Margaret Mizushima on “Book Titles: A Rose by Any Other Name”

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. 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. Lately I’ve been consumed with finishing my ninth Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. My deadline was October 1 and now my publishing team at Crooked Lane Books and I are well into the editing rounds. Along with this phase comes the need to finalize the title for the book, which can sometimes be a challenge. When the first book in the series was published back…

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Sharon Lynn says, “I Have a Confession to Make”

Sharon Lynn is the author of the Maddie McGuire cozy mysteries. You can find out more about her on her website, www.sharonlwrites.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Okay, here goes: I confess that I am horrible at blogging. I read my fellow authors’ posts and find them fascinating, engaging, and often quite helpful. My posts? Well, I stopped doing them, which I’ll get to later. Part of the problem is that blogs should build a personal connection to the readers and tell them something new they don’t know about me. The…

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Valerie Biel Invites Us on Her Journey to Find an Agent

Valerie Biel is the author of the young adult 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. Recently, I decided to try something new and different and bring you all along for the ride. I’m querying agents. (Now, if you’re an author, that single line might give you a sick dread in the pit of your stomach. And, if you’re not an author, keep reading and hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll understand why—not that I want…

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Christine DeSmet says “Collecting is a clever way to make a character memorable.”

Christine DeSmet is the author of the Fudge Shop Series of cozy mysteries. You can find out more about her on her website, www.christinedesmet.com, or by clicking here, see her last post here, and buy her books here. A character can be saved or energized instantly by giving her/him a collection habit or a yearning for certain unusual objects. A collection of something weird or a huge collection of something interesting can add value to both protagonists and antagonists. Some novels and movies have used art or museum collections in plots about heists, murder, or international intrigue. All kinds of…

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G.P. Gottlieb says, “I’m an Unreliable Witness”

G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped cozy mystery series. 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. If I were called to the witness stand, I’d immediately admit that I made up the three mysteries I wrote and someone else published, without really knowing a single thing about solving crimes. Except for what I’ve read or seen on television, bad dreams that have kept me awake in the night, and a few insignificant brushes with bad guys, I am…

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Laurie Stevens on “The Mind or the Machine”

Laurie Stevens is the author of the Gabriel McRay thriller series. 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. I started out wanting to write a positive blog about my friendship with a fellow author, K.S. Miranda (The Fifth Sun, The Monarch Project). Our friendship is precious to me on many levels. Not only because we can relate to each other's frustrations and inspirations, but because we make each other laugh. It’s easy to take yourself too seriously as a writer. We’ve also…

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Nick Chiarkas shares, “Life Lessons from the Neighborhood”

Nick Chiarkas is the author of Weepers and Nunzio's Way. 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 books here. On October 7, 2022, I was the guest on House of Mystery (NBC) with Alan Warren. Among other topics, we discussed the primary inspiration for my novels Nunzio's Way and Weepers. I had to think about it for a while since each of my books can stand independently, but they are part of the Weepers Series. So, what was my primary inspirational thread? It was…

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Sheila Lowe asks, “How Much is Enough?”

Sheila Lowe is the author of the Forensic Handwriting and the Beyond the Veil series. You can find out more about her on her website www.sheilalowebooks.com, or by clicking here, see her last post here, and buy her books here. In 1997 I started writing my first novel, Poison Pen. In 2000 it won 3rd place in a mystery writers competition and I knew I was on my way (ha!). Sara Ann Fried of Mysterious Press was a judge. She wrote about my first twenty pages, “I love the characters. They are slightly over the top in a Jackie Collins…

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Carlene O’Neil writes about “Gathering Acorns”

Carlene O'Neil is the author of the Cypress Cove Mystery series of cozies. This is her debut post for the Blackbird Writers. You can find out more about her on her website www.carleneoneil.com, or by clicking here and buy her books here. “My sister’s having babies. She married the guy she lost her virginity to. I’m glad she’s having babies. Now I can breathe a little.” I listen to these few sentences, pure gold to an author. I move closer to hear better. So does half the coffee shop, but the speaker’s done. I’m disappointed, wanting more. Then, before I…

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Joy Ann Ribar wants to know, “Are You a Rule Follower or a Writing Rebel?”

            I write cozy mysteries, and by the time this post is published, I will have taken part in a lively panel discussion about the cozy mystery genre presented by the Wisconsin chapter of Sisters in Crime. I wonder what's going to come out of it...             I’m surprised that I still meet readers and bookstore owners who are new to the term “cozy.” Pardon my redundancy if you are already in the know, and feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph. Cozies typically follow specific rules regarding content in which no graphic violence, language, or sex appears…

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