Friday, December 19, 2014

SCMOOZING WITH CATHERINE MACDONALD



1. Who has influenced you the most in your writing career?

I read a lot of George Orwell’s essays in my twenties. He was a wonderful non-fiction stylist with prose that was very distilled and economical but also very elegant. I hope that tendency to pare back and refine is in my fiction too. It’s something to work toward.

2. What are you working on now?

I’m working on the sequel to Put on the Armour of Light. It involves much enjoyable research on things Scottish because in this book, my two lead characters, Charles Lauchlan and Maggie Skene, go on a bicycle tour of the Highlands and get enmeshed in another mystery. I’ve had to become familiar with bicycles as they were in 1900 and have read lots of guide books on Scottish travel from that era. The problem has been tearing myself away from all this fascinating research in order to actually write the book.

3. In what ways is your main protagonist like you? If at all?

Charles Lauchlan is a real amalgam. Inevitably, he has some of me in him. He loves books and is basically an introvert like me. But he’s more like my father and my brothers in that he can take and hold the centre of attention and is not uncomfortable there. He’s also a bit of a workaholic, which I have never been.


4. Are you character driven or plot driven?


I’m definitely more comfortable with character than with plot. And I think that if you know your characters, they will show you where the plot should go in many cases. I like to start with characters and then say, “Now, what do they do?”

5. Are you a pantser or a plotter?


I aspire to be a plotter but I’m really more of a plodder. I have to have some idea of where I’m going with a book or I will freeze with fear of that white, bare page looming ahead. But quite often in the writing, something that I have plotted turns out not to work after all and I have to have a considerable think in order to solve the problem and carry on.

6. What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?

I hope that I’ve created a world in which they can get lost for a while, then close the book at the end and think it’s been a very satisfying reading experience.

7. Where do you see yourself as a writer in 10 years?

I would be happy to have written two or three more books during that time and to still be enjoying the process.

8. What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?

It’s at this point that I wish I had taken up sky-diving or become well-known as a quantum physicist in my spare time. But really, I’m quite an unsurprising person. I do play the saxophone, though rather badly.


9. What do you like to read for pleasure?

I read a lot of different stuff. Mysteries, of course, but also poetry and biography. Just now I’m reading a lot of Scottish books. I read a lot of local writers from Winnipeg, because I’ve always loved books set in Winnipeg, where I have lived since I was eleven. I talk about them on my blog, “portage and slain”, (www.portageandslain.com). Other than that, my reading has no discipline or rationale and that’s exactly the way I like it.


10. Give us a summary of your latest book in a Tweet

June 1899. Rev. Charles Lauchlan must find evidence hidden behind the doors of Winnipeg’s elite before his friend is convicted of murder.



Catherine Macdonald made a career out of delving into the history of the Canadian Prairies, especially the urban history of Winnipeg, where she lives. Her historical research consulting business combined excellent research with lively and engaging presentation. One morning she woke up with an idea for a mystery novel and life has never been quite the same.
She blogs at www.portageandslain.com and has a website at www.charleslauchlan.com





Friday, December 12, 2014

CRIMINAL TENDENCIES


Here we go again with another writing question posed to our four mystery authors: R.J. Harlick, Mary Jane Maffini, Barbara Fradkin, and Linda Wiken. This is the question: What are some cliches you should avoid in creating a series hero?

And these are their answers:


MARY JANE MAFFINI:


I like to avoid the cliche of the lone wolf cop or PI who breaks all the rules, drinks himself silly, eats junk food, wrecks his relationships, insists on working alone and never (!) seems to shower or change his clothes. He would probably leave his pet to die, but, of course, he doesn't have a pet. Yes, I know that's where the money is, but, hey, that's guy's a jackass.

Good thing I write cozies so i don't need to work him into the action.

LINDA WIKEN:

I'll echo Mary Jane's pick. We've all read about him, or her, more than enough times and it doesn't really matter what the plot is, this hero is going to take center stage with his lifestyle. Of course, there's that deep, dark secret from the past that haunts the guy.

Another one, and this one hits home with writers of traditional mysteries, is the hero who plods along, appearing to bumble through an investigation or some private sleuthing, trying to appear like solving the crime is the last thing possible. You know these ones -- Columbo and Miss Marple come to mind. Of course, since we know and love these characters, we know and believe that justice will prevail. However, it's been done. And well. So move on. Or perhaps, do it with a twist.



