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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Tim Chapman Says Don’t Write Drunk

Tim Chapman is a former forensic scientist, English teacher, and martial arts instructor. You can read more about him here, see his books here, and read his last post here. Not long ago, I was asked by the Mystery Writers of America to yak about the writing advice I’ve received over the years from professors and fellow authors. In thinking about it, I realized I’ve received LOTS of advice—some useful and some, like WRITE DRUNK, EDIT SOBER, not so much. Here are the tips I think are worth sharing. PRACTICE: One of the fiction writing classes I took was an…

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Sharon Lynn Asks What Distracts You?

Sharon Lynn's short stories have been featured in multiple anthologies, the most recent being the Malice Domestic Anthology, Murder Most Theatrical. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. As anyone who has seen my social media the last couple of months will know, I was gifted with a puppy this year! A half border collie/half mini-Aussie bundle of inexhaustible energy. And with him comes new things I say. The number one phrase I never thought I would utter: “Get the puppy outof the dishwasher.” The phrase I never thought…

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Christine DeSmet Asks What Is Your Definition of Joy?

Christine DeSmet is the author of the Fudge Shop Mystery Series set in Door County, and the Mischief in Moonstone Series set in northwest Wisconsin. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. I’m seeing a few blogs and social media messages about “joy” because June is the month when school gets out, and of course we’re emerging from a winter’s pandemic nap. But it’s interesting the blogs don’t usually dig deep into the origins of the feeling of joy for the individual blogger.  How did you learn what “joy”…

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Valerie Biel on Binge Reading

Valerie Biel is the author of the Circle of Nine series of YA books. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. I am an expert binge story consumer. I love series in any form—books, TV shows, movies. I’m an equal opportunity binger. There’s nothing better than sinking into a great story with a cast of characters that feels like old friends. At the beginning of the pandemic, I sought out many of my old favorites and found new ones, too. (You can read all about that in a different…

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Read more about the article Rick Treon on finding your writing voice
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Rick Treon on finding your writing voice

Rick Treon is the author of two Bartholomew Beck books, and his latest stand-alone thriller, Divided States. You can read more about him here and see his books here. This is his debut post. I made two terrible writerly decisions during the 2020 pandemic. Despite everything, I attempted my first sequel to complete a two-book deal signed in 2019. Then, while I was struggling through that, I signed another contract for a high-concept speculative thriller due in early 2021 — a project for which I’d completed exactly one chapter and a rough synopsis. These were the two proverbial wrongs. But,…

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