G.P. Gottlieb on Playing the Piano and Writing

G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped series of cozy mysteries. You can find out more about her on her website, or by clicking here, and find her books here. This is her first post for the Blackbirds. G.P. Gottlieb at recital I loved playing piano as a kid, but when I got to the music school at Indiana University, it seemed like everyone else was a better musician. I still liked playing, but I started getting nauseated whenever I had to perform. Still, after I completed a degree in piano and psychology, I stopped playing. I…

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Nick Chiarkas on Writing a Sequel

Nick Chiarkas is the author of the thriller Weepers, and is working on the sequel. You can find out more about him here, visit his website here, and see his books here. This is his first post as a Blackbird Writer. I am writing a sequel knowing full-well I am not talented enough to do this…but for some reason, while having tea and pound cake with my insecurities…I must go on. Countless horrors from “Breaking News,” fill my head. My loving cats, and needy Golden Retriever, fill my lap and arms, demanding my almost constant attention while I research, write,…

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Jacqueline Vick on Author Overload

Jacqueline Vick is the author of the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic series and the Harlow Brothers series. You can find out more about her here, visit her website here, see her last post here, and see her books here. There is a vast, dark void that terrifies writers of every ilk. Writer’s Block. The place where elusive ideas taunt the creative mind, deftly avoiding capture. But have you heard of its evil twin, Author Overload? The mental space where new concepts for books and series pelt the author until her idea board looks like it’s been hit by a graffiti…

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Read more about the article Rick Treon Asks Why Write Crime Fiction?
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Rick Treon Asks Why Write Crime Fiction?

Rick Treon is an award-winning suspense/thriller author. Read more about Rick here, see his books here, and read his last post here. While at my first few book signings in The Before Times, I was surprised how often I was asked if my book was nonfiction or based on a true story. Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised. In the Texas Panhandle, the name Rick Treon was strongly associated with my background as a reporter and editor of the Amarillo Globe-News. So I had to explain how I’d ventured into the world of…

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Laurie Stevens Lets Her Villain Speak

Laurie Stevens is the author of the Gabriel McRay series of psychological thrillers. You can find out more about her here and on her website, see her books here, and read her last post here. From the laptop of Victor Archwood. Victor Archwood I hope you don’t mind I’ve taken the literary mic away from Laurie Stevens (she talks too much anyhow, don’t you think?). I’m Victor Archwood, someone Laurie has labeled a “villain” in her books. You may think that offends me, but I’ve learned to rise above the petty judgments of people. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?…

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Donna Rewolinski on Balance

Donna Rewolinski is the author of the Novice Mystery series. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Writing a mystery series is a challenge, but it gets harder when there are two main characters working together. When I was a teenager, I was told that Yin and Yang meant opposites, but in college I took a Tae Kwon Do class. My master was Korean born and raised. He spoke of complements. That the two sides lean on each other. They don’t compete or dominate, but rather balance each other.…

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Sheila Lowe on Getting Started

Sheila Lowe is the author of the Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting series and the Beyond the Veil series. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. August 3, 2021 was release day for Dead Letters, the eighth book in my Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting suspense series. It takes a lot of effort to write, release, and promote any new book, so I gave myself some time to do all that, and then some more time to clear my mind and ready it for the next plot. At least, that was…

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Sherrill Joseph Asks Cursive Writing, Yea or Nay?

Sherrill Joseph is the author of the Botanic Hill Detectives mystery series for children. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. “So, why are you torturing my son by teaching him cursive?” That was the first question I, a staunch proponent of formal Zaner-Bloser cursive instruction, received from the frowning parent of one of my fifth graders at Back-to-School Night in September 2012. Not exactly the auspicious start I hoped for that evening. But the question reveals the ongoing divide in America: Should students be taught cursive handwriting anymore?…

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Joy Ann Ribar Asks Do You Collaborate with Your Main Character?

Joy Ann Ribar is the author of the Deep Lakes cozy mystery series, set in Wisconsin. You can read more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Knock Knock!  Who’s there?  It’s me, Frankie Champagne from Deep Lakes, Wisconsin. I’m here to get some air time because my co-conspirator/creator, Joy Ann Ribar, shelved me in September and hasn’t given me any attention since.   Let me qualify that statement.  Joy’s been pounding the pavement with my latest mystery adventure Deep Green Envy since its release in September, so I guess you might say I’ve garnered…

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Laurie Buchanan Shares her Writing Toolbox

Laurie Buchanan is the author of the Sean McPherson mystery series. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Words, words, words. Writers string them together in a specific order to create stories and draw readers to their work. And if we’re fortunate, we keep them there, turning page after page.  But sometimes, readers stop short. They get in a page or two, maybe even more, and then close the book. Decide to quit. Why didn’t they stay? What went wrong?  That’s hard to say without seeing the work, but experientially…

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