Victoria Mixon, Author & Editor Editing     Testimonials     Books     About     Contact       Copyright

Authors


MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world’s expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .


SASHA TROYAN is a Professor of English at Montclair University and author of the critically-acclaimed novels Angels in the Morning and The Forgotten Island, both Booksense Selections, beautiful stories based upon her childhood in France. I worked with Troyan to develop her new novels, Marriage A Trois and Semester. Read more. . .


LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .


BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .


SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I’m working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .


SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .


M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with multiple sci-fi/fantasy series set in the Multiverse, based upon her expertise in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .


DARREN D. BEYER is an ex-NASA experiment engineer who has worked on every Space Shuttle orbiter but Challenger. In his sci-fi Anghazi Series, Beyer uses his scientific expertise to create a galaxy in which “space bridges” allow interstellar travel based upon the latest in real theoretical physics. Read more. . .


ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny’s debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .


STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield’s second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .


GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans’ fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .


JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .


LISA MERCADO-FERNANDEZ writes literary novels of love, loss, and friendship set in the small coastal towns of New England. I edited Mercado-Fernandez’ debut novel The Shoebox and second novel The Eighth Summer. Read more. . .


JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff’s abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .


LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star. Read more. . .


ALEX KENDZIORSKI is an American physician working in South Africa on community health education and wildlife conservation. I edited Kendziorski’s debut novel Wait a Season for Their Names about the endangered African painted wolf, for which he is donating the profits to wildlife conservation. Read more. . .


ALEXANDRA GODFREY blogs for the New England Journal of Medicine. I work with Godfrey on her short fiction and narrative nonfiction, including a profile of the doctor who helped save her son’s life, “Mending Broken Hearts.” Read more. . .


In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.

  • By Victoria Mixon

    Elizabeth Spann Craig is well-known in the online writing community for her Writers Knowledge Base—the Search Engine for Writers, where she maintains links to all the best posts on writing online, and her weekly Twitterific post, rounding up the weeks’ exchange of writing posts through Twitter on her blog, Mystery Writing is Murder.

    But that’s not all—not even half! Because Elizabeth’s understanding of writing craft is based solidly in her three popular mystery series, published through Penguin and her own imprint: the Memphis Barbeque Mystery series with Penguin/Berkley under the pseudonym Riley Adams, the Southern Quilting Mystery series with Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clove series with Midnight Ink.

    Elizabeth’s a busy woman! And today she’s taken time to talk with us about the dark, labyrinthine ways of both our favorite genre. . .mystery.

    Elizabeth, so lovely to have you here! I know your forte is mystery, as is mine, so let’s be completely self-indulgent today and talk of nothing but mysteries. Who are your favorite mystery authors?

    Thanks so much for hosting me, Victoria! I’m excited to be here. I love indulging in a conversation about mysteries—my favorite topic.

    I have lots of favorite mystery authors, and I love them for different reasons. Agatha Christie is my all-time favorite because I love her quirky sleuths and their unusual approaches to solving crimes. M.C. Beaton has been a more recent favorite. Her Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin sleuths are very human and fallible, but know how to capitalize on their individual strengths. And I’m amazed by the work of Elizabeth George (especially her earlier books), Deborah Crombie, Caroline Graham, Ruth Rendell, Colin Dexter—yes, I could go on and on ad nauseum. Who are some of your favorites?

    Well, Raymond Chandler, you know. Anyone who can say, “He had a chin like a strap-hanger’s elbow,” owns me. I love the classics and Golden Age writers: Poe, Conan Doyle, Ellery Queen, Chesterton, Hammet, Gardner, Sayers, Van Dine, Stout. Let’s not forget the brilliant Wilkie Collins. Robert van Gulick wrote Westernized versions of Chinese mysteries about a real fifth-century judge. Ngaio Marsh’s charming Detective-Inspector Alleyn. Georges Simenon’s deadpan noir Maigret. Alexander McCall Smith’s hilariously pragmatic Precious Ramotswe. And I’ve recently discovered Derek Raymond and his haunting How the Dead Live.

    Oh, we could turn this whole interview into a list of names! I’m addicted to the Gold Room at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. Have you ever been there?

    No, I sure haven’t, but it’s legendary. I’m very envious! I’d probably get absorbed and forget to leave and they’d have to send a search party after me.

    [Laughing] Such a dangerous place.

    Recently I’ve discovered that some really old mystery titles from the Golden Age and lesser-known authors are becoming available on e-readers. It’s fantastic to be able to find and enjoy some treasures from the past.

    Thank you for the tip, by the way, on Martin Edwards’ Forgotten Books column on his blog—now I have to find some Patrick Hamilton. So how did you get into mysteries? What first made you love them?

