Tag: mystery


How do I look?

So I just got my new author photo, which I love, but it also makes me think of all the previous photos I’ve had taken and where I was in my life at that time. Author photo 2022 Here is my most recent photo and I look hopeful, I think, and friendly. This was the first time I ever had a photo taken outside, in natural light, in front of a tree. No make up, except for my regular make-up. A little dog was running around the lawn. The photographer, Robyn Field, had me get to the shoot a half hour early, so we’d have a chance to chat. This is probably why I don’t look incredibly tense and my shoulders aren’t hunched. Author photo 2017 This is my author photo from 2017. It’s way more formal. I was, and am, working on a book about Anne Boleyn, so I was trying to channel that vibe. It took about an hour to put on all the make up I was wearing. False eyelashes and so on. Author photo 2015 Then there’s this one, from 2015. This is definitely channeling a church lady vibe. I feel like I should be handing […]

Read More

Write What You Know

That is the advice many give to new authors. What does that mean? As a character driven author, I understood it to mean you shouldn’t write characters outside your own experience. For example, you can’t have doctor as a main character unless you have medical experience, or a detective main character unless you’ve been a police officer.  For several reasons, I’ve always ignored that advice. First, I write what I like to read. Second, other than the very first book I wrote where I thought in advance about the characters, my characters and their stories come from my unconscious. Third, I write fiction.  But. On Memorial Day Sherry and I went out to breakfast at Pier 1, an outdoor restaurant on the Hudson River in Riverside Park, that we haven’t been to since the summer of 2019 because of Covid19. Sherry went to place our order and I found us a table. And, just a few feet away was the table where Darcy and Andrea, the characters from my first romance, had dinner. I looked up and I could see the small park at the top of the long steep path down from Sixty-eighth street. Andrea stopped there before she rolled […]

Read More

The Locked Room Mystery

Book covers

Later this summer I set sail across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II, the perfect place for a locked room mystery! While much larger than Agatha Christie’s vessel in Death on the Nile, it has a common essential element – no one can come on or off. If you aren’t familiar with the idea of a locked room mystery, here are a few essentials and a confession.

Read More

Becoming a Woman of Mystery

My question to my fellow Missdemeanors–if you had the opportunity for a do-over, if you could walk away from your current life and reinvent yourself, where would you go and who would you be?

Read More

I Knew That: The Mystery of the Mind

I learned two things this week. Two things I knew but seem to have forgotten. Both are important to my work as a writer. I may have to get a tattoo as a permanent reminder. First: It’s the Characters, Stupid. Duh, of course I know this. I’m a reader and a writer so why was I surprised when that thought occurred to me after I finished reading the latest two books in a historical mystery series of around fifteen books that I’ve loved for years.  Thinking about the series, I suddenly clearly saw the skeleton of the books, the bones on which the author has hung the flesh of every story in the series. And, for the first time, I found the books repetitive and boring. I noticed the research dumps, such as detailed descriptions of historical places incidental to the story and the lists of every item of clothing every man or woman was wearing. I also noted the similar verbiage used from book to book to describe recurring characters. Was I seeing it because I read the books back-to-back? Or had the author gotten careless, and it was more obvious? I don’t know. Now I know how hard […]

Read More

5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Matter

When readers see authors asking, sometimes begging for reviews of their books, they may wonder why are they doing this? Let me offer five reasons why. 1. Improves the Relationship Between Writers and Readers Writers and readers have an unspoken relationship based upon communication. The writer “gives” the story to the reader who “receives” it. This creates a circle of sorts. Without reviews, which can be formal or informal, depending on the form of the review and whether it is being done by a professional reader (reviewer) or a consumer of books, the writer is left in a vacuum, not knowing whether her book pleased her reader. 2. Improves the Book’s Visibility Reviews provide visibility for books and the people who write them. If readers don’t know about a book or an author, they lose the opportunity to discover both, and the writer doesn’t get to connect with the people for whom she has toiled. 3. Visibility Results in Increased Sales Sales are what support writers and reviews help create them. Like it or not, money does talk. When readers see a review that demonstrates people are so excited about a book that they stayed up all night finishing it, […]

Read More

Self-Publishing: Five Myths

There’s a lot of interest in self-publishing among authors—even those who have been traditionally published in the past. The problem is that there is so much false, outdated, or just plain wrong info out there that it’s hard to know what to think. I made the leap to self-publishing my mystery novels less than a year ago, but I spent two years researching and learning about how it works and what I could expect—and making some mistakes—that by now, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the truth. I’m coming up on the publication of the third mystery novel in my Fin Fleming thriller series, and I’m very happy with my results. So in hoped that those of you who have been reluctant to test the waters might find this info useful, here goes. 1.    Self-publishing is expensive Self-publishing may require the author to make some investments, but the difference between what a traditionally published author and a self-published author must spend before publication is not that big. For example, many authors hoping to self-publish will hire a developmental editor, a copy editor, and/or a proofreader before they submit their manuscripts to querying. So do most serious […]

Read More

Recent Posts

Writing on the Porch
  • June 24, 2022
How do I look?
  • June 23, 2022
Titles, the Torture Of
  • June 20, 2022
Write What You Know
  • June 14, 2022
  • June 13, 2022
  • June 10, 2022

Search By Tags