Norway Has Noir; Just Ask Jo Nesbo,  by CHARLES McGRATH,  June 15, 2012

“At first I was pretty sure [detective Harry Hole] didn’t have anything to do with me, but then I realized that wasn’t true. All writers write about themselves — that’s inevitable. You put in your basic values, your views on politics and popular culture, the way you think about other people. It’s really hard to have a main character with whom you don’t share these things. But then there are things we don’t share at all. He has an addictive personality, and I guess I can relate to that, but I’m not an alcoholic.” He smiled. “And for some reason he’s not a big fan of my band.”

While looking for something about which I’ve completely forgotten, I clicked over to the Malice Domestic website and saw that the featured guests have already been added for next year’s convention.

[please insert squeal]   [and insert the erasure from my mind whatever I was looking for when I clicked]

Peter Robinson!!

Elizabeth Peters this year and Peter Robinson next year?  I may just lie down and be happy ’til then.

I often moan about no longer living in Europe, which was home for 20 of my adult years, but being able to attend Malice without flying in a plane almost makes up for the homesickness.

Rhys Bowen, author of the books about Lady Georgiana Rannoch and Molly Murphy, poses a question about the entitlement felt by readers because of authors who give away full-length books online.

Giving it away, Rhys’s Pieces

A secondary concern is the amount of “rubbish” available, but the main concern is the expectation from readers that writers will work for free.

In this morning’s newspaper, I read that Dorothy Gilman, the author of the Mrs. Pollifax spy stories, died last week.  So sorry to read that.

Dorothy Gilman, ‘Mrs. Pollifax’ Novelist, Dies at 88

Somehow, through the years, I’ve missed finding the books by Rhys Bowen.  I’m not complaining because I love finding established writers who are new to me — it’s such a pleasure to see a backlist so that I don’t have to wait for new books.

Rhys Bowen has more than one series and the one I chose to start with is Royal Spyness, the stories of Lady Georgiana Rannoch.  Cozy mysteries are nice to mix in between police procedurals (latest by Ian Rankin) and spy thrillers (an oldie by Frederick Forsyth).

Marja McGraw guest-writes at the blog, Buried Under Books.  Maria’s topic is setting in novels, and how popular authors use this to their advantage.

  • Listen To Your Reader

    Interestingly, I’d just been on a panel at a conference where we discussed settings. The general consensus of the authors on the panel was that setting is paramount to the story in most cases. Readers want to feel like they’re the fly on the wall while they read, and that’s difficult to do if the setting isn’t described in the story.

Read more at the blog

In my writing, the situations of the characters I’ve come up with are all dependent on place.  The characters’ situations aren’t generic troubles that could happen anywhere, but are woven into the scenes of the crimes.  For me, setting is almost a character itself.

With luck (practice and patience), someday you’ll be able to see what I feel.

It’s been awhile since I read one of the Inspector Ghote books, but I immediately recognized the name H.R.F. Keating in the ‘famous obituaries’ column  in this morning’s newspaper.  In looking at Mr. Keating’s online obituaries, I’m pleased to see that even without a guide in any of the books as to how the inspector’s name sounds — very pre-Internet with no idea of Google searches — I pronounced it correctly in my mind.

Inspector Ghote is a police officer in Bombay, India.  I know the proper name of the city is Mumbai, but in the books, Inspector Ghote lived in Bombay, and since I’ve read these books from a young age (the first book dates from 1964), Bombay is the name in my mind.

Mr. Keating wrote another series of books featuring Harriet Martens, a character I haven’t yet met, and I look forward to reading about her after my next trip to our local mystery bookstore.

Elizabeth Peters introduces her latest Amelia Peabody book, A River in the Sky.

Next stop, the mystery bookstore.

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