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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Launch for WHISPERS IN THE WIND by Veronica Giolli

My book launch was great. It was quick and that's what I liked. 2-4. I had my table by the door and as they walked in there were chairs in the middle between four tables.

 Two had Indian articles like Jingle dress, drum, moccasins, jewelry and cards.On the other side two tables had food and drinks. At the front I had boxes covered in Indian blankets to look like a coffin. We had a Native American prayer singer who sang as I read the pages out of my book. He was asked by audience to sing another song. We had a raffle of four presents. People told me they really enjoyed themselves. A friend Louie Ulrich put the launch on you tube. tube. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

to Change or Not to Change? Writing Series Characters in Traditional Mysteries: Katherine Bolger Hyde

Our next SJ SinC meeting will be July 2.

Our guest will be Katherine Bolger Hyde.

One of the many challenges of writing a mystery series is keeping the main characters fresh and engaging through a number of books. I’m currently writing the fourth book of the Crime with the Classics series, even though the first will debut on July 12, so I’ve already been struggling with this issue.

My models in all things crime fiction are the great ladies of the British Golden Age—the group I fondly refer to as my “dead Englishwomen”: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Patricia Wentworth. Let’s look briefly at how they handled their series characters.

Poirot and Miss Marple are examples of static characters. Poirot is always Poirot—brilliant, vain, fastidious, reliant on order, method, and the little gray cells. Miss Marple is always Miss Marple—outwardly dithery but inwardly sharp as the points of her knitting needles, skeptical about human nature but kind to the just and the unjust. Christie in fact grew bored with Poirot after a time, which is one of the dangers inherent in a static character. If the writer cannot find new depths in the character over time, the reader may grow bored as well. Fortunately for Christie, her inventiveness in plot creation never ran dry, and thus her readers stayed interested to the end.

Wentworth’s Miss Silver is another static character, but she is so charming we never tire of her dowdy clothes, her Victorian morality, her quotations from Tennyson. The reader finds rest in her presence just as her clients do.

Lord Peter Wimsey, Roderick Alleyn, and Campion are more rounded characters from the beginning, with plenty of depth for the reader to discover as their series progress. Each of these detectives falls in love, marries, and has children in the course of their series, and these events do change them—but in the subtle, gradual ways such changes happen in real life. Marriage and parenthood ground these characters, give them emotional security, but at the same time the additional burden of protecting their loved ones—which, when said loved ones become embroiled in an investigation, can be harrowing indeed. The true evolution of these characters, however, lies in the reader getting to know them better from book to book rather than in any great internal transformation.

The contemporary received wisdom seems to be that, at least in the darker subgenres of crime fiction, a detective must have some sort of fatal flaw or personal demon that he or she wrestles with from book to book. This may be a vice, such as alcoholism, or a traumatic event in the character’s past, or a troublesome relationship, or a secret that must be kept at all costs. The evolution of the struggle with this demon often constitutes the bulk of the character's development.

All these seem a bit too dark for the average cozy or traditional mystery. Here we often see character development take the form of a romance that evolves from book to book. The protagonist may have some unhappy history that makes it difficult for her to commit, but it is rarely as dark and traumatic as one might find in hard-boiled or noir. As the character heals from her past, the romance is allowed to ripen.

The key, I think, to making any of these approaches work is to be sure to create from the beginning a character that both writer and reader can love—love as we would a friend, for her virtues, her quirks, and her flaws. She must have sufficient depth that different aspects of her character and history can come to light in successive books. If she is haunted by something, it must not so dominate her life that its resolution leaves her with no more room to grow.

In real life, revolutions in character are rare (though possible), but gradual growth and change are the norm, and, in fact, the necessary conditions of life. When a character—or at least the reader’s perception of her—ceases to grow and change, she begins to die, and the work may die with her.