R.J. HARLICK:

The rebellious, hard drinking loner cop who can’t deal with authority or maintain a relationship with a woman for longer than 3 books, has a deep dark secret in his past and always gets his man or woman…Sound familiar?

I swear if there is one series with a cop protagonist like this there are a zillion of them. I’m reading one at the moment, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole. I am sure you can name others, some of which have reached bestseller status. But as much as this kind of a series character has become a cliché, you know what, if well crafted, I enjoy reading them, as do many others. So I don’t know whether as a writer you should avoid cliché characters, ratherI I think it is probably more important to recognize they are a cliché and use them appropriately, maybe add a twist or two so that all the cliché components don’t fall into place.


BARBARA FRADKIN:

I think it’s important to avoid all cliches when creating a series hero. A series hero has to have certain qualities - usually intelligence, resourcefulness, and a passion to tackle problems. Apart from that, create a hero who has depth and humanity, with a real life and everyday problems along with their sleuthing, and avoid the urge to tack on “flaws” or “quirks” which are the lazy writer’s attempt to make the character unique without giving them any depth. Some cliches are obvious, such as the jaded, alcoholic cop, the “feisty”, kick-ass female, and the dithering little old lady with a mind like a stiletto.



Friday, December 5, 2014

SCHMOOZING WITH JOHN MOSS


1. Who has influenced me the most in my writing career?

Surrounded by the murmurings of writers, the question seems disarmingly simple and infinitely complex. I am writing this deep within Shakespeare and Company, the legendary bookstore on the Left Bank in Paris. The gleam of my laptop illuminates shelves tumbling with books that transform this cramped little alcove into a labyrinth of words. Looking around at books within my reach, it would be easy to pick out dozens of writers who influenced my life and writing, from the wonderfully eccentric Jorge Luis Borges to the profoundly thrilling P.D. James, from Poe and Hammett to Faulkner and Atwood. If I had to single out one, however, it would be Shakespeare, himself: for giving us language enriched so indelibly that four hundred years later it excites with its grandeur and subtlety, for mixing horror and wit in defiance of the classical rules, for writing with such exuberant insight about the extremities of human behavior, finding in murder and vengeance, romance and passion, the common threads that make up the human fabric.

2. What am I working on now?

I’ve just completed a trilogy of mysteries featuring a cosmopolitan private investigator who works out of Toronto and deals exclusively in murder. Harry Lindstrom is a paradox: a contemplative man of action, a brooding hedonist, a pragmatic moralist. Before the loss of his wife and children in a canoeing accident that he feels was his fault, he was a philosophy professor. The dramatic transition from exploring the fundamental questions of life in a lecture hall to exposing the mysteries arising from murder seems both absurd and grotesquely inevitable. A proud and solitary man of forty-three, Harry carries his wounds privately, with an edgy awareness that allows him to deal with inspired depravities that fall in his way, first in Sweden, then in Vienna, and finally on an axis linking the South Pacific to London and Greenwich in England.

3. In what ways are my protagonists and I alike?


I draw from the worlds I know, whether emotionally, socially, or geographically. The protagonists in my Quin and Morgan series originated in my wife, Beverley, and myself. They are originals, however: much of Miranda is born out of my own life and David Morgan, out of Beverley’s. Imagination is transformative. After emerging in three consecutive novels just finished, Harry is so familiar to me it is difficult to appreciate we have separate lives. The facts of our lives differ—I’m a lot old and not as smart— but we are cut from the same cloth.

4. Character driven or plot driven?

Characters caught up in situations that bring out the complexities of their innermost lives fascinate me, so the answer is both. Murder is the catalyst that sets the processes of revelation in motion.

5. Are you a pantser or a plotter?


I’m not sure of the difference between pantser and plotter. I work my characters through intricate and surprising plots, but where these lead I’m seldom sure until I get there. I write until it feels right, until there’s a retrospective inevitability to what I’ve written. I love surprising myself.

