Thursday, January 14, 2021

Killer Suspense

Recently, I’ve been exposed to the richly layered and textured plots of other writers through Sisters in Crime (SinC) online classes and by beta reading a critique partner’s manuscript. In comparison, my plots are simplistic but seem to work well within the format of the short novel and the novella previously published as the first and second cases in the Detective Scott McGregor mystery series.

Detective McGregor’s third case, Forever After, is a suspense / thriller. The reader knows who dunnit from the start but learns the what, the why, and the resolution of the crime as the story evolves. Mastering suspense techniques will make the story shine.

Fortunately, “Killer Suspense,” a SinC online class taught by Simon Wood, begins next week. Simon will teach techniques for creating and maintaining suspense throughout the book that keeps the reader turning the pages. I’m looking forward to an intensive and rewarding class.

At the moment though, my greatest suspense is whether I’ll finish writing the Sluggery Basics manual before the Academy of Omniosophical Arts & Sciences online classes begin in early February.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year!

Historically on New Year’s Day, I’ve either made resolutions for the new year—that I usually don’t accomplish—or review the successes from the prior year. But 2020 is metaphorically in the rearview mirror, and my recommendation is: DON’T LOOK BACK!

2020 went out with a bang for me personally, though. On December 31, I was notified I won an award* for a story I submitted.

My 2021 calendar is already packed with online writing craft classes. And my publisher has me on a strict production schedule. (I’m going to stick to it, even though I love the Whoosh! of deadlines screaming past.) I owe her a project by the end of January – a ten-lesson training manual: “Sluggery Basics: Raising, Training, and Showing Your Slug.” The course will be presented online through the Academy of Omniosophical Arts & Sciences. My course description and qualifications can be viewed on the Preceptor (instructor) page.

My casino-themed book release party for the second Detective Scott McGregor mystery, Murder Goes on Vacation, was originally scheduled in January at my favorite English tearoom. Life intervened, and rather than having an online launch party, I’ve postponed it so my friends and family can meet in person.

Wishing you the best in 2021.

* Participation award. Everyone who submitted a story for the zoom Christmas party is receiving a prize. I’m guessing it will be a coffee mug with the writing organization’s logo on it.