Agatha Award!

Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot has won the 2017 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction! Here are some photos from Malice Domestic, including the awards banquet. This slideshow requires JavaScript....

The Principle of FURY

No one will be surprised, I suspect, to learn that I love words. There is no greater pleasure to me as an author than to find just the right way of saying something. In my book, Business Writing for Results, I write about The Principle of FURY, a tool that helps me in...

FAQs: On Writing

How long did it take you to write each of the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries? Consigned to Death took me about eight months. The second Josie Prescott mystery, Deadly Appraisal, took me ten months. This is not a good thing—at that point, I crossed my fingers that...

Writing Fear

Anticipation, writers agree, is more fearful than the act. At a New York Public Library panel entitled, “WOMEN OF MYSTERY: PEEK UNDER THE WRITER’S VEIL,” which I moderated, New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark described a scene in one of her...

Write to Touch Your Readers’ Hearts

Kate White, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and the best-selling author of the Bailey Weggins mystery series, said she frequently reminds herself to write big and bold—to find the best way of expressing exactly what it is she wants to say to knock her...

The Anatomy of Persuasion

I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about the nature of persuasive arguments. One of the best ways to befuddle readers (in a good way) in a mystery is to persuade them that a red herring is the truth. Writing narrative and dialogue that persuades is more...