How to be a Crime Victim…Painlessly

Recently, I became the victim of an attempted sexual assault in broad daylight. An assailant stuck a gun in my back, dragged me into a dark, deserted barn on the county fairgrounds, and tried to rape me. When he put down the gun as he tried to tear my clothes off, I kicked him where no man wants to be kicked. He escaped out the back of the barn. I survived completely unscathed…because, fortunately, I was not a real victim,…

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I Would Dye For You

What would you do for a friend? Would you dye for him/her? Yeah, I mean it the way I spelled it. Because that’s exactly what my dear friend, author Dr. Betty Kuffel, did for me. Tawny Lindholm, the hero of my suspense novel, Instrument of the Devil, has long auburn hair that she French-braids. For the cover design, I visualized a smartphone in a man’s hand, with a photo of Tawny filling the screen because she is being monitored constantly…

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Champagne with the FBI*

* Some names have been changed to protect the innocent…or not so innocent. Mystery writers are not like normal people. Call me ghoulish, but nothing gives me a charge like hanging out with cops, coroners, emergency room doctors, etc. who deal with the aftermath of crimes. Recently I attended the terrific Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs. It offered a smorgasbord of experts in various fields, directly or indirectly related to writing. On Saturday afternoon, I fell into the…

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How To Write A Damn Synopsis

With election season upon us, I conducted a completely unscientific poll geared toward writers. The question: “Would you rather write a synopsis or undergo an IRS audit?” The results: 64% of authors chose the audit, 32% were undecided, and 4% of write-in votes said they rather pump out a septic tank. Okay, I made that up, but based on anecdotal evidence gathered over decades, the vast majority of writers hate to write a synopsis. Why is it so damn hard?…

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