My Favorite Murmuration of Blackbirds

G.P. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped series of cozy mysteries. 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. I’ve always wanted to be in a gang, preferably one that wore t-shirts emblazoned with our name and a cool picture, so everyone would notice us hanging out together. Sadly, transfer students who join choir and work on shows, unless they look like Sandy in Grease, do not typically get invited in. Fast forward nearly half a century and my dream…

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Laurie Stevens on Her Wake-Up Call

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. For many years now, I’ve been waking up at 3:30 am and struggling to go back to sleep. I stress out about this because we're supposed to sleep through the night for eight hours, right? At least, that’s what I’ve been told. Eventually, I’d fall back to sleep and feel fine when I woke up, unless I struggled too much and became anxious. I…

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Nick Chiarkas Worked Security at Woodstock

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, read his last post here, and buy his books here. I was recently interviewed about my experience at Woodstock in 1969 as an NYPD cop providing security. Among other things, I was asked, what did I take away from that experience? What did I learn, if anything? The brief history is that in 1969, Police Commissioner Howard Leary originally agreed to provide NYPD cops for security at Woodstock. However, he was embarrassed by a front-page…

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Editors, Consultants, Designers, oh my…

Sheila Lowe is the author of the Forensic Handwriting psychological suspense series and the Beyond the Veil series. You can find out more about her on her website, www.sheilalowebooks.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Those who write books don’t do it alone. At least, the professionals don’t. Unless, perhaps, they are JK Rowling or Patricia Cornwell (If JKR cut 200 words from the middle of the last Harry Potter, I wouldn’t miss them). Authors who say “I don’t need an editor” are fooling themselves. As much as we would love to…

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Joy Ann Ribar asks: When Is Quitting Time?

Joy Ann Ribar is the author of the Deep Lakes Cozy Mystery series. You can find out more about her on her website, www.joyribar.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. I’ve recently lost people: elderly family members, people in my community. For me, loss creates space for reflection and self-examination. I find myself scrutinizing past mistakes, then chastising or forgiving myself for them. Viewing my past through the filter of time brings images of my writing life into focus. Wow - the mistakes I made when I was a green newspaper reporter.…

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Carlene O’Neil on Location, Location, Location

Carlene O'Neil is the author of the Cypress Cove cozy series. You can find out more about her on her website, www.carleneoneil.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. What’s most important in a novel? What pushes the story forward? If you look at the golden age of mystery writing you will see the emphasis was on plot. More recently character development is what readers are looking for. If you were to ask me, though, I would say of equal importance is the location. The location, the setting where the story takes place,…

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Sherrill Joseph asks, “Do You Enjoy Easter Eggs?”

Sherrill Joseph is the author of the Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery series for middle grade kids. You can find out more about her on her website, www.sherrilljoseph.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. Who hasn’t sought those delicious chocolate-covered, candy-speckled, and rainbow-dyed eggs left by the E.B. in pretty baskets and springtime flowerbeds? For now, however, please try not to think about chocolate as we shift to the nonedible, nondenominational types of Easter eggs—those scattered in literature and movies. The formal name for a literary or cinematic Easter egg is an allusion.…

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Cozy Author TK Sheffield Reads First, Asks Questions Later

TK Sheffield, writes the humorous Backyard Model Mysteries. This is her first post for the Blackbirds. You can find out more about her on her website, www.tksheffieldwriter.com, or by clicking here, and buy her books here. This is my first blog post as a Blackbird Writer. Thank you for having me, author friends—chirp, chirp! My instructions were to “write for readers, to pull back the curtain on the process.” Thus, I will answer a Proust Questionnaire through the lens of a cozy mystery author. What person do you most admire? The one who is strong in adversity, patient when frustrated,…

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Tim Chapman wants to Test Your E. K. (Evidence Knowledge)

Tim Chapman is the author of the Sean McKinney series and an editor for LitBop literary journal. You can find out more about him on his website. www.timchapmanauthor.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and buy his books here. Read the following description of a crime and the subsequent collection and analysis of the evidence. Then take the quiz. The answers will be posted in the Blackbird Writers Discussion Forum on Facebook this week.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/266333987835433 The Crime—The Wheels Are Set In Motion The police receive a 911 call from a woman who identifies herself as Ellen. She says…

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When you write crime thrillers, there’s bound to be murder!

Laurie Buchanan is the author of the Sean McPherson crime thriller novels set in Bellingham, Washington. You can find out more about her on her website at lauriebuchanan.com, or by clicking here, read her last post here, and buy her books here. My job as a crime thriller writer is to deliver intellectually and emotionally stimulating novels that keeps the space between the pages and the reader emotionally taut. One of the ways I accomplish this is to write with authenticity. I appreciate the myriad of professional sources who continue to inform my knowledge base. I’ve had the opportunity to…

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