Sisters in Crime September Blog Hop

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Greetings to all my Sisters in Crime. This is the September blog hop, for which I need to answer some of the following questions:

• Which authors have inspired you?
• Which male authors write great women characters? Which female authors write great male characters?
• If someone said “Nothing against women writers, but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men,” how would you respond?
• What’s the best part of the writing process for you? What’s the most challenging?
• Do you listen to music while writing? What’s on your playlist?
• What books are on your nightstand right now?
• If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?

I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
Inspirational authors: Craig Johnson, C.J.Box, Sue Grafton, Kathy Reichs, and P.D. James are the first that come to mind. Clearly my favorite crime fiction authors are NOT all men, and each of these authors takes a different approach to their stories.

The best part of the writing process for me is the actual writing. Losing yourself in your writing is exhilarating! Right behind comes research. I was a scientist for my career, and research was one of the academic legs I had to stand on. Research for a book is far more fun. The most challenging part for me is the endless rewriting and editing. Well…there is marketing.

I don’t listen to music when I’m writing because I need to hear the dialogue in my head. I have occasionally used soft classical music, but mostly I enjoy the quiet.

The pile of books on my nightstand is teetering, and the list of books I’ve downloaded on Kindle is prodigious. I just finished a novella by Kathy Reichs based on the snake hunts occurring outside the Everglades National Park, in an effort to reduce the overpopulation of boa constructors. I recommend it, lots of twists and turns and general yuck.

My advice for new writer is to join a critique group as soon as possible. My group taught me to write by patiently working though my first book, and I still rely on them for ideas, criticism, and encouragement. I can’t emphasize more the importance of this!

I am going to invite R. M. Byrd to join the blog hop. His first book, The Fir, Fish, Flea and Beagle Club is a wonderful read – a coming of age story about two boys just before WWII. His current book is a mystery with a twist, and he attended the recent Writers’ Police Academy, which is sponsored each year by Sisters in Crime, to hone his police procedural and investigative writing skills.

R.M. Byrd: http://byrdwords.wordpress.com/

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10 thoughts on “Sisters in Crime September Blog Hop

  1. I so agree with your critique-group advice. No writer, or anyone in arts, can do it alone. As to male author writing good female characters: Harlan Coben in mysteries for one, but generally speaking, I think women write great male characters and men not so much. There are exceptions, of course. I just think women access emotion much better (we are more emotional after all), and that’s what it takes to write a great female character. Many have inspired me though, all across the spectrum.
    Sounds like a great blog hop, next time I’ll join. 🙂

  2. I agree with everything you say. I also need silence. I suffer with editing and rewriting.I love getting lost in the story, too! I admire writers like you with a ‘scientific’ background. I always feel you know so much more, especially if you write crime fiction!

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