Category Archives: Guest Blogger Series

The Problem With Reality / Author Warren Bull

The writing process is fraught with pitfalls. Remove the usual suspects like procrastination and lack of time and you still have real limitations. In this week’s blog, author Warren Bull muses about the writing process and how, sometimes, reality is … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Variety is the Spice of Writing – But So Is Plausibility / Author Stephen L. Brayton

The beauty of the written word is that real life can be just a jumping off point. Plus, there’s no reason to get bogged down in the same details over and over. In this week’s blog, author Stephen L. Brayton … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing History Right / Author Michael Tucker

I wish I had a dime every time my mother would say, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” She was right. Look to history, or read today’s newspapers, and you’ll find an abundance of stories where human action seems unfathomable to … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolling. Speed. Action. Cut! … Darn, Take Two! Rewriting and the Zen of Film / Author Daco Auffenorde

If the thing to remember when purchasing property is location, location, location, then the thing to remember when writing is…well…not writing at all.  It’s rewriting. Citing examples from Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, Lisa Scottoline, Charlie Chaplin and others, author Daco … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adding Depth to Your Story / Guest Blogger Philip Cioffari

The bottom line for writing fiction (and I would also say nonfiction) is telling a good story. While Samuel Goldwyn’s advice of “if you’ve got a message, send a telegram” might be true, it defies a long tradition of creating … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Collaborations Can Be As Easy as 1-2-3 / Author Steven Womack

Writing with someone else is tricky. Most writers have their own toys, their own ideas, and they like to write in their own way. How do you keep the other person from being an intrusion rather than a partner? How … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pitching Grisham and Doing-In Your Ugly Babies: An Interview with author Tony Vanderwarker

What happens when Tony Vanderwarker, the founder of one of Chicago’s largest ad agencies, decides he wants to write fiction? He connects with author John Grisham and learns to do-in his ugly babies. Here is a wonderful story of mentorship … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | 1 Comment

Things Readers Want to Know/ Author Del Staecker

If you’re a seasoned author, you get asked the same questions by non-writers. If you’re a beginning author and haven’t yet found your stride, sometimes you find yourself asking the same questions. It’s always beneficial, even for the most seasoned … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | 3 Comments

The Thing About Theme / Author Frank Zafiro

“Theme” is an oft-misunderstood term. It’s one of those techniques that can take a writer’s work to a new level, but it is also a concept that can lead to hours of confused discussion. In this week’s Killer Nashville’s 52 … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Madness and Media: An Ethical Exploration / Author Bruce De Silva

Author Bruce De Silva goes, not only into the mind of a serial killer, but into the court system designed to hold him in Killer Nashville’s 52 Weeks, 52 Guest Bloggers series https://killernashville.wordpress.com/category/52-guest-blogs-series/ Never say never.  That’s one of those things … Continue reading

Posted in Forensics, Guest Blogger Series, Law Enforcement, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Blending Humor and Tension in a Traditional Mystery / Author Nancy J. Cohen

There’s nothing funny about murder. Or is there? Mystery, romance, and how-to author Nancy J. Cohen navigates the delicate balance between bloodshed and laughter in her guest blog, “Blending Humor and Tension in a Traditional Mystery.” Here’s a great way … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Killing Your Protagonist – Or At Least Trying To / Author Vic DiGenti (aka Parker Francis)

What makes us keep turning the pages? The same thing that makes us watch a train wreck. Award-winning author Vic DiGenti shares with us how he beats up his protagonists and how, if they didn’t have to appear in the … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Time Management for Writers / Writer Chloe Winston

How do I find the time to write? It’s a common concern for busy people. Travel writer Chloe Winston, through her own trial and error, has found a way to make it work. She shares her techniques with you. Here’s … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Outline or No Outline? / Author Rick Reed

Outline or no outline? That is the question. Sometimes it’s great to hear how other successful writers do it. Author Rick Reed, after writing several acclaimed books, has found his groove. Here’s his take on how he plots. Happy Reading! … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Interview with Author Baron R. Birtcher / Killer Nashville Success Story

Killer Nashville is pleased to present an interview with author Baron R. Birtcher, whose novel Rain Dogs was acquired by The Permanent Press after being named a Killer Nashville Claymore Award finalist. KN: Baron, welcome, and thank you for joining … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Checks Are Coming In: Why I Self-Published My Book and How I Did It / Author Helen Haught Fanick

Sometimes authors wonder when and if they should self-publish a book.  Author Helen Haught Fanick, a traditionally published author, had the same concerns.  As our Guest Blogger this week, Helen shares with us the decision to self-publish a book she … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sherlock Holmes / Author Amnon Kabatchnik

