Sunday, October 22, 2017

"A dark and compelling mystery..." Thank you, Kingdom Books!

"She's quietly brought us four different semi-mystical cat and amateur sleuth mystery series over the past decade -- and some edgy nonfiction before that. Now Boston author Clea Simon lets her inner rock 'n roller out of the back room and rips into a dark and compelling murder mystery of Boston's music nightlife in WORLD ENOUGH, due to release on November 1." So begins the book blog of Kingdom Books.

The book roots in Simon's own passion for rock 'n roll ..." To read more, click here.

Friday, October 20, 2017

How reliable is your memory?

How reliable is memory?

According to neuroscientists, not very. While we may view any particular memory as a continuous film of a past scene, those who study how the brain processes describe it as something more like a collage. As a 2012 Psychology Today article summarized, every time we conjure a memory, we are not so much reviewing a complete set of stored data as re-configuring a complex scene from disparate parts. In other words, every memory is newly re-assembled, and even if the pieces are accurate they may be prone to reinterpretation...

(To read more, please jump over to Crimespree,the wonderful crime fiction/mystery blog that is hosting me today: here!)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Boucheron in pictures

What happens when something like 1,700 crime fiction fans (authors, publishers, librarians, and fans - all of us readers) gather in one place? Craziness – and a lot of love. I'm now catching up after spending Thursday through Sunday at that party, also known as Bouchercon, an annual celebration that, this year, was held in Toronto. (That's where the auction in my last post took place.) Of course, I have the "con cold" now (it was worth it), so I'm not going to go on at length. But here are just some of the pix ... see if you can name the authors. Hope to see you all at the next Bouchercon, next September in Saint Petersburg, FL! (OH YEAH, what's up with those Aught Nine t-shirts? Email if you want to know more .. or if you want your own [while I still have some]).

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Going once, going twice ...

So one of the great things about Bouchercon is that it pairs with a charity, usually literacy related, to support reading (of course). But this being Bouchercon, it's done in a fun way. This year's beneficiary was Frontier College, is a longstanding cross-Canada literacy organization supporting people across Canada as they work to increase their literacy skills.

How do we raise money? Well, by auctioning off things like the right to name a pet in an upcoming pet noir, of course!

Donna Andrews and Chris Grabenstein served as our auctioneers:

And these are the wonderful winners, Sarah Byrne and Peter McDonald, whose kitty Bunbury Bandersnatch will have a cameo in "Fear on Four Paws."

and here's the newly minted star himself.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Indie bookstores rule...

When the Moon travel guides asked me to blog about my local independent bookstores, I jumped at the chance. New England has such a rich literary history, it makes sense that we have a rich bookstore history too – and this piece has links to great stores, reading series, and more!

"What do Ralph Waldo Emerson and Robert Parker have in common? They both lived and worked in New England, and whether they sought the serenity of Walden Pond or roamed the tough streets of Boston, this region informs their work. Add in greats such as Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sylvia Plath, and Atul Gawande, and you’ll get a glimpse of the range of authors who call this area home... to read more, click here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Life lessons from a kitty

For this #FelineFriday, I look back on what Musetta (and Cyrus before her) have taught me. Here – and on the Pulpwood Queens' Beauty & the Book Blog – I share that wisdom with you!

There is no longer a Musetta here at Chez Musetta. The round tuxedo longhair who used to supervise my daily writing is gone But even though my beloved pet left us two weeks ago – after a long life and a blessedly brief illness at the age of 16 ½ – the lessons she taught me about how to live my own best life remain. In her memory – and in anticipation of the next feline who will come to share our home – I share these feline secrets with you.

Find the sunny spot: Cats are masters at finding the sunny spot on the rug, to the point where we called Musetta our solar-powered kitty. Now, maybe we can’t all lie around, warming our fur, as the morning turns to lazy afternoon, but the message is the same: Find the warmth and the light in your life – in the people around you, in your work, in your home – and take it all in. You’ll find you too are recharged, and then you can share that warmth with others.

