Interview with Robert Rosenwald and Barbara Peters...

Who were the very first authors you signed for Poisoned Pen Press? Do any of them still remain with you, nineteen years later? The first original mystery we published was ONE FOR SORROW by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer. We have since published ten more John, the Lord Chamberlin mysteries set in 6th century Byzantium. In January we will be publishing THE GUARDIAN STONES, a new work set in 1941. The first title you published was a collection of essays about mystery writers in Arizona, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical. What percentage of nonfiction has comprised the PP Press list over the years? And has that...

Short Fiction – COCKTAIL WEENIES AT SEVEN

“Let me tell you something about old miserable bastards, Honey. Once, they were young miserable bastards.” “It’s a drink, it’s some finger food, it’s neighborly.”  “But I don’t want to be neighborly, he’s a prick.” “We don’t know that for sure. He gardens, you can talk to him about that.” “You can tell just by the way he gardens, he’s a prick.”  “Let’s change things up a bit. Maybe he just needs someone to ask him over. You know, to get through that tough façade. From what I gathered, he hasn’t socialized with anyone since his wife and child died and that had to be—what?—thirty years ago.” We must’ve been gathering in totally different...

BEHIND THE BOOK: NICK KOLAKOWSKI

  In my new novel, BOISE LONGPIG HUNTING CLUB, one of my protagonists is an arms dealer; the other is a bounty hunter. The narrative features a lot of guns, to say the least. When researching a new novel, I like as much firsthand experience as possible with whatever my main characters do. In the case of this work, however, the featured weapons far exceeded what you’d find on a typical range—one character uses a rocket launcher, for example. For my descriptions of this kind of heavy-duty firepower, I relied on friends with the right background, all of whom were only too happy to point out where I was being unnecessarily cinematic in my...

Pet Spotlight: A.E. Wasserman and Topper

The Tale of Topper Topper, my Border Collie* muse, can indeed be amusing, but he is also murderous. He entices me to kill people, (in my historical mysteries/thrillers) then promptly helps me solve the deadly crime. He knows where both the bones and the bodies are buried. My muse has his methods. He takes me with him for long mountain hikes on the weekends, up through forests to the high meadows. Away from urban urgencies.  Topper and I follow a trail toward the top of Mount Pinos in the Los Padres National Forest. It’s there that characters enter my head and plots begin to twist and turn as much as the path does through the Douglas Firs....

BEHIND THE BOOK – Fiction in the 1930’...

There are several different ways an author can approach writing a story set in another time period. They can do a lot of research on the time in order to get the historical details accurate. That’s an important part of the process because the same type of reader attracted to historical fiction will most likely know quite a bit about the era in which your story is set and won’t be shy about pointing out inaccuracies in their reviews.  But data on details and events can only get a writer so far. After all, you’re writing a novel, not a history book. It’s up to the writer to do more than just the details right. Tone is equally important, as is...