    I’m a little bit of a cliche there. I’m one of those mystery writers who was heavily influenced by Nancy Drew as a kid. I read all the Nancy Drews I could get my hands on. . .my mother had ladies tearing up their attics looking for old bags of Nancy Drew books. I plowed through mysteries wherever I could find them—Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden—even watching Scooby Doo on television. Yes, I was even one of those kids who had a detective notebook of observations and recorded what adults were doing and saying. It kind of bordered on the fanatical, now that I think of it!

    As a teenager, I started moving into adult mysteries. I read Christie, Sayers, and Carr before moving into P.D. James. I love a whole range of mysteries—private eye, police procedural, thriller, noir—and feel like I’ve been influenced by all of them, although I’m writing traditional mysteries/cozies.

    I just love the puzzle aspect of mysteries and the fact that it’s an almost interactive experience—we solve the case alongside the sleuth. I also enjoy being scared, in a safe way. With a mystery, I get a safe thrill. If a book gets too intense, I can close it or shut down the Kindle and return to safety quickly. I think that’s one reason so many readers like traditional mysteries—the murders occur in a tranquil, safe environment. It disrupts the town, but then everything is tidily returned to normal by the end of the book. It’s a satisfying feeling.

    Exactly. The triumph of sanity over insanity. Hey, remember Louise Fitzhugh’s children’s book, Harriet the Spy? Very odd, insightful take on what the world of sleuthing is all about in the childlike recesses of the human mind. Did you ever read it?

    I sure did. . .maybe because I was also an odd child with a notebook! Of course in an adult murder mystery little Harriet, with all her eavesdropping,  would have known too much. . .she’d have met with an untimely demise.

    [Laughing] That’d make a fabulous children’s mystery—you’d better write it! It’s strange to read Raymond Chandler’s letters from the 1950s, when he railed against the difficulty of mystery earning its rightful place in the canon. And now there’s a whole world of literature based on, as you say, that sense of “safety” in exploring frightening themes, the puzzle that satisfies the intellect. What is your favorite mystery technique or storyline?

    You know, there are just so many elements that make up a great mystery. It takes real skill to keep readers from guessing the murderer’s identity without making them frustrated. One of my favorite techniques is the unreliable witness, which Agatha Christie used to such great effect. It involves discrediting a witness/supporting character by either showing his incompetence, lack of intelligence, or immaturity (if the witness is a young child), and then having him either unveil a major clue or actually name the murderer or motive. Since the readers don’t respect the character, they won’t give credence to his statements. It’s a fun technique to play around with.

    Oh, excellent. Yes. I just re-read Shirley Jackson’s canonical ghost story, The Haunting of Hill House, and the way she confuses the reader about who’s portraying the truth and who’s simply bonkers—genius! So what’s the most common failing you see in unsuccessful mysteries?

    I read a lot of reviews of mysteries, actually, because I’m interested in finding out what readers like and dislike most. One of the biggest complaints that I see is when readers lose respect for the sleuth. Over and over again, I’ve read reviews where readers were upset because a sleuth did something stupid, just so the writer could further the plot. If the reader loses respect for the sleuth, it really compromises the story. So if the detective needs to go into a remote part of town—by himself, at night—when he knows the murderer is probably lurking nearby, the writer needs to have to have an excellent reason for it. Does the detective think he’s going there to meet someone else? Did he suddenly realize there was a clue that he’d overlooked before—and the killer happens to realize the same thing simultaneously? There has to be a good reason for our supposedly intelligent sleuth to endanger himself.

    You’re so right. No matter what the genre, it’s always about character motivation. ‘What does this sleuth need? Why are they driven to solve this mystery?’ Marlowe often thinks he needs nothing more than to make his twenty-five bucks a day, but it’s layered with his overwhelming need to see justice done. Elizabeth, is there a mystery angle you’d like to explore but don’t believe could be successfully pulled off?

    Oh, sure. I’m a fan of unreliable narrator stories (as well as the unreliable witnesses I mentioned above.) But. . .it’s very tricky. When it’s done well, it makes such an amazing twist ending. I’d mention some examples in mystery literature and also some recent examples that were done well on film, but I don’t want to spoil the fun for anyone. It’s a difficult technique because if it isn’t done well, the reader/viewer feels cheated or manipulated. If it is done well, the reader gets a surprise ending that causes them to think about the entire book in a different way.

    I’m going to name Christie’s Roger Ackroyd as the most obvious example of this. If there’s anyone left who hasn’t read it yet—I’m sorry! It’s still a good read. What do you think of Chandler’s claim that, no matter what anybody says about the Rule of Fair Play, there’s no such thing as a 100% honest mystery?

