Nick Chiarkas on Touchstones for Crime Thrillers

Nick Chiarkas is the author of crime thrillers Weepers and Nunzio's Way. You can find out more about him by visiting his website www.nickchiarkas.com, or by clicking here, see his last post here, and buy his books here.  (With some adjusting, these steps can be applied to other genres as well.) Here are my Seven Touchstones* for writing a ​Crime Thriller​. Finding the idea and scribbling it down. Two often repeated pieces of advice on this topic is to write about what you know; and your idea can come from anywhere. 1. I think you should write what you want to know. It…

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Jacqueline Vick on Clean Dialogue

Jacqueline Vick is the author of the Harlow Brothers series and the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic series of cozy mysteries. You can find out more about her on her website, www.jacquelinevick.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. When I first came to Los Angeles, I was privileged to take a screenwriting course with Danny Simon, the older brother of Neil Simon. Danny spent his writing career in television and had wisdom galore on how to keep your scripts clean. One of his rules was to “cut the orange juice” from the dialogue.…

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Laurie Stevens on Holiday Baking

Laurie Stevens is the author of the Gabrial McRay series of thrillers. You can find out more about her on her website, www.lauriestevensbooks.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. “There are only four great arts: music, painting, sculpture, and ornamental pastry- architecture being perhaps the least banal derivative of the latter.” — Julia Child Sherry Cake (recipe below) While the inimitable Ms. Child doesn’t mention the art of literature, I’ll mention it, (because we all know it should be included, right?). This being the holiday season, I decided to post something about…

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Donna Rewolinski on Character Names

Donna Rewolinski is the author of the Novice Mystery series. You can find out more about her on her website www.donnarewolinski.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. What’s in a name? Everything to an author. We spend a great deal of time crafting a character’s name and their attributes. Are they male or female? Hair color, eye color, height, weight, past profession, current profession, and so on.  But there is so much more. Authors draw their characters on previous experiences with people or people they’d like to meet. They may choose one…

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Sheila Lowe on How to do a Book Launch

Sheila Lowe is the author of the Forensic Handwriting series of psychological suspense and the Beyond the Veil series of paranormal mysteries and knows how to do a book launch. You can find out more about her on her website, www.sheilalowebooks.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and find her books here. Launch /lôn(t)SH,län(t)SH/ To set in motion by pushing it… In 2007 when my first mystery was published, I might never have thought about giving a party to bring it into the world were it not for Bruce Cook. Bruce, a terrific thriller writer, was one…

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Joy Ann Ribar on Communal Writing

Joy Ann Ribar is the author of the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series. You can find out more about her on her website www.joyribar.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and find her books here. In 2020, my commuter husband John started working remotely, which turned into a permanent situation, since his job as a software engineer could be accomplished via home and a lot of Zoom meetings. Sound familiar? We loved the savings in time and money because my hubby cut his commute from over an hour to just a dozen steps upward to the office:…

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Read more about the article Laurie Buchanan on Character Redemption Arcs
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Laurie Buchanan on Character Redemption Arcs

Laurie Buchanan is the author of the Sean McPherson series of thrillers. You can find out more about her on her website www.lauriebuchanan.com, or by clicking here, read her latest post here, and buy her books here. In fiction books, redemption arcs are tied to a character—the protagonist, antagonist, or even a secondary character—and vary by the author’s intention, genre, plot, and characters. The dictionary defines redemption as “An act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake.” In the definition, the word “act” implies action. Choices create action. A redemption arc is when a character performs a heroic…

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Sharon Michalove on Herself, Jane Austen, and Agatha Christie

Sharon Michalove is the author of romantic suspense novel Dead in the Alley. You can find out more about her on her website, www.sharonmichalove.com, and see her books here. This is her first post. I think of writers as readers first. This is the story of a writer’s journey. A long journey, since I’ve been reading on my own since I was four and published my first novel on my seventieth birthday. Maybe my progression will inspire some of you to try your hand at writing too, or at least to look at your own reading in a different way.…

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Sherrill Joseph Asks How Often do you Celebrate Halloween?

Sherrill Joseph is the author of the Botanic Hill Detectives mystery series for middle-grade students. You can find out more about her on her website www.sherrilljoseph.com, or by clicking here, see her last post here, and find her books here. Some people do or do not celebrate Halloween because of their religious beliefs. Regardless, many of us love Halloween, and I am no exception. As the sun sets each October 31 and darkness overtakes our souls and neighborhoods, we—children and adults alike—are afforded the opportunity to address the mysteries that frighten us and even celebrate or poke fun at them.…

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