Open Your Story with a BANG!

Gayle will be at the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Library on Saturday, October 21, from 1-4 P.M. Drop by and say hello!

 

PART ONE

by Gayle Bartos-Pool

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Whether you are writing a novel, short story or screenplay, you use the same basic literary tools. If you want to give yourself a better chance to have your short story or novel picked up by an agent and then a publisher, you have to get their attention. If you are lucky, an agent/publisher will read your first chapter. Usually they will just read the first few pages or maybe only the first paragraph. This holds true for a short story that you might submit to a contest. They have 50-100 manuscripts stacked up and they are looking for any excuse to toss your work into the round file. You want to make your opening a grabber.

 

What exactly does an Opening Line/Paragraph/Scene in a Short Story, Novel or Screenplay do? I will explain using the Short Story, but much of this pertains to novels or screenplays as well.

 

  1. The Opening Line sets the TONE (funny/tragic/etc.), identifies the sub-genre of the story (Noir/cozy/sassy sleuth), states the problem, and hints at the solution. Put one or two of these in that opening line or paragraph.

How do you write a good Opening?

2. The Opening should get the reader’s attention:

Example: I couldn’t believe they found Brad’s body. I thought I buried him deeper. From “A Role To Die For” by G.B. Pool

3. Avoid the clichéd opening. EXAMPLE: Instead of: It seemed like a good idea at the time… or This was the worst day of my life…try: The two-by-four smacked me in the head. And here I thought the guy with the gun was my problem. (It’s the unexpected that grabs attention.)

4. The Opening should establish the RULES of the story; they must be consistent; you can’t start out as a comedy and end up with a philosophical think piece.

5. One way of setting the Tone in a short story is with a Very Strong Voice. You do this by either writing in First Person or using a strong Narrator (Third Person) describing the main character or the problem at hand. The voice will propel the short story. Whereas in a novel you can be more emotional and flowery in your delivery. A strong voice tells the reader what type of story he is reading, is more one-on-one, and holds the reader’s attention. The Omniscient Voice is colder, more remote, and unemotional. Third Person Close is more personal.

EXAMPLE: Archie Wright’s the name. Dishing dirt’s the game. My sandbox: Hollywood. The most glamorous and glitzy, vicious, and venomous playground in the world. If you come for a visit, bring your sunscreen and your shark repellent. If you come to stay, let me warn you, Tinsel Town eats up and spits out a hundred just like you every day. Sometimes it isn’t pretty, but it’s my job to chronicle the ebb and flow of the hopeful, the helpless, and the hapless. My best stories come from the dark side of Glitzville. From “Glitzville” by G.B. Pool

6. The Opening should allude to the ending or the Payoff, so you come full circle when you get to the end.

EXAMPLE – The Opening: “I already told you. I met the guy in a bar. We got to talking. Somehow he knew I’d been in trouble with the law before.”

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EXAMPLE – The Closing: “Perhaps you would like to speak to a lawyer now, Mr. Harrison?” said the cop. From “The Big Payoff” by G.B. Pool (The poor shlub at the beginning has been confessing to a cop. This isn’t known until the end.)

 

As An Exercise: Compile Beginnings and Endings of Short Stories or Chapters in a novel. Use yours or the masters. It’s eye-opening.

Open Door7. The Opening should hint at, but not necessarily give away, the ending. A good example where this is done well is the opening from the movie Sunset Boulevard. (There is a dead body floating in a pool. It is narrating the story. How he got that way is the plot.)

 

Part Two will be up in a few weeks to continue this theme… Openings are important, my friends.

The Play’s the Thing – Plot is Everything - Some thoughts by Gayle Bartos-Pool

Most of the examples used are from my short story collection: From Light TO DARK.

Past, Present, and Future

by Gayle Bartos-Pool

books-on-shelfSome months ago there was an unbelievable news story on TV. The gist was that some teachers no longer wanted to teach the classics. Unlike my reaction to other things I have heard on TV news shows (or the Internet), I actually believed the report. My snarky first reaction was that the teachers probably couldn’t read themselves and didn’t want their students to know they were illiterate. I’m still tossing around that idea.