6. What do I hope my readers take away from reading my work?


I want readers to be entertained; I want them to be challenged, confused, illuminated, edified, and, ultimately, satisfied. I want to change lives, however imperceptibly. Life’s too brief for empty diversions. Writing must be more than building birdhouses; reading should be more than watching them hang in the wind.

7. Where do I see myself ten years from now?

At my age, that’s a loaded question. I’d like people to be reading my work. I’d like, of course, still to be writing. I’d like to be here.

8. I’d re-write this question to ask, what surprises me about myself?

I’d like to think, as a retired professor of Canadian literature, that I’m not professorial. I’m a master scuba diving instructor and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Apparently, it’s possible to be both. What surprises me most is how happy I am to have lived a rich and diverse life, to see my children prosper, and to know my books and Beverley’s books are being read. And until I stop, altogether, I think of myself as a mystery writer as being in mid career.

9. What do I like reading for pleasure?

All reading is pleasure. I read nutritional data on cereal boxes and the magic realism of Jorge Luis Borges. I tend to avoid current award-winning books. I read fiction, especially quality mysteries, and I read non-fiction that challenges convention. I consider a settee in an alcove in Shakespeare and Company, amidst a tumult of books, as close to heaven as I will ever need to be.

10. Blood Wine, my latest and last mystery in the Quin and Morgan series, in a tweet:


A corpse in bed and a wine scandal lead to explosive revelations of drug smuggling as an unexpected cover for international terrorism.





John Moss is the author of over thirty books, the most recent of which are murder mysteries. He has become happier since turning to writing about murder. He and his wife, writer Beverley Haun, live in Peterborough where they are almost through the second decade of restoring an old farmhouse that has taken them in

Friday, November 14, 2014

SCHMOOZING WITH ROB BRUNET

1. Who has influenced you the most in your writing career?

Being purposeful, pursuing passion, and holding oneself accountable are critical traits every author needs. Without them, how could a book ever be completed, never mind revised, edited, and polished until ready to publish?
Thinking about my writing career sends me well beyond the authors I enjoy and admire. The energy I bring to it is rooted in creativity and a love of storytelling, but the discipline and sense of direction leverages things I learned while running a digital media company. I could list a slew of people from that part of my life and most of them would be unknown to readers here. They’re people whose passion for their own businesses, charities, and lives made me want to dig deep and commit myself to the writing I’d always expected to eventually do.
As for authors? Too many for a blog post, but Thomas Hardy, Sinclair Lewis, Carl Hiaasen, Kurt Vonnegut, Gregory Mcdonald, John Irving, and a lot of Margaret Atwood have inspired me to hone my own voice.

2. What are you working on now?


The sequel to Stinking Rich is similarly set in the Kawarthas and there’s a bit of character carry-over. This time out, it’s a bible camp gone bad.
I’m also working on a collection of short stories and some novella-length pieces. The novel takes precedence, but part of my goal is to be releasing new material frequently enough to satisfy readers who find me early on. Coming out with a novel every year or so isn’t likely to accomplish that on its own.

3. In what ways is your main protagonist like you, if at all?


He isn’t. Danny Grant has a couple experiences that are drawn from my life. Thankfully, it’s the stupid mistakes and not the things that could land a guy in jail. But the same could be said of Perko Ratwick, Judy, and even Skeritt. And I’m neither a biker nor a tie-died enviro-barbie, nor a hermit (though it’s tempting some days).

4. Are you character drive or plot driven?


My readers tell me I’ve written a page-turner that kept them up nights needing to know what happened next. I loved hearing from someone this past week that she had consumed Stinking Rich in three sittings. I guess that’s about plot.
But they also tell me the characters—whacko though they may be—are real and to them. And they certainly are to me. I spend a lot of energy on how they act in given situations. I’m as amused by them as I hope my readers are—especially when they go off script and do things I didn’t expect.
The large cast and the twisted plot line make Stinking Rich a complex braided tale. But if I’ve done my job right, at the end of the day, it’s still a beach read.

5. Are you a pantser or a plotter?


I start out at as a pantser, but the plot has to make sense to me, so somewhere along the way, I start working a spreadsheet and winding everything together. Even when I’m going full-speed, in the zone, chasing a scene, I’m constantly taking notes on other parts of the story that need elaboration or fixing as a result of whatever’s net new. I guess that’s pantsing, but it winds up pretty tight.

