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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
‘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”
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”
I was at a book signing the other day, and a person asked me a question that caused me to have to think a little before blurting out an answer. The question was, “What should every new writer know?” My answer at the time seemed to satisfy the person asking but after giving it a little more thought I decided that my reply was at best adequate and at worst incomplete. Now thanks to the Mystery Thriller Week I have been given another opportunity to adequately express what I have no come to call My Advice for New Writers that Every New Writer Should Know Before Deciding to Become a Writer. I think you can tell from my title that the thought process has grown from my initial response at the book signing. Also, if you have decided to become a writer no matter what anyone tells you, I would read this anyway. At best, you may avert some pain. At worst, you might even enjoy it. So, with that introduction let’s get into it.
Continue reading “My Advice for New Writers by John W. Howell”
Just the thought elicits visions of maniacal laughter, devilish plots, bumbling sidekicks, and plans to take over / dominate / destroy the Earth. We root for their failure, cringe at their dastardly deeds, and weep at the havoc they wreak.
But to a superhero, these evildoers are as important as ying is to yang. Without them, there would be no dark to offset the light side of the force, no one from whom to rescue Lois Lane, and no one to threaten Gotham City. If the Jedi had been successful at stopping the Emperor, the Empire would have never come to fruition, and OB1 and Anakin would have found themselves unemployable.
Continue reading “Villains by Deek Rhew”