 

The problem is: that story won’t go away. I tried to analyze the reasoning behind the decision to ban the classics and came to the conclusion that there is no reasoning involved. It’s stupid. I wrote a blog back then starting with this same premise and then went on to sing the praises of two female authors, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Anna Katharine Green who were both born in the mid-to-late1800s. I love their work.

 

So now I am going to introduce you to a few more gems that you might not know, or if you know them, you might not have read them. Paul D. Marks mentioned this particular book in one of his recent blogs, so there must be something in going back and reading the classics.

The Count of Monte Cristo bookThe Count of Monte Cristo movie

First is Alexandre Dumas (Pere). The book I recently finished was The Count of Monte Cristo. If you have seen the recent movie, you saw a very nice production, but it veered from the original story like the car chase in Bullitt. The writer/director of the movie had to cut it down to size because there are 117 chapters. That’s a lot of cutting. They rewrote the ending, too. There was so much in the book; I was breathless after finishing it. And I loved it.

 

The book evolved in basically a series of short stories that slowly pieced together the main character’s life. There was a lot of life there. The writing shows us contemporary authors what character development can be if you know your character. No shallow, two-dimensional guy here. There were layers and nuances and glimpses inside this guy that made him real. The story unfolded like a beautiful flower opening.

 

But even Shakespeare (1564-1616) is more than readable. His stories have been contemporized, but the plots and characters are solid. They even set Romeo and Juliet to music in Westside Story. The plot was universal.

 

Mark Twain (1835-1910) turned out books that both kids and adults can enjoy. I read him as a kid and when I read him again as an adult I saw even more things in those pages.

 

Recently I have been reading E. Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946). He was known as the Prince of Storytellers. He wrote a hundred novels and numerous short stories. Many of his works were turned into silent movies. What stuns me is how contemporary his work is. They might deal with a time long ago, but the feeling and the thoughts could have been written today. True, there are no car chases or throbbing sex scenes, but there is a story, a plot, stuff happening. And no filler.

 

We were just watching the movie Youngblood Hawke (1964) about a hot-shot new writer hitting the New York literary scene. The guy’s first book was sensational, his second book was trash. During the launch party, a famed reviewer said how the margins were too wide, the type too large, and the story filled with padding. He said it should have been a novella.

 

Lots of contemporary books are written with superfluous stuff. Too many sequels to fairly nice books are filled with redundancy. The characters are strictly stock with not much personality, and those are often the main characters. These books by the Old Masters don’t have filling or padding or fluff. Not even in the 117 chapters in The Count of Monte Cristo.

 

Phillips Oppenheim, a British author, filled his pages with new things on every page. In Peter Ruff and the Double-Four, a collection of short stories about the same character, his main character starts out as a very shady guy who decides to use his criminal expertise to sometimes thwart the bad guys and sometimes help them see the error of their ways. The character is dead clever and is marvelously one step ahead, even when you don’t see it coming.

The Illustrious Prince Book.pngThe Illustrious Prince movie

In both The Devil’s Paw and The Illustrious Prince, he brings some brilliant insights to spying during the early part of the Great War. The 1923 movie made from The Illustrious Prince totally rewrote the story, but maybe it was a good movie. Havoc was a pre-war tome as well. But each gives the reader not only an interesting story, but also a glimpse of the times in which they were written. Dare I say: the history of those times, lest it be forgotten.

Fahrenheit 451

Even Ray Bradbury’s science fiction novels and stories give a look at the thinking during his brilliant literary career. We all know science fiction is just a way of telling what is happening now and how it might manifest itself in the future. His Fahrenheit 451 is about book burning in the future, a time when the classics were banned. Sound familiar?

 

One of the reasons I have so enjoyed these older works is because they are so damn well written. I read contemporary stuff. Many of my writer-friends turn out some darn good work and they recommend other authors to me. Some are good, some aren’t. Sometimes it’s just a matter of taste. Sometimes they just stink. At my age, I will actually put down a book never to pick it up again because I have better things to do with my time if the book has absolutely nothing to offer.

 

Contemporary authors occasionally write historical stories. A good author does a ton of research and if they do the job well, it shows. Sometimes the dialogue might be more modern, but unless you want your reader to carry a large dictionary with them, you keep the words fairly current.

