Anne Louise Bannon asks Where to Begin?

Anne Louise Bannon is the author of the Old Los Angeles series, set in the 1870s. You can read about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Sigh. It's time. Folks have been bugging me about book number four in the Old Los Angeles series, so, it's time to get it written. My mother-in-law, in particular, made it clear that she's not getting any younger. I mean, it's seriously cool that my mother-in-law is one of my biggest fans. She does have a point, however. She's not that old, but she is not getting any…

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Jeff Nania asks WWWWW and H?

Jeff Nania used to catch bad guys and restore wetlands. Now he writes The Northern Lakes Mystery series. You can find out more about him here, see his books here, and read his last post here. Fairly frequently I get asked where I came up with the characters that appear in my books. That is good news to me because it means someone is reading my books. My characters are the foundation of the tales I tell, and most are people I have come to know.  When I started writing I wrote mostly police reports in my first career and…

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Saralyn Richard on Why Mysteries Make Us Hungry

Saralyn Richard's most recent book is a Murder of Principal. She is also the author of the Detective Parrott mysteries and children's book, Naughty Nana. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. Did you know reading murder mysteries burns a lot of calories? It’s true. Research studies conducted while readers were reading mysteries showed the nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat sitting, and heart-pounding scenes burned way more calories than those burned by reading books in any other genre. Well, at least we think so. That gives mystery writers poetic license to include…

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Avanti Centrae asks How Far Would You Go to See the Future?

Avanti Centrae is the author of the VanOps thriller series, and is working on the third one now. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her latest post here I’m currently six chapters into my next action-packed VanOps thriller and thought it would be fun to share a behind-the-scenes look into my writing process and some background on my current research subject. From what I can tell, every author has their own method, whether it’s flying by the seat of their pants until the very last words hit the page, or the other…

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Tracey S. Phillips asks: How is Setting a Character in Fiction

Tracey S. Phillips is not only the author of Best Kept Secrets, she is our esteemed founder and leader. You can find out more about her here, see her book here, and read her last post here. It’s almost springtime in the state that I call home, but I’m not overly anxious for it. My  favorite room in our house was an add-on designed by my husband and is directly above our two-car garage. The four season sunroom faces south. Expansive six-foot windows open three sides to the outdoors where our home nestles in old maple and oak trees. Heated…

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Maggie Smith on Writer’s Block

Maggie Smith hosts the Hear Us Roar podcast for WFWA (70+ episodes available on major streaming services). Her debut novel, Truth & Other Lies, was a finalist in the WFWA 2019 Rising Star competition. You can find out more about her here. The email arrived at ten o’clock last night. It was from my best writing buddy with the subject line HELP!  A week had gone by and she hadn’t produced any new work. Not a single chapter, not a single paragraph, not a single sentence. But she was a pro—she knew what to do. So she walked her dog. She…

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Margaret Mizushima asks Do You Have a Pet That’s an Everyday Hero?

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 mysteries. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. I’m married to a veterinarian who loves dogs, and throughout our marriage we’ve had two to five dogs in our lives at any given time. It helps that we live in the country, so the occasional bark fest doesn’t bother neighbors. Right now we have three dogs: two German shorthaired pointers named Hannah and Bertie and a border collie named Tess.  All of our dogs have been special, but today I…

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Read more about the article Marilyn Levinson on Writing a Series
Marilyn Levinson

Marilyn Levinson on Writing a Series

Marilyn Levinson writes three mystery series, the Golden Age of Mysteries Book Club, and Twin Lakes series as herself, and The Haunted Library series as Allison Brook. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and see her last post here. I love writing mystery series. Judging by the comments I receive, readers love to read them, too.  A series has a sleuth and a supporting cast of characters that live on from book to book. My characters form the backbone of my stories. While they have distinct personalities, they often surprise me as they mature…

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Tim Chapman Says, “Let’s Have Sex (Fictionally)”

Tim Chapman is a former forensic scientist for the Chicago Police Department and is the author of A Trace of Gold and The Blue Silence. You can find out more about him here, see his last post here, and get his books here. A few summers ago, at the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago, author Clare O’Donohue and I gave a talk about writing sex scenes. It was essentially a conversation in which we shared opinions and read the nasty bits from a few famous novels, as well as our own. To prepare, I perused books that contained well-known…

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Sharon Lynn asks: Do you have an untended tradition?

Sharon Lynn writes short stories which have appeared in numberous anthologies, including her most recent, Final Curtain, which is in the 2020 Malice Domestic anthology, Mystery Most Theatrical. Click here for her latest post. Her books are here, and you can find out more about her here. One year my husband decided to spend two days making bagels to surprisemy daughter and me. It was a Valentine’s Day morning, and we awoke tofresh, heart-shaped bagels in our favorite flavors: salt for ourdaughter, jalapeño for me. Needless to say, the whole endeavor was ahuge hit! So much so, that the poor…

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