Thursday, February 8, 2018

Twice Honored

Edith here, still riding on a joy cloud!

Why am I riding on a joy cloud? I learned last week that Called to Justice, my second Quaker Midwife Mystery, has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel! Delivering the Truth was nominated last year, so I've twice been honored in this category.

I am nominated with four other stellar authors:

Rhys Bowen for In Farleigh Field
Jessica Ellicott for Murder in an English Village
Susan Elia MacNeal for The Paris Spy
Renee Patrick for Dangerous to Know

I know all these authors, and they are all gracious, talented, and friendly. I've read Rhys and Jessica's books - and loved both of them.

In Farleigh Field is a standalone mystery and tells the story of an upper-class English woman doing her bit during World War II by working with the top-secret codebreakers. Plus a mystery, of course.

Murder in an English Village, Jessica's debut in a new series, is a delightful 1920s tale of two old friends meeting up again - and then solving a murder in the village. (Jessica Ellicott is a new pen name for my good friend and Wicked Cozy Authors blogmate Jessie Crockett.)

The Paris Spy is a suspense-filled Maggie Hope spy novel, set during World War II. This time she's on a double mission in occupied Paris, and it's very dangerous, indeed.

The only one I haven't yet read is Dangerous to Know. This series is about movie fashion designer Edith Head and amateur sleuth Lillian Frost solving crimes in the late 1930s in Los Angeles. How can't I enjoy a book with a character named Edith?

What isn't dangerous to know is what talented authors I am nominated with. I hope you'll pick up a copy of each of these fabulous historical stories.

The Agathas are awarded by attendees at Malice Domestic, the annual conference for the traditional mystery, held in Bethesda, Maryland every year at the end of April. From the Malice web site: The Agatha Awards honor the “traditional mystery,” books typified by the works of Agatha Christie and others. For our purposes, the genre is loosely defined as mysteries that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore or gratuitous violence, and are not classified as “hard-boiled.”

Of course I hope Called to Justice wins in this category, but if not I can heartily applaud the book that does

Readers: Which of these awesome authors have you read? Will you be at Malice this year?

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Fun of Plotting

by Linda O. Johnston

It's plotting time!

I'm currently finishing the editorial process for the fourth of my Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries for Midnight Ink.  Pick and Chews will be a May release.

I also have a deadline coming up in a few months for number five in the series.  No name yet.  I started plotting it a while ago and had to set it aside because of other writing commitments... but I'm back!

As always, it's fun to reunite with established characters and create new ones that'll be important to this new book.  That includes the dogs, of course. 

How to plot?  Well, I've established a general procedure over many years of writing that I call my plot skeleton.  It's somewhat based on screenplay plotting.  Yes, I'm a plotter, not a pantser.  In other words, I start by creating a plot that I turn into a loose synopsis and work from there.  I don't write by the seat of my pants as pantsers do--at least not much.  Sometimes my characters aren't completely willing to follow my established plot, and I tend to listen to them.

Every writer's procedure is different, of course, even though some might have similarities.  I've been at this for a while and so my subconscious, on whom I rely, tends to follow it even if I don't give it orders to do so.

So, subconscious of mine, plot on!