Posts Categorized: The Inside Story

Margeret Moseley's Milicent Le Sueur is one of the most charming and delightful characters in crime fiction. Today Margaret, the bestselling author of Bonita Faye, shares how she created the character. It was one of those zipity do dah spring mornings, one of the only fourteen or so we experience in Texas before the big heat comes; I was on the way to the hospital to welcome a new born great-niece into the world. Windows were down and a breeze was blowing. My radio wasn’t on, but I could hear singing outside my car when I stopped for a red light. I sat through several lights (early Sunday morning and no traffic) to listen to a young man, early twenties, good build and blowsy hair, sing... more

Read More of Writing MILICENT LE SUEUR: Born on a Zipity Do Dah Morning

ROAD TO PERDITION is coming back in November and is now available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Google Play.  It’s something of a dream come true for me to finally have my original version out there in the world. In 2002 I wrote a 70,000-word movie tie-in novel (okay, novelization) of the script for the movie that was based on my graphic novel. In my novel, I attempted to be true to the screenplay while weaving in material from the graphic novel as well as historical material about the real John Looney and his era. The DreamWorks licensing department put me through hell, making me cut anything – including dialogue! – that wasn’t directly... more

Read More of Max Allan Collins: The Long Road to Perdition

W.L Ripley is the author of the four acclaimed Wyatt Storme novels, which have won enthusiastic comparison by readers, critics, and fellow crime writers to the best of Robert B. Parker and John D. MacDonald. Today he talks about how his third Storme novel, Eye of The Storme, arose from his fascination with Branson, Missouri. In 1970, Branson, Missouri was a smattering of bait shops and convenience stores, population 2,550. A few years earlier, Silver Dollar City, an 1880’s theme park much like California’s Knott’s Berry Farm was added to augment the tourist attractions of boating, fishing and the outdoor theatre production of “Shepard of the Hills”. Today Branson is "the New... more

Read More of Writing Storme: Neon, Tough Guys, and the New Nashville

Jane Waterhouse's writing has been described by Booklist "as lyrical as a lullaby and as eerily hypnotic as a cobra’s dance" and those talents are very much on display in her blockbuster thriller GRAVEN IMAGES. Here she tells us how she created the heroine, Garner Quinn, and developed the story. GRAVEN IMAGES  was originally written in the third person. Reading through my first draft of the manuscript it hit me like a ton of bricks—Oh crap. This is a first-person story. But it had taken me months to get to this point and I wasn’t ready to give up control to some imagined character just yet. So I struck a bargain with my protagonist, Garner Quinn. I said I’d go back to page one... more

Read More of GRAVEN IMAGES: Finding Garner Quinn’s Voice

Jim Sanderson is the author of El Camino Del Rio, an amazing crime novel that has won enormous, well-deserved praise from readers, critics and authors alike. But it took a while for Jim to achieve that success... time he spent, as he puts it, gathering hyphens and adjectives. And he learned that sustaining that 'hyphenated' success is even harder. Here's his story... For years I was an “unknown writer” before I became an “unknown Texas writer.” Then, I had a very good year and had two books come out. An essay collection made me a “little-known Texas writer,” and a novel made me a “Texas mystery writer.” To succeed financially or critically, a writer needs a niche, a... more

Read More of Success as a Writer Means Gathering Hyphens

From a retrospect, we find that we might have been lucky enough to have lived in certain times and places that turn out to matter. I have two. In the ‘70s I was trying to be a college student in San Marcos, just underneath Austin, when Willie and Waylon invaded and made the area the redneck hippie capitol of the world. I watched, listened, smelled, and felt. I went native. Eventually, I wrote several stories and a novel about that time and place. For most of the next decade, I found myself watching, listening, smelling, and feeling an oil boom then bust in Odessa, Texas. A Texas and western history buff, I was living in a wild-west mining town: Deadwood, Denver, Helena, Virginia... more

Read More of Jim Sanderson: How I Wrote “El Camino Del Rio”