The Tao of Doo

In his kind and generous review of my first mystery, DEATH NOTICE, author James Reasoner said the plot was vaguely reminiscent of something found in Scooby-Doo, only played seriously. He meant it as a compliment and I took it Read more


Another October, another release date. Since BAD MOON is my second book, you would think I'd be used to it. But nope, I'm not. BAD MOON's publication date feels as surreal as DEATH NOTICE's did last year. For readers, the Read more

Writing With ... Louise Penny

I am thrilled beyond words to welcome one of my favorite writers, Louise Penny, whose Armand Gamache mysteries have appeared on bestseller lists worldwide.  Her last book, BURY YOUR DEAD, won the Ellis for best mystery in Canada, and Read more

Is Browsing Dead?

I'll be the first to admit that I was a nerdy teenager. Not pocket protector nerdy, but no sports star, either. I was bookish, I guess you could say. I read A LOT back then, and nothing pleased me Read more

Why We Left Earth

Outer space has always been a mystery. Even before mankind fully grasped its vastness, they wanted to go there. Early astronomers, fascinated by the stars, invented ways to get a closer view. Think Copernicus, Galileo, Cassini. Writers not content Read more


Changing Blogs

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Every writer, it seems, has a blog.

It’s one of the first things people do once they become a writer/aspire to be a writer/pretend to be a writer. In theory, it makes sense. Blogs are a way in which writers can promote themselves and their books while showing off their writing prowess. But when every writer has a blog, your digital musings tend to get lost in a teeming jungle of author websites. To paraphrase that age-old question, “If a blog post falls in a empty forest, does it make a sound?”

I started this blog fifteen months ago as a way to promote my work, yes, but to promote other writers as well. I envisioned recurring topics and conversations and guest posts. It was a good idea, and a whole slew of writers and friends graciously took the time to fill out the Writing With … questionnaire.

The only problem is that blogging on a regular basis takes a lot of time. Time I just don’t have in between writing new books, promoting old ones, working at a newspaper and trying to have at least a bit of a social life. And as the months passed, my blog posts became few and far between.

But then authors Norb Vonnegut and Douglas Corleone approached me about joining a blog collective. I jumped at the chance. By sharing in the posting duties, I relieve myself of a lot of work maintaining an individual blog. I still get to blog, but I don’t have to spend huge chunks of time doing it. It’s a win-win.

And now that blog is up and running. It’s called Algonquin Redux, named after the famous writers’ round table at New York’s Algonquin Hotel. There’s a bunch of great writers taking part. In addition to Norb, Doug and I, there’s Rochelle Staab, Kelli Stanley, Janice Hamrick and Rick Chesler, among others. I can’t guarantee we’ll be as witty as the denizens of the original Algonquin Round Table, but we’ll try.

So join me there. Take part in the conversation. Get to know a few other authors. This blog will still exist, but mostly for news and updates about my books. All other blog posts will be over at Algonquin Redux. In fact, there’s already two by me up on the site. Check them out:

The Paperback Rack

Party of Six

On Other Blogs

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If it seems like I’ve been neglecting this blog a little bit, that’s because I have been. Not on purpose, though. I had a very busy book tour in October and November, a big, family vacation in early December, and then the holidays. As a result, my poor blog has lacked for content.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been blogging elsewhere. Part of the fun of being an author is that other blogs invite you to write things for them. Sometimes the topics are set in stone. Most times, they’re not. So while the additions to this blog have been pretty sparse, I’ve been active elsewhere around the Web. Here’s a round-up and links to what I’ve been up to on other blogs:

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BOY?: Jungle Reds is a blogging collective made up of some of the finest, fiercest women writing crime today. They invited me to talk about my writing habits, BAD MOON and my Internet search for the boy who became the model for the character of Charlie Olmstead.

THE TAXIDERMIST’S SON: Over at Killer Reads, the official mystery and thriller blog of Harper Collins, my British publisher, I discussed growing up the son of a taxidermist and how it inspired DEATH NOTICE.

GUILTY PLEASURES: THE PARENT TRAP: I love Crimespree Magazine. They’re a great bunch of folks who have been very kind to me over the past two years. So when they asked me to pick a movie to write about for their Guilty Pleasures column, I gladly obliged.

R IS FOR RITTER: Mystery Fanfare invited me to write about anything I wanted. I chose to list the five songs that give me constant inspiration. Surprising, “Bad Moon Rising” isn’t one of them.

LOST BOY: At Elizabeth White’s blog, I talked about the sad case of Etan Patz, who disappearance changed the way we live and whose story was a major inspiration for BAD MOON.

WHAT IS TODD RITTER READING?: Campaign for the American Reader asks authors to talk not about their own work but about what they’re currently reading. At the time, I was enthralled by two stories, one fiction and one nonfiction.

HOW TO GET PUBLISHED IN 10 EASY STEPS: Finally, when Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP, asked me to do a guest post, I gave her this tongue-in-cheek look at the steps to becoming a published writer.

Finally, this one isn’t new, but it’s still a lot of fun, and I thought I’d share it again for those of you who missed it last year: MY DATE WITH NANCY.



Christmas Break

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I’ll be MIA for the month of December, taking a long, luxurious, much-needed break. I’ll be back in January. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a happy and healthy New Year.