My love affair with detective fiction began decades ago in a far-away country where people read and write from right to left. Paperbacks began to arrive in Israel from the U.S. and England, and I couldn’t resist the pictorial, enticing … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Interview with Author Eyre Price / Killer Nashville Success Story

Today, it’s my pleasure to interview Eyre Price, author of the Crossroads thriller series and Killer Nashville Success Story. So, Eyre, when did you know you wanted to be a writer? I’ve absolutely always wanted to be a writer. It … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Begin With The Spirit / Author Ken Kuhlken

When I moved back to my hometown of San Diego from Chico, California, I left behind a tenured professorship. My kids lived with me and cost plenty. So I started teaching all around. One semester, I was teaching nine classes … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There’s A Story Everywhere You Look / Writer Chloe Winston

“I’ll never get published.” Rubbish! (And I’m not even mentioning computer-generated books.) Best-selling novelist Carolyn Hart lives in Oklahoma. In rural Oklahoma. She just started writing, submitting, and getting published and winning national awards, even “Malice Domestic” this year, because of her … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creating and Managing a Supporting Cast in a Series / Author Frankie Y. Bailey

Providing a protagonist of a crime fiction series with a supporting cast is a task that should be approached with both caution and malice aforethought.  Caution because once a character is introduced as a part of the protagonist’s life, he … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Your Novel and Plausibility Part Ways / Writer Julie Bates

What time is it-really? Such was the thought running through my mind after having my brain jogged from its immersion in a friend’s manuscript. I had settled into the novel’s antebellum atmosphere and slowly sunk into the sultry rhythm of … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Location, Location, Location: Should You Go? / Author Alana White

If the book you are writing is set in your hometown, details and interesting locations are relatively close to hand: a few days will go a long way in establishing tone, mood, and finding intriguing, unusual places for scenes to … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Fictional Serial Killer / Criminologist & Author R. Barri Flowers

Many of today’s bestselling mystery and thriller novels revolve around serial killers. Makes sense as this type of killer seems to appeal most to the fear factor in us, or the bogeyman or bogeywoman come to fictional life, waiting to … Continue reading

Posted in Forensics, Guest Blogger Series, Law Enforcement, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Time Of Death / Forensic Investigator Steve Rush

Accurate details prove important when including crime scenes in our prose. Three basic questions we want to answer when writing these scenes are: What was my character doing before incident? What altered and/or interrupted her/him at the inciting moment? What … Continue reading

Posted in Forensics, Guest Blogger Series, Law Enforcement, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Critiques Are A Two-Edged Sword / Author Maggie Toussaint

Authors are polarized on the subject of critiques. For some, the idea of anyone criticizing any part of their baby is unthinkable. Other authors wouldn’t dream of turning in a manuscript unless it had been vetted by critique partners. So … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Why Washington Political Thrillers Aren’t Real to Me and Why I Want to Write One / Author/filmmaker & Killer Nashville founder Clay Stafford

I’ve reviewed numerous Washington political and legal thrillers and mysteries over the past twenty years. After reading Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress by Olympia Snowe, I came away feeling that many of the … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Writer’s Training Ground / Writer Tom Wood

I always loved a good mystery, but never, ever, in my thirty-six-year career as a sports writer and copy editor at a major Southern daily newspaper did I imagine writing one. So when I decided it was time to write … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Best Contest I Ever Lost / NYT bestselling author Lynn Viehl

In 2012 I entered Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award contest, but don’t bother checking the names of the finalists; I didn’t make that list.  There was no trophy or bragging rights for me; I’m just one of the many Claymore losers … Continue reading

Posted in Claymore Award, Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dark Side of Mystery Writing / Author Joyce Lavene

I was thinking about how much darkness mystery writers have to take in – and deflect – every day. What made me think about it were the shocked and horrified faces of friends and family after I’d related what I … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Slash Your Word Count by 20-50% / Editor & Author Jodie Renner

…and tighten up your story without losing any of the good stuff! Have you been told your story looks promising or even intriguing, but your novel is way too long? Today’s readers have shorter attention spans, and publishers don’t want … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Guns: Magic or Science / Author Ernest Lancaster

I wouldn’t dare presume to tell you how to define the weapons your characters use.  After all, Hollywood churns out films with magical guns and bullets that defy the laws of physics.  And heroes with implausible powers from Sherlock Holmes … Continue reading

Posted in Forensics, Guest Blogger Series, Law Enforcement, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are We There Yet – Where No Man Has Gone Before? / Author Tom Collins

