Read more about the article Opening Doors to Adventure
Jeff Nania stands with librarians and patrons at his latest book talk.

Opening Doors to Adventure

Jeff Nania is the author of the Northern Lakes Mystery series. You can find out more about him on his website, feetwetwriting.com, or by clicking here, read his last post here, and see his books here. I remember a young boy standing in line for the grand opening of a public library in Madison many years ago now. There must have been fifty people. Most kids that knew him would not have expected him to be there. You see, he tried to read, and he wanted to read, but couldn’t read very well. Most folks wrote him off as being lazy or stupid.   When the…

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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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Jacqueline Vick asks Why Does Everyone Hate my Character?

Jacqueline Vick is the author of the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic and the Harlow Brothers mystery series. You can find out more about her here and see her books here. This is her first post on the Blackbirds site. The first time I disliked a character in a mystery novel, it wasn’t the character’s fault. Halfway through the story, the author made it known the detective was a figment of the real protagonist’s imagination, who would now take over the story. That far into a book, I didn’t have the energy to invest in a new protagonist, and we parted…

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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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Donna Rewolinksi Asks Where Do You Get Story Ideas?

Donna Rewolinksi is the author of the Novice mystery series, featuring husband and wife team Dan and Karen Novice. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her last post here. When my first novel was published, I donated a copy to a small local library. The librarian told me she had never met an author before, but that the Friends of the Library Committee were working on a new event for patrons named, “An Author Walks into a Library”. It would be an evening event where an author would talk about their book,…

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Sherrill Joseph asks, “Mystery or . . . Suspense?”

Sherill Joseph is the author of the Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery series for middle grades readers. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, or read her last post here. The famous film director Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (1899-1980) proudly bore the title the “Master of Suspense.” Suspense surpasses mystery in making my stomach lurch and my heart pound.  Interestingly, suspense can be both terrifying and exhilarating. "Sacramento, California, USA - March 21, 2012: A 1998 USA postage stamp with a portrait of movie director and producer Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980). Suspense is defined as “a…

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Anne Louise Bannon Asks How Do You Use Your Past?

Anne Louise Bannon is the author of the Old Los Angeles series, the Freddie and Kathy 1920s series, and the Operation Quickline series. You can find out more about her here, see her books here, and read her latest post here. Way back in my errant youth, I was going to be an actor. I majored in theatre as an undergrad, then went on to get my master's degree in the same subject. After graduating (and producing a child), I took acting classes and met a young woman who produced plays in what was then called an Equity-waiver house. Actor's…

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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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