Tag: crime writing

crime writing

And the Winners Are…

The 2017 Agatha Award Winners
Best Contemporary Novel
**Glass Houses: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny  (Minotaur Books) Best Historical Novel
**In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen  (Lake Union Publishing)
  Best First Novel
**Hollywood Homicide: A Detective by Day Mystery by Kellye Garrett  (Midnight Ink)
 Best Nonfiction
**From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women who Created an Icon by Mattias Boström  (Mysterious Press)
 Best Short Story
**“The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” by Gigi Pandian (Henery Press)
 Best Children’s/Young Adult
**Sydney Mackenzie Knocks ‘Em Dead by Cindy Callaghan  (Aladdin)
  Winners of the 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Awards BEST NOVELBluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books)
She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper (HarperCollins – Ecco) BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola (Sourcebooks – Sourcebooks Landmark)
BEST FACT CRIMEKillers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Penguin Random House – Doubleday)
Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson (W.W. Norton & Company)
BEST SHORT STORY“Spring Break” – New Haven Noir by John Crowley (Akashic Books)
BEST JUVENILEVanished! By James Ponti (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Simon & Schuster – Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY“Somebody to Love” – Fargo, Teleplay by Noah Hawley (FX Networks/MGM)
 ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD“The Queen of Secrets” – New Haven Noir by Lisa D. Gray (Akashic Books)
William Link
Peter Lovesey
RAVEN AWARDKristopher Zgorski, BOLO Books
The Raven Bookstore, Lawrence Kansas
Robert Pépin
The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman (HarperCollins – William Morrow Paperbacks)

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Who are we?

The Miss Demeanors have a new look on our web site.  I love it. It seems mysterious, glamorous and maybe a little dangerous. Sort of like Myrna Loy. None of those words actually describe me, but a person can dream! Anyway, thinking about that made me wonder how my fellow Miss Dismeanors would describe themselves and our group. We’re all mystery writers. We’re all represented by the fabulous Paula Munier. But we’re all quite different too. We write different types of mysteries, for example. We’re living different sorts of lives. So what one word describes us?Here are the answers I received: Alexia: Cool. Women writing crime. What’s cooler than that? Cate:Brave. There is an honesty in fiction, a need for the writer to lay bare her true impressions and observations about human nature from beneath the thin veil of character. Putting yourself out there demands a certain amount of chutzpah. Michele:Dynamic. I am amazed at how much living my fellow Miss Demeanors crowd into life. They are either scooting off to Switzerland, Ireland, or New Orleans, or they are launching new books, even while they raise kids, work as physicians, writing teachers, etc. There is an energy beaming within and radiating from my blog mates. I admit when I’m feeling a tad depleted, I’ll go back to some earlier posts to borrow a little of their energy.  Paula:Persistent. Not a very glamorous trait, but one of the most important if you want to succeed as a writer, or as anything else. Publishing can be a tough business, and the bar is high, and the road to success can be long, but all of us have endured. We’ve learned that the “write, revise, repeat” mantra is the only one that really works. We keep on writing and revising and repeating. We persist. And so we publish.  Robin:Paula beat me to the first word that came to mind. The hazard of being in the latest time zone of the team 🙂 So I’ll say diverse. While we’re all women who write crime fiction, each of us incorporate our unique views and life experiences across multiple subgenres in fun and different ways.  Tracee:Engaged. With everything… their writing, families, blog colleagues, and other members of the writing community. And they still have time for friends, church, teaching, politics….oh, and yes, day jobs. What I admire is how each part of their lives gets the full focus when on deck.  I’ll round if off by saying “friends,” because I think that’s what we’ve become along this journey.How about you? What word one describes yourself?       

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Second chances

  As I go teetering into advanced middle age, I’m more and more conscious of the fact there’s a surprising amount of fun yet to be had. Instead of sitting around waiting for one of my children to produce a grandchild (not that that wouldn’t be a good thing!), I’m cavorting with the Miss Demeanors, going to conferences, discovering new drinks, writing an exciting new novel, getting into trouble, planning to march in Washington. In fact, I’m doing things I didn’t do when I was young because I worried too much about repercussions.  Or because I was exhausted.    One of the things I like about the protagonist of my mystery series, Maggie Dove, (I hope it’s okay that I like her!) is that she’s given me a chance to explore more deeply what getting a second chance means. It’s scary for Maggie. She’s set in her ways. She’s found a safe place  and doesn’t want to emerge from it, and yet, when she’s forced to come out of her shell, to solve a murder, she loves it. She becomes a Sunday School hellraiser, if such a thing is possible.  A person who has been a great second-chance role model to me is the great First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She started off her life being a certain sort of person. A debutante, a society wife, a political wife. But then her husband got polio and everything in her life turned upside down. Although she was shy and insecure about her looks, she had to step out onto the political stage. She was a great advocate for women’s and civil rights during FDR’s presidency, and after he died, she continued as a diplomat. She also wrote a fabulous memoir, This is My Story. It’s one of my favorite books.  How about you? Are there any role models who inspire you?     

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Candy! Candy!

The protagonist of my new mystery is a woman who likes to eat candy bars. (Don’t ask me how I know. I do.) She’s the sort of person who keeps a candy bar in her pocketbook for times when she has low blood sugar. She’s the sort of person who has a favorite candy bar, and I have spent a great deal of time, energy and calories trying to figure out which particular candy bar that would be.      I was going to go with a classic. M&Ms. I like them myself, but I thought there were too many of them. For my purposes, I needed something you could take a big bite out of. Skittles were also out, for that reason and also because they took on political connotations I didn’t like. Butterfingers were too crunchy, Milky Bars too soft.  Then I stumbled across  the Take Five bar. It’s an intriguing candy. First of all, it has a jumble of flavors: pretzel, caramel, peanut, peanut butter and milk chocolate. My protagonist is definitely a person who likes jumbles. She mushes her food (I think). She likes jumbles of people too. In fact, one of the things that gets her in trouble is that she befriends everyone. It’s also a candy bar that has never done as well for Hershey as the big guns: Kisses and  Peanut butter cups. The Take Five bar flies under the radar, sort of like my protagonist. And it’s quite tasty. As I discovered from eating a lot of them. This one small detail helped me discover so much about my protagonist. I love the way that happens when you’re writing. It’s like a puzzle. One small details builds on another and bit by bit a complete character emerges. In this case, she’s someone who I like quite a bit. How about you? Do you have a favorite candy bar?

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Every New Year’s I make a resolution to improve myself in some way or another. I will be more productive, more focused, more ambitious and so on. But this year, I concluded that if I haven’t changed by now, I’m probably not going to. And all I’m going to succeed in doing is make myself feel guilty, which I already do enough. So this year I decided to accept what I am. And what I am is a slob.    My desk is cluttered with papers, books, pictures of dogs, notes from people I love, notes from my agent with advice, tissues, water bottles, an icon my son brought me from Russia, dog treats, post-it notes, and books. I’d like to say there’s order to this madness, but having just spent half an hour looking for an important bit of information that I found under a chair, I doubt it.  What there is, though, is energy. My office feels alive to me. When I walk in, I feel like I’m jumping into a stream of running water.  Periodically I do clean it, and then I feel very virtuous, and then I sit down and write and darned if I know how it happens, but by the time I stand back up, it’s a mess again. But you know what? It works. How about you? Is there anything you’ve come to accept about yourself this New Year?

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