6. What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?


Entertainment. A good laugh or two. And maybe a peek into a life that is something they’re curious about, even if they’d never want to be there in a million years.

7. Where do you see yourself as a writer in 10 years?


Ten novels in and several times that many short stories and novellas. There’s a lot of stuff in my head that needs to find its way out. The thing is, the more one writes, the more that seems to stir up more ideas. Can you telling I’m loving it?

8. What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?


Something printable? How about that I spent a summer as a missionary in northern Ontario? That bible camp gone bad thing? It’s not based on my experience, but I think there’s room for me to explore how some people are able to contort organized religion.

9. What do you like to read for pleasure?


A lot of what I read is crime fiction, but as you can tell from the list above, I read more widely than that. One of my favorite authors today is John Burdett. I’m about three books behind in his series, only because I save his novels and savor them when on vacation in the country. I really don’t want to be distracted at all when I read my favorite authors. And that’s a state I haven’t know much these past two years.

10. Tell us about your book in a Tweet:

What could possibly go wrong if backwoods bikers hire a high school dropout to tend their marijuana grow op? Plenty, it turns out.


Rob Brunet’s 2014 debut, STINKING RICH, asks What could possibly go wrong when bikers hire a high school dropout to tend a barn full of high-grade marijuana? His short crime fiction appears and is forthcoming in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Out of the Gutter, Noir Nation, and numerous anthologies. Before writing noir, Brunet produced award-winning Web presence for film and TV, including LOST, Frank Miller’s Sin City, and the cult series Alias. He loves the bush, beaches, and bonfires and lives in Toronto with his wife, daughter, and son.
Find out more at www.robbrunet.com or on Facebook here
.


Friday, October 31, 2014

CRIMINAL TENDENCIES


In our continuing quest for writing excellence (yes, we do strive for that!), here's this month's question for mystery authors Barbara Fradkin, R.J. Harlick, Mary Jane Maffini (aka Victoria Abbott), and Linda Wiken (aka Erika Chase).

What brings a character more to life -- physical description, dialogue, or action?


BARBARA FRADKIN;


Character is effectively revealed in all these ways, and as in writing in general, a balance of description, dialogue and action creates the best effect. All three engage different senses which are essential to providing the reader with a fully rounded impression. Physical description allows the reader to picture the character in the scene as an observer, whereas through dialogue, the reader hears the character and almost feel like a participant in the conversation. Action, of course, sweeps the reader up in the drama and tension. Whether it’s a headlong race through the woods or a delicately sipped cup of tea, a well-written action scene makes us feel the character in our bones.



R.J. HARLICK:


I’m going to say all three and add in a fourth dimension, internal, as in thinking and feeling. Just concentrating on only one or two of these would create a flat, lifeless character that would fade into the page. The reader needs to be able to envision what the character looks like through descriptive text and what he or she sounds like through dialogue. Dialogue and internal monologue also provide a window into the character’s mind, what he or she is thinking and feeling. The character is further fleshed out by their actions and interactions with other characters, with the setting and with the situation. Using all four techniques will transform a character of words into a living, thinking and feeling person, who jumps from the page.


MARY JANE MAFFINI:

We want to know what the character looks like. We don't want that to be either Barbie or Ken, as a rule, but we don't want a lot of talk about it either. Good to know about height, colouring, body type etc. Having said that, dialogue and action really let the reader get to know the character, so in my opinion they're both much more important than appearance. In fact, not every author talks about the physical traits of their characters and some never tell you what they look like. In addition to the dialogue and action, the character has to really need or want some result that isn't easy and may not even be likely. The writer of course will just make it practically impossible for the character to have what is so important. That will have an influence on their actions and action, of course, IS character.


LINDA WIKEN

Of course, all are important elements in presenting a well-rounded character to readers, and in particular, one that readers can easily identify and hopefully, in the case of the protagonist, bond with. However, if I have to pick one, it would be dialogue. That gets to the essence of the character and through the choice of words, can best describe a character's inner being. Of course, dialogue is the beginning. The writer uses it to give a physical description of the character. Dialogue is also very important in the pacing of a mystery. If there's a lot of action and the pacing is fast, it will obviously keep readers who enjoy that style of mystery, coming back for more. Dialogue can also fill in the gaps whereas, it's not readily seen by description nor by the character's actions.


