Christine DeSmet on Questions and Writing

Christine DeSmet is the author of the Fudge Shop Mystery Series set in Door County, and the Mischief in Moonstone Series set in northwest Wisconsin. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and see her last blog post here. Valentine’s Day candy hearts say “Be mine.”   That’s an implied question:  Will you be mine? It’s akin to Mister Rogers asking: “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Will you be my neighbor?  In writing, authors often begin plotting—and steer our stories and protagonist—with the “Will” question. We call it the story’s “Central Question.” In my forthcoming Fudge Shop…

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Valerie Biel asks What Influences Your Reading Choices

Valerie Biel writes stories inspired by Celtic mythology in the Circle of Nine series. You can read her latest post here, find out more about her here, and buy her books here. I once read Under the Tuscan sun in Tuscany while basking poolside in the late-summer Italian sun. Corny? Perhaps. But I wasn’t the only one as I spied the same book cover in Swedish on another lounger not far away. (This was some years ago and later in my stay I moved on to the recently-released Fifty Shades of Grey, which I thought I was stealthily reading on…

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Read more about the article Joy Ann Ribar asks:  How do you Hygge?
Photo of Winter Sunset: By L. John Ribar

Joy Ann Ribar asks: How do you Hygge?

Joy Ann Ribar is the author of the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series, inspired by Wisconsin’s four seasons and friendly quirks. Her most recent post is here. You can find her books here, or more about her here. Janus: Free Images by Drawing Tree Is it too late to say Happy New Year? I think not since it’s still January, the first month in our Gregorian Calendar.  Did you know the first month of the year is named after the Roman god Janus?  Janus was the god of beginnings and endings who had two faces, so he could look back…

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Laurie Stevens asks Do Your Pets Inspire?

Please welcome Laurie Stevens, author of the Gabriel McRay thriller series. You can find out more about her here, and see her books here. You’re stuck in front of a blank page, fingers on keyboard, waiting for the muse to guide and inspire. As writers, we’re a solitary bunch from the get-go; comfortable with being alone. Still, a bout of writer’s block exacerbates a feeling of solitary confinement. Just when you think all hope is lost, a furry friend comes along and nuzzles against your leg or your arm, takes a seat, and looks at you. “Give me some attention,”…

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Donna Rewolinski asks What are the Positives and Negatives of Setting a Mystery in a Foreign Country?

Donna Rewolinski is the author of the Novice Mystery series. You can find out more about her here and see her books here. My writing came out of a purely accidental statement. My husband and I share a dream that once retired we will pick a foreign country and rent a home in a small town or village. We will live there for several months and see it as a wonderful way to immerse ourselves in the local culture as well as site seeing. One night my husband, a police detective, was called in on a case and worked all…

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Sheila Lowe Writes About Jumping Off a Cliff

Handwriting exeprt and author Sheila Lowe is our latest new Blackbird. You can find out more about her here and see her books here. I made a big decision on Monday. I’m going to self-publish my new book, Dead Letters (#8 in the Claudia Rose psychological suspense series). I’ve been self-pubbing my nonfiction books about handwriting psychology for a couple of years now, but there is something infinitely more daunting about making this choice. It’s something I’ve been waffling over for a few weeks, and I wasn’t entirely sure it was the right thing to do. Then, this happened... Sheila Lowe Yesterday, the day…

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Sherrill Joseph asks What were your Favorite Childhood Books?

We've got another new Blackbird making her debut post. Meet Sherrill Joseph. You can find out more about her here, and see her books here. If you’re like me, you were inspired to become a better reader and a blossoming writer from one or more books you read as a child. As a ten-year-old, I could usually be found curled up on my bed after school, engrossed in my favorite series, the Nancy Drew Mysteries. Along with my book, I had my go-to snacks handy, namely, an apple and a generous portion of Fritos. A napkin helped me keep the…

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Greg Levin on Keeping the Creativity Going

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We've got another new Blackbird to welcome, Greg Levin, who writes thrillers and neo-noir fiction. You can find out more about him here, and see his books here. I realize it’s mere days before Christmas and thus I should be blogging about something festive and holiday-related, or at least holiday-adjacent. But the pandemic often causes me to lose track of what day or month or decade it is, so you won’t be getting any candy canes or clever Santa references here today. What you will be getting are some (hopefully) helpful and entertaining tips on how to continuously create even…

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August Norman Asks What to Write Next?

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We welcome August Norman to the Blackbirds blog. You can read more about him here, and find his books here. Maybe you’re a published author with an established series, maybe you’ve just walked away from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with more of an idea than a first draft, or maybe you’ve started a bunch of projects and can’t decide which to finish. No matter the success level, there comes a time when every author faces a new blank page. Following the September launch of SINS OF THE MOTHER, my second Caitlin Bergman thriller, and the subsequent completion of my…

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Laurie Buchanan Writes about Travel and Inspiration

Laurie Buchanan is looking forward to the April 6th release of Indelible: A Sean McPherson Novel, Book One. Find out more about Laurie here. This is her first post for us. My dad was a pilot. My sister’s a pilot. Three of my uncles are pilots, and my nephew’s a pilot. It’s no wonder that I married a pilot. And while I’m not a pilot, I do take the annual Flight Companion Seminar taught by the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots. Could I land the plane in the event of an emergency? Possibly. Probably. But let’s not test the theory,…

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