Tag Archives: characters

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

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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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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

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Thursday, February 27, 2014 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

DEATH CANYON by David Riley Bertsch KILLER’S ISLAND by Anna Jansson THE LAST TIME I DIED by Joe Nelms Dear Murderous Reader – This week my reading was all over the place. I went from a mystery-western, to a Swedish version of a … Continue reading

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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

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Friday, February 14, 2014 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

DEATH NELL by Mary Grace Murphy FRAME-UP by Jill Elizabeth Nelson LOVE IS MURDER by Sandra Brown MEGAN’S MARK by Lora Leigh MOTIVE FOR MURDER by Carol J. Post SCORCHED by Laura Griffin THE SEARCH by Nora Roberts SILENCE by Debra Webb SWEET SURRENDER by Maya Banks TELL ME by … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Monday, February 10, 2014 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Beewitched by Hannah Reed Books, Cooks, and Crooks by Lucy Arlington Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames   Three must reads from Berkley Prime Crime’s lineup. Part 1 of 3. Dear Murderous Reader – It doesn’t get any better than Berkley Prime … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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An Interview with Agent Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency

Today, we have an interview with agent Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Jill has been attending Killer Nashville since 2010 and has been a staunch supporter of the conference ever since. She has a strong Internet and … Continue reading

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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

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Books / Wednesday, October 23, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Killer’s Art by Marji Jungstedt The Girl in Berlin by Elizabeth Wilson Death on Demand by Paul Thomas Styx & Stone by James W. Ziskin Today’s Killer Nashville Featured Books take me around the world, but they all have two things in common: non-stop … Continue reading

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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

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Friday, October 4, 2013 / “Roots: The Saga of an American Family” by Alex Haley / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

As abhorrent as I have always viewed slavery, this book actually made me feel it. Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley Like most of Americans in the 1970s, I was riveted to the mini-series “Roots.”  Also probably … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Friday, September 27, 2013 / “SNAFU” by Glen C. Allison / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Discover why I’m a new fan of Glen C. Allison’s messed-up protagonist in SNAFU. SNAFU by Glen C. Allison For years I have been a friend of Glen C. Allison; now, I’m a fan. Glen has created an incredible series with New … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Thursday, September 26, 2013 / “A Killing At Cotton Hill” by Terry Shames / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A retired chief of police is pulled into the investigation of an old friend in a Texas small town in A Killing at Cotton Hill, a debut novel you won’t want to miss. A Killing At Cotton Hill by Terry Shames This … Continue reading

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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

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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

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Wednesday, September 18, 2013 / “Theodore Boone: The Accused” by John Grisham / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A young wannabe lawyer finds himself on the wrong side of the law in “Theodore Boone: The Accused” by John Grisham. Read my review. Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham I grew up reading John Grisham books.  Now my son … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Monday, September 16, 2013 / “Until She Comes Home” by Lori Roy / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A murder and disappearance destroy the essence of a once-respectable neighborhood in “Until She Comes Home” by Lori Roy. Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy Winning an Edgar for your first novel is a hard setup for your second one.  … Continue reading

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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

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book / Thursday, September 5, 2013 / “Tell Me” by Lisa Jackson / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Who murdered a pregnant teenage girl? Her mother is not talking. Tell Me by Lisa Jackson Thriller author Lisa Jackson’s new book “Tell Me” sucked me in and disabled me like a snakebite.  Out of nowhere, from the first page of … Continue reading

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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

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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 Book / Wednesday, July 24, 2013 / “The Deadly Streets” by Harlan Ellison / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

A collection of stories every short story writer and reader should know about:  Harlan Ellison’s The Deadly Streets. The Deadly Streets by Harlan Ellison Subterranean Press is the epitome of cool.  I have thought so for years.  Books such as The Deadly Streets a … 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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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “You Cannoli Die Once” by Shelley Costa / Thursday, May 30, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa An Italian food mystery series?  What could be better than this!  Get ready to sit down and indulge. Edgar Award-nominated author Shelley Costa has put the fine touches on the start … 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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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Rapscallion” by James McGee / Tuesday, May 28, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Rapscallion by James McGee It’s the early 1800s and espionage is alive and well in jolly old England. “Rapscallion” by James McGee is the third adventure for Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood and in this installment, without giving … Continue reading

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How Technology Helps & Hinders The Modern-Day Sleuth

Back in the good old days, a private detective or amateur sleuth could justify entering the villain’s secluded hideout alone because they were miles from a telephone. Now, when everyone has a cell phone (and probably an internet connection) in … 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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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Green Light For Murder” by Heywood Gould / Saturday, May 18, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Green Light For Murder by Heywood Gould I’ve heard it said that the only good producer is a dead producer.  In “Green Light for Murder”, Heywood Gould takes that literally.  This is a true insider’s look at the … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Dead Insider” by Victoria Houston / Friday, May 17, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Dead Insider by Victoria Houston There is so much to like about Victoria Houston’s new novel, “Dead Insider,” I almost don’t know where to begin. Plot-wise, it is what I might call a suspenseful cozy, or maybe a … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective” by Christine Amsden / Wednesday, May 15, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden Nothing delights me more than a new discovery and what delights me even more is that I found it from an independent publisher here in my own backyard, Twilight Times Books in … 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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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Another Sun” by Timothy Williams / Tuesday, May 14, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Another Sun by Timothy Williams I love taking trips to places I’ve never been and I think this is the first novel I’ve read set in Guadeloupe.  It is an underdog tale with a twist. “Another Son” by … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “The House of Special Purpose” by John Boyne / Monday, May 13, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne If you are looking for a page-turning mixture of suspense and betrayal within a well-executed part love story, part historical epic, and part-tragedy, then “The House of Special Purpose” is … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “The Mothers” by Jennifer Gilmore / Friday, May 10, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is The Mothers by Jennifer Gilmore It is amazing how, when one can’t have children, that one sees children and pregnant women everywhere, hears women getting pregnant who didn’t want to be, hears innocent remarks made by family members … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Don’t Go” by Lisa Scottoline / Thursday, May 9, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline Most of the books I read from Lisa Scottoline are series related.  Here’s a standalone you won’t want to miss.  Scottoline is one of the best writers I’ve ever read.  This one goes … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “No Way Back” by Andrew Gross / Wednesday, May 8, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is No Way Back by Andrew Gross In Andrew Gross’s “No Way Back,” a woman has an affair and, while in the illicit situation, her lover is murdered.  In self-defense, she kills the killer, whom she IDs as a … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Blood Trade” by Faith Hunter / Tuesday, May 7, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Blood Trade by Faith Hunter “Blood Trade” is the sixth in the Skinwalker series from USA bestselling author Faith Hunter (also known as writer Gwen Hunter). Jane Yellowrock is a vampire killer who finds herself working for the … Continue reading

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Killer Nashville’s Featured Book of the Day / “Shadows On a Cape Cod Wedding” by Lea Wait / Monday, May 6, 2013 / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Shadows On a Cape Cod Wedding – An Antique Print Mystery by Lea Wait A dead body on the beach, a second murder, and the looming hurricane amidst wedding preparations and a number of romantic and social issues … Continue reading

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