REGIONAL FLAVOR

by Isabella Maldonado I write two crime fiction series, one with a homicide detective and the other featuring a federal agent. A major difference between the two is how the setting changes the feel of the story. Having your main character work in the same place grounds your story deeply in the...

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Characters That Keep It Real

by Tracy Clark I just gave my first author presentations on craft, one on writing settings and one on building book people (characters). I think I did okay. I hope I did. But I’m a writer, not Mr. Chips, so things might have been a little, you know, shaky. I put the presentation together (with...

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BARBARA ROSS GOES ROGUE

Gayle Lynds: Barbara Ross’s novels always move me. They’re riveting! In her newest one, Muddled Through, modernization sends residents of a Maine resort into turmoil. Add valuable pottery, town meetings, and unfortunate death, and you have adventure, a retired National Geographic female...

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TESS GERRITSEN GOES ROGUE

Introduction by KJ Howe: Writing one dynamic book is a real accomplishment. Keeping a series fresh is a monumental task. It takes a creative mind and an endless amount of energy. Learn from iconic author Tess Gerritsen how to keep your series sparkling. Welcome to the Rogues, Tess! Keeping A...

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THE QUICKSAND EPISODE

by Lisa Black Young people today must have no idea why children of the 1970s had an irrational fear of quicksand—the colloidal of saturated loose sand by which one would die slowly and inexorably without hope of rescue. Even though it is impossible for a human to actually drown in quicksand, any...

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LETTING MY CAREER GO TO THE DOGS

by Alex Kava Spoiler alert! It’s a good thing. It was nine years ago this summer when I decided to write a new series. The latest installment (#11, Stranded) in my long-running FBI profiler series was scheduled for release in August that year. Pre-orders outpaced previous books. The publisher even...

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DO NOVELISTS PREDICT THE FUTURE?

by Karna Small Bodman Many authors say they get ideas “ripped from the headlines” and then do a “what if” to craft a tale. But what if, instead of following headlines, the author actually predicts them? Have you ever read a novel and later discovered that an event, historical reference, attack —...

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ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND A WAITRESS NAMED RITA

I’ve always been a fan of classic movies. “Sorry, Wrong Number,” “Gaslight,” “Rear Window.” Talk about building suspense. The classics definitely knew how to do it. I’m a visual writer, so I need a scene to play out in my mind before I can put it into words. But to build suspense, it’s not just...

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