Rules for writing a crime novel

Sorry this one’s late.  It turns out that, no matter how much I’d rather be doing other things, sometimes responsibilities just have to be taken care of.  Go figure.

I’m reading a surprisingly enjoyable nonfiction book called The Golden Age of Murder.  The author (Martin Edwards) is a current-day member of The Detection Club, a club founded in the 20s by-among others-Agatha Christie.  (Dorothy Sayers was really the driving force, but Christie is the name I know the best.)

Among the other fascinating things I’ve been learning (in between adding to an ever-expanding TBR list) is that a number of the Detection Club and Golden Age writers took a stab (ha!  murderpun) at creating lists of rules for mystery writers.  Since cozy mysteries are the direct descendents of these traditional mysteries, I thought I’d look them up and share a few here.Read More »

The Audacity of Audacity

The very first Professional Grown Up Writer thing I did was attend the Writer’s Police Academy.  (Highly recommend, by the way.  Nice people, interesting lessons, and you get to tell your mom “I’m spending part of this weekend in jail!”)

Lisa Gardner was one of the Big Important Guests and I went to her lecture.  During her speech she talked about how one of the things that contributes to her success is that she stopped being afraid to just… ask people for things.

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Picking Comps

As I put together the querying information for my agent(!!!) I panicked over a bunch of the things she needed.  One of them was a list of comps, or comparable titles.  Publishing Crawl Podcast talks about comps a lot when they talk about queries so I knew they were important, but how on earth do you pick them?  Basically all I knew was that you should never pick the 1% of authors to use as a comp (So J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are right out, for example) because everyone does that and no one believes them.  (Usually with good reason.  “It has magic” does not make your book like Harry Potter.  Rejected query blogs are fun to read.)

So, as I always do when I’m freaking out and inside my head too much about something to do with writing, I turned to my friend who works in publishing.  She has this magical ability to become an expert on whatever she’s doing at any given point in time, so as long as my question is in her field she has an answer.

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Pub(lishing) Crawl is awesome

As you all know, my biggest fear is that I’ll fail to do something properly during the marketing part of being an author and my books will fail and I will be laughed out of literary circles from now until forever.

I don’t tend to like Podcasts; for some reason they just can’t hold my attention.  But there is one that I listen to whenever I have an appropriate moment (doing dishes, working out, or mowing the lawn, usually).  And that is the one for Publishing Crawl.Read More »

Happy end of the holidays!

It’s a bit counter-intuitive to say, but you have to admit- sometimes its nice to reach the end of the holiday season.

Kevin and I always split the week between Christmas and New Year’s evenly so Christmas is with my folks and New Year’s Eve is with his.  (It’s nice to not have to split the holidays themselves.  I hear some wild stories.)

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I also made a Christmas pudding.

The most important bits of book news from the holidays:Read More »