Creative Writing Courses

Creative Writing Courses One of the questions I am sometimes asked is if I feel it’s advisable to take creative writing lessons? For me, the answer is both yes and no as every writer will have their own unique journey. However, by delving into my own experiences of courses, I hope to explore the answer […]

What Makes Sherlock So Special

What Makes Sherlock So Special What indeed! Sherlock Holmes has been with us for over one hundred years and the public’s interest for him remains unquenchable. He is known the world over and is so familiar that his name has become part of our vernacular. Moreover, he is the most portrayed character in film and […]

Author Greg Mitchell of The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood—and America—Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

The Beginning or the End — Q&A with Greg Mitchell

THE BEGINNING OR THE END A Discussion with Author Greg Mitchell by Michael Barson   Barson 1) Given the tragic aftermath of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in August of 1945— actions that soon would lead to MGM’s decision to film “The Beginning or the End”—were you surprised to discover in your research […]

Body for Sale

Body for Sale The Victorian Era was a blizzard of societal change, an avalanche, a cascade, a tsunami. We look on the age as prim and tightly buttoned-up, but perhaps it had to be because so many things were unraveling at such a rapid pace. Manners, morals and attire needed to have the appearance, at […]

Psychotherapy for Characters

Psychotherapy for Characters Theatre trips are magical. I love the anticipation before the curtain raises, the imaginative sets, the actors, the story, the applause. As much as I enjoyed performing in school plays, I’ve never been able to act. Therefore, when a writer friend of mine, Phoebe Locke, recommended a psychotherapy service for fictitious characters […]

Book Review: Five More American Mystery Classics

Book Review: Five More American Mystery Classics   The American Mystery Classics series continues to republish some great crime novels of the past, featuring some of the greatest talents in the genre, including some legends who have unfortunately fallen into undeserved obscurity. John Dickson Carr made his name with the “locked room” mysteries and impossible crimes […]

THE LONDON MONSTER

THE LONDON MONSTER   In 1790, nearly a century before Jack the Ripper haunted the streets of London, another predator held sway. The Monster, as this mysterious miscreant was soon dubbed, used to walk up to a beautiful, well-dressed lady, insult her with coarse and earthy language, and then stab her in the thigh or […]

The Secret Life of Mercenaries

The Secret Life of Mercenaries “You were a mercenary? Did you kill anyone?” I get this question a lot. “I really can’t say,” I answer, and it’s the truth. A lot of what I did was secret, or, as we say in the industry, a “zero-footprint operation.”  It means we were ghosts. When you need […]

DVD Review: Monk: The Complete Series (2020 Rerelease)

DVD Review: Monk: The Complete Series (2020 Rerelease)   Critics and pundits love to bandy the word “relevant” around certain creative works, arguing that because of its topic, themes, or political agenda, a certain book or movie or TV series is exceptionally “relevant” to the current era.  Often, this terminology means nothing more than “this work […]

Psychology as Forensic Science from Auguste Dupin to Sherlock Holmes

“The Razor-Potato Man”: An Analysis of Harlan Ellison’s Short Story “He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes”

“The Razor-Potato Man”: An Analysis of Harlan Ellison’s Short Story “He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes”   The prolific science fiction author Harlan Ellison passed away on June 27, 2018. One of his last stories, “He Who Grew Up Reading Sherlock Holmes,” was published in the 2014 anthology In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: […]

The Top Pandemic Thrillers to Turn to Right Now

The Top Pandemic Thrillers to Turn to Right Now   To paraphrase that familiar insurance ad: I know a thing or two about pandemics, because I’ve seen a thing or two—both as an author who has written multiple thrillers involving global outbreaks, and as a frontline ER physician who has faced HIV, SARS, H1N1, and […]