Do you agree? Disagree? Have your own question you'd like to submit? Please leave a comment here or on Facebook!

Friday, October 17, 2014

SCHMOOZING WITH RICK BLECHTA

1. Who has influenced you the most in your writing career?

Boy, that’s a tough one. There are a lot of people who influenced me. Most are not even writers. All the musicians from whom I’ve taken lessons showed me so much that I use every day in my writing: perseverance, how to break down problems to make solving them more easy, how a small amount of progress every day will still get you where you want to be, how to believe in your ability even when things aren’t going well, and above all, patience! Writers who influenced me would have to start with Rex Stout. He had such fine control of his writing and characters. I love the way he packed in telling details so effortlessly and, in most cases, invisibly. For getting me started down this path, it was Dick Francis. It was his revealing writing about the horse racing world that led me to believe that I could do the same sort of thing using music. It’s sort of worked out pretty well.

2. What are you working on now?

My agent has convinced me to do a series. Having spoken to many authors about how they went about this the wrong way, I have taken my time to lay things out thoroughly. I normally fly by the seat of my pants and let characters develop naturally as I work on a book, and then fix things during the revision process. With this project I’ve written pages and pages of character descriptions, situations from the past which will allow me to write further books in the series, some of the most inconsequential-sounding details which will allow me to expand on each of the regularly appearing characters in the series in subsequent books (should I be so lucky), just tons of details I may or may not wind up using. Most of all, I have spent hours simply thinking about these people to the point where I now dream about them. As for writing the actual novel, that’s going slower than I would like, but that’s the fault of having to make a living more than anything. I also will be working on another Rapid Reads book over the winter. And I’m really excited about the story line. You heard it here first, folks: it does not involve music!

3. In what ways is your main protagonist like you? If at all?

The protagonist in the novel that’s about to be released by Dundurn (Roses for a Diva) is nothing like me. First of all, Marta is a female (last time I checked) and she’s also an opera singer. I’m a brass player (French horn and trumpet) and singers are only needed to fill up a stage while we’re in the orchestra pit playing all that lovely music! However, Marta does share my sensibilities in many ways. Most of my protagonists do. Not all though, and I won’t reveal which ones those are! The two protagonists in my new series will be pretty different from the sorts I’ve used in the past. You’ll just have to remain patient to find out in what ways they differ.

4. Are you character driven or plot driven?


I think in the current publishing climate, one has to be a bit of both, don’t you? You can get away with being more plot driven in the thriller genre where I tend to write, but somehow, I could never quite manage that. I find people intensely interesting, so it’s no wonder I want my characters to be interesting, as well. Another thing is that characters who aren’t particularly sympathetic can be as interesting as ones with whom you’d want to be friends, so I occasionally write those kind of people. However, if you don’t have an engrossing and plausible plot, you’re going to compound the problems of writing a publishable novel. I have read examples where the story was crap but you just loved the characters so much, you enjoyed it despite its shortcomings but you’ve got to have damn fine characters to pull that one off. So to when a plot is just so fantastic you have to find out what happens even though the world created by the author is completely populated by cardboard cutouts of real people. That is really difficult, too. So I guess you could say my books are both — or at least I try to make them that way.

5. What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?

That no question or issue is ever black or white. Real life exists in the gray space in between. Things might not happen the way you want them to, and you can start down the wrong road and never be able to return. What you do have to accomplish is to make the best out of what you’ve been handed. If you remain honest and forthright, you just might find something that makes you a better person. Boy, does that sound heavy, but it is the way my novels are constructed. There are also some funny bits, though. Honest!

6. What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?

Obviously, music is also very important to my life. I’ve been a musician far longer than I’ve been a writer. But if tomorrow someone said I’d have to make a choice, I would choose writing — as long as I could listen to as much music as I want. Unless you know about my food blog, readers might well be surprised to know that I am a very good cook (I’m going by what others have said.) I know what a “really good cook” is and I fall far short of that, although I do have talent. My current huge interest is in crafting home charcuterie. Lonzino anyone?

