For me, it started with a short story called 'Swamped'. To my shock, Ellery Queen not only published it, but 'Swamped' went on to win the Readers Choice award, a first for a first-time writer.
That resulted in my first MWA conference where I met *real* authors who, as a friend put it, climbed off the bookshelves and strolled around like they were people, not just authors.
At that conference, James Lincoln Warren invited me to join Criminal Brief. I'm not sure my colleagues understood they'd invited an occasionally irrelevant, often irreverent rookie, but they were kind, helpful, and tolerant.
Since then, I've written 228 articles. Tomorrow, CB completes an amazing 4½ year run. Five of us, including Deborah Elliott-Upton, Janice Law, John Floyd, and Rob Lopresti, decided we still had something to say, and that brings us to SleuthSayers.
Shades of Dorothy L
To be sure, I've mispronounced SleuthSayers' name more than once and Melodie Johnson Howe complained we chose a name that made her sound like Daffy Duck. But all five of us liked the title with its multiple plays-on-words.
Next came several decisions. At least three people asked that the look of the site not be too dark ("not as dark as the inkiness of thy forlorn disconsolate soul," they said). However, I wanted something classy and distinctive, subtle– no guns, guts, or guck. The look should be unique where unique isn't exactly blogging software's forte. A primary goal was a design that could represent multiple subgenres.
Even with the fabulous pay, weekly articles can be emotionally draining and sometimes hard-earned, when other priorities compete. It didn't take us long to decide we wanted to share the
Think of each day of the week as a mini-blog where two great writers choose their theme and manage their day, month in and month out, likely alternating articles. For example, Fran Rizer and Jan Grape really hit it off and tomorrow, they'll be off and running about cats, cosies, and chick-lit mysteries– clever commentary from two feminine powerhouses.
The Crime Fighters
The present line-up looks like this:
|Mon||Fran Rizer||/||Jan Grape|
|Tue||Dale Andrews||/||Susan Slater|
|Wed||Rob Lopresti||/||Neil Schofield|
|Thu||Janice Law||/||Deborah Elliott-Upton|
|Fri||RT Lawton||/||Dixon Hill|
|Sat||John Floyd||/||Liz Zelvin|
|Sun||Leigh Lundin||/||Louis Willis|
So there you have it.
What can you expect from me? I'm notoriously shy writing about my own work.
My home state of Florida, the only state with its own Fark tag, is a constant source of bizarre material. Hey, we made Casey Anthony an industry.
Before I began writing fiction, I wasn't much interested in true crime, but in a quest for verisimilitude, I found I couldn't write crime stories in a vacuum.
Sometimes I share tips from great writers. If you're learning to write, why not draw from Elmore Leonard or George Orwell?
Finally, as James Lincoln Warren pointed out, I often write about injustice. And it will be an injustice if you miss a single article from SleuthSayers. We're glad you're with us.