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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 […]

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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