Owls Made of Shells

I am getting ready to prune my library. This hygienic effort is necessary every few years unless you are the kind of person—we all know a few—who is a first-rank bibliohoarder. I am not one of those. Somewhere I read a bon mot to the effect that actually reading books should not get in the way of collecting them. I am also not a particularly conscientious book collector, although I used to be one. In my library now, aggregation seems to occur spontaneously with no Continue reading →

When Research Includes a Trip to Paris

Ah, yes, for how many years have I longed to write that title. I have always been a big researcher. I honed my research skills through undergrad, professional and graduate degrees. I love me a good research book. For the Kate Lange legal thriller series, I conducted extensive research into various subject matters: police procedure, biomedical issues, forensic anthropology, forensic pathology, and tattoos, amongst other things. But I didn’t have to go very far to conduct research on the setting, because my series is set in Continue reading →

Bouchercon: ‘Thanking’ the Writers!

There are two prevalent thoughts in my mind this week. Thanksgiving arriving and the event, Bouchercon held in Long Beach that I just returned from. I have to say as a newer writer to the industry I always had this image in my mind of the authors I truly love. From Cussler to Deaver to Ziskin to Poe to Hank Phillippi Ryan to Meg Gardiner (the list goes on and on), I always had it in my mind that they would be unapproachable. Wearing the Continue reading →

Writing in the Dark

The 1999 movie Instinct features a metaphorical scene for writers. Dr. Powell is an anthropologist imprisoned for murdering men who have killed the band of gorillas he was studying. A young psychiatrist, Dr. Theo Calder, is studying Powell, hoping to find a way to free him. In the scene relevant to us, Calder tries to prevent Powell from ending a session early. Calder claims he’s the one in charge. He will decide when it’s over.  Powell deftly locks him into a life-and-death grip, demonstrating that Continue reading →