To My Author Mentors

Writers get lots of advice. Some of the best I’ve received is to study the works of other writers. And I’ve done just that, analyzing the character development, story structure, and styles of Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Dianne Emley, Sue Grafton, and many more. But I’ve focused on two very different mystery authors (meaning different from each other): Gillian Roberts and Joan Smith. Gillian Roberts is a former English teacher who gave the same occupation to her amateur sleuth, Amanda Pepper. Amanda teaches in a Philadelphia prep school whose students are underachievers from wealthy families. You’ll enjoy humorous commentary on the trials and tribulations of being a high school teacher

Wet or Dry?

Everyone knows about Prohibition, which came into existence by constitutional amendment across the United States from 1920 until it was repealed by another constitutional amendment in 1933. But almost no one knows that there was legal prohibition of alcohol long before and long after. Or that prohibition continues today in many, many counties and states that remained dry long after national prohibition was repealed. You may be living in one of them today! If so, let me know how you obtain your favorite beverages. When I was a young adult, we used to visit my grandparents in Mississippi. Their county was dry, and this was in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. We drove into the next county to buy a

What Is Your IQ in Intelligence?

The United States uses seventeen different agencies to gather intelligence. Have you read about them in the news lately? They are hard at work keeping America safe. And that might work out really well, or not so much in your next novel - whether you are reading one or writing one. 1. Office of the Director of National Intelligence Created by Congress in response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks Coordinates intelligence collection and sharing among U.S. intelligence agencies. The director is the one who heads of the intelligence community is the principal advisor to the president, National Security Council, and Homeland Security Council on national security intelligence matters. 2.Central Intell

Learn About Crime Without Being a Criminal

Before I wrote my first financial thriller, Money Grab, my primary knowledge of crime had come from books, movies and television. I didn’t know what was real versus what had been “fictionalized” to make a better story. Wanting some hands-on experience, but without embracing the criminal life myself, I signed up for a 10-week Citizens Police Academy. It’s a significant investment of time, but well worth it if you want your writing to be realistic. Many counties and cities offer these programs. Check with your local law enforcement group to determine what’s available in your area. I learned so much from this program. It was not just classroom time, but also hours in the field for hands-on demo

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Sisters in Crime Central Virginia 

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.