Writer’s Craft: VILE VOICES: DESCRIBING HOW THE KILLER SPEAKS by Rayne Hall

 

When a dangerous or evil person talks, make their dialogue short and to the point. The tighter their speech, the more intelligent and threatening it becomes. Wordy waffling would dilute the effect.

Continue reading “Writer’s Craft: VILE VOICES: DESCRIBING HOW THE KILLER SPEAKS by Rayne Hall”

Historical Division: 1876-Not Just a Year by Khristina Atkinson

When starting to write my historical romance, Hopelessly, Completely, MADLY in Love, I choose the year 1876 for a simple enough reason.  It’s the hundred-year anniversary of the independence of America.  I ended up not mentioning this significant fact, because my character, Lexi Donovan, was dealing with some trying issues when the celebration would have rolled around.

Continue reading “Historical Division: 1876-Not Just a Year by Khristina Atkinson”

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.

Continue reading “Historical Division: Uncovering the Underworld by Brian McKinley”

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”

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.

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

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.

Continue reading “I Have this Great Idea By Catherine Dilts”

Historical Division: How I learned to love reading mysteries  by Sally Allen

The first mysteries I fell in love with were Agatha Christie’s novels. I was in middle school and had recently been upgraded to my brother’s old room. Among the items he had left behind were a substantial collection of worn paperbacks. I spent hours lying on the plush navy carpet devouring The A.B.C. Murders, And Then There Were None, and Murder on the Orient Express, among others.

Continue reading “Historical Division: How I learned to love reading mysteries  by Sally Allen”

Pulling the Rug Out: The Keys to Creating Great Twists by Steven James

 

master-key

 

 

 

 

When a basketball player pivots, he keeps one foot in place while spinning to the side to change direction.

That’s what a plot twist does.

The story’s new direction doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s rooted in the overall context of the story, but it takes everyone by surprise.

Also, the momentum that appeared to be moving the story in one direction actually propels it into a new, even more meaningful one.

Look for ways to make every scene pivot away from expectation toward satisfaction.

Continue reading “Pulling the Rug Out: The Keys to Creating Great Twists by Steven James”

DUP IS HERE! by Gavin Mills

 

 

‘Here’s my MTW review of Gavin Mills‘ adrenaline-rush of a thriller: Dup Departs…’

 

‘If you like thrillers involving gangsters, guns, drugs, corruption and action

this book is for you…’

 

These are comments on Dup Departs by two great writers for Mystery Thriller Week and I am blown away.

 

I am so glad people like Dup – because a lot of Dup is me, or was me …or something like that. But that’s not the point. Dup is like most anybody, just doing his best to lead an uncomplicated life and provide for his family. And things are not easy… There comes that time when one starts thinking whether he keeps pressing on or finds other cheese (sorry – had to borrow). Haven’t we all gone through that at some time? Is our life worth anything, are we doing what we love, …or are we missing out on life?

Continue reading “DUP IS HERE! by Gavin Mills”

Mystery Writing: One Scientist’s Journey by Rosemarie Szostak

 

I collected bugs for biology class. Watched waves washing the shore for physics. Spilled corrosive acid on my good jeans in chemistry, so they ended up looking like a fashion statement. What I didn’t learn: a) English grammar, b) sentence structure, c) paragraph structure, d) any writing structure, e) comma’s (OH I HATE COMMA’S). Bottom line. I never took English composition.

Continue reading “Mystery Writing: One Scientist’s Journey by Rosemarie Szostak”