Share the purr: Once you have found your sun, share that light with others. What is cheerier than a purring cat? When you have a vibrating kitty beside you on the sofa or on your lap, you can’t help but be cheered. So when you feel good – about anything – don’t hold back. Express yourself. Purr – and spread the joy.

Set your boundaries: On the other hand, don’t fake it when you don’t feel it. Too often we women, in particular, bend ourselves into all kinds of shapes trying to please others or squirming to fit ourselves into roles that simply aren’t us. That’s something cats never do. They are who they are, and they aren’t afraid to show it. Kitty doesn’t want to be pet? She walks away. Pull her tail? She hisses. Some people put cats down for this, saying they should be more dog-like and obedient. But the real message here is that we should all be more like that kitty. She demands respect, and as a result, she gets it.

You are beautiful, just as you are: Sure, we may make fun of fats cats, but they don’t care. A plump puss is a lovely puss, and those of us who really love cats know that it’s fine to have more of that feline to snuggle. And cats don’t fuss about their weight either – do you ever see a feline trying to fit into a too-tight fur? No! So whether you’re fluffy or svelte, take a cue from your cat and understand that you are perfect.

Take the time for self-care: Cats can groom for hours, working from nose-tip to tail tip, with breaks to individually manicure each claw. They don’t worry about being late for a play date or missing dinner. They know self-care is vital for our inner well-being. We may not follow exactly their beauty regimen – I prefer a comb to using my tongue – but the basic rule remains the same. Give yourself the time you need. Take care of yourself. Then you can take care of – and take on – the world.

Stay wild: Not all cats are hunters, and that’s fine. My kitties have all been indoor-only cats, whose “prey” are toy mice (and the occasional confused moth). That’s safer for them, and the birds in my yard are grateful, too! But even the most pampered pussycat becomes a tiger when she plays. Just watch a kitten stalk and pounce, and you’ll have a window onto the rich interior life that keeps cats from getting bored with their lot. These games reveal the importance of imagination and instinct – and of the inspiration and creativity we can draw from the wild side of our nature.

Relax! Life goes on whether you’re at the window supervising the squirrels or napping on the couch. Take time out, when you need it, whether that means dozing or just spending some time staring at the sunbeams. You’ll be better for it.

Clea Simon is pleased as punch that her new rock ‘n’ roll noir World Enough is a Pulpwood Queens October alternate read. But before this new darker book, she wrote 22 cat mysteries – from Mew is for Murder to As Dark As My Fur – as well as the nonfiction The Feline Mystique: On the Mysterious Connection Between Women and Cats. The winner of multiple Muse Medallions from the international Cat Writers Association for her writing about felines and about the human-animal bond, she will be bringing her best feline spirit to Pulpwood Queens Girlfriend Weekend in January.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Yes, more cat mysteries are in the works

Feline left out? Please don't let your fur get all ruffled. Although my upcoming World Enough (Severn House) is a rock 'n' roll noir, I've got several cat mysteries in the works, ranging from cozy to claws out.

First up, the feline sleuth Blackie will return in Cross My Path (Severn House). This third Blackie & Care adventure tackles the mystery of Blackie's past as the duo take on a murder and a missing person in their dark and dangerous city. (June 2018)

Then, bad girl Pru Marlowe and her wisecracking tabby Wallis return in Fear on Four Paws (Poisoned Pen Press). This seventh pet noir mystery revisits the Berkshires, where Frank the ferret has a secret... (tentatively August 2018)

On the horizon, I'm working on a new cozy series, the Witch Cats of Cambridge, which will debut with A Spell of Murder (Polis Books). This fun, light-hearted series will feature a young woman who desperately wants to be a witch, all the while unaware that it is her three cats who have the real power ... and who must use it to solve crime and keep their person out of trouble. (Tentatively January 2019)

Will there be more rock 'n' roll noir after that? I hope so! Stay tuned, dear readers. Purrs out!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lisa Unger LOVES "World Enough"

"With a colorful cast of characters, a gift for detail, and intricate plotting, Simon takes her readers deep into the esoteric world of the Boston music scene ..." – Lisa Unger.