I try to include some far out stuff in my mysteries, but I’m finding that is hard to dabble in science fiction when we keep catching up with it. Drones are becoming commonplace. The college where I received my undergraduate … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My First Literary Advice / Award Winning Author/Screenwriter Heywood Gould

It’s 1963. I’m twenty- one and I have the best job in the world— police reporter for the New York Post. I’m making $95 a week and paying $53 a month in rent. A bowl of shrimp fried rice costs … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clichés and the Writer / Author Randy Rawls

So now you’re a writer. You qualify for the title because you’ve 1) published your first book, 2) finished your first book, 3) begun your first book, or 4) decided to begin your first book. Doesn’t matter which, you’re well … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paris Book Expo Showcase / Author Dennis Winstead

Now that all of our books, cards and catalogs are delivered and the U.S. Commercial Service folks in Paris have completed the March 21-25 Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles, I’d like to take this opportunity to showcase the expo … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make My People Go / Award-winning author Brad Crowther

At a writers’ conference several years ago, Michael Connelly was asked why he killed off Terry McCaleb, the protagonist in Blood Work and other books. Connelly said he no longer could see himself spending a year up close and personal … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Characters for Hire / Author Ken Vanderpool

  Key Players Everyone knows the most important people to any successful business are their customers. Running a close second and facilitating that success are the company’s employees. As a hiring manager in operations for the past forty years, I … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Killer Idea / Author Warren Bull

Nothing is as hard for a fiction writer as reality. I’m not talking about the grim reality of searching for an agent, the marathon of trying to get something published or even the annoyance, carving out time to write between … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best-Laid Plans / Author Michael Guillebeau

I’ve been at this business of learning to write for sixty-one years or four years, depending on how you count. I keep learning and losing the same old things and find myself spending more time scratching my head than writing. … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perps & Guns – It’s No Mystery / Award Winning Author Marco Conelli

When writing the young adult Matthew Livingston Mystery Series, I get to inject some of my 20 plus years’ experience as a NYPD detective into my stories. The beneficiary of said experience is the main character of the books, 17 … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Law Enforcement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Why Do Amateur Sleuths Solve Crimes? / Author Sharon Woods Hopkins

Last month I participated on a panel called “Killing Me Softly” at a writers’ conference. It wasn’t about the 1973 Roberta Flack song, as I first thought. Rather, it was a lively discussion about what that title would mean relative … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Okay, I Love Television. So Sue Me. / Award winning author Laura Hayden

I’ve been enamored with it all my life. When I was a kid, I loved television so much that my parents felt compelled to limit me to one hour a day. So what did I do? I started a diary, … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Tell a Judge He (or She) Screwed Up / Bill Hopkins, Author and Retired Judge

I’m going to tell you how to diplomatically tell a judge that he (that’s used as an inclusive pronoun) has screwed up. You can use this information in your writing when you want your character–whether it’s a judge, lawyer, or … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My take on writing a “Cozy” / Kay Elam

My very first writing conference was Killer Nashville, and I was scared to death. After all, I envisioned the other attendees as real writers, many published, many successful. I was only starting my writing journey, but knew I needed to … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Translating Patrick Conrad’s “No Sale” / Jonathan Lynn, former Reuters correspondent

How do you translate a thriller written in a language you can’t speak? That was the challenge I faced when I undertook to translate prize-winning Belgian author Patrick Conrad’s novel Starr (now published in English as No Sale). Patrick has written a dozen … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Investigators Can Lie / Sheila Stephens, Law Enforcement and Forensic Psychology Expert

Movies and T.V. have changed public perception of the way investigations are conducted.  Many cop and P.I. programs, regularly, show the protagonist using a pretext, more often than not an outrageous one, to obtain information.  Ever wonder how legal that … Continue reading

Posted in Forensics, Guest Blogger Series, Law Enforcement, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Projectile Tech 101: A two-part series (part 2) / Sgt. James Spitzer (Retired)

An Expanding Bullet serves two distinct functions. The first function is to create a larger wound track, thereby inflicting more damage to the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system or the muscular/skeletal structure of the unlucky recipient.  The empty space … Continue reading

Posted in Forensics, Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Projectile Tech 101: A two-part series / Sgt. James Spitzer (Retired)

In the world of Forensic Science, part of the job of a Firearms Examiner is to wade through a sea of myths and misconceptions to deliver the genuine facts into the hands of an often bewildered jury. This is never … Continue reading

Posted in Forensics, Guest Blogger Series | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Take on Thriller Writing / Author Chester D. Campbell

I’ve always enjoyed reading about authors who lucked up by hitting the right agent who sent their manuscript to the right publisher at the right time. Problem is it never happened to me. I got a good agent for the … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Blogger Series, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments