17 September 2021

SleuthSayers Tenth Anniversary: What It's Meant To Me

Ten years ago today the Great John Floyd, one of several mystery author refugees from the long-running Criminal Brief blog, became the first SleuthSayer by posting the initial Sleuthsayers blog entry, "Plots and Plans." Ever gracious, John modestly pointed out that he was not posting first in the new Sleuthsayer rotation because he was best-suited to do so, but because it was simply his turn at bat.

Today, I have the honor of posting the 10th Anniversary post for the SleuthSayers blog, and I'd like to echo the sentiment. Long-term readers of this blog will know that my own usual turn at the wheel comes not on Fridays, but on Thursdays. So why did I draw 10th Anniversary duty?

Not because of what I bring to this blog, but because of what this blog has brought to me.

In a recent late-night conversation with Fearless Leader Leigh Lundin, I expressed how much posting at SleuthSayers had helped me as a writer, how I felt the better for the experience, and how grateful I was for the opportunity to share as part of this endlessly shuffling ensemble of writer friends.

Leigh suggested I reproduce the sentiments I expressed in that conversation in this tenth anniversary post. So here goes.

A bit of background: I'm not an original SleuthSayer. My tenure with the blog dates back to February 21, 2013, when the Immortal Rob Lopresti (Leigh's co-Fearless Leader) introduced me as the freshest-minted Sleuthsayer. My baptism by fire came that very day, with my maiden Sleuthsayers post: "I Owe It All to Rilke." So, yep, I'm not an O.G. SleuthSayer. My tenure only clocks in around eight and a half years and counting.

But that's one of this blog's greatest strengths: the breathtaking diversity of the writers who share their experiences here. People have stayed a while and moved on. Others, such as old friends R.T. Lawton and Eve Fisher have been here for years (both longer than I. I'm positive R,T. is a founding member of the blog and Eve must be close to that, if not also one.). Folks have even left and returned. And the best part is that all of this endless, diverse content churns out daily, and has for 3,650 straight days.

Imagine, whether you're a writer or a fan or some combination of the two, being able to learn something new about the art and science and blood and sweat and swearing and muttering to yourself in a crowded supermarket and dancing in the parking lot when having the Eureka moment that fills that plot hole that had you muttering to yourself in the supermarket in the first place and all the depth and breadth and heights that mystery writing has, can, should, and will again reach.

Every. Single. Day.

Rob and Leigh's invitation to join this happy band came at just the right moment for me. I was recently married, with an infant son, and two years removed from the publication of my most recent book. Getting married, buying a house, combining households and having a child, all in just a couple of years, put a genuine crimp into my writing time/head space.

Turns out, SleuthSayers was a lifeline.

My wife, wise woman that she is, maintains that I work best when I'm working on a deadline. SleuthSayers really allowed me to keep my hand in, as it were, by giving me an on-going bi-weekly deadline. This was instrumental in maintaining my chops, developing other aspects of my writing voice, and outlining new projects. This was the case especially early on, when my total actual output was a single published short story over a three-year period.

These days I'm back on pace: with several completed and published projects-my three-novella collection Suicide Blonde (Down & Out Books, Octobber, 2020) the most recently published. And 2021 has been a great year writing-wise. As I've expressed multiple times over the years, I'm a very slow writer. The process for me just takes as long as it takes. And yet this year alone I've placed three new short stories, wrapped a fourth, and am nearing completion on a too-long delayed historical novel.

And I owe it all to this blog. Thanks to all my fellow SleuthSayers, past and present, to Rob and Leigh for believing in me and my writing enough to invite me to take part in this supportive and welcoming community, and especially to our readers, for taking the time and trouble to read what we lay down here for you. Without the audience, the artist is irrelevant.

So Happy Tenth, SleuthSayers! Here's to another ten!

Feels like we're just getting started!

See you in two weeks!


  1. Congratulations, SleuthSayers! 3650+ posts is a tremendous output. Thus you've created on online source of inspiration for fellow-authors worldwide. Keep it up!

  2. Happy Anniversary!!!! Thanks for taking me and my exclamation points along for the ride!!!!!

  3. Happy birthday from the emeritus bench!

  4. Brian, you're doing fine with both your life and with your writing. I still owe you a bar chair since your buddy Lance gave away your chair to me in the Las Vegas Bouchercon bar so that Linda Landrigan and I could have a writing discussion over drinks.

    I went back and checked. My first SS blog was on 09/30/2011 when I introduced myself to the group. Over the years, most of my topics covered various aspects of writing, surveillance, informants, raids, going undercover, various criminals, making conspiracy cases and whatever else came to mind. It's been fun and a learning experience reading the other blog articles.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, R.T.! So it turns out I had it backwards and you are a founding member and Eve is a long-time member. Went back and changed that. Got to love the Edit function!

  5. Happy Anniversary! Time flies when you're lurking in dark corners, shadowing suspects, ordering another round and generally having a lot of fun!
    I'm not a founding member - my first blog post was March 29, 2012, titled "Your South Dakota Correspondent" - but next year is my 10th year (hopefully!) with this blog, and wow, it's been a great time. Thanks to all of you who have made this blog what a great place it is!

    1. Hi Eve! As noted in my response to R.T. above, seems I had it backwards, and have since rectified it with a quick edit. We must have a party in March of next year to celebrate your ten years with the blog!

  6. Happy tenth, everyone. I've been here almost five years, and it's been a terrific ride. The mentoring, support, and comeraderie are priceless. I have to thank Janice, Leigh, and Rob for letting me in. I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be...well, maybe opening for the Beatles or Muddy Waters...

  7. Congrats to all my fellow (past and present) Sleuthsayers! Happy 10th anniversary!

  8. Brian, we're pleased to call you our friend and colleague. You're a wonderful asset to the broader mystery community, and we– like your students– are blest to have you.

    In the spirit of Elizabeth's toast, L'chaim!

  9. Brian, I forgot to offer congratulations for your publishing successes!


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