Jeff Nania on Going Beyond the Story

Jeff Nania is the author of the Northern Lakes Mystery series. You can find out more about him on his website, www.feetwetwriting.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and see his books here. Earlier this month, I traveled to the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire to talk with the students in Joel Pace’s English class about my first book, Figure Eight, which is used as a course text. Each semester, we spend two and a half hours exploring the story within the story and the nuances as we travel page to page. They are free to ask me questions and I am…

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Jeff Nania asks, Do inanimate objects have stories to tell?

Jeff Nania is the author of the Northern Lakes Mystery series. You can find out more about him on his website, www.feetwetwriting.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and see his books here. “Inanimate” is defined as something not alive, especially in the manner of animals and humans. A pile of rocks laying in a field or an old piece of farm equipment would meet the classic definition of inanimate. They will likely lay where they are until the winds and waters of time turn them back into the dust they once were. They only move if…

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Jeff Nania Asks Was I the Victim of a Nefarious and Premeditated Scheme?

Jeff Nania is the author of the Northern Lakes Mystery Series. You can find out more about him here, see his books here, and read his last post here. As a result of this story, you may hear other versions as key players come forward in an attempt to diminish their role in a nefarious and premeditated scheme. Do not be fooled. This is the real story.  Recently we began to look at whether there was a demand for audio versions of my books. Initial interest was driven primarily by my wife’s grandmother who due to vision issues can no longer read.  Like…

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Laurie Stevens asks Do You Write Weather?

Laurie Stevens is the author of the Gabriel McRae series. You can find out more about her here, buy her books here, and read her last post here. As I write this, thunder rolls through a warm night. For some of you, this is no big deal. For a Southern California native like me, it’s unusual. It brings to mind the wet thickness of a summer night in Louisiana (I’m a fan of New Orleans). The sky usually doesn’t talk like this where I live, and I like it, so I have to pay homage in this blog to the…

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Jeff Nania on Early Writing Advice

Jeff Nania is the author of the Northern Lakes Mystery Series. You can find out more about him here, see his books here, and read his last post here. I really don’t think I am the best choice to tell anyone how to write a book or even how to get started. There are lots of well-written blogs and articles that describe various writing processes in detail. They should be very helpful to anyone trying to write anything. But people ask me anyway. Last week I met a young writer and her mom visiting from Wyoming. Her name was Taylor,…

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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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Who Are Your Heroines?

By Tracey S. Phillips Real and Historical Women In the quiet days of quarantine, I had many opportunities to meditate on my life choices and personal behavior. I used the time for reflection on changes I wanted to see in myself and the world around me. So I considered the woman I’d like to become. Am I kind? Thoughtful? Am I a good friend? My rumination brought to mind the women I admire most. Closest to my heart, my grandmother, Lucina Moxley was my teacher and mentor in music and in life. A patron of the arts and music, she…

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Why Do You Read Mysteries?

By Sharon Lynn "Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.” -Alfred Hitchcock I trace my fear of total darkness to growing up in Flagstaff, Arizona, anInternational Dark City. When the sun goes down, it is so dark you can see the Milky Way. Beautiful, but also scary when walking home at night. Catharsis The ancient Greeks knew that watching tragic drama released tension and stress in the audience. The cathartic reaction is where we experience intense emotions and then cast them off because nothing terrible actually happened to us. Modern Mystery and…

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Where Have You Visited (as an armchair traveler)?

By Christine DeSmet Armchair Travelers Readers and writers are armchair travelers. We love sitting down with a book that takes us to a new place or helps us revisit a favorite place. In this special time, readers are reading even more books instead of traveling by planes, trains or automobiles. What’s on the list of the places you’ve visited in the past months via the pages of a novel or memoir? North and South My recent “travels” have included North Carolina (Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens), Afghanistan (A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini), South Africa (Born a Crime by Trevor…

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