Tag Archives: Chris Roerden


At mass last night, Father Sheridan stated this is a good time to make resolutions for the coming year. [Father said he makes the same one every year, ‘to clean out his refrigerator’, yep, a good laugh for the congregation]  Well.  Maybe.  Liturgically we’ve already started our year. In some cultures the new year began in spring, which makes a lot of sense. I guess we can thank the Gregorian Calendar, and Julius Caesar, for straightening the way we pay attention to how our small ‘blue marble’ goes around our star, Sol.

I think if we could vote, I’d vote for new year in spring. First off, it would be warmer for all the parades. You would not have to wear your entire closet in order to go outside. I’d like that. Okay, I admit it. Cold is not my friend, especially these fifteen and twenty degree temps we are seeing even in NC. A temperature of at least 60? All right, today I’d take 50 degrees.

But here’s the thing, cold does not inspire me to run out and work at anything. I’d be happy to be warm, under a lovely blanket, next to a nice fire, with a brandy or maybe a whiskey, yeah, even a hot chocolate! This is hibernation time. This is bundle up time.

Still. Not a bad time to move forward. I’ve been reading a lot. I picked up Hallie Ephron’s book at the suggestion of a beta reader. And I’m glad I did. It’s not new stuff. I’ve seen it before. I belong to Sisters in Crime. A wonderful organization for the fan as well as for the writer. And through my local chapter of Murder We Write I have had the honor and privilege of knowing Chris Roerden. Actually, one of my stories is cited in this version.

Besides reading about writing a great mystery, I’ve been reading a number of mysteries, just to see how they go through the mystery.  As an aside, I use the North Carolina Digital Library and I use Book Bub to get books for the kindle. One that I recently read was interesting. The mystery was thought out, the settings were realistic, the dialogue was good when it worked. This was an independently published book, the author is Canadian and this matters. Why? Because while the initial setting is in Ottawa and the Canadian aspect of character development is good, [this was published in 2014] there were inconsistencies that took me out of the story. Additionally, the book needed serious editing. One whole chapter was repeated in the first book. The same phrase for emotion was used for three characters, and there were whole sections of the story that gave it length, but added nothing to advance the mystery, the thrill or the suspense. For something written in 2014 there was no use of a cell phone [do they not have them in Canada :)?]

You can learn from the good and the not so good. I already have comments from one beta reader and awaiting from the second. Yay, revision! Good times!


Murder We Write

Today, just five minutes from my house, which was a first, I went to the 3rd annual SinC networking luncheon, put on by the Murder We Write, SinC, Triad Chapter.

I first joined Sisters in Crime back in 2005, I think. It was fun to buy a book like The Book of book of poisonsdummies forensicsPoisons, or Forensics for Dummies, especially when they arrived at the house in a brown box and my husband opened them.

“Do you have anything you want to tell me?” he’d ask.

“No,” I would reply. “Why?”

And, it was also cool to be on the Guppies List and find out I could go to Dr. Lyle’s website and ask a question [if you exactly follow his rules] about the way a person would die and what would they do and he’d answer. Very cool.

I’ve been the Triad Chapter secretary for years, managing the website for Murder We Write. We sabotageare fortunate to have Chris Roerden in our chapter. In her second book Don’t Sabotage Your Submission, I’m on page 56 in Clue #3 [chapter] Bloody Backstory. Even though my mystery is not published, AND, even though that actual scene is out of the book, well, the one with Mom in a tree is gone. The dead body, arm and leg alongside the playhouse is still there.  I’ve learned a lot. About writing a mystery. About self-publishing. About critiques. About murder and mayhem.

I’ve learned about cosy mysteries, romantic thrillers, police procedurals, true crime. And I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with writers who are sure of their need to write, sure of their enjoyment of a good mystery and willing to spend time, monthly,  in discussions about all that makes writing interesting. Yes, for the most part, say 99%, it is about adults, but still. Writing is writing. Technique may differ, the audience may be harder, more challenging and more difficulty to engage [yes, yes, I am talking about children versus adult, and the children are more exacting––besides most adult mysteries are at an middle school reading level anyway]. It is another place to be a writer.

And, for me, that’s what really really counts. A place to call myself a writer.