 

While reading these older works, I was amazed how contemporary the words and phrases were. I do understand that publishers revise many of the classics to make them more readable, but still, some of these are 70-100-150 years old. A few words might be archaic, but the meaning that comes through is very clear. Most of these books have themes that sound like they were written today. That is the mark of a very good writer. Some themes are universal and timeless.

 

But mostly their work endures… as long as people can still find them somewhere. I have a CD collection with 10,000 books on it. That’s where I have been reading these classics. At least they are safe for a while. Read on.

 

The picture below is me with the inimitable Ray Bradbury. God Bless him. (The picture was taken by our very own Jackie Houchin.)

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Why Write? by Linda O. Johnston

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Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, currently writes two mystery series for Midnight Ink involving dogs: the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries, and the Superstition Mysteries.  She has also written the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and also currently writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries about shapeshifters for Harlequin Nocturne.  Her most recent release is her 44th published novel, with more to come.

Why write?

That’s a pretty basic question for authors, and yet I don’t always think about it.

Why do I write?  And, if you’re an author too, why do you write?

For me, I suppose the answer is both simple and complicated.  It’s who I am. 

I’ve always written something.  I started out enjoying writing essays for my classes in school, and then a touch of fiction, in grade school, then junior high and high school.  College, too, though what I usually wrote there were assignments rather than just doing it for fun.  My undergraduate degree was in journalism with an advertising emphasis, so my classes involved a lot of writing.

Later, I wrote articles for a small newspaper, then actually got a job in advertising and public relations–working for my father.  One of the most enjoyable things there was writing articles for a house organ magazine for the firm’s largest client, a men’s hairstyling and hair products company, though I could write nearly anything for the magazine.

Shift, while doing that, to law school.  I had a couple of articles published in the Duquesne Law Review, which was both prestigious and enjoyable. 

And fiction during this time?  Not a lot of it.  But after I got my JD degree and started working first for a law firm, then in-house for Union Oil Company, I began getting up an hour earlier than anyone in my growing household so I could write.

I soon actually began getting published, and of course that spurred me to write even more fiction, along with the contracts I reviewed and drafted.  In fact, that’s what stimulated me to come up with one of the phrases key to my life: Contracts are just another form of fiction.

My law career ultimately ended, so now I’m a full time writer.  And have you gleaned from all of this the answer to why I write? 

As I said before, it’s because that’s who I am!

I know a lot of other writers.  Some, like me these days, write full time.  Others maintain their “real” jobs as well.  But they’ll always find some time to dig in and write what they want–and that helps to make them who they are, too.

And you…?  

September Song by Rosemary Lord

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Rosemary wrote her first book when she was ten years old – for her little brother. She also illustrated it herself. It was later rejected by Random House!

She has been writing ever since.

The author of Best Sellers Hollywood Then and Now and Los Angeles Then and Now, English born Rosemary Lord has lived in Hollywood for over 25 years. An actress, a former journalist (interviewing Cary Grant, James Stewart, Tony Hopkins, John Huston amongst others) and a Senior Publicist at Columbia Pictures, she lectures on Hollywood history. Rosemary is currently writing the second in a series of murder mysteries set in the 1920s Jazz Age Hollywood featuring Lottie Topaz, an extra in silent movies.

* * *

“…The days dwindle down to a precious few…” Sound familiar?  These are the lyrics to Kurt Weill’s 1938 heart-wrenching, “September Song.”

“- and the days grow short when you reach September,” Frank Sinatra sang. And then –

“- One hasn’t got time for the waiting game…”

In Hollywood, the days have at last cooled down after sweltering heat, where the nights were filled with the cacophony of neighboring air-conditioners at full tilt.  And it reminds me that another summer has passed and – in Kurt Weill’s poignant words –  I really don’t have time for the waiting game, any more.

I think of all the unexpected things that happened this summer, the new friends I made, things I learned, expectations I met and sometimes exceeded. And yet all the things I did not get around to, come to mind: Painting my bedroom chest-of-drawers blue, selling that big travel-trunk, attending those Booty-Barre classes, visiting friends in Arizona.