I am breathless. Thriller queen/bestselling author Lisa Unger said THIS today on the Poisoned Pen bookstore blog:

Ah, remember the eighties? The alternative music, the underground clubs? When it was cool to be an outsider and a misfit? Clea Simon certainly does and she captures it perfectly in this atmospheric, twisting, time machine of a mystery featuring former rock journalist, turned corporate cog, Tara Winton. My pal Erin Mitchell sent this one. And when Erin tells me I’m going to like something, I always do. With a colorful cast of characters, a gift for detail, and intricate plotting, Simon takes her readers deep into the esoteric world of the Boston music scene as Tara’s questions about the “accidental” death of an old friend, lead her on a dangerous, twisting path to the past.
(Really!! See it here.)


Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy new year – and new books!

Wow, what a week.

A week ago today, Musetta was still with us. Still herself. But maybe something had already changed. I was sitting at my desk, writing, and she came over and reached up to me – grabbing onto my thigh with her claws and asking to be lifted onto my lap. She hadn't done that in a long while. I hadn't thought about it – or if I did, I attributed it to her arthritis (for which we gave her injections), which made jumping difficult – but I knew what she wanted. I lifted her up to my lap and, reaching over her to my keyboard, went back to work. She jumped down soon and went about her business, but that was okay. I was nearing the end of a manuscript and I had another pending. I had no time to waste.

That night, Jon and I opened a bottle of champagne. I'd had a good offer for a new project, and although the details were still being ironed out, we wanted to celebrate. For us, that meant bubbly with our Friday night Korean takeout and movies. We did wonder why Musetta didn't come downstairs, as usual, to join us and both went up to "her" room to check on her. She seemed fine – alert, and looking up at us in her "do you need me for something? I was napping" way. Still, I woke up around five the next morning and went upstairs to her room (OK, the guest room - but she'd claimed it as hers). She was still lying on the futon, where we'd seen her the evening before, which wasn't unusual, but still... I lay next to her for a while, and when Jon woke and came up to join us, she jumped down from the futon and looked down the stairs at him. Everything seemed normal, and we went back to our own bed, leaving her in her domain.

It was all downhill from there. And while we were so, so not ready, our darling kitty was. At 16 1/2, our little jellicle had lived her life to the fullest and (after vet visits, feedings of baby food and B vitamins, various not-too-invasive procedures, and Jon playing violin for her, a story for another time) on Wednesday, Sept. 20, we said goodbye to her.

Over Monday and Tuesday, my wonderful and caring agent had worked out the details with my new publisher, Jason Pinter of Polis Books. She was very respectful of my feelings, but I had emailed her, telling her that I could use the distraction. Somewhere in there, Jason wrote me a lovely welcome letter, and I gather I managed to send him the bio and photo he needed to make the announcement (I was certainly on autopilot). When he shared the Publishers Marketplace announcement with me yesterday, Thursday, I initially agreed to share it – then realized I couldn't. He got it, and told me to take my time.

I did, and I will. I am certainly still mourning the mighty soul in the little fuzzy body who was my constant companion and muse for nearly 17 years – through my entire mystery-writing career. But I am also, now, excited about the future.

This fall, I have what I think of as my biggest, best book ever – World Enough – coming out. This book is a departure for me, being more noir than cozy, but it is the culmination of decades of writing, thinking, living... At any rate, for me it is huge. Officially, World Enough will be published in the U.S. on Nov. 1 by Severn House, but I'll be starting publicity for it soon (Bouchercon, New England Crime Bake, events at Harvard Bookstore and Mysterious Bookshop, among others - click here to see if I'll be coming to a store or library near you).

