Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mystery Weekend Roundup for May 31, 2014

How To Write The Great American Mystery Novel

If you're looking for clues on how to write the Great American Mystery Novel, look no further. Vicki Delany, C.B. Forrest, Hilary McLeod, and Rick Mofina, among others, peel back the secrets to successful authorship in this article from the Ottawa Citizen.

They're all highly successful writers, so their tips are sure to help as you stare at that blank screen. By the way, these writers are Canadian, but don't let that deter you. The advice is dead on, no matter what your nationality. Besides, we Americans know good advice when we steal it.

The House of Poe Has Reopened

The Baltimore home of Edgar Allen Poe has reopened after two years of repairs and renovations. The home is now under the management of  Poe Baltimore, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving Poe's legacy in the coastal city.

It was here that Poe wrote one of his earliest works, Ms. Found In A Bottle, which helped get his writing career kick started.

For more on the Poe House including opening hours, check out the Style Blog in the Washington Post.

Mary Stewart, Suspense and Fantasy Novelist, Dead At 97

Mary Stewart, who wrote suspense and romantic thrillers, then made a successful switch to fantasy with novels about wizards, has passed away. Her novels included  Touch Not The Cat and This Rough Magic. She was among the first novelists to combine elements of mystery and suspense with romance. Her switch to Arthurian legends brought her a whole new generation of readers and proved that writers could jump from one genre to another (well, the goods ones, anyway). She was interviewed by Raymond H Thompson in 1989 as part of the Camelot Project in Scotland.

You can read her obituary in The Guardian. Although I did not read her much, she inspired a great many of today's writers, including mystery writer Julia Buckley, who penned this moving tribute to Mary Stewart on her own blog, Mysterious Musings.

What Sub-Genre Are You?

If you've ever submitted your story or novel to an editor or agent, you've no doubt gone over the submission guidelines with a microscope. If so, you may be more confused than ever. Agents aren't just looking for "mystery" novels. They want "thrillers", or "cozies", or only "noir". If you have any hope if  avoiding the slush pile, you need to get these categories defined so you can target your audience with your manuscript.

Award winning author Libby Fischer Hellman has a great article on her blog that will help sort out this confusing collection of categories. It was written for readers, but you'll find it invaluable. So, Choose Your Type.

Anybody Wanna Buy A Castle? Vampires Included

Spring is the time when house hunting heats up, so if you're in the market for a new home, you may want to check out some of these listings. They include the homes of Ray Bradbury, Norman Mailer, Ernest Hemingway, and a castle which was the home of the real Count Dracula.

The latter has 57 rooms in which to hide from your blood sucking host on an idyllic 22 acres. Happy Hunting!

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