Avanti Centrae Asks About Cleopatra’s Secrets

Avanti Centrae is the author of the VanOps thrillers. You can find out more about her at her website, www.avanticentrae.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Did you know archeologists still haven’t found Cleopatra’s tomb? While researching my latest thriller, Cleopatra’s Vendetta, I learned much about the ancient queen. She had sparkling eyes, a commanding presence, and a rich voice. Her beauty has been debated, but it’s clear she had a host of responsibilities as empress of Egypt, including commanding the army and navy, dispensing justice, setting prices, distributing grain, collecting taxes, dealing with…

Continue ReadingAvanti Centrae Asks About Cleopatra’s Secrets

Anne Louise Bannon on 40 Years With the Same Characters

Anne Louise Bannon is the author of the Old Los Angeles series, the Operation Quickline series, and the Freddie and Kathy 1920s series. You can find out more about her at her website, or by clicking here, see her last post here, and find her books here. My friends tell me that one of the things I should be proud of as a writer is that I'm prolific. And I'm always afraid that me being prolific is discouraging to my other writing friends. The reason I'm prolific is probably because of my background as a journalist. Daily, or even weekly deadlines do not give…

Continue ReadingAnne Louise Bannon on 40 Years With the Same Characters

Margaret Mizushima on Adventures in Moving

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 series. You can find out more about her on her website, www.margaretmizushima.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Moving. The very word strikes fear in the hearts of braver folks than I. And yet…moving can certainly have its positive side. After forty years of living on our small ranch in northern Colorado, my husband and I have relocated to Washington state to be closer to family. It was a difficult decision and one that took two years to evolve, but at the…

Continue ReadingMargaret Mizushima on Adventures in Moving

Tim Chapman Asks Is All Art Political?

Time Chapman is the author of the Sean McKinney series and the editor the literary journal LitBop. You can find out more about him on his website timchapmanauthor.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and find his books here. Do artists have a responsibility to speak to the human condition? Lin-Manuel Miranda thinks so. In his December 2019 article in The Atlantic he writes, “Art lives in the world, and we exist in the world, and we cannot create honest work about the world in which we live without reflecting it.” He goes on to use The…

Continue ReadingTim Chapman Asks Is All Art Political?
Read more about the article Christine DeSmet on a Writer’s Oasis
Photo by Julie Holmes

Christine DeSmet on a Writer’s Oasis

Christine DeSmet is the author of the cozy Fudge Shop Mystery Series. You can find out more about her on her website www.christinedesmet.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Oasis:  “1. A fertile place in a desert, due to the presence of water; 2. any place or thing offering welcome relief in the midst of difficulty, dullness, etc.” ~ Webster’s New World Dictionary I always return from my writer’s oasis changed and uplifted. What I receive at the well is profound. This particular oasis is real, a four-day writers’ retreat I attend…

Continue ReadingChristine DeSmet on a Writer’s Oasis

Valerie Biel Asks Can You Set a Book Someplace You’ve Never Been?

Valerie Biel is the author of the Circle of Nine series. You can find out more about her on her website www.valeriebiel.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Yes, BUT it’s so much easier to write if you’ve been there. The internet makes it possible to virtually visit nearly every location on the planet, allowing you to experience a place through videos, photos, and other people’s accounts. So much so that you can gather enough pertinent details to use a location you’ve never actually visited as a setting in a book. In…

Continue ReadingValerie Biel Asks Can You Set a Book Someplace You’ve Never Been?

G.P. Gottlieb on if She Ever Owned a Café

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 www.gpgottlieb.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. On an overcast, breezy day about five years ago, I walked to a nearby café to meet a friend for breakfast. That café serves great almond croissants, but I usually enjoyed hot chocolate and a baguette with butter and jam. That day, the bass and percussion-heavy music was so loud and explosive, we couldn’t hear each other. If I ever owned…

Continue ReadingG.P. Gottlieb on if She Ever Owned a Café
Read more about the article Nicholas Chiarkas on How to Self-Edit
Punctuation marks on white background

Nicholas Chiarkas on How to Self-Edit

Nicholas Chiarkas is the author of Weepers. You can find out more about him on his website, www.nickchiarkas.com, or by clicking here, see his last post here, and buy his book here. In May, I had the honor of presenting my 10-step plan for self-editing at the Lakefly Writers’ Conference in Oshkosh, WI. The feedback was positive, and so I thought I would discuss my self-editing process here in this blog. As we all know, a poorly edited manuscript is certain death. However, don't obsess over perfect grammar. In the words of Stephen King, "Language does not always have to…

Continue ReadingNicholas Chiarkas on How to Self-Edit

Jacqueline Vick Asks How Soon Do You Want Your Murder Served?

Jacqueline Vick is the author of the Harlow Brothers mysteries and the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic mysteries. You can find out more about her at her website, www.jacquelinevick.com, or by clicking here, see her last post here, and buy her books here. Mystery writers are told to get that murder on the page as soon as possible. Readers won’t wait. The multiple sources I checked agreed death should occur within the first chapter or two. I had that in mind as I finished rereading a favorite Robert Barnard mystery. In Death of a Literary Widow, forty percent of the book…

Continue ReadingJacqueline Vick Asks How Soon Do You Want Your Murder Served?