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


Quick Change

Posted on by Todd Posted in News | Comments Off on Quick Change

When I started this blog two months ago, my plan was to be very organized about what and when I posted. I wanted a long-form blog post on Mondays, a Wednesdays With questionnaire filled out by other authors on Wednesdays and something fun for Fridays. It was a good idea, and one that might work for some people.

But not for me.

Being a writer takes up an insane amount of time. Especially being a genre writer, where an author’s output is expected to be much greater than that of a literary novelist. Franzen and Eugenides can get away with writing one book every ten years or so. A mystery writer can’t. Lately I’ve been writing my third book while prepping the second one for publication while promoting my first. Add in my day job at The Star-Ledger and I’ve got very little free time. Blogging on such a strict schedule just wasn’t possible.

So after today, I won’t be posting solely on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Instead, I’ll be posting random things on random days. Hopefully, this will result in more content about more subjects. The most obvious change will be that the Wednesdays With feature will be posted on other days, as well, based on the availability of the authors who are participating. It is now called Writing With, and there are some very awesome writers taking part. I think you’re going to love it.

Todd Meets Blog

Posted on by Todd Posted in Musings, News | Comments Off on Todd Meets Blog

My name is Todd, and I am a relapsed blogger. I started blogging in June 2009 after St. Martin’s Press agreed to publish my first mystery, DEATH NOTICE. Since I knew there’d be a 17-month wait between acceptance and publication, I decided a blog would be the perfect outlet for me to talk about how exciting my journey to publication was going to be.

I went at it with zeal, blogging about everything from line edits to cover art to why I liked Lady Gaga.

Then something strange happened: I started running out of ideas. Pre-publication is not the most exciting time for a writer. It’s more about helping usher your baby to print — reading copy edits, looking over galleys, telling everyone you know what your release date is and hoping they actually buy the book. Not exactly prime blogging material.

Plus I had to write a second mystery, which definitely trumped blogging on the priority list. And then I had to start promoting my first, which meant lots of travel and bookstore events and writing guest posts for blogs other than mine. For me, the idea of blogging became as attractive as getting a root canal. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t have the time to do it. And so I didn’t.

But something happened as I was promoting my first book, prepping my second for publication and starting my third. I realized I was not some newbie tossing his first book out there. I was a (ahem) seasoned writer with more than one mystery under his belt. I was an honest-to-God author. And with that comes the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with readers. Night Birds is the end result.

So, first up: Why name the blog Night Birds?

Honestly, I was listening to The Beatles when thinking of names. Blackbird came on, and I was struck by the line “Blackbird singing in the dead of night.” I’ve always been a night owl, and I do the bulk of my writing then. I suspect many writers do — a bunch of solitary people spinning their stories in the dead of night. In other words, it fit.

Next up: What’s going to be on this blog?

I’m going to keep it simple, and on a strict schedule. That’s just how I roll. I’ll post news when I get it, but that will also be posted on Twitter and Facebook. (You ARE following me on Twitter and Facebook, right?) I want this blog to be an exchange of ideas, with a little fun thrown in to keep things interesting. Here’s the lineup I have planned:

Monday: Musings, where I talk about everything from book trailers to conferences to why I write what I write.

Wednesday: Wednesdays With, in which fellow writers answer ten questions. I’ve met a lot of great authors in the past year. They’re cool and interesting people.

Friday: Friday Fun, a grab bag of fun stuff to get you through to the weekend.

And that’s about it. Welcome to Night Birds. Enjoy your stay!

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