Historical Division: Uncovering the Underworld by Brian McKinley

UNCOVERING THE UNDERWORLD

When I began planning my historic gangster vampire novel Drawing Dead, I knew that I was in for a lot of research. However, what surprised me was the amount of digging and sifting through contradictory information I had to do. I’d always been interested in the gangsters of the 1920s and 30s, and I thought I had a fairly solid grip on the major figures of the period.

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Historical Division: Where is Heaven? By Edwin Herbert

 

Millennia ago the majority of people not only believed in Heaven but could point it out for you. Beyond the clouds lay the mysterious workings of the celestial vault, and the earth was widely perceived as a flat disc positioned in the center of the cosmos. The Book of Daniel (4:11), for example, mentions a vision of a great tree reaching into the heavens that “could be seen to the ends of the earth.”

Divine beings were believed to rule the nearest discernible heavenly bodies, and the starry backdrop appeared to be a single stratum of lights in the sky. Genesis 1:14-17 states that God attached the stars to the firmament, like a diamond-studded canopy. In fact, it was thought a sufficiently powerful earthquake could shake them loose and send them plummeting to earth. According to this view, the underworld lay quite literally beneath the earth where the sun paid a nightly visit. Continue reading “Historical Division: Where is Heaven? By Edwin Herbert”

Crime Division: Medications as a Murder Weapon (in Fiction writing, Of Course) Joynell Schultz, PharmD, RPh

Hmmm… You have someone to kill. You need a creative way, and the old-fashioned gun, knife, rope, or Pillow Suffocation simply won’t do. Using a medication sounds intriguing. In the alphabet soup of drugs, which one makes the perfect instrument of death?

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Demystifying The Writing Process & Overcoming Writer’s Block

 

 

the-writers-process

 

 

 

 

Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching

 

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Writer’s Craft: Cruel Claws: Describing the Killer’s Hands by Rayne Hall

 

To increase suspense in a scene where a dangerous person is about to do something nasty, slow down the pace and describe their hands. This is perfect for when the evil overlord signs the order to exterminate the children, or when the torturer readies his instruments.

 

This technique works especially well in thrillers. Show the killer’s (or the suspect’s) hands, especially when the point-of-view character is helpless to do anything. This will send creepy shivers across the reader’s skin.

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Historical Division: Restitution of Artwork Stolen by the Nazis during World War Two by Jennifer Alderson

Before moving to Amsterdam, I knew very little about the restitution of artwork stolen by the Nazis during World War Two, a topic that plays a central role in my novel, The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery. Sure, I’d read about controversial cases in newspapers and wondered why museums didn’t hand over the artwork immediately when legitimate claimants appeared on the scene, but also why it took the relative of the legal owner so long to submit a claim.

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Crime Division: How to Achieve Accuracy by Stephen Bentley

There is nothing so annoying as reading a book or watching a movie and finding inaccuracies in things like police and courtroom procedures.  I am not a pedant but I prefer accuracy in my own writing and that of others, whether the result is within the pages or up on the screen.

As a former UK detective and a barrister, trial counsel to Americans but we got to wear those wigs and gowns, I have an advantage in my own writing to portray accuracy.

So how does a crime writer without the same advantage set about achieving accuracy?

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I Have this Great Idea By Catherine Dilts

 

You introduce yourself as an author. Maybe mention a writing credit or two.

“The third book in my series is being released next week,” you say.

Instead of asking where they can purchase your novel, your new acquaintance hits you with an all-too-familiar line.

“I have this great idea for a book.”

Admit it. You’ve been on the receiving end of this conversation, or perhaps you’ve been the person delivering the germ of an idea destined to become a NYT bestselling novel. Whichever role you played, the end result was Awkward.

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Historical Division: Marie Silk on Historical Fiction Writing: Life in America 100 Years Ago

Someone recently asked me, “What is ‘historical fiction’?”  I never realized it was a confusing phrase until I really thought about it and concluded that it sounds like an oxymoron.  Here, I will do my best to explain historical fiction and the process that goes into writing it.

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