Katherine Bolger Hyde is not actually related to Ray Bolger, but she always wished she were (anyway, the name is pronounced the same, with a soft "g"). She was born almost in New York City in 1956 and has lived all over the US, but currently makes her home in the redwood country of California with her husband, youngest child, and two obstreperous cats. Katherine taught herself to read at age four and has rarely been without a book since. She decided at age eleven to become a writer, her initial idols being Mark Twain and Louisa May Alcott. In college she majored in Russian literature and expanded her favorites to include Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Austen, Dickens, and many more.

Katherine writes the Crime with the Classics traditional mystery series for adults as well as fantasy and picture books for children. When not writing, reading, or editing (her day job), she can usually be found singing, dancing, knitting, or drawing plans for her dream house.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Member Kris Lynn's brand new book, BLOOD STONES

The first book in Krista Lynn's trilogy, Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon, is now available. 

This is Kris Lynn's (Krista Lynn's) debut romantic mystery novel.  The story blends Native American Indian lore with a contemporary ghost story in the magic red rock landscape of central Arizona. "Like a spider's web, the spell of the canyon holds two families in the intertwining strands of two quests - one for gold, the other for answers to an ancient curse. After years of living under the spectre of greed and fear, will they finally unearth the truth of the treasure and face the shocking reality of their own uncanny connections to the mysterious entities who protect the secrets of Sunset Canyon?" 

Krista Lynn is a late-comer to the author’s world with a long academic career in earth sciences in her wake instead of years of fiction writing. But, wind has filled all the sails this year, with the release of Blood Stones, the first book in the Haunted Canyon Series.

It’s no mystery why Krista writes about the high desert of Arizona. She grew up on a gold mine about 60 miles north of Phoenix. The closest neighbor was 6 miles or so down the Agua Fria River, or another 20 miles by dirt road. To say it was a gold mine is technically correct, but very little gold was ever mined. It did, however, keep gas in the jeep and food on the table. The real treasure of this placer gold-mining venture was the lasting impressions of living wild on the desert with her brothers, and a menagerie of dogs, goats, and donkeys. And experiencing the magic and spirit of a rugged, isolated landscape where mysteries are carried on the wind, and whispered in your sleep. Years later, these experiences are the multi-colored threads woven into her series of romantic supernatural suspense set in the high desert of Arizona. 

She taught physical geography and GIS courses at CSUF and Fresno City College before taking an Academic Coordinator for GIS Technologies at UC Davis Cooperative Extension where she built a GIS program to assist agricultural research.

She now enjoys the full-time writing life in California with her husband and a menagerie of dogs, goats and one spoiled horse.  

This is the link to my Books Page with the links to Amazon, B&N, Black Opal Books, and Kobo.!books/cnec

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


 By Sunny Frazier

On June 4, Author D.J. (Diane) Adamson risked triple-digit heat to come to the San Joaquin Valley and speak to the Sisters-in-Crime.

Before I reveal her good book insights, I have to tell you how this author keeps busy. First, she writes in the morning before work. She writes about 6-8 hours a day with a goal of 2,000 words a day. Next, off to her job teaching “logical argument” at Glendale College. She puts out a newsletter and reviews books. In her “spare” time she is Vice President of the Central Coast Chapter of SinC and Membership Director of the LA Chapter.

Diane explained her easy-to-remember pneumonic device for writing a good book: REVEAL, RETHINK and RESONATE.

REVEAL: A writer should strive to show something new to readers. This could be new information or a new perspective.

RETHINK: AKA Rewriting. But also rethinking set ideas society might hold.

RESONATE: It’s important that the story, and especially the characters and their problems, produce a sense of recognition with readers. They are more involved is they can relate to what they read on the page. The need for love, reconciling the past and compulsions are some of ones she cited.  

For information on Diane’s books and online newsletter, scroll back and find the article about her.    

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Congratulation Kings River Life!

Kings River Life celebrated their 6th anniversary on May 29th!

A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest

Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.

This is a great magazine for readers and writers! If you haven't checked it out yet, go to