    I think Chandler is right. Mystery writers have to employ trickery in their books. We’re deflecting attention from clues, sending readers on wild goose chases, and generally deceiving the reader. But—we have to be at least a little deceptive to give the readers a satisfying read. We have to play fair, but we can’t let the reader learn the killer’s identity in Chapter Four. That’s not fair to them, either.

    That’s a fabulous point: it’s not fair to the reader to ruin the mystery. We all read for fun. In fact, mystery is one of a handful of highly-popular modern genres all based upon the intensity of the thrill. What qualities do you think mystery shares with horror, thriller, paranormal, romance?

    The biggest thing all genre fiction has in common is its popular appeal. Genre writers know that when their book is published they will have a group of readers waiting for their release. It’s like having a built-in, established readership. Genre fiction writers bring books to the people—books that are usually accessible, interesting, and entertaining. Genre fiction’s goal is to pull readers into the world of the story instead of distracting them with the intrusion of heavy use of literary devices or the author’s opinions/viewpoints.

    You know, even literary fiction isn’t supposed to interfere with the story, only seduce the reader with language rather than excitement. I do miss good experimental fiction. What’s the weirdest mystery you’ve ever read?

    The weirdest mystery I’ve ever read is the first detective story ever written: Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” It’s creepy, baffling, carries a violent theme throughout the story, and has a fairly horrifying solution.  But then. . .that’s Edgar Allan Poe for you!  It’s not a mystery that would play well for today’s readers, since the reader doesn’t really have a fair shot at solving the case.

    It’s true, Poe failed to incorporate Fair Play, but that’s one of those little inconsistencies that will occur when you’re inventing an entire new genre. Did you know his second mystery, “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” was based on an unsolved murder to which the perpetrator later confessed, saying, “He pretty much nailed it”?

    I loved “Marie Roget,” but didn’t realize the story was based on a true crime. Interesting!  I wonder what Poe thought about his role in solving the real case (or prompting a confession from the killer?)

    What an amazing man—I wish he’d written about his knowledge of the craft. What are your favorite books on the craft of writing mysteries?

    The ones I’ve got on my shelf are:

    Don’t Murder Your Mystery—Chris Roerden
    Book of Poisons—Serita Stevens, Anne Bannon
    Police Procedure & Investigation: A Guide for Writers (Howdunit)—Lee Lofland
    The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery—Robert J. Ray, Jack Remick
    Telling Lies for Fun & Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers—Lawrence Block
    Writing the Modern Mystery—Barbara Norville
    How to Write a Damn Good Mystery—James N. Frey

    Don’t Murder Your Mystery and Telling Lies for Fun and Profit are great no matter what genre you write.

    Occasionally, my husband looks at the bookshelf and gets a little nervous. He reminds the kids that if anything ever happens to Daddy, they need to tell the police what Mama does for a living!

    [Laughing] I’d never thought of that! So, Elizabeth, what nefarious deeds are you working on right now?

    Right now I’m working on the second book in the Southern Quilting mystery series for Penguin/NAL—the first, Quilt or Innocence, launches in June 2012. I’m setting up promo for the release of the third book in the Memphis Barbeque series, Hickory Smoked Homicide, which releases November 1. I’m editing a backlist title to be published as an ebook and  writing the next Myrtle Clover book, which I’ll epub myself. So it’s been busy around here—but fun. I love that I’m spending so much time writing.

    And I’m dying of envy!

    Elizabeth Craig’s latest book Finger Lickin’ Dead was released June 7th and Hickory Smoked Homicide launches November 1. She writes the Memphis Barbeque for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries (2012) for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink. She blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010 and 2011.

    Elizabeth can be found on her blog, Mystery Writing is Murder, on the Writer’s Knowledge Base—the Search Engine for Writers, on Twitter, and on Google+.

    Subscribe:

    45 Comments

    “The freshest and most relevant
    advice you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction

    The Art & Craft of Writing Stories


    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR

    VICTORIA’S ADVICE COLUMN

    45 Comments

45 Responses to “Dying of envy—the Elizabeth Craig mystery interview”

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Victoria! I always enjoy the chance to talk mysteries. 🙂

  2. It was great fun, Elizabeth! Now I’m working my way through the essays in The Art of the Mystery Story, collected in 1946 by Howard Haycraft: Chesterton, Van Dine, Hammett, the whole crowd—including a fabulous historical perspective on the Western genre up to that point by someone with the impossibly perfect name E.M. Wrong.

