What's Going on in My Mind

First off, I'm sad I'm not at Left Coast Crime in Reno because so many of my friends are there.

I knew I wouldn't be going quite a while ago because I no longer fly, and I certainly wouldn't drive there. I usually ask my daughter to go with me to things like that because then she'll drive, but last weekend was my great-grandson's wedding, and everyone was worn out from that great and busy occasion.
Because I'm working on my next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery and I'm not a plotter I'm at a place where I need to create two detectives, male and female. This means their names, descriptions and personalities.
I also have a dead body that I don't know much about except that he's male. Who killed him? Who all would have liked for him to be dead? How was he killed? What relationship did he have with the already established characters, if there is one?
Because the book must have a ghost in it--who was the ghost in life? I also know there are Indian s…

Another Book That Started out to be a Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mystery

When I began writing The Devil's Foothold,I fully intended it to be one of the first in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. But by the time I finished it, I knew it didn't really fit the series.

The main characters were there, a female deputy with a teenaged son and a preacher. The story was set in the mountains. But it didn't fit the series for two important reasons. There was nothing about Tempe being an Indian, and it is far more intense and scary, more of a horror novel with Christian elements.
Because I did like the plot, I changed the names of the main characters, and the setting from the one I used for the series to a mountain community in what was once gold country. 
The book was accepted by one of my earlier publishers and put into print. That publisher closed her doors, and for a brief while it appeared as an e-book only, with a different cover.
When I promoted it, I called it Christian horror. 
However, anyone who has read the Tempe series, will recognize where th…


I have to say, the title for my current release, Artful Murder, came before I started writing or had the story completely figured out. The only thing I knew about book 10 in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series was where Shandra would be and what she would be doing. 
In the previous book, Haunting Corpse, Shandra had visited Warner High School snooping on a teacher and potential suspect for that book. Her reason for being at the school was to see about volunteering in their art department.  I took that little tidbit that at the time of writing book 9 I didn’t realize would be the catalyst for book 10. However, when I finished and needed a story for book 10, I thought, Shandra needs to go volunteer.
1)It would get her out of Huckleberry where there had been quite a few murders for a small community.
2)It gave me a new pool of characters to focus on.
3)She would be in an environment new to her.
With all of this in mind, I thought someone at the school has to be killed. And to make matters …

St. Patrick's Day and a Wedding!

Something interesting is always going on in our family and today is no exception.

My great-grandson is getting married to his love. He proposed at Christmas, so there's not been a whole lot of planning time. After the wedding, they'll be traveling to Kansas where they plan to live.
Because of the wedding, we'll be seeing lots of relatives. Last night we had dinner and lots of conversation with our eldest daughter and her hubby, and their granddaughter, Emily,  (one of our greats), and our youngest daughter and her hubby. They all live in Southern California.
Great-granddaughter who is a make-up artist and hairdresser is going to be performing her art on the bride. 
While we were visiting, we learned via Facebook, that great-grandson, Ethan, who is only a freshman at his high school, pitched a No-Hit game. He is Emily's brother. We were all excited about that.
I will write more about the wedding once it has happened.
This wedding will mean that all of granddaughter Meli…

One Book Down, On With the Next

Yesterday, I received the edits for my latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, went over them, accepted some, made other changes, then sent it off to my new publisher, Aakenbaaken and Kent.

That means, I really have to get busy on the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery. I'm really behind on having it done. I'm on the third chapter.
No, I don't have an outline, but I do know what direction I'm headed. I have a title and a new setting.
The location of this mystery is Tehachapi. It is a place I'm familiar with, but for some details I need, I'll have to make a road trip and check the town and its environs out again.
For those of you not familiar with Tehachapi it is a mountain community. If you're headed through Bakersfield to Las Vegas, you'll need to drive through Tehachapi. There are two notable features there--the famous Loop, where a long freight train will meet itself coming and going as it takes a circular route around a sizable hill.  You might miss that, …

Writers in Action (A one day conference)

Writers in Action

When...May 19 2018
Where...PG&E Energy Center 
6588 Ontario Rd. San Luis Obispo, CA
Time...9:00-5:00 PM
Fee...$35.00 Members of Sisters In Crime
           $50.00  Non-Members      

   Welcoming...Barbara M. Hodges
    Opening Address...Judy Salamacha


Panel 1. Why Write...why not?
                  Moderator...Victoria Heckman 
                   Lida Sideris
                   R. Lawson Gamble

Panel 2. Making Time to Write
                  Moderator...Sue McGinty
                    Marilyn Meredith
                    Mara Purl

Panel 3. Getting Started
                  Moderator...Diane Broyles
                   Sue McGinty
                   Victoria Heckman

Lunch and Author Book Sales

Panel 4. Editing...Don't submit without it.
                   Moderator...Susan Tuttle
                    Priscilla Gruenewald
                     Judythe Guarnera

Panel 5. Your Road to Publishing
                   Moderator...Barbara M. Hodges
                    Dennis Eamon Youn…


A Little Knowledge Is Poisonous
Featuring  J.L. Greger and Gloria Casale A Little Knowledge Is Poisonous, as the saying goes. University professor and toxicologist, J.L. Greger, and physician and death scene investigator, Gloria Casale, take you beyond “Arsenic and Old Lace” to show you the ins and outs of committing murder. A mystery writer has so many choices when plotting a FICTIONAL murder—an acute or chronic poisoning, the health of the victim, the availability of the poison, and the list goes on, so hear about it from two ladies who literally know how to get away with murder.

Developing Your Character: The 100 things you should know about your character. List of 100 things defining your character that you should know before starting your book.Retired LAPD Detective and mystery writer, Mike Brandt, has known a lot of characters both in real life and fiction. He’ll take you through the A,B, C’s of building realistic characters who will jump off th…