Five Reasons Why Authors Need Pets

I have a lot of pets. It’s right in my standard bio: Kelley Armstrong lives in Ontario with her family and far too many pets. No one asks where I live in Ontario. No one asks about my family. It’s the pet part that gets all the questions. What kind do you have? What are their names? We currently have one dog (a 14-year-old beagle—Joey) 3 cats (6-year-old Maine Coon siblings—Rafe and Annie—and an 8-month-old Bengal, Cam.) Also fish and one gecko. Yep, a lot of pets. As a writer, I’m convinced they’re a career requirement…or at least it makes a fine excuse for having them. So, here are five reasons authors needs pets. 1) Silent companionship....

FIVE THINGS: Kris Frieswick

The Five Ghost Stories That Shaped My Storytelling When my mother was pregnant with me, she claims she developed an insatiable craving for horror stories—specifically ghost stories. As a child, I was obsessed with ghost stories as well. They were literally in my blood. I grew up and became a full-time journalist. (It seemed a more stable career path than “full-time horror story writer,” though some days they feel like the same thing.) Then, about 15 years ago, I heard a real ghost story that sucked me back into my love of the genre. The result is my debut novel, THE GHOST MANUSCRIPT, about a rare book authenticator who is aided on her...

FIVE THINGS you didn’t realize you were dying to k...

Let’s go with the old journalism five Ws. What: You know them, collective nouns, also known as terms of venery, are those singular words we use to label groups of things, like a pride of lions, a school of fish or a quiver of arrows. When they are familiar we scarcely notice them, they’re just words, right? But often they are poetry: a murmuration of starlings, an ascension of larks, a lamentation of swans, a murder of crows. Or comedy: a slouch of models, a heep of sycophants, a whored of prostitutes.  Collective nouns appeal to the stuffy, pedant1 and the libertarian, neologist2 alike. They are the dark matter in our language3; every noun...

FIVE THINGS about NANTUCKET COUNTERFEIT: A Henry K...

1) Your protagonist, Henry Kennis, has to be the world’s most literate police chief, bar none. How did you decide to create a cop who writes poetry on the side?  Steven Axelrod: First of all, I write poetry myself — very much like the accessible reality-based verse that Henry composes, which is not really in fashion now. The wife of one of my MFA program professors, a very prominent modern poet, read NANTUCKET FIVE-SPOT (which was written as my creative thesis) and remarked. “I love the fact that hero is such a bad poet! So charming.” I guess I couldn’t resist the urge to let some of these “bad”...

FIVE THINGS – AN EMPIRE FOR RAVENS by Mary R...

1) The John the Lord Chamberlain series, of which this is the 12th installment, was the very first novel published by Poisoned Pen Press back in 1999… How did you and Eric manage to connect with the Press, since they had virtually no track record back then? It’s an interesting not to say unlikely story. Poisoned Pen Press was founded in 1997 and that same year published A-Z Murder…Goes Classic, a collection of papers read at a crime conference in Arizona. The topic was what makes a mystery a classic, and the compilation was nominated for the 1998 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work. We wrote to the...

Five Movies and Books that made me the writer I am...

The creative process requires a great deal of input, a constantly changing stew of ingredients. Trying to narrow down only five things that have influenced me as a writer is a difficult task, like trying to rope the wind. In no particular order, here are three books and two films which have had a big impact on my writing. A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR by Dennis Lehane. Arguably one of the finest detective novels of the modern era. Lehane’s debut takes all the old tropes—a troubled investigator, his attractive associate, a psychopathic sidekick—and makes them fresh and believable, giving the characters a depth and emotional resonance rarely seen in...