R.L. Stine on writing

R.L. Stine’s Writing Tips

R. L. Stine’s Writing Tips R. L. Stine is the author of hundreds of bestselling horror fiction novels, including the Goosebumps and Fear Street series. R. L. Stine’s Writing Tips: 1. Never sit down and start writing. Always have a complete plan for what you are going to write before you start. 2. Always know the ending of your […]

Michael Palmer’s Writing Tips

Michael Palmer’s Writing Tips 1) Relax!! — breathing, meditation before starting. Don’t take yourself too seriously. 2) Identify those passages that you are particularly fond of and get rid of them. Those are the passages that call the readers’ attention to what a good writer you are. 3) Be fearless. Try things you know might […]

And the Nominees Are…

And the Nominees Are… Recognizing excellence in the field of mystery fiction, the Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics and journalists, from news venues such as The Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Sun Times, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, The Guardian, and several other daily papers.This will mark the […]

Catchin’ A Firefly In A Mason Jar

Catchin’ A Firefly In A Mason Jar

Catchin’ A Firefly In A Mason Jar My brother and I did everything we could to keep our grandmother from laughing on Thursdays. At least in the wintertime.That was no easy task given there was little in life the old woman liked better than a good belly laugh. Said it prevented indigestion, promoted solid bowel […]

On meeting the creator of The Exorcist

On meeting the creator of The Exorcist

On meeting the creator of The Exorcist Years ago when I was squeaking through high school, I went with friends to see the movie the whole world was talking about: The Exorcist. As a former altar boy who’d been taught by nuns, the story jolted me. I squirmed in my seat each time we were […]

Witches, Burning, Butties, and Beer

Witches, Burning, Butties, and Beer

Witches, Burning, Butties, and Beer Normally, I have no idea where that first elusive spark for a novel comes from. Sometimes a scene just pops into my head, sometimes it’s a title, but for Close To The Bone it happened in a borrowed estate car driving around the South Island of New Zealand in 2009. […]

The Writer, the Burglar, and the Detective

The Writer, the Burglar, and the Detective In the first decade of the twentieth century, the French writer Maurice Leblanc published The Blonde Lady, a mystery novel that featured his popular gentleman thief, Arsene Lupin. In all, Leblanc would pen twenty-one novels and short story collections about the ingenious Lupin, who came to be thought […]

Jodi Arias and the Dilemma of Beautiful Killers

Jodi Arias and the Dilemma of Beautiful Killers

Jodi Arias and the Dilemma of Beautiful Killers One of the more interesting visuals in any criminal trial is how the defendant presents himself. As a prosecutor, I saw countless defense makeovers: brutish thugs who walked into the courtroom almost unrecognizable in pressed khakis, a neat haircut, and fake glasses plucked from a bin in […]

Travels In No-Man’s-Land

Travels In No-Man’s-Land A year ago, in January, while taking a break from writing my new novel, The Carrion Birds, I stood on a dune in White Sands National Monument and watched a couple fighter planes dip down out of the sky. I’d taken a small detour from the marked path and walked for ten […]

Genius of James McClure

Genius of James McClure South Africa has a stellar group of crime writers at the moment, including Wessel Ebersohn, Joanne Hichens, Meshack Masondo, Deon Meyer, Jassy Mackenzie, Sifiso Mzobe, Mike Nicol, Margie Orford, and Roger Smith. One could also include Richard Kunzmann, Chris Marnewick, Malla Nunn, and Peter Temple in this list—writers born in southern […]

The Path to Montparnasse

The Path to Montparnasse The inspiration for Murder Below Montparnasse came from several story-nuggets that fell my way, plus some digging on my part. Montparnasse, the epicenter of the 1910s late Belle Époque cultural scene, was the perfect place to set my story idea of an art heist gone terribly wrong. And after twelve previous investigations, it […]

Film Review: Doors Open

Film Review: Doors Open Adapted from Ian Rankin’s 2008 stand-alone novel of the same name, this made-for-television movie remains faithful to the original darkly humorous caper. The title relates to a day-long festival in which Scottish art displays between Edinburgh and Glasgow are open for free admission to the general public.Local businessman Mike Mackenzie (Douglas […]