Category crime fiction

Getting Your Hands Dirty–Prison Reform

You hear the expression all the time–“Getting your hands dirty.” A yuppie call to get in the trenches and act like you’re doing the work, just like the common folk. It’s a trite little phrase used frequently by the likes of Martha Stewart, political figures, and CEO’s who haven’t looked at an assembly line since […]

Story Surgery

There are times in my writing process I feel like a hired gun with a scalpel. A slice here, a nip and tuck there–gut the beast. Readers, editors, agents and publishers all shout (okay maybe not really shout–but it seem that way at times) for me to make a change in a POV, or my […]

Blurred Lines – the true crime connection

Crime fiction is a strange place. Crime writing takes advantage of a basic human flaw–the willingness to see the victimization of others as a spectator sport. It seems that it’s been part of human nature since we “civilized people” would gather together for a rousing session of Christians Versus Lions–The Ultimate Cage Match. Fast forward […]

A Book By Any Other Name

A title. One simple fricken title. That’s all I’m looking for. I’m searching for a better title for the second book in the Penley Mystery Series. I want something to grab the reader’s attention and imagination. In the search for the name, I’ve staged my own mini-protest and all that’s missing is a #All Titles Matter […]

Reader’s Choice Awards

I need your vote! This week I discovered that my Novel AT WHAT COST (Crooked Lane Books) is up for Best Thriller in the annual Killer Nashville Silver Falchion – Reader’s Choice Awards. The ballot went out this week and what’s cool about it is that you don’t have to register for the conference to vote. If […]

Writing Sacramento Crime

Sacramento Crime Sacramento as a setting for crime fiction? The sleepy state capitol town doesn’t get a great deal of attention from the hardcore crime community. Crime fiction relies on–well, crime. Naturally, the first places you think of are New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Newark, Detoit, Baltimore–You get the idea, places where crime is […]

Is Sacramento A Serial Killer Friendly Place?

Location, location, location… I’m often asked why I chose to set my crime fiction in Sacramento, California, instead of one of the more well known west coast crime magnets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Fresno. Michael Connelly and Robert Crais have L.A. locked down with their Harry Bosch and Joe Pike series. But, Sacramento is an […]

The Social Media Sweet Spot

How I long for the days when the National Enquirer was the only questionable media out there. Current events and how they turn up on my social media timeline is an interesting lesson in human behavior. We–as a species–are so gullible that we willingly grab onto the first snippet of information that matches our narrative, […]

Speaking of Mysteries Podcast

I recently had the opportunity to do an interview podcast with Nancie Clare, the host of Speaking of Mysteries. If you haven’t gotten around to her site yet, you really should. She and podcast interview partner, Leslie Klinger have put put together over one hundred author podcasts, including some of my favorite mystery writers; Michael Connelly, […]

The Season of Trolling

You know that insurance commercial with the fisherman who pops up with a dollar bill on the end of his line, taunting his clients to grab it? Then he jerks the cash bait away at the last moment, saying “You’ve got to be quicker than that.” Most times, I am that person, the one who […]