense, family law, dog law, personal injury, workers compensation, and appeals. In addition to writing the Maeve Malloy series, she has published a number of short stories including The Banshee of Adams, Massachusetts which short-listed for the Al Blanchard award. When not writing or practicing law, Keenan can be found oil painting, studying the Irish language, or hanging out with her friends at mystery conventions.

The Mountain by Laura Ding-Edwards

I want to share with you this touching poetry reading I ran across on Twitter : Sometimes our souls can use soothing. I know mine can. Do you have a favorite poet?

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What’s Your Favorite Fair Food?

Keenan: It’s Friday Question again. So I put it to the Miss Demeanor’s: what’s your favorite fair food? Mine is chocolate dipped ice cream bars rolled in crushed toffee. I’m not risking the fair this year. Nor am I risking boiling a vat of chocolate in my kitchen. So I’ve decided to try out a fried Mars Bar recipe. I recently heard about it on Twitter. It’s so popular, it has its own Wikipedia page. Deep-fried Mars bar – Wikipedia. Who knew! Originated in Scotland. Hail Caledonia! Tracee: Can’t believe I’m admitting this publicly. Funnel cake. Apparently it came to us from early medieval Persia where similar yeasted dishes were created, and from there came to Pennsylvania as Drechderkuche, then along came the addition of baking powder after 1879 and the Funnel Cake version! Yay! Connie: Well, I haven’t been to the Ohio State Fair in YEARS. I used to go every August with my kids and then with a friend. I admit to liking the mini donuts covered in powdered sugar a lot. Actually, if I’m being honest, I admit to liking all the fried sugary stuff—funnel cake, for example. I used to tell myself that doing all that […]

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Occasionally I’ll see authors post about their playlists, usually naming bands I’ve never heard of.

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August Giveaway: Snowbound, Best New England Crime Stories

The Giveaway: How To Enter Miss Demeaners has a new feature (drum roll, please): a monthly giveaway! All month long, you may comment on the blog post to enter. At the end of the month, one lucky commenter will be selected to win a free book! The Month’s Giveaway Prize: Snowbound, an Anthology In the middle of the dog days of summer, let’s think some cool thoughts. This month’s giveaway is Snowbound, Best New England Crime Stories, published by Level Best Books on 2017 with stories by many of your favorite authors including Miss D’s, Emilya Naymark and Keenan Powell. Here’s a taste: Eddie Barrie liked a good scotch. He also liked languid evening in cigar bars, a tumbler of Macallen glowing amber in his hand, a perfectly aged Cohiba at his lips. He owned three Prada suits, a Porshe, Louis Vuitton shoes (two pairs of loafers and one of sneakers), and a Piaget watch in the warmest, sweetest rose gold. Actually, to say he owned those things would be to mangle the truth. Eddie no more owned them than he owned his name, which was not Eddie Barrie at all, but Cosmos Dimitrios Papadopoulos. A Very Luck Bone by […]

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Visionary Women

Babyvend This is the coolest thing: Babyvend.  A lady from Anchorage, Alaska, was out somewhere with a baby and realized she didn’t have a diaper. That moment of crisis led her to create Babyvend, a vending machine with diapers and snacks. Her first machine was set up in the Anchorage airport in 2019. Now she has 23 locations throughout the United States including Mall of America. Congratulations Jasmin Smith, you are a visionary! Liquid Paper How about Bette Nesmith Graham who invented Liquid Paper! She enabled my short-lived secretarial career while I went to law school. I worked at UC Davis typing up computer forms enrollment forms for University Extension in five copy. I was really bad at it. Fast, but bad. So lined up behind my Selectric II was a bouquet of Liquid Paper: white, pink, green, blue, and goldenrod. She saved my life. Something So Complicated I Don’t Get It And then there was Hedy Lamar, the sultry Austrian actress who tinkered with her inventions after she got home from the lot. She invented a frequency-hopping signal that couldn’t be jammed. How would you think up such a thing? I have no idea. Is there a woman you […]

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Writers Workshops

In my last post, I talked about my favorite writing manuals and we received great recommendations in the comments. Today I’m talking about my favorite writing workshops. I’ve been to a few. And these are the my favorites: Book Passages Mystery Writers Conference If you write mysteries and want to learn how to write better mysteries, this workshop is tailored for you. Book Passage | Book Passage The faculty that had been planned for 2020 included Cara Black, Rhys Bowen, Tony Broadbent, Kimberly Cameron, Karen Catalona, Joe Clifford, George Fong (retired FBI agent), Julie Grames, Dr. Terri L. Haddix, Rachel Howzel Hall, Laurie R. King, James L’Etoile, Tim Maleeny, Catriona McPherson, Vilaska Nguyen (criminal defense attorney), Otto Penzler, Bill Petrocelli, Zoe Quinton, Susan C. Shea, Kelli Stanley, Robin C. Stuart, and Jacqueline Winspear. If you go, don’t miss out on the one-on-one consultations.  They’re worth every penny. Litreactor My online favorite for two reasons: the subjects offered and the workshop structure. Each week of the course, every student uploads a few pages that are critiqued by fellow students and the teacher. Online writing classes and writers’ workshops | LitReactor I got the most out of The Big Idea class with […]

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How to Learn Mystery Writing

How do you learn to write mysteries? Stuck up in Alaska with no local Sisters in Crime, I have had to figure out the craft of writing mysteries by myself. Accordingly, I have purchased just about every writing manual on the market. I asked my sister Miss D’s what their favorite manuals are. Here are mine: Keenan Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel by Hallie Ephron. This is the bible. Hallie gives you clear explanations of each concept from the premise to preparing the final manuscript. You will learn about structure, character, voice, dialogue, red herrings, plot twists, and so much more. The Art of Character by David Corbett. David is the author of a number of mystery/suspense novels and teaches widely. In this book, you will go beyond the statistical data that would appear on your character’s drivers license and delve into desire, secrets, struggles, and again, so much more. My favorite part of this book is the exercises. If you take the time to develop your characters through working through the suggested questions, your story will practically write itself. The Compass of Character by David Corbett spins off The Art of Character and goes into greater depth discussing […]

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