The book I have been trying to finish up is a new Pru Marlowe pet noir – the first in two years! Tentatively titled Fear on Four Paws, it should be out next August (from Poisoned Pen Press).

This will follow a third Blackie & Care mystery, which I finished in the spring. On Feb. 28 (UK)/June 1 (US), Cross My Path will bring back my brave black cat narrator as he unravels the mystery of his own life and transformation, all while he protects and aids the fearless girl whom he loves. (Thank you, Severn House, for believing in this series!)

But as this new year dawns, I am now getting ready to tackle a new project, near and dear to my heart: A Spell of Murder, the first in the Witch Cats of Cambridge cozy series. The witch cat series combines so much that matters to me – cats and their people, a touch of magic, whimsy, and a lot of love. I'll tell you all more about this soon, but I have to say, in all my sadness, I am so excited to be going forward with A Spell of Murder for Polis Books. My funny little person won't be sitting beside me for this one. But I like to think that Musetta – like my late, great Cyrus was as the spectral Mr. Grey of my Dulcie mysteries, and in the spirit of Theda Krakow's Musetta, Dulcie's Esme, and Pru's Wallis, whom she inspired – is still with me. I can feel her there now, purring in approval and curled up so comfortably right by my feet that I really must write just one more sentence before I quit for the day...

Musetta, March 28, 2001–Sept. 20, 2017

l'shana tova, folks. Happy new year to you all.

Some cheering news (new books!)

This happened this week, too. More cat mysteries on the way. So that is cheering!

From Publishers Marketplace: September 21, 2017
Digital: Fiction: Mystery/Crime
Author of the Pru Marlowe series Clea Simon's A SPELL OF MURDER, the first in her new "Witch Cats of Cambridge" series about a newly single woman training to be a witch, unbeknownst to her that her three felines are the ones with the real powers and must band together to solve a crime when their owner is accused of murder, to Jason Pinter at Polis Books, in a two-book deal, by Colleen Mohyde at The Colleen Mohyde Agency (World).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And then there was Musetta....

Again, from The Feline Mystique (St. Martin's, 2002):

In early March, we go to Texas and close-dance at the Broken Spoke. We eat barbecue, and buy cowboy boots. (THat's not why we went, but as I admire my ostrich-clad feet, I must say it was a high point.) I have begun to feel like myself again. One awful moment: After the long flight, as the cab nears our building, I hear it in my head as loudly as if he were saying it, Jon's voice exulting, "We're going to see a kitty!" just like he used to whenever we returned from a trip. (I hope he forgives me for revealing this.) My heart leaped in anticipation. Only he's not saying that, and we won't, ever again. I've lost my kitty. But then we go indoors, and I think I'll be okay.

On May 19, we adopt Musetta, a longhaired black-and-white female with an off-center star on her nose and round eyes like owl's. She wasn't the only kitten at the Animal Rescue League that day, and we told each other that we didn't need to choose any yet. But then she reached out for us, little white mitten extended to draw our fingers close, and our hearts were hooked as well. She's got the loudest voice I've ever heard in a kitten, and when she peeps for attention she stares straight at you to make sure she's getting it. Just seven weeks old, she's not the most coordinated bundle of fur on the planet, and when she hops down the hallway she looks for all intents and purposes like a long-tailed bunny. She's not the old friend that Cyrus was, but she is adorable, and already she lets me stroke her belly. I see how trusting she is, and how soft. When she falls asleep next to me, purring like a little engine, I feel myself warm to her. This is, after all, a love story.
* * *
Remembering our dear Musetta, who we lost today, 16 1/2 years after I wrote this. Our riot grrrl, our funny little kitty, who brought us so much joy.

