Category writing ideas

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 […]

Crime Under The Big Top

Wherever there are seedy gatherings, crime will inevitably find its way in. Wander down the garish circus alleyways filled with overstuffed clowns, who bark and beg at those with pockets filled with cash, and you’ll find greed and corruption. Sideshows offering a peek at the naked lady or the promise of a fortune told are […]

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 […]

Prison and Literature

Lord of the Flies The social aspects of what goes on behind prison walls are really kind of fascinating. For those who worked there, we recognize the yard dynamics are something out of William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies. In the 1954 novel, a group of boys are stranded on an island and quickly devolve into savage […]

I Like To Watch

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Shhhh… I like to watch. No not that way! Get your mind out of the gutter and go say three Hail Mary’s and a couple of Acts of Contrition. Throw some salt over your shoulder for good measure. I’m not watching in that way. I […]

The Real Light At The End Of The Tunnel

There’s a point in my writing process when I get to that “happy place” near the end of the manuscript. I know how the story is going to end, who dies–who survives and what rubble is left behind. It should be a “happy place” with 90,000 words all tucked in and put to rest in […]

Getting Twisty With It

I’m writing along, laying down the manuscript for the sequel to AT WHAT COST and the urge to pull off the path gets stronger as I go. I don’t seem to be in control of the wheel anymore and I can feel It jerk out of my hands when I try to steer it back on […]

Deadpool’s Rules For Writing

What Does Deadpool have in common with writers? Yes, there are spoilers lurking here… I was never a huge follower of the graphic novel craze that spawned Deadpool, or the X-Men character universe. Oh, sure I saw the first movie and other than the creepy old guy in a wheelchair and Rebecca Romain-Stamos in blue body […]

Blank Page Intimidation

That stark white space is intimidating as hell. I don’t know what it is about the emptiness that makes the obsessive compulsive in me begin to itch. You’d think that an empty page is perfect, all in order, with nothing out of balance. But, no it’s a negative space, a sucking black hole of self-doubt. […]

Want to Time Travel? Go To Prison

I’ve been playing with an idea for a new book and it involves – wait for it – time travel. Not like the H. G. Wells, Time Machine kind of time travel. There is not fanciful device to dial up the year and zap you to the exact time and place of your choosing. The story I’m noodling […]