Anne Louise Bannon asks Where Are You Funny?

Anne Louise Bannon is the author of the Old Los Angeles and Operation Quickline series. You can find out more about her here and read her latest post here. I figure with the holidays coming up, and COVID still rearing its ugly head, it would be nice to write something funny. Or about being funny. The problem is, I'm not very good at being intentionally funny. I can write funny scenes in my stories. Heck, even Death of the Chinese Field Hands, which is possibly the darkest book I've ever written has several scenes that are quite humorous. But sitting…

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Jeff Nania asks Where Can You Find Real-Life Mystery?

Jeff Nania is the award-winning author of the Northern Lakes mystery series. You can find out more about him here, or read his last post here. As mystery and crime fiction writers, we often weave stories focused on unsettling, unpleasant events. ln real-life, mystery is around every bend in the road, and I am absolutely fascinated by it. Especially when it appears to be nothing and ends up being something.  For a good portion of my life I spent a fair amount of time teaching school kids about our natural resources. I am a firm believer that you can’t teach very much about the outdoors…

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Saralyn Richard asks Why Write Mysteries?

Saralyn Richard is the author of a children's picture book and three police procedurals for adults. You can read her last Blackbirds post here, and find out more about her here. When Murder in the One Percent was released, I went on a whirlwind book tour from city to city. It was thrilling to meet face-to-face with readers and listen to their comments and questions. A few questions emerged as typical:  where did the plot idea originate, do you outline, or why did you choose that setting? I was stunned, though, when a woman asked me why I would write…

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Avanti Centrae on How to Meditate

Avanti Centrae is the award-winning author of the VanOps thriller series. You can find out more about her here. You might not be an author, but have you ever been stuck trying to drum up an email for your manager? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try a creative outlet like painting or sculpting. Or perhaps you just want to learn my secrets… A little about me first. I’m the author of the international multi-award-winning and #1 bestselling VanOps thriller series. An instant Barnes and Noble Nook bestseller, The Lost Power took home a genre grand prize ribbon at the Chanticleer…

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Musical Moment

by Tracey S. Phillips Instruments play a chord. You know this music, the feeling it evokes draws on your emotions. The rhythm moves you and you don’t think about it,  your feet just tap the beat. You sway with the chord changes and let the notes fill you. After a few bars, a single instrument sings above the rest. It’s telling the story, a familiar story, but you stop everything and listen because you need to hear it again. You hum along with the quavering high note of a bowed violin, or the low and sultry oboe. Perhaps an acoustic…

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Margaret Mizushima Asks How Do You Embrace Your Inner Wild?

Margaret Mizushima is the author of the Timber Creek K-9 series. You can find out about her here, or click here to read her last post. My family moved to Colorado when I was a young teen, and I’ve been drawn to the mountain wilderness to explore hiking trails and peaks ever since. And each autumn, the great outdoors beckons with a dazzling display of color. Aspen dot the mountainsides with pockets of yellow, gold, and orange against a backdrop of greens and blues from endless forests of pine and spruce.  I’m a slow hiker, often stepping aside on the…

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Marilyn Levinson Asks Who Are Your Favorite Ghosts?

Marilyn Levinson is the author of several series, particularly The Haunted Library series, which she writes under the name Allison Brook. You can find out more about her here, and read her last post here. With Halloween approaching, many readers search for books with paranormal elements—witches, goblins, vampires, and ghosts. Though I’ve never met a ghost, I’ve read enough about ghost sightings and hauntings to believe they exist. Experts in the field say some spirits remain earthbound because they’ve experienced a brutal or sudden death and don’t realize they’re dead. Others remain here because they have unfinished business or issues…

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Tim Chapman Looks at Forensic Science

Former forensic scientist Tim Chapman is the author of two books featuring Sean McKinney. You can read more about him here., and read his previous post on Blackbird Writers here. A Trace of Gold by Tim Chapman “Law is man’s attempt to civilize society. Science is man’s attempt to reveal truth. Forensic science, then, is the intersection of civilization and truth.” —Sean McKinney: “A Trace of Gold” A lofty sentiment from my fictional forensic scientist, but the reality in both fiction and life is closer to the philosophy of Heraclitus (or Patti Smith) who said the only constant is change. Forensic…

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Sharon Lynn Asks What’s Your Fave Halloween Movie?

And here are some books to add to your reading list, compiled by Sharon Lynn. You can find out more about her here. First and foremost, mysteries by Blackbird Writers that take place in the Fall or are Autumn or Halloween themed. Add these to your reading list! After you get your reading in place, it’s time to chat about movies. Halloween Themed: Death Overdue by Allison Brook Circle of Nine: 3 book series by Valerie Biel Fall Themed: Five-Alarm Fudge (Fudge Shop Mystery Series) by Christine DeSmet When the Dead People Brought a Dish-to-Pass (Mischief in Moonstone Series) by Christine DeSmet…

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Christine DeSmet Asks What Skill Shaped Your Life?

Christine DeSmet writes about pink fudge in her series of mysteries set in Wisconsin. You can find out more about her here. On a very busy day recently I asked myself: How do I get all of this stuff done? And, why and how did I become who I am? In my Fudge Shop Mystery Series, my character of Ava Oosterling credits knowing how to make fudge as her savior for organizing her life and bringing satisfaction if not success as well. I credit typing in my life. Writing my Fudge Shop Mystery Series is only one aspect of my…

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