Sherrill Joseph asks, “Mystery or . . . Suspense?”

Sherill Joseph is the author of the Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery series for middle grades readers. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, or read her last post here. The famous film director Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (1899-1980) proudly bore the title the “Master of Suspense.” Suspense surpasses mystery in making my stomach lurch and my heart pound.  Interestingly, suspense can be both terrifying and exhilarating. "Sacramento, California, USA - March 21, 2012: A 1998 USA postage stamp with a portrait of movie director and producer Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980). Suspense is defined as “a…

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Joy Ann Ribar Asks What are the Fruits of Your Labor?

Joy Ann Ribar is the author of the Deep Lakes series of cozy mysteries. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. My mysteries all feature people who depend upon their hands to bring forth a new creation. The women at Bubble & Bake knead and shape dough to make baked goods that bring a smile of satisfaction to the baker and the taster.  Deep Bitter Roots honors the granite quarry workers of the past who hand chiseled and polished stone to create stunning monuments but sacrificed greatly to do…

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Laurie Buchanan on Creative Flair and the Color Blue

Laurie Buchanan is the author of the Sean McPherson novels, including Indelible. You can read more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Though I’m a full-time writer now, I used to be a holistic health practitioner. When I had my private practice, one of the many energy-based modalities I used was color therapy. Color is simply energy; energy made visible. As human beings, color is the only energy we can see. While the speed of light is a constant 186,282 miles per second, the speed of color—its frequency—travels at varying rates depending on…

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Anne Louise Bannon Asks How Do You Use Your Past?

Anne Louise Bannon is the author of the Old Los Angeles series, the Freddie and Kathy 1920s series, and the Operation Quickline series. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her latest post here. Way back in my errant youth, I was going to be an actor. I majored in theatre as an undergrad, then went on to get my master's degree in the same subject. After graduating (and producing a child), I took acting classes and met a young woman who produced plays in what was then called an Equity-waiver house. Actor's…

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Jeff Nania on Early Writing Advice

Jeff Nania is the author of the Northern Lakes Mystery Series. You can find out more about him here, see his books here, and read his last post here. I really don’t think I am the best choice to tell anyone how to write a book or even how to get started. There are lots of well-written blogs and articles that describe various writing processes in detail. They should be very helpful to anyone trying to write anything. But people ask me anyway. Last week I met a young writer and her mom visiting from Wyoming. Her name was Taylor,…

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Saralyn Richard Suggests What Not to Say to an Author

Saralyn Richard's latest book is A Murder of Principal. She is the author of the Detective Parrott series and children's book Naughty Nana. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. An interviewer once asked me who my ideal reader was. I answered, “Someone who is open-minded, is willing to engage with me in an intellectual and emotional puzzle, loves a good story, and has a good sense of humor.” Fortunately, almost every reader I’ve interacted with has fit that description. Still, there are a few who don’t. By far,…

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Avanti Centrae on Reinventing Yourself

Avanti Centrae is a former Silicon Valley IT executive turned thriller author. Before becoming a writer, she worked for ALCOA, Texas Instruments, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, and Hewlett Packard. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her latest post here. Avanti Centrae Have you ever thought about reinventing yourself? Changing careers? Working for yourself? Like many others who have changed careers later in life, I took on a new challenge several years ago, right before I hit fifty. In this post, I share my background, hurdles, successes so far, and a few tips and…

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Tracey S. Phillips asks What Bird Are You?

In addition to being the founder and leader of our group, Tracey S. Phillips is the author of Best Kept Secrets, and writes romantic suspense under the pseudonym Karissa Knight. You can find out more about her here, see her books here and read her last post here. Birds are Messengers I recall a summer day, not too long ago, when I was standing on my deck breathing the fresh Wisconsin summer air and watching the breeze flutter leaves in the canopy of maple trees overhead. And in the midst of this peaceful reverie, the distinctive chirt-chirtle of hummingbirds caught…

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Margaret Mizushima Asks What Do You Do to Fill the Well?

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 police procedural series, set in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her latest post here. Years ago (Could it possibly have been twenty?) I came across a book by Julie Cameron and Mark Bryan titled The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self. Many of you have probably read this book, and it’s still popular today. The book wasn’t meant to be just for writers. The lessons in it inspire creativity of any form, from…

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Marilyn Levinson on When Editors Edit

Marilyn Levinson writes the Golden Age of Mysteries Book Club and the Twin Lakes series, and the Haunted Library series as Allison Brook. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Marilyn Levinson Having published seventeen novels in more years than I care to mention and two books coming out soon, I’ve been vetted by a variety of editors. Just as each writer has her own voice, every editor edits in her own particular way. Some editors I’ve worked with considered me a clean writer and made a few notations…

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