Remembering Cyrus, 1984-2001

(from The Feline Mystique)

JANUARY 25, 2001

Well, our dear kitty – the sixteen-year-old perfect master – is gone. It was as good as it could be. He spent the last night with us. First he dragged himself into the living room and we lifted him onto the couch and he crawled onto my lap and purred. Then we took him to bed with us and he spent most of the night there. He even kneaded my arm weakly. At around 5 a.m., he wanted to get down. He tried to walk to the foot of the bed where the steps were for him, but he fell over. I pulled him back from the edge so he wouldn't fall off and soon he tried again, so I helped him down to the carpet and he made his proud, stiff way back to his bed in the office, slow drag by slow drag by slow drag. Most of the morning we sat with him. He came out of his bed and ate a little, drank a little, lying on the rug. Then he dragged himself back into his bed, and we sat with him.

At two o'clock, Melissa came. Cyrus was so weak, he was like a warm doll when Jon picked him up out of his bed and brought him into the living room and handed him to me. We sat on the living room floor with him, and he growled at Melissa just like old times, only a little softer. I looked away away as she gave him the first shot, to sedate him, and Jon held both of us, then I passed him to Jon who held him awhile, and we both kissed him and talked to him. He was unconscious, floppy as a rag doll, but still warm, still our kitty. Then Jon handed him back to me and Melissa gave him the shot that stopped his heart and I held him and Jon petted him and I felt his pounding heart slow and stop. Melissa then left us along for a while, and we held his little body and cried and said good-bye again.

We went out for a long walk after Melissa left (she took him for cremation), stopping finally for a beer and some food and later, the movie Chocolat. Don't ask if it was good or not, and don't read further if you plan on seeing it. All I can tell you for certain is that Judi Dench's character had a cat, a fine healthy cat, and that made me cry. I think Jon was crying too. Then Judi Dench died, and we both bawled out loud. I think the cat was okay, although I don't clearly remember i you see him again or not, and I never want to see that movie again.

Coming home was terrible. Going to bed without him was terrible. As I write this it's the next day, and that's terrible too. He was the perfect companion, so much personality in such a little package.

Today, I have a cat-sized hole in my heart

Musetta is gone.
March 28, 2001–Sept. 20, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

#FelineFriday - Hidden Tiger edition

Good news from the big cat world! According to this story in the New York Times, the Javan tiger – which has been considered extinct – may still be wandering in the wild!

As the report reads, "Rangers at Ujung Kulon National Park in West Java last month photographed a big cat unlike any previously seen in the preserve. The pictures, released this week, set off a flurry of speculation that one of Indonesia’s legendary species was still alive..." (read more here).

Meanwhile, snow leopards are being taken off the endangered species list. That doesn't mean that they're not still at risk, though. (Read more here.)

Prefer your cat news in mystery form? Sign up for my newsletter here for the latest in cozy kitties and rock and roll cats! (You can unsubscribe at any time!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"Gritty and Gripping" (thank you, BOLO Books)!

BOLO Books (as in "be on the lookout") previews fall crime fiction, and I'm THRILLED to say that "World Enough" made the cut of books to look out for!

BOLO writes: "As always, competition for these slots was tough. Which books are generating that elusive buzz in the publishing industry? Which are books that I have been waiting for?"

The post then goes on to cite new books by greats like Val Mcdermid (I'm reading her "Insidious Intent" now)and the first in Victoria Thompson's new series (love her). And right in there is "World Enough," saying, "Clea Simon is typically known for her cozy writing, but here she makes a strong departure with a crime novel centered around Boston’s club culture and secrets that lie buried in the past. I’ve heard it is gritty and gripping." I hope it lives up to the hype – and I'm ever so grateful that BOLO is giving it a shot!

You can read the full post here: APB - Fall 2017.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Rock trivia!

Hey, Greater Boston-area rockers!
Come on out tonight for Rock 'n' Roll Trivia tonight (Monday) at Once in Somerville. Erin Amar (of Rockerzine) and local legend Brett Milano will be handling the main duties – and they've asked me to help out too! We'll help you organize into teams, if you come alone and want to team up. And among the MANY prizes, we'll be giving away a copy of my "World Enough." Plus, it's taco night!