7. Give us a summary of your latest book in a Tweet


A stalker is determined to possess Marta Hendriks completely. How can she possibly survive when he seems to be everywhere – and nowhere?


Rick Blechta is a Toronto-based writer and musician. His thrillers have been praised for their originality, finely drawn and convincing characters, and of course, for their realistic descriptions of the world of music and musicians. This October, his tenth novel, Roses for a Diva, the sequel to his very popular The Fallen One will be released by Dundurn Press. Opera diva Marta Hendriks is back and someone is stalking her throughout the great opera houses of the world. He seems to be everywhere – and nowhere. How can she possibly survive when he is determined to possess her, body and soul?



Friday, October 3, 2014

SCHMOOZING WITH MELODIE CAMPBELL

1. Who has influenced you the most in your writing career?

Believe it or not, a producer from HBO. In 1993, he saw my play “Burglar for Coffee” in Toronto and offered me a job writing pilots (which I turned down. This has to be the worst mistake every made by a person not legally insane. But who had ever heard of HBO in 1993?) This man called me “completely nuts” and assured me that my standup/humour column comedy translated well to plays and fiction. I needed a professional to tell me that, and I always remember him gratefully, when I need a boost.

2. What are you working on now?

Book 4 in The Goddaughter series, A BODY FOR THE GODDAUGHTER. More mob comedy, only this time Gina Gallo is the sleuth, not the perpetrator. Okay, well not totally. After all, this is her inept mob family we are talking about .

3. In what ways is your main protagonist like you? If at all?

Oh YEAH. Similar (but not exact) family backgrounds. Gina Gallo is the reluctant goddaughter of the mob king in Hamilton. I come from a Sicilian background. Gina reacts as I would to a lot of these situations. She has a rep as a smart-ass. She shares my background angst. And she is…how do I put this…more interested in justice, than the law.

4. Are you character driven or plot driven?

Chicken and egg. Yes, I start with character. A character with a problem or goal, and obstacles to that goal, which are resolved by the end. My books have a lot of plot in them. But the plot is driven by the protagonist and what she wants.

5. Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Plotter. I teach ‘Crafting a Novel’ at Sheridan College, so I am immersed in ‘craft.’ I don’t start writing until I know the ending and at least two crisis points. And usually I follow a 3-act structure, to avoid ‘saggy middle syndrome.’

6. What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?


A few hours of smiles and laughter! I write to entertain and to lighten a readers’ day.

7. Where do you see yourself as a writer in 10 years?


Oh wow. Hopefully, with another humorous crime book series, and perhaps double the fans. Okay, make that quadruple the fans! And money. More money would be nice ;)

8. What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?


I trained for Opera. I used to sing ‘torch’ when I was younger. My dad was in a big band, so you can guess why I was called ‘Melodie.’ Oh. And I am lamentably addicted to fast cars. I blew my advances and royalties this year on a 2006 sapphire blue Corvette. One day I may regret this, but not today.

9. What do you like to read for pleasure?

Books like mine. Wish I could find more. I like Andrea Camilleri from Sicily, Lisa Lutz, and yes, Janet Evanovich, who Library Digest compared me to. Other favourite books include The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (you may be noticing a humour trend at this point…)

10. Give us a summary of your latest book in a Tweet

The Artful Goddaughter
(Orca Books, just released)
Mob Goddaughter Gina Gallo stands to inherit two million bucks! All she has to do is plan a heist...but when the wrong painting is taken, hilarity ensues.


Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy" by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014,) Melodie Campbell has had a decidedly checkered past. Don’t dig too deep. You might find cement shoes.
Her crime series, The Goddaughter, is about a wacky mob family in Hamilton aka The Hammer. This has no resemblance whatsoever to the wacky Sicilian family she grew up in. Okay, that’s a lie. She had to wait for certain members of the family to die before writing The Goddaughter.
Her other series is racy rollicking time travel, totally scandalous, hardly mentionable in mixed company. But we’ll mention it anyway. Rowena Through the Wall. Hold on to your knickers. Or don’t, and have more fun.
The Goddaughter’s Revenge won the 2014 Derringer (US) and the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award in Canada. She has won seven more awards for noir stories which have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Over My Dead Body, Flash Fiction Online, and more. Publications total over 200 and include 7 novels. By day, she is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.