19 September 2011

Peanut Butter on Monday

Greetings from your Monday SleuthSayers! I'm Fran Rizer, and my partner is Jan Grape, a Texas lady with an AWESOME background in mysteries. She'll introduce herself next week. Meanwhile, just remember:

Like the other Sleuth Sayers, I'm a writer of mysteries. My Callie Parrish Mystery Series, published by Berkley Prime Crime division of Penguin, USA, and Bella Rosa Books, are my best-known works, but I've also had articles and stories in magazines including Pages of Stories (Canada), Living Blues, Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now, Ladies Home Journal, and Field & Stream. At the moment, I'm working on the first mystery in a new series.

Considering what to write about in this first essay, I began to think about peanut butter. Yes, that's what I said--peanut butter! Decades ago, I was a yo-yo dieter whenever I needed to fit into some special outfit for an important occasion. Before my wedding, I adopted a popular diet of the time--one of those so specific that it dictated every mouthful for each day of the week. It may have been the one that allowed steak and four ounces of ice cream one night a week or the one that required grapefruit every morning, but what I remember most was that on Mondays, the dieter was required to eat peanut butter.

There are all kinds of peanut butter--creamy, crunchy, extra crunchy, mixed with honey, and even swirled with grape jelly--but it's still possible to grow tired of peanut butter. I began to dread Mondays, not just because they signaled return to work after the weekend, but because of that danged peanut butter. I'm the total opposite of OCD and I've always tended to do things my way, on my own time. When on writers' panels, I stumble over the questions, "When do you write?" and "Do you have a routine?" The answer is that I write morning, noon, and night--just not on the same day.

What does peanut butter have to do with SleuthSayers? I, the queen of commitment phobia (unless it's a contract deadline for a manuscript), am making a vow to you. I promise not to give you the same old thing every Monday. I'll share ideas and stories about writing and words, but I guarantee you that each column will address something different--sometimes smooth and creamy, sometimes chunky.

At times, I'm sure I'll be tempted to write about my personal life, including stories about my grandson. He calls me "G-Ma" and I call him magnificent. (That's his picture at the head of this essay. Yes, the photo is posed. I don't let him eat peanut butter off spoons that big.)

I may even occasionally write about the origin of recipes from the Callie Parrish crowd. We can explore where story ideas originate, how characters develop, and what will make agents and publishers sit up and listen. I didn't begin writing fiction until after my retirement, and my next column will be about getting a late start in the writing business. I hope you will enjoy reading my blogs as much as I will enjoy writing them for you.

If you'd like to know more before I'm back here at SleuthSayers, please visit my website at http://www.franrizer.com/. Until we meet again– take care of YOU!


  1. Not only does Fran write about Callie and her hilarious friend Jane, but Fran writes damn good suspense. She also wrote one of the finest classic ghost stories.

  2. Thanks, Leigh. You make me blush, and that's not an easy thing to do.

  3. You're a lucky G-ma, Fran--I'm not allowed to post pix of my gorgeous granddaughters on my blogs. As a writer, I'm both same and different from you: a self-declared writer since age 7, first novel published waaaay later in life, not for want of trying. Probably for the best, since the published work reflects all that life experience. :)

  4. Fran's help for writers' writing is as enjoyable as her suspense and ghost writing. Looking forward to more Mondays.

  5. LOL, I'm 60 and I love peanut butter! As a three-year-old friend says, "I like food."

  6. Liz, I'm indeed a lucky G-Mama. My grandson is on my website and also appears in photos of book signings and launches because he loves being at them. I can't confess which events in the Callie books are based on my life experiences.

    Ray, thanks. I look forward to more Rayman also.

    Anonymous, my grandson likes your comment best of all.

  7. Thanks to Leigh's recommendation, I am reading your story "Emily's Ghost Story" in Pages of Stories.

  8. Louis, please let me know what you think of "Emily's Ghost Story." It's my first published short story though I've won a few short story contests. I had four books in print before my first short story. My magazine credits were nonfiction articles written before I started the novels.

  9. Fran, I hadn't heard about the ghost story! I'm a big fan of Campbell and James and I've written a few myself.

  10. Jeff, I'm looking forward to your blog. If you want to read "Emily" and it's not still up on Pages of Stories, email me at the address on my website, and I'll send you a copy.

  11. Jeff, my apologies. I'm familiar with your work and I thought you were on this blog. I posted my reply, looked to see which day and discovered I was wrong. Not my first mistake, but I do apologize for not knowing what I was talking about.

  12. Glad to see you are doing this and can't wait for the next book. See you soon!

  13. Oh, I'm flattered that you think I'm so industrious! :) :) :) And I did read "Emily's Ghost Story." Nice! (If you hadn't read Ramsey Campbell's short stories I reccomend them! ) And John, I read "Turtle Bay" too. Wonderful!


Welcome. Please feel free to comment.

Our corporate secretary is notoriously lax when it comes to comments trapped in the spam folder. It may take Velma a few days to notice, usually after digging in a bottom drawer for a packet of seamed hose, a .38, her flask, or a cigarette.

She’s also sarcastically flip-lipped, but where else can a P.I. find a gal who can wield a candlestick phone, a typewriter, and a gat all at the same time? So bear with us, we value your comment. Once she finishes her Fatima Long Gold.

You can format HTML codes of <b>bold</b>, <i>italics</i>, and links: <a href="https://about.me/SleuthSayers">SleuthSayers</a>