Friday, September 8, 2017

I can haz news?

Gearing up for the new school year means new books! If you want to hear the latest on what I'm writing, who I'm chatting with, and what's coming up next, please consider signing up for my (very occasional) newsletter here. (You can unsubscribe at any time!) There's lots brewing that I want to tell you about – and I'm going to be offering prizes, too! (And happy #FelineFriday!)

Musetta, hard at work

Thursday, September 7, 2017

No, I'm not writing about your band

"So, tell me the truth. What band is the Aught Nines supposed to be?"
"None. It's fiction."
"Ha! I thought you'd say that. You just don't want to tell me."

I'm hearing this more and more these days, as advance copies of World Enough go out and readers – members of the local scene – weigh in. But I'm not hiding anything, it's true: While I try to depict the rock scene of the mid- to late-'80s, with all it wild fun, fury, and excess, the people in my mystery are not based on real characters. The scene, however, well, that's real. I mean, did I ever see a drummer get so drunk that he vomited and passed out, falling off his stool before the band could play its first song? No. But did it happen? Yeah, probably. That's how things were back then...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Into the Grey" in paperback!

My latest Dulcie Schwartz mystery, "Into the Grey," is out today in paperback!"Well plotted," says Publishers Weekly!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Helping Houston

There are so many people who need so much - the Red Cross is a great place to start. But for those of you who, like me, are animal lovers, here is a link to SPCA Texas: or here. SPCA Texas has also posted an Amazon wishlist for those who would rather donate specific items: here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The best band you've never heard of...

They should have been huge...

if they existed at all!

World Enough, coming Nov. 1, 2017, from Severn House.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Can cats see things we can't?

Happy #FelineFriday! To celebrate what we've all long suspected, I'm sharing an article that suggests that cats (and dogs, too) can "see" things that are invisible to the human eye - certain wavelengths and lights. And maybe, just maybe, spirits... (click here)

Friday, August 11, 2017

That's a cougar, and I ain't lion...

Do we have mountain lions here in Massachusetts, or is the Eastern cougar truly extinct? The question was the basis of my 2014 Pru Marlowe pet noir mystery, Panthers Play for Keeps. It's a debate that has raged for years and this post on Facebook has brought it back to the public eye. Panther or no? What do you think? And happy #FelineFriday! (Read more here.)

Monday, August 7, 2017

"Simon ... gets it exactly right" (Thank you!)

WORLD ENOUGH weaves together some of my favorite things: A good mystery, a flawed heroine regaining her mojo, and rock 'n' roll. Specifically, World Enougj is set in the Boston rock scene and alternative press scene in the mid-80's. Having been there, I can say that Clea Simon has done a beautiful job of evoking this time and place before Boston underwent a tech-fuelled makeover and when the Rat was the gloriously grubby place to be. Simon gracefully handles the transitions from past to present, as her heroine Tara Winton, a bored PR associate, tries to recapture the idealism and sense of community she knew back in her youth as a rock critic and club regular. Her obsession with the mysterious death of a musician from the old scene sends her down a rabbit hole where she finds that her memories of that time dont hold up to the reality her investigation uncovers.

Many fiction writers have tried and failed to credibly capture the rock and roll life on the page. Clea Simon, a former music reviewer herself, gets it exactly right." – Joyce Millman (Village Voice, McSweeneys), writing on Goodreads.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

"the gritty past..."

When hardest of the hard-boiled author Thomas Pluck moderated a panel I was on at last year's Bouchercon, I didn't expect to find much common ground. But, as is often true of crime writers, Pluck - whose motto is "unflinching fiction" - was warm, witty, welcoming, and a downright blast to work with. I've now read his new Bad Boy Boogie, which is sharp, sharp, sharp - full of blood and really imaginative killings but also emotionally astute and very funny as well. So, of course, I sent him an advance copy of "World Enough." And I was THRILLED when he included it - along with the great Don Winslow – as one of his Books of Summer.