    You can probably hear me shrieking from there. 🙂

  3. Great interview! How many of us basically ate Nancy Drew mysteries for lunch? And I live in L.A., down the street from one of Chandler’s many rented houses. The man was obsessively peripatetic. (Ha! Only on a writing blog could I get away with that word.)

    Recently stumbled onto Elizabeth’s resources network and am very thankful. You both provide so much info and support to the writing community. Thank you!

  4. Debra Eve, have you read The Long Embrace? Someone actually traced Chandler’s steps from house to house throughout his entire life.

    It gets pretty crazy once he arrives in LA.

  5. Yes, just finished it about two months ago and absolutely loved it. That’s how I found out I lived so near one of Chandler’s houses. It’s really too bad he destroyed Cissy’s letters.

  6. It really is a shame. So many great letters destroyed!

  7. Debra Eve–Thanks! Those were the days, weren’t they—we were in love with a series that had something like 60 books in it! And I didn’t realize that Chandler moved around that much…interesting!

    Thanks for coming by!

  8. Elizabeth rocks! I loved reading Nancy Drew AND Hardy Boy mysteries. Love your books.

    Thanks for hosting, Victoria.

  9. Teresa–Thanks! You know, I read the Hardy Boys, too…mostly because I ran out of Nancys, but then I got hooked on Joe and Frank, too.

  10. She certainly does! 🙂

  11. Victoria – Thanks for hosting ELizabeth, who’s one of my favourite author/bloggers!

    Elizabeth – Thanks for sharing your views about mysteries. I think we have a lot in common that way. I’m right with you about liking the puzzle part about mysteries. And I’m glad you brought up how important it is to create sleuths the reader can believe in and for whom the reader has respect. That’s one reason that the clumsy coincidence bothers me in crime fiction.

  12. Margot–Exactly. And there are so many ways to get around a plot problem besides taking the lazy way and using coincidence.

    By the way, Margot has a fantastic blog for mystery readers and writers– https://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/ . She has an exhaustive knowledge of mysteries and is a great resource.

  13. *Deep blush* – Thank you, Elizabeth 🙂

  14. You’re very welcome—it was wonderful to talk the intricacies of mystery with Elizabeth, who’s so knowledgeable!

  15. Hi, Elizabeth – I didn’t like Nancy Drew much–I borrow my brother’s Hardy Boys books. I love puzzles. The Adventure of the Speckled Band, a high school reading assignment, really cemented my love for the genre. (I’m blogging about the mystery genre today, too–we really do seem to be in sync some days, even when you’re not at “home”)

    Terry

  16. I’m glad we’re staying in sync, Terry! I’m trying to remember “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.” Not sure I’ve read it…I’ll check it out. Thanks!

  17. It’s a Sherlock Holmes story—a man in a hotel room pulls the speckled band over his bed thinking it’s a bell pull and winds up dead. Yikes!

  18. Victoria, I think the bell pull was a real bell pull and the snake climbed up and down. There was a LOT of wrong biological information in that story (like feeding the snake milk) but it hooked me on the way Holmes used his powers of deduction to solve a crime.

    Terry

  19. Was it, Terry? Shows how much I know!

    Holmes is actually kind of famous for his ad-lib science. G.K. Chesterton took pot-shots at him constantly in his own mysteries of the early twentieth century.

  20. I read Nancy Drew when I was younger. My mom still has those old books – I bet they are worth something now.

  21. I think all moms keep those books! My mother has mine…in her attic. 🙂 I need to unearth them for my daughter.

  22. And the torch passes from generation to generation. . .

  23. Great interview, ladies! I think someone like a drug dealer would make a good uncredible witness.

  24. 🙂

    Fabulous idea, Alex. Let’s all write stories about uncredible-witness drug dealers and put out an anthology!

  25. A drug dealer would make a *wonderful* unreliable witness. I may have to keep your example in mind!

  26. Fanatical? I´m sure all children with an imagination to speak of played sleuths!

    Thank you, Victoria, for a lovely review featuring one of my favourite bloggers (and writers of cosy mysteries).

    And I also love the unreliable narrator. I must find that Shirley Jackson story.

  27. Oh, The Haunting of Hill House is a classic. Jackson was also the author who wrote “The Lottery,” which was made into an incredibly famous play: the story of a small 1950s American town that draws a lottery every year for the person who’s going to be stoned to death. Nobody knew what to do with it when it came out—was she joking?—but South Africa banned it, prompting Jackson to say, “They understood it.”

  28. Victoria: yes, I know. I am a teacher so I have taught The Lottery in several classes + other S. Jackson stories. She is brilliant.

