Category: Writing

Finding Hope and Elinor in the Garden

I was exhausted from the national and global turmoil that fills every screen or newspaper I see. I was exhausted from the raw dampness crawling into my joints signaling winter would not leave without a fight. I was exhausted from not being able to find my words or my story. Nothing seemed to be working. And then on a gloomy Sunday with a rainy forecast three weeks after spring officially arrived but had yet to show up off the calendar, the sun began to shine, the chilling wind fled for other places, and I became energized. Within hours, the malaise that lingered from winter vanished. I had things to do. Work for my professional practice. Writing on my work in progress and on this blog. But I dug out my gardening gloves and shears and headed for the dirt. When I downsized from a ten-room house to a three-room tindominium, my garden shrank commensurately. I have five raised beds and countless pots of various sizes. There’s a patch in front of the tindominium reserved for roses and hydrangeas, must-haves on Cape Cod. The half-acre I worked for thirty-one years was ten times as large as my new mini-garden. I’ve learned […]

Read More

Catching up with author Deanna Raybourn.

We are thrilled to have bestselling author Deanna Raybourn with us today at MissDemeanors. Deanna is the award winning author of fifteen novels and novellas including the wildly popular Lady Julia Grey and Veronica Speedwell series. Tracee de Hahn: Deanna, You are prolific! When you start a new project do you have in mind that it will be series or does that evolve? How does that impact the project and character creation? Deanna Raybourn: I always know before I even begin the actual writing if I’m creating a series or a stand-alone. It means that the character development is a bit different and how I relate the backstory changes. In a series, I can let out bits of the past over a much longer period of time because the arc is much broader. In a stand-alone, I have to be ruthless about deciding what matters and whether it makes the cut of what goes in because I only have so much space to work with.  TdeH: I’ve dipped back into your books recently and the trip down memory lane makes me wonder if we’ll ever see Ryder again?  DR: He was a fun character to write, but Ryder’s day is […]

Read More

Who’s the best? Time for writing awards season.

Every year I feel that spring launches writer’s conference season. For writers and fans alike there are many choices to fill the schedule. Interested in networking, there’s a conference for that. In advancing craft? Connecting with an agent, meeting your writing idols? Still other choices. This week at MissDemeanors we’ll take a look at a range of choices and weigh in on a few of our favorites. Later this month, the Mystery Writer’s of America (MWA) host a symposium followed by the Edgar Awards (yes, named for THAT Edgar…. he of the tell-tale heart). The groups mission is to promote higher regard for crime writing and the writers in the genre. As part of this mission, the symposium features the Edgars’ nominated authors in categories ranging from Best Novel and Best First Novel, to Best Fact Crime, Best Juvenile, Best Short Story, and Best TV episode, among others. Held annually in New York City, this is a great chance to hear from the best of the year, and meet them in person. The size of the event makes it possible – almost inevitable – to speak to your favorite authors. Ask that burning question about how they started in their […]

Read More

First lines.

I didn’t grow up in the tradition of memorizing great swaths of poetry or prose (this is an entire subject of great regret) so it means something when I can quote a first line without pulling out the book. Think about this. It is one line. The first line. The one read before all the others on hundreds of pages, and yet it sticks in the mind. For example – Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. (Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind) The small boys came early to the hanging. (Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth) The last camel collapsed at noon. (Ken Follett, The Key to Rebecca) The gale tore at him and he felt its bite deep within and he knew that if they did not make landfall in three days they would all be dead. (James Clavell, Shogun) Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina) More recently – Lydia is dead. They they don’t know this yet. (Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You) The snow in the mountains was melting […]

Read More

Search By Tags