When Setting is Also Character

By C. Hope Clark The most enticing books for me to read spin setting into character. In other words, the story wouldn’t be nearly as delicious without a well-defined sense of place. Even more so if the story couldn’t exist without that specific locale. If a story is in Los Angeles, then it needs to …

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What’s in a Name?

By Maggie King What’s in a name? With due respect to Mr. Shakespeare, who immortalized the catchphrase in Romeo and Juliet, names matter. Ask any parent, pet owner … or writer. People ask me how I come up with my characters’ names. I might hear a first name and read a last name and put …

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How Did a Mystery Writer End up in IT? by Heather Weidner

I have been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. I’m a 70s kid, and my Saturday ritual was overly sugared cereal and hours of mystery cartoons. Scooby-Doo, The Funky Phantom, Josie and the Pussycats, Jabber Jaw, and so many others helped me realize that ordinary people (usually kids) could solve crimes that sometimes …

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For the Fun of It by Marilyn Levinson/Allison Brook

Reading cozy mysteries is fun, writing them even more fun because I get to create a world to my liking filled with characters I’ve grown to love. My Haunted Library mystery series takes place in Clover Ridge, Connecticut. The library is housed in a centuries-old building facing the town Green. There’s a library ghost— Evelyn …

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Blessed Be the Little Children

Thanks for inviting me over, Debra, to help celebrate the release of Murder at the Lobstah Shack at the end of this month! I love little kids. I know you are a new grandma, Debra. I’m not one yet, although I’m eager to be. In the meantime, I’m close to my goddaughter’s little ones, a …

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My Mother’s Slippers

In November, I think about my mother. She was a driving force in my life until her unexpected death in November 2014. There are still times when I want to pick up the phone and share good news with her or ask for her advice, but I can’t. What I can do is keep a …

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Variety in Writing

The below blog was a combination of an assignment given to me by my Hi-Lo writing coach (a Hi-Lo series is for struggling readers in K-12 grade levels meaning high-interest, low readability). I was tasked to write anything tongue-in-cheek with a tad of sarcasm while also keeping it real. I decided to combine this assignment …

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Guest Blogger: Lois Winston – The Non-conforming Tropist

I’ve hit double-digits! October 4th will see the release of Stitch, Bake Die!, #10 in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series, currently available for pre-order from all the usual suspects. Given that when I started writing {{cough! cough!}} years ago, I expected a career in the romance genre and did briefly have one, this is …

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WRITING RACE

WRITING RACE by Laurel S. Peterson First of all, thanks, Debra, for having me on It’s Not Always a Mystery. I’m delighted to be here and to share some thoughts today on writing race. My mystery novel series, Shadow Notes and The Fallen (Woodhall Press), features a white amateur detective protagonist, Clara, who falls in …

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Guest Blogger: Kassandra Lamb – When to End a Series

When to End a Series by Kassandra Lamb For the second time in my writing career, I’m facing the decision of when to end a series. It’s a bittersweet experience. An author’s characters feel very much like real people to us. It’s always tough to decide just when and where to end things. The why, …

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