  29. Fabulous. I love that Jackson considered banning it proof of understanding. 🙂

    I just read her first novel, Hangsaman, and it is once again brought home to me how writers of this day & age are denied the traditional luxury growing into their craft—possibly a good thing, honestly, when you’re talking about doing it in the public eye. Hangsaman is the quintessential beginner’s novel of college life, quite uneven and occasionally boring, but it contains all the kernels of bizarre girl-to-girl friendship and spooky dread that would blossom so gorgeously in Hill House many years later.

  30. Oh, The Lottery was chilling, wasn’t it? I’m amazed at anyone who can pack such a punch in a short story. Haven’t read “Hangsaman”—I’ll have to check it out. Thanks, Victoria!

  31. Don’t bother with Hangsaman, Elizabeth. It’s quite an immature work. But The Sundial is giving me anxiety attacks—fabulous ghost story!

  32. I agree that a mystery is good because (mostly) all is well, solved, and arrested at the end. The good guys win. I love it when the good guys win.

  33. There’s just something so tidy and satisfying about it, isn’t it? Thanks for coming by!

  34. Cathy Shouse said on

    I enjoyed your interview, Elizabeth. You seem to be quite prolific. How do you write so much?

    You really nailed a problem I had with a recent mystery. The sleuth went a place that i knew would immediately put him/her in danger. I kept reading and couldn’t put my finger on what bothered me. How do you keep from doing things like that? Does it take a lot of plotting ahead of time or do you just take the time to think of a new approach when an idea like that comes to you?

  35. Hi Cathy!

    I do write a lot….well, for me. I squeeze it in in during my day. Most of it, these days, is in the carpool line outside the high school. I have to get to the school 30 minutes ahead of time to get a spot that’s not in the street…then I pull out my laptop. 🙂 I also write at libraries and coffeehouses if my house gets too distracting….and I write fast.

    For the problem with the sleuth who does dumb things—I think the best solution if the writer *has* to get the sleuth there, is to make sure it looks like the sleuth was *sure* he was safe. He could think he’s meeting his police detective friend (who either completely forgets when a new development comes up or has an unavoidable accident on the way), he could think the killer is out of the picture for some reason (maybe someone is being questioned by the police–but they’ve got the wrong guy), etc. As long as the reader knows that the sleuth isn’t being careless or stupid, I think it works. It does take some brainstorming on the part of the writer, for sure!

  36. Loved this article! Great tips on mystery writing and now I also have some new authors to check out! Thanks!

  37. Hope you’ll enjoy the authors, Diann! And thanks so much for coming by.

  38. […] Base (and Mike is intro­duc­ing his new Hiveword for writ­ers, free trial avail­able). In Dying of envy—the Elizabeth Craig mys­tery inter­view , with Victoria Mixon, she gets off the kind of frank, journeyman’s expla­na­tion of genre […]

  39. I don’t know how I missed this–two of my favorite bloggers in conversation about my favorite genre–but Porter Anderson sent me over with his mention today..

    Love all this. I would have given some of the same answers as Elizabeth–Murders on the Rue Morgue is probably the weirdest mystery I’ve read (also the first mystery novel, isn’t it?) I adore the classics: Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, Josephine Tey (and early Elizabeth George, when she wrote in that classic English way.) When life is stressing me to the breaking point, I turn off the phones, re-read a classic English mystery, put on some Mozart, and let the masters put my world in order. I think that’s the appeal of both the classic mystery and classical music–everything is put in order and resolved in the most satisfying possible way.

  40. Elizabeth George did change a little, didn’t she? And maybe needed to cut a little text in the last couple of books, too! But I’m such a sucker for her stuff that I still enjoyed it! And you’re really tempting me now–Mozart, no phones, and classic English mysteries? Sign me up!

  41. You guys are driving me crazy. I’m up to my eyeballs in Shirley Jackson ghost stories—I bought every book of hers I could find after I re-read Hill House the other week—and I swear I tried to hold off on buying any more books until I’d read all my new Jackson, but now I’m going to have to drop the Jackson and run out and find some old Elizabeth George.

    So many great books! So little time! 🙂

  42. By the way, Anne, I am constantly recommending your post on” 6 Prescriptions to Cure the Heartbreak of Being Published.” Everyone reading this should go read it. That’s publication, people.

    As Porter says on this week’s Writing on the Ether, “good work is its own inspiration.”

  43. Great interview! Elizabeth always has great insights: about the genre, about writing, and about social networking. You can’t go wrong listening to her advice!

  44. Elizabeth’s great, isn’t she? It’s wonderful to have her with us in this historic Club of Queer Trades.

  45. Thanks so much, Alan! And thanks for coming by. 🙂



Google