I failed to make it down to the beach this summer. I did, however, go on a watermelon-diet (easier to do during those hot, dry days) and lost a few pounds: the pounds I had gained when devouring English comfort-food such as buttered toast, treacle-pudding with hot custard, roast-potatoes, crumpets. I could go on…

In the summer of 2017, I did not find that perfect literary agent for my mystery novel about Lottie Topaz. Neither did I finish the next Lottie Topaz novel, Seven For A Secret… The days were just not long enough.

But I did finish the updated version of Los Angeles Then and Now and I wrote a 1,200-word article on the Woman’s Club of Hollywood, for the upcoming issue of Discover Hollywood. All was not lost. I was also putting in long, long hours, 6-7 days a week helping to revive and restore the Woman’s Club of Hollywood.

And this summer was not too bad in my cozy apartment. Surrounded by fans (the whirring kind, not the screaming ones), I battled my temperamental old lap-top, wishing I had the time to learn how to use a MAC, in the belief that would solve all my computer problems – like the cursor that jumps all over the place and deletes lines and paragraphs, so I have to keep re-typing, or my Windows Live email program that eats emails and only sends out select emails, seemingly on a whim.

But now that early mornings feel fresher, almost brisk at times and, as Kurt Weil wrote, “When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame…”  and cooler days beckon, I no longer have to spend evenings in front of the open fridge seeking an icy-blast or two. My heat-dulled brain unable to write even the simplest sentence.

As we say goodbye to another summer and Fall approaches, I find my focus improves and once again my mind is tripping over itself to write all those books and articles emerging from my memory and imagination.

‘This time it will be different’ is my mantra, as I make fresh To Do lists of writing projects to be finished and new ones to start.. These “precious days” from September to December I will spend doing…. what, I wonder?

“…These precious days I’ll spend – ”  doing all the things I intended to do during the summer.

And how did you spend your summer of 2017?

The Art Of The Sequel – Part 2 by Miko Johnston

 

Previously, we looked at some of the challenges of writing a multi-part series. Now a few tips on how to incorporate them.

 

1 – Study the masters

By that I mean writers whose series you read and love. Movies and TV series fall into this category, but since authors can’t rely on visuals, book series are particularly helpful in demonstrating how to update readers in each new volume. How does the author handle the reintroduction of characters, for example? Carry over events from the previous book? Deal with the passage of time? Regardless of the genre, you can learn a lot by analyzing other writers’ works, not to copy their ideas, but to emulate their techniques. I can’t overemphasize this.

 

2 – Review your synopsis

Do you write a synopsis for every book? You should, even if you don’t follow it exactly. It can even be written after you’ve finished the novel and kept as a summary of the story.

A good synopsis will feature the protagonist and the primary characters. It should cover the key plot points and steer readers toward the climax. Use this as a guide for what information should be updated or repeated in your next book. Also consider what will transpire in the newest novel. Anything relevant to the plot should be included. You can plant the seeds for a plot line that will develop in a future volume as well.

 

3 – Create a folder for organizational charts/files

Creating a place to store character bios, floor plans, timelines, synopses and other details is helpful when writing a book, but it’s essential when working on a sequel. Lots of interrelationships between characters? Chart it. Need to know what the town you invented looks like? Map it. Your character’s office? Diagram it.

You don’t want to describe morning sun streaming through the bedroom window in book one and watching the sunset from that same window in book three. You also need to remember how old your protagonist is, whether Joan is his first or fourth ex-wife, and if Harry is his uncle or his barber.  You can create an electronic folder, or file hard copies instead.

 

4 – Build on what you already have

If you get stuck when writing a sequel, reread your earlier book(s) to see if something there can be used to launch a new plot point. A scene in my first book inspired a mystery subplot that I introduce in book three and will complete in its sequel. I realized what happened could be interpreted in more than one way and was amazed by how well that scene pointed to the culprit. The unexpected turn surprised my beta readers – they didn’t see it until the final reveal, but it made sense to them because I’d laid the groundwork.

If you’ve ever had a reader come up with a fascinating interpretation of something you’d written, something that you never saw that way, then you understand how this could happen. For that matter, some writers have gotten inspiration from readers who’ve had questions about a plot point in an earlier book. If one of your readers asks or suggests something useful, run with it and see where it leads.