Thomas Pluck (BAD BOY BOOGIE)

THE FORCE by Don Winslow is the summer crime blockbuster this year, and deservedly so. Winslow mastered the crime epic with THE CARTEL and now he aims his investigative skills northward to look into the abyss of the failed American Drug War.

I also enjoyed WORLD ENOUGH, by Clea Simon, which comes out in a month or two. It's a nostalgic trip back to the '80s Boston rock scene by someone who was there. Simon's best known for her cat mysteries like hardboiled (or should I say tough mouser?) THE NINTH LIFE but she is equally adept evoking the gritty past of the sleazy rock clubs of our youth.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Meet Trooper (and happy #FelineFriday)

Six-week-old Trooper was injured and overheated when Mass. State Trooper John DeNapoli found him. Now fully recovered (and in his forever home), he was reunited with his rescuer for a happy ending. (Full story here.) You're welcome!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

"Great story and eerily authentic..." Thank you, Tanya Donelly!

WORLD ENOUGH illustrates the community-unifying power of music and the community-rending power of drugs/alcohol, and the fact that those two forces often meet in the same rooms at the same time ~ plus, it’s a thriller! Great story and eerily authentic, which is not surprising ~ Clea has been documenting the Boston music scene for some time now, and knows her subject.” – Tanya Donelly, Throwing Muses/The Breeders/Belly

I'm so honored!

Monday, July 24, 2017

The story behind the story...

No, I'm not researching a book. Rather, I'm avoiding writing. I started going through some of the boxes of my mom's stuff this weekend (she died six years ago, so ... overdue) and found this. My mother's mother, my grandmother, Anna ("Annie" here) is top right. I remember her quite well - that expression.....

Friday, July 21, 2017

Helping the feral cats of Boston... (for #FelineFriday)

All it takes are a few strays... (this great article in the Boston Globe tags along with some local "cat ladies" doing TNR - trap, neuter, return – in the Boston area: click here.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Do you ever doubt yourself?

Do you ever doubt yourself when writing or doing something creative/dear to your heart? (AKA, are you human?) Well the brilliant Caroline Leavitt just posted this technique over on her page: A brilliant friend of mine told me to name that stupid, ugly voice inside of me that says you can't, you're stupid, you have no talent, because once you name it, you can dismiss it and take away its power.

I am calling that voice the Laughing Face, and I am slamming the door on it NOW.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Revisiting old friends...

That's what summer is for, right? So this summer, as I await the U.S. publication of my dark new World Enough, I'm revisiting one of my favorite heroines, a gal I haven't spent time with in a while. And, of course, her irascible tabby ... more news as I have it!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Happy #FelineFriday, wildlife division!

Cats come in all shapes and sizes, so let's celebrate the comeback of the Florida panther! And, yes, this proud panther mom even has kittens!

And, yes, I did write about the New England version of this beautiful wild cat in my "Panthers Play for Keeps" (now available in paperback and e-book!)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

What do you read when you've got the time?

If you're Hillary Clinton, the list includes a lot crime fiction (and some poetry) too. See her list here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The bones in the basement...

I don't write historical mysteries, although I love to read them. But this discovery - of human remains in the basement of Benjamin Franklin's London home, dated to the period when he lived there – might cut a bit close to the, uh, bone. Still, this would be a great prompt for somebody. Anyone out there write historicals? (Read the news story here.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

See you in Toronto!

Just got the great news that I'm invited to be on the "la femme cherche" (female sleuths) panel on Thurs., Oct. 12, at 1 p.m. at Bouchercon. That means I get to play the rest of the weekend! (And seriously, please do contact me if you want to get together.) What is Bouchercon, you ask? Why only the biggest mystery/crime fiction party of the YEAR. Already, over 700 authors have signed up... Check it out here.