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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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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