 

5 – Move the story forward

You don’t want to rehash the same old business in each new installment. Characters have to develop – marry, divorce, give birth or lose loved ones. They’ll have personal and professional triumphs and setbacks. People will enter and leave their lives. These elements can be integrated as backstory or put up-front and center, but they must be there.

Those organizational files/charts that I mentioned earlier will become invaluable in keeping your overall journey on point, intact and moving along. If you don’t have a good idea of where the saga will eventually end, then you should sit down and think about it. You don’t have to have a precise path for the character’s journey, but you ought to have a destination. Then, with every installment, check to see how far along that path your protagonist has traveled.

 

 

Writing a good series is challenging, but rewarding for readers who love them. I know I do. Part of the pleasure of reading each sequel is following the characters’ lives along with them in each new book. It’s like a reunion with old friends, for that’s what they’ve become.

 

What challenges have you found in writing sequels? Do you have any tips to share?

THE ART OF THE SEQUEL by Miko Johnston

As you are reading this, the third novel in my A Petal In The Wind series is about to be published and I’m starting to write book four. I’m in good company. Since the founding of The Writers In Residence, I’m proud to say that seven of our eight members have published at least one book. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many of us have written or are working on sequels.

 

And why not? As Jackie Vick confirmed with her post last week, sequels are a great way to win readers. Like the best movie or TV series, book series attract audiences with interesting characters we get to know over time. Series offer engaging stories as well, that make us laugh, or cry, or worry, or all of the above.

 

You may think it’s easier to write a sequel than a completely new novel. After all, you have your characters developed, your tone set, and your readers hungry for more. Maybe, but if you’ve ever remodeled a house, you know that sometimes it’s easier to start from scratch. Like remodels, sequels have their own set of challenges. Here are some to think about:

 

1   How much of the story bears repeating?

All books, whether sequels or not, should read as a stand-alone – anyone who hasn’t read the previous book or books in the series should be able to figure out what’s going on. Characters and situations have to be reintroduced. However, you don’t want to bog down a sequel with too much repetition from the earlier books. Finding the balance between too little and too much is tricky. A good rule of thumb: include only what relates to the sequel’s plot and avoid frontloading your first chapter with backstory. Throughout the early chapters, recap with a paragraph or a few sentences to reintroduce, or update, the reader to the characters – who they are, what they look like, and what they’re doing.

An excellent example of this technique is Daniel Silva’s description of one of his recurring characters, Eli Lavon. A tracker, a.k.a. street surveillance artist, Silva reminds us that Lavon “could disappear while shaking your hand”.

 

2   How will your characters grow throughout the series?

Comic strip characters rarely change or age over decades, but most writers of successful series account for how much time, if any, has elapsed between books. Each sequel will show characters aging and all that it entails – coupling and break-ups, promotions and job changes, births and deaths. In the Miss Marple series, Agatha Christie describes one minor character as a teenager in her first book. In her eighth, the same character is mentioned as being grown up and in a successful career.

 

3   Are you staying in the same realm?

Whatever you write, you should maintain a consistent genre throughout the series. Readers will be thrown if in later installments your cozy mystery suddenly turns gritty, your political thriller morphs into satire, or spacemen appear in your Regency romance. If you want to write something significantly different from your previous novel, make it a stand-alone.

It’s fine to tweak sub-genres; sometimes you must. For example, my historical fiction series, A Petal In The Wind, begins with my protagonist as a child. In the second book she’s twenty-two, so I added a romance element. However, every book in the series is a love story, only it’s not romantic love in book one.

 

4   Is there more to the story?

Some stories can be told in under 400 pages. Others require more time to develop. Series abound in genres like thriller, mystery, and sci-fi, where the characters continue to save the world from evil, solve another murder, or explore a new planet. Historical fiction series follow a group of characters through an era or period of history, while characters in contemporary fiction series deal with the challenges of our modern age. Romance often appears as a sub-genre in sequels, like Faye Kellerman’s Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series.

Often publishers will not accept manuscripts that exceed a set word count, citing higher printing costs. Many readers and book clubs won’t touch a book that’s too long. If your manuscript is over 100,000 words, consider splitting it into two books. If it’s well over 100,000 words, you’ve got the beginning of a saga.

