Tag Archives: authors

An Interview with 2014 Killer Nashville Attending Editor Bryon Quertermous

All the agents and editors who come to Killer Nashville are looking for new authors. We make sure of that before they are invited. Sometimes, though, we see a new house that is incredibly hungry. And, for us, that’s a … Continue reading

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2014 Guests of Honor Announced

Killer Nashville is please to announce bestselling authors Lisa Jackson and William Kent Krueger as the 2014 Guests of Honor for our 9th annual writers’ conference. Lisa Jackson is neck deep in murder, her books appear on The New York Times, USA … Continue reading

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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

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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

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Tuesday, June 23, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

The senseless murder of children in Africa, an Amish love affair, a woman’s heart-tugging self-discovery, the financial industry’s crooked corporate deals, and the death of a police officer. Here are some books I think you might find of interest. Some I have … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Friday, June 19, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A man on death row, a second wife learning the startling truth about the first, a sister avenging the death of her sister, and how to write a killer thriller.  Here are some books I think you might find of interest. … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Farewell To Freedom by Sara Blædel / Thursday, April 11, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Farewell To Freedom by Sara Blædel Sara Blædel was voted as Denmark’s most popular novelist three times in a row. That’s no surprise. When it comes to police procedural, she’s always been one of my favorites. “Farewell to Freedom” … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Wednesday, March 20, 2013 / “Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction” by Tracy Kidder & Richard Todd

Today’s featured book is Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd “Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction” by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd provide a rare treat for nonfiction writers.  Here is the chronicle of two men … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day / Tuesday, March 19, 2013 / “Heart of Ice” by P.J. Parrish / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Heart of Ice by P.J. Parrish I save books from P.J. Parrish for when I know I won’t be interrupted. For “Heart of Ice” even sleep had to wait. I can’t say enough superlatives about this writing dynamic … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Heros / Author Lisa Wysocky

One snowy Sunday afternoon when I was twelve I found myself with nothing to do. It was too cold to do much outside (even for us Minnesotans), and I had already played with the dog, brushed the cat, done my … Continue reading

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