The Importance of a Fatal Flaw

The Importance of a Fatal Flaw

Mysteries are all about complicated people solving complicated plots. We love characters with issues—even a Fatal Flaw–that make them vulnerable and real.  It’s why Spenser has his Code, why John Rebus hangs out in the Oxford Bar, why a 1000-year-old spirit...
10 Ways to Get a Clue

10 Ways to Get a Clue

How many moving parts does it take to build a mystery novel? Do you want the short answer? (lots) Or the long answer? (lots and lots) Building Blocks Now, I’m not whining over the terrible fate of being a mystery author. Actually, I like being a mystery author....
How to Make an Informed Reading Choice

How to Make an Informed Reading Choice

With so many books out there, how do you make an informed reading choice? From the author’s point of view, it’s all about “book discoverability.’ But I read more than I write and from the reader’s perspective, it’s all about knowing...
Solve Problems Like a Detective

Solve Problems Like a Detective

  In CLIFF DIVER, Detective Emilia Cruz starts piecing together a police investigation by using a timeline. Emilia’s love of timelines will be an element of her crime-solving skills in every book in the Emilia Cruz mystery series. It’s her go-to problem-solving device...
How to Power Up Your Creativity

How to Power Up Your Creativity

For years I thought creativity belonged exclusively to artists, writers and musicians and longed to be part of such a creative elite. Wow, was I wrong. Now that I’m older and wiser (hopefully) I know that we all have the ability to be creative in any part of our lives...
Sweeten Life with 4 Jars of Inspiration

Sweeten Life with 4 Jars of Inspiration

Ready to sweeten life? Throw out a sour mindset? As the author of a mystery series–a relatively solitary occupation–I can’t afford to let my inspiration  ebb away. I’m constantly looking for new sources of motivation, the confidence to tackle new projects,...
10 Winning Rituals to Bust the Broken Resolution Cycle

10 Winning Rituals to Bust the Broken Resolution Cycle

We make resolutions, fight the good fight for a while, and then lose track and lose heart. Sigh. This year,  break the resolution-defeat-discouragement cycle before it gets going. Start some rituals instead. These 10 help me keep writing, hit deadlines,...

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