 

5   How do you connect the books?

If you plan to serialize your novels, is it going to be a limited series, such as a trilogy, or open-ended? Limited series are appropriate when you’re tracing characters over a period of time, such as a family saga, a finite era like a war or political reign, or, like Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone alphabet mysteries, you have a pre-set number of books in mind. Action/adventure, mysteries, covert ops, and political thrillers can be open ended, for there’s always another bad guy (or gal) to catch, or another adventure to be had.

Aside from the continuing characters, sequels should leave some story threads untied, to be picked up in a later installment. Other characters may disappear for a while, only to reappear a book or two later.  Or a clue in book two may not come to roost until book four. Little nuggets like that give pleasure to the faithful reader.

 

 

Once you know what to do, the next step is figuring out how to do it successfully. We’ll look at that in the next installment, which will post next Monday.

Catching Up on Mystery Reads

headshotJacqueline Vick is the author of over twenty published short stories, novelettes and mystery novels. Her April 2010 article for Fido Friendly Magazine, “Calling Canine Clairvoyants”, led to the first Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic mystery, Barking Mad About Murder. To find out more, visit her website at http://www.jacquelinevick.com.

 

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It is so important for a writer to read. Not only will she keep abreast of what’s out there and (hopefully) enjoy the process, but she can discover new writing styles, get ideas for her books, and even learn new vocabulary words.

When my computer crashed a few weeks ago, I had the time to dig out a few selections from my very large pile of books waiting to be read. It was refreshing, like forgetting to drink water for a while and then experiencing the benefits when you finally do. I was delighted by some of the mysteries I discovered as well as by new novels by authors I’d previously enjoyed. Here’s a sample. Check them out. I think you’ll like them.

Quirky Quiz ShowSally Carpenter put out a post about her new book The Quirky Quiz Show Caper. I saw it on Facebook. (Hint: Don’t be afraid to promote your books, gently, on social media.)  I immediately downloaded a copy, realized I hadn’t read the previous book, and downloaded that one, too. (See? Promotion pays off!)

The thing I love about the Sandy Fairfax mysteries is their light-hearted approach. Sandy is a former teen idol trying to get his lifeCunning Cruise Ship Caper back together at 38 after drying out.  The choices available to him at this point in his career are pretty cheesy, but as grandma used to say, beggars can’t be choosers.

The characters and the dialogue and the situations play out like an old sitcom. That’s the genius of these books. With Carpenter’s knowledge of theater and television, the sets come to life.  Simply put, they are fun, and I can’t wait for the next one.

I have to admit I’ve fallen woefully behind on Diane Vallere’s Samantha Kidd mysteries, so I grabbed a copy of Pearls Gone Wild and dove in, which is kind of like eating dessert before dinner, since I had missed a few books between this, her sixth, and the first book in the series, Designer Dirty Laundry.

Pearls Gone WildI’m glad I did, because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the excitement. Samantha and Nick Taylor just may move their relationship to a new level, but will the handsome photographer Dante get in the way? And what’s Dante doing hanging around Samantha at Christmas anyway? He’s lending brotherly support to his sister Cat whose husband has just been murdered. Did I mention Cat is eight months pregnant? If you think it sounds like a soap opera, you’re right. Twists and surprises galore but without the annoying “scene hold” before commercial break.

Then, as I was dropping off my batteries at the library for recycling, I thought I would slip inside for a quick peek. Staring at me, front forward on the shelf, was Louis Penny’s How the Light Get’s In.  I grabbed that and two Donna Leon books and, yes, made my reading pile larger, with deadlines.

Cajun Christmas KillingI’ll have to wait until October for the next Ellen Byron novel, A Cajun Christmas Killing, and I’ve been to several bookstores looking for Ashley Weaver’s The Essence of Malice. Ooh! Did I just see an Amory Ames Kindle Single? Another for the pile!the essence of malice

In case you’re worried that I might be crushed by my growing stack of books, I did make headway on the reading pile with a few novels that I had previously downloaded to “give the author a try,” Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I won’t mention them by name because it’s just my opinion and everybody has to start somewhere. I’d hate to have my first book, written before I had gained experience, trashed online.  The point is that authors shouldn’t limit themselves to favorites. When I recognize something I don’t like, it’s a good reminder to keep it out of my own books.

Are there mysteries that you’ve discovered that you love, love, love? Share them in the comments section.