Crime Ladies

What's not to love about femme fatales?

Archive for the month “September, 2015”

Jesse Sublett: Music, Mysteries, and 1960s Austin Gangsters

The Premise of a Mystery

Here’s a great post on mystery writing from Elizabeth Buhmann

Austin Mystery Writers

A mystery needs a strong premise to succeed in today’s vast sea of manuscripts and newly published books. But what exactly is a premise? And how can you tell if the premise of your book is a good one?

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In Save the Cat, Blake Snyder defines the premise as the idea that promises to be an exciting or interesting story. It’s a short answer to the question, “What’s it about?” Its job is to make you want to read the book. Premise in this sense is similar to the back cover copy (blurb or description) of the book.

What’s a ginthewoodsood premise for a mystery? A child is murdered and the detective has to catch the killer. Not good enough. It’s a murder mystery, but why read this one?

Three children go into the woods. Two are murdered and the third is found covered with blood. He remembers…

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It’s not about the pantyhose

Austin Mystery Writers


(Sue Grafton and my friend Carol Austin at BookPeople on August 31)

by Gale Albright

hutto oct. 1 2014 023 (2)When Hopeton Hay of KAZI Book Review (88.7 FM) asked me to help him interview Sue Grafton, I was thrilled.

Then I was nervous.

Sue Grafton is big. William Holden said that to Gloria Swanson in SunsetBoulevard. “You used to be big.” She replied, “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”

I digress.

Grafton was big and is still big. She penned a long-lived, successful mystery series that made her heroine, Kinsey Millhone, a household word. In literate households, at any rate. Her California female private eye novels have remained big through 24 novels. And Grafton is still penning them, even though she has only two letters of the alphabet left.

Grafton’s most recent Millhone offering, X, is a slight departure from her usual title strategy. Her first…

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Writers’ Police Academy 2015

Austin Mystery Writers

WPA_LogoWhen it comes to writers’ conferences, it can be difficult at times to decide which one is best suited for your needs. Considerations regarding schedules, genre, speakers and panels will all come into play. There is one event, however, that stands apart from the rest because it is, by nature, completely different from the traditional writers’ conference experience.

It stands alone because it’s not a writers’ conference at all. I’ve heard it called “Disneyland for crime writers,” and after attending this year, I agree completely.

The Writers’ Police Academy offers extensive hands-on training and education for writers who wish to learn more about all aspects related to forensics and law enforcement. Want to learn how to photograph a crime scene? Learn arson investigation techniques? Chase bad guys? Learn what it’s like to go undercover in New York City? If so, there is no better place for hands-on learning than WPA.

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