Plotting a Mystery: The Christie Method, Sort Of

This entry is part of a series, Mystery Plotting»

One thing I’ve learned in my life is always steal from model on the best. Since I use a method very similar to that of Agatha Christie’s, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned. First, a caution: Christie was deranged when it came to method; that […]


On This Day in History…

Absolutely nothing happened. Relating to writers, I mean. Can’t find a thing.

What did happen? Well, 168 years ago the Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti. Seems the father of that split has fallen on hard times, compared to the child. Maybe Haiti should have gone along for the ride?

The Reichstag building was destroyed […]


Thanks, Chuck!

Today is Charles Dickens’ birthday; 200 years ago he came into this world, and just over 140 ago he left it. His writings have tortured and engaged schoolchildren around the world ever since, and not a few of his novels have made the motion pictures. (I’m not sure if that’s a rousing endorsement or a […]


Lunar New Year is Here…

Firecrackers. Bits of money in hong bao envelopes. Ornate calligraphy, especially featuring the character “fu” or fortune. Flowers and citrus. The beautiful Festival of Lanterns, and lion dances. Chinese traditions abound this time of year. It’s thought that more people celebrate Lunar New Year than the western-style, January 1 event. Having seen their festivities, I […]


The English Murder Mystery: Still Popular?

The murder mystery is one of my favorite genres. A good read and a great puzzle, all in one nice, hand-sized package. I especially enjoy those written by British authors and based in some historical period. Somehow, it seems the British authors were the best at setting a mood, hiding the clues, and most of […]


Self-Published Bestseller; Will It Work for You?

Darcie Chan is an environmental lawyer. Okay, we forgive her. She’s also a best-selling novelist, with over 400,000 copies of her book, The Mill River Recluse, already sold. There’s only one small problem, hardly worth mentioning: She doesn’t have a publisher.

Ms. Chan shopped her novel to over 100 literary agents and none took the […]


Texas Novelist Dislocates North

Most people who have to move for work, or love, or both, we say they’re relocating. However, if it’s a Texan leaving his home state, that’s clearly not the truth. No, the poor fella (or cowgirl) is dislocating. Such is the case of Bruce Machart, a novelist who now lives north of Boston. He moved […]


When Food Meets Literature

I enjoy food, as many of you do. I also enjoy writing about food-related experiences, such as dining at restaurants. I’m a confirmed Urbanspoon addict. (Don’t tell my mother, please.) I also use Yelp and other user-review sites to help me choose where to spend my precious dining dollars. Although there are some abuses, I […]