A Beach Bum’s Journey to Becoming an Author by George Cramer

Until my late sixties, I never thought of writing fiction, let alone a novel. In high school, I rarely did homework; with a few exceptions, I could score Cs on most tests. The exception was Latin. Mr. Jung inspired me to work on translations and understanding the dead language. I’ve forgotten it all. My English […]


My first short story appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in 1968. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to sell over a hundred more to EQMM, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and many other periodicals and anthologies, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society awarded me its Golden Derringer for Lifetime Achievement in 2020. Despite this long […]

We Must Remember by Debra H. Goldstein

Twenty-two years have passed since September 11, 2001. Twenty-two years since terrorists hijacked four airplanes to carry out suicide attacks in the United States. Almost 3000 people were killed and even more had their lives and families forever disrupted. Many of us remember where we were when two planes hit the Twin Towers of the […]

What Preoccupies Us as Writers Keeps Showing Up by Lynn Slaughter

The first time someone asked me to present a workshop on writing for young adults, I prepared not only by mining my own experiences as a YA mystery writer, but by reading extensively on the subject. A couple of themes emerged again and again: Young adult readers are above all concerned with the emotional journey […]
Lois Winston Portrait

One Size Does Not Fit All by Lois Winston

A Crafty Collage of Crime, the twelfth book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery Series, released this past June. I’ve spent much of the summer in promo mode, mostly on blog tours, podcasts, and Zoom events. At the end of this week, I’ll be attending Killer Nashville with Debra, many other authors, and those wishing […]
Karen Odden Portrait

The Tension between Truth and Verisimilitude in Historical Fiction by Karen Odden

One of my favorite funny stories about writing comes from my friend Susan Elia MacNeal, who has published ten Maggie Hope mysteries set in WWII. In researching, Susan read Winston Churchill’s letters, where she found he used the abbreviation “OMG.” It’s not as surprising as it sounds; because telegrams were expensive and priced by the […]
G.P. Gottlieb Portrait

Guest Blogger: G.P. Gottlieb – Have You Always Wanted to Write a Book?

Have you Always Wanted to Write a Book?   I could never get above a B in Honors English. My family had moved to a ritzy suburb, and I’d transferred from a rougher, less prestigious high school into a swanky one where girls wore matching shoes and purses. I wore army fatigues and boots. The kids […]

It’s Not Always a Mystery – But it’s Always a Puzzle! by Valerie Burns

Debra, thanks for inviting me to “It’s Not Always a Mystery.”  I’ve loved mysteries since I read my first Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew books many moons ago. When I picked up my first Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Akroyd, I fell head over heels in love. I jumped into the deep end of […]

Story Fodder by Susan Van Kirk

Recently, I read a blog post by writer Annette Dashofy in which she mentioned an idea that gave me pause. “As writers,” she wrote, “we tend to mine the emotional moments in our lives for story fodder.” This thought certainly rang true with me, but I hadn’t connected it to my most recent mystery series. […]
Kathleen Kaska portrait

Digging Up a Story: Weaving Fact into Fiction by Kathleen Kaska

I write two mystery series, one set in the 1950s and one in current times. In plotting the mysteries, I start digging-researching actual events at the time and location of my story’s setting. For example, my upcoming Sydney Lockhart mystery, Murder at the Pontchartrain, is set in New Orleans, a city rich in culture and […]

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