Who Invented the Mystery Novel?

It should come as no surprise to those of us who love to read and write in the mystery/thriller genre that it is the most read fiction genre (61%) among mature fiction readers. (Harris Poll.) Nor should it surprise us that female fiction readers read mystery/thriller/crime novels at a much higher rate than men (57% compared to 39%). What is it about the genre that attracts us, women especially, as its primary readership? This speaks to the eternals of the genre that make it enduring. Whether a psychologically dense tale, a bone-chilling nightmare, or an international crime of espionage solved by a kick-ass female detective these stories all head for the darkest places in human consciousness.

Why Critique Groups are Important to Writers

Nobody writes a perfect first (third or fourth) draft. And as much as we all like to think that what we create is brilliant, we need honest feedback to improve as writers. My critique group, made up of members of Sisters in Crime Central Virginia, is the best investment I've made in my writing career. I appreciate the suggestions and the monthly deadlines keep me on track with my writing. I learn as much from the conversations about others' work as I do when they review my submissions. It's a great place to brainstorm ideas. Whenever I think I am done with a set of drafts, I find that I'm not even close. My group finds inconsistencies, weak words, and spots where writing can be tightened. A

How Do You Get Your Ideas?

At book signing and author events, readers sometimes ask, “How do you get your ideas?” My easy answer is, “The newspaper.” The weird and sad articles get my attention, and I circle headlines of stories that catch my interest. I used to rip out the item, but my husband tired of reading holey newspapers, and he asked me to stop tearing. Now he cuts it out for me when he comes across my notes. What a guy! I’ve found great material from the “watcher” story about the New Jersey house whose new occupants received creepy notes from someone professing to be "watching" the home. The person said he inherited his surveillance mission from others who had watched the house since 1920. Another story I’ve

3 Reasons Why You Should Read More!

Did you know that it is recommended that a child be read to for 20 minutes every day? This helps to improve language and reading skills. If reading has benefits for the smallest of our society, surely it could help the adults too. Last night while at Target browsing for a great book to read, a young lady stopped me. She asked for advice for what her 9 year old brother might enjoy. We got to talking and she told me that she didn’t enjoy reading, and my first thought (which slipped out of my mouth) was, you just haven’t been introduced to the book that will knock your socks off. There is a book out there for every taste, and desire. From the funny, to the super serious. From the gory crime to

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Sisters in Crime Central Virginia 

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