The Key to Creating Great Characters

The Key to Creating Great Characters

The Key to Creating Great Characters Among the great strokes of good fortune — and there were many junctures where I could have gone awry — was the decision to write about, via fiction, my small marina family at Tarpon Bay, Sanibel Island, Florida, where I was a fishing guide from 1974 to 1987.  This […]

Ten Funny Moments from Mysteries, Novels, and Much More

Ten Funny Moments from Mysteries, Novels, and Much More

Ten Funny Moments from Mysteries, Novels, and Much More On paper, the idea of a brutal murder or two doesn’t exactly sound like a laugh riot. But there’s a Joss Whedon quote that gets thrown around the Internet a lot these days: “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the […]

Top Ten Literary Spies

Top Ten Literary Spies

Top Ten Literary Spies Movies depict spies and writers idling around disreputable gin joints in disheveled trench coats or sporting tuxedos and tossing quips between martinis. Implausibly, practitioners of writing and espionage not only share many of the same occupational clichés, they are frequently intertwined in a secret world. “I won’t say I’m interested in […]

10 Tips from the Paris Review’s “Art of Fiction”

10 Tips from the Paris Review’s “Art of Fiction”

10 Tips from the Paris Review’s “Art of Fiction” When I was in my early twenties, I had the privilege of watching one of the greatest writers of our time, Ron Rash, do what he did best: work. Ron was always methodical, everything set just so. A glass of tea here, maybe a photograph there, […]

Why Mystery Mixes Well With New Orleans

Why Mystery Mixes Well With New Orleans

Why Mystery Mixes Well With New Orleans   There are cities renowned for their mystique: Moscow, Paris, and New York all make the heart beat faster when they’re used as the setting for stories of intrigue. However, for me, nothing can compare to the sultry and sensual atmosphere of New Orleans. Steeped in history, mystery, […]

Top Ten Sherlock Holmes Pastiches

Top Ten Sherlock Holmes Pastiches

Top Ten Sherlock Holmes Pastiches I’m delighted to present my top ten list of traditionally published pastiches for the venerable Strand Magazine, for which I’m honoured to have written ten of my own Sherlockian tales, which are now collected, for the first time, in The Whole Art of Detection. The Seven Per Cent Solution by […]

The Horror of it...The Top Death Scenes in Fiction

The Horror of it…The Top Death Scenes in Fiction

The Horror of it…The Top Death Scenes in Fiction SPOILER WARNING: This post contains spoilers for A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, The Troop by Nick Cutter, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Hannibal by Thomas Harris, A New Fear by RL Stine, In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie […]

WASHINGTON’S TOP TEN SPY SITES

WASHINGTON’S TOP TEN SPY  SITES…Plus ONE Espionage’s most sensitive secrets are often hidden in plain sight. A white chalk mark on a mailbox, a construction worker’s discarded dirty glove, an unattended garbage bag, even a dead rat will go unnoticed and untouched by passersby absorbed in their daily routine. However, for the spy, each of […]