Carlene O’Neil on Location, Location, Location

Carlene O'Neil is the author of the Cypress Cove cozy series. You can find out more about her on her website, www.carleneoneil.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. What’s most important in a novel? What pushes the story forward? If you look at the golden age of mystery writing you will see the emphasis was on plot. More recently character development is what readers are looking for. If you were to ask me, though, I would say of equal importance is the location. The location, the setting where the story takes place,…

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Sherrill Joseph asks, “Do You Enjoy Easter Eggs?”

Sherrill Joseph is the author of the Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery series for middle grade kids. You can find out more about her on her website, www.sherrilljoseph.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Who hasn’t sought those delicious chocolate-covered, candy-speckled, and rainbow-dyed eggs left by the E.B. in pretty baskets and springtime flowerbeds? For now, however, please try not to think about chocolate as we shift to the nonedible, nondenominational types of Easter eggs—those scattered in literature and movies. The formal name for a literary or cinematic Easter egg is an allusion.…

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Cozy Author TK Sheffield Reads First, Asks Questions Later

TK Sheffield, writes the humorous Backyard Model Mysteries. This is her first post for the Blackbirds. You can find out more about her on her website, www.tksheffieldwriter.com, or by clicking here, and buy her books here. This is my first blog post as a Blackbird Writer. Thank you for having me, author friends—chirp, chirp! My instructions were to “write for readers, to pull back the curtain on the process.” Thus, I will answer a Proust Questionnaire through the lens of a cozy mystery author. What person do you most admire? The one who is strong in adversity, patient when frustrated,…

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Tim Chapman wants to Test Your E. K. (Evidence Knowledge)

Tim Chapman is the author of the Sean McKinney series and an editor for LitBop literary journal. You can find out more about him on his website. www.timchapmanauthor.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and buy his books here. Read the following description of a crime and the subsequent collection and analysis of the evidence. Then take the quiz. The answers will be posted in the Blackbird Writers Discussion Forum on Facebook this week.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/266333987835433 The Crime—The Wheels Are Set In Motion The police receive a 911 call from a woman who identifies herself as Ellen. She says…

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When you write crime thrillers, there’s bound to be murder!

Laurie Buchanan is the author of the Sean McPherson crime thriller novels set in Bellingham, Washington. You can find out more about her on her website at lauriebuchanan.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. My job as a crime thriller writer is to deliver intellectually and emotionally stimulating novels that keeps the space between the pages and the reader emotionally taut. One of the ways I accomplish this is to write with authenticity. I appreciate the myriad of professional sources who continue to inform my knowledge base. I’ve had the opportunity to…

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Writing About What You Don’t Know—Carl Vonderau

Carl Vonderau is the author of thrillers Muderabilia and Saving Myles. You can find out more about him on his website www.carlvonderau.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and buy his books here. The age-old adage for writers is to write about what you know. My philosophy is to write about what you would like to know…and then fill it in with what you do know. My first book was called Murderabilia. The protagonist was hiding a terrible secret. His father was a serial killer who photographed his female victims. So did I write about what I…

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The Tie Between Writers and Readers

Sharon Michalove is the author the Global Security Unlimited series of romantic suspense. You can find out more about her on her webesite coffeeandeclairs.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. On the one hand, every writer wants reviews. On the other, every writer dreads reviews. We hope for rapturous acclaim. We fear the one-star, snarky review that proclaims the plot is bad, the ending too predictable, the characters unrelatable, the settings insipid or inaccurate, or all of the above. As a newer author still building a reputation, I am hungry for reviews…

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Colleen Winter on A Literary Feast

Colleen Winter is the author of The Gatherer series of speculative thrillers. You can find out more about her on her website www.colleenwinter.ca, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. In a week’s time, I will be hosting the thirteenth annual Literary Feast at my home in Ontario, Canada. The title implies a much grander event than it is though it has become one of my most anticipated events of the year and a time that I cherish. It is not a coincidence that I host this event in January, which are the darkest days of…

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Anne Louise Bannon on Who to Take Out

Anne Louise Bannon is the author of the Old Los Angeles series of historical mysteries and the Operation Quickline series of cozy spy novels. You can find out more about her on her website, annelouisebannon.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. A couple, three months ago, I was chatting with a good friend of mine who also is a big fan of my Old Los Angeles series. I was telling him about Death of the Drunkard (book #5) which was due to come out soon, and he asked if he first needed…

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John DeDakis on Meandering

John DeDakis is the author of the Lark Chadwick series of mystery thrillers. You can find out more about him on his website www.johndedakis.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and buy his books here. As I write this, I’m sitting at a makeshift desk (actually, a rickety table) somewhere in the boonies of southern Oregon. I’m 2,843 miles from my home in Baltimore, Maryland. My wife and I drove here. This trip to see our son James is a work in progress. We’re making it up as we go, and still don’t know when we’ll be…

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