Crime Ladies

What's not to love about femme fatales?

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

Sisters in Crime ~ Heart of Texas Chapter

Author Jesse Sublett will be our guest speaker at Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter’s meeting, Sunday, October 11 at 2:15 p.m. at the Yarborough Public Library. He will play guitar, sing songs, and talk to us about gangsters in Austin, among other things. He will discuss how he came to write 1960s Austin Gangsters and Never the Same Again – A Rock & Roll Gothic (his memoir).

Jesse Sublett Jesse Sublett

Jesse Sublett is the author of numerous novels and nonfiction books. Sublett’s long-awaited, heavily-researched chronicle of the Timmy Overton Gang and the Dixie Mafia in Austin during the 1960s, 1960s Austin Gangsters: Organized Crime that Rocked the Capital City, was released by History Press in 2015. Sublett is the author of several crime novels as well as last year’s nonfiction Broke, Not Broken: Homer Maxey’s Texas Bank War. Among the fans of Sublett’s murder-and-cancer memoir, Never the…

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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?

photo (45)

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 CAROL AUSTIN

(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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Sue Grafton Discusses Latest Kinsey Milhone Novel, X, on KAZI

KAZI Book Review with Hopeton Hay, KAZI 88.7FM, Austin, TX

imageSue Grafton’s latest Kinsey Milhone thriller, X, is a dark and chilling novel, featuring a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath, but the test for her iconic private investigator Kinsey test is whether she can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.

Sue Grafton (© Laurie Roberts Porter) Sue Grafton (© Laurie Roberts Porter)

Tune in Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CST/1:30 p.m. EST to KAZI 88.7FM  for my interview with Sue Grafton.  I was joined in my interview by KAZI Book Review contributor Gale Albright, a local mystery writer and vice president of the Sisters In Crime heart of Texas chapter.  In our inteview Sue Grafton discussed how she researches her novel, why men should read her Kinsey Milhone novels, and how she keeps a positive focus when writing her novels.  Sue Grafton published her first Kinsey Milhone novel in this alphabet series, A…

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Show Time

Austin Mystery Writers

BP MOW 2

by Gale Albright

hutto oct. 1 2014 023 (2)It’s early Monday morning. Actually, it’s about 8:30 Saturday night, but I’m working on this blog post ahead of time because I’ve got so much to do to get ready for the big show.

The big show, otherwise known as the book launch for Murder on Wheels, an anthology of crime stories authored by Austin Mystery Writers and friends, will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, August 11, at BookPeople.

BookPeople picSo, pretend it’s early Monday morning and I’m setting the scene for the big show. My main thought right now is not, “Will I read beautifully in front of an audience?” or “Will there be an audience?” or “Do I need to take some crackers and cheese down there?” but should I get a manicure with (sigh) painted fingernails?

I guess Stephen King and David Baldacci don’t worry about manicures before they show up…

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Join AMW for the Launch of Murder on Wheels ~ August 11

M. K. Waller

Please join

Austin Mystery Writers

Gale Albright, Valerie Chandler, Kaye George,
Scott Montgomery, Laura Oles, and Kathy Waller
&
Earl Staggs and Reavis Wortham

as they celebrate the launch of their first crime fiction anthology

MURDER ON WHEELS:
11 Tales of Crime on the Move

“Eleven stories put the pedal to the floor and never let up! Whether by bus, car, tractor, or bike, you’ll be carried along at a breakneck pace by the talented Austin Mystery Writers. These eight authors transport you from an eighteenth-century sailing ship to the open roads of modern Texas, from Alice’s Wonderland to a schoolbus yard in the suburbs of Dallas. Grab your book, hold on to your hat, and come along for the ride!”

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
7:00 p.m.

BookPeople Bookstore
6th Street and Lamar

Austin, Texas

“There is something for everyone…” ~ Amazon Review

“…light-hearted (and occasionally black-hearted) collection of short stories……

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Movie Review of Mr. Holmes

Austin Mystery Writers

First off, let me say that Ian McKellan knocks it out of the park. I can’t imagine a better choice to play an aged Holmes. Everything about his performance was stupendous. Things like how he carried himself, to the minute changes he had in his facial expressions, conveyed exactly what Holmes was thinking and feeling

We see Holmes just after WWII. That’s right, WWII! So he’s 93 in this movie. Holmes is struggling with the degeneration of his most prized asset, his mind and memory. The idea was jolting to me. It’s a bit like Superman without his super strength. But, as we know, it can happen to anyone. And it becomes more and more apparent to Holmes that this is happening. So he must confront this impediment while trying to recall the details of his last case.

We also see his humanity. Traditionally Holmes been portrayed as an observer…

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Writing Fiction Is Hard

Austin Mystery Writers

portraits 004 (7)by Gale Albright

Writing fiction is hard.

That’s a very subjective statement. Do I mean it is just plain hard, all the time, in all kinds of weather? Do I mean it’s hard for me in general? Am I therefore implying that writing non-fiction is easy?

I mean writing fiction is hard compared to writing essays, journalistic pieces, blog posts, and publicity notices.

It’s not that these other forms of writing are easy.

What I’m really talking about are rules.

Yes, rules. There just aren’t that many rules in writing fiction. Fiction is very subjective.

Journalism and essay writing and blogging are, of course, subjective as well, but they have more rules.

You might say that lack of rules should make writing fiction easier. Your mind is free to run riot. There are no fences to block your imagination. You can roam wide and far in your creative mind and…

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It’s Not About You

Austin Mystery Writers

once upon a timeWhile attending Malice Domestic in Bethesda, MD last month, I overheard a small group of authors gathered in the hotel bar discussing the issue of whether family members or friends thought a character was actually a portrayal of them. It seemed each had a story to share. One author’s sister felt a character was based on her. The author, however, stated the two–the sister and the character in question–had very little in common. The sister had picked up on one particular behavior and, from that point, assumed the entire character was based on her. It caused a bit of a family kerfuffle.

A quick online query about the topic will reveal many writers discussing how someone–a loved one, a friend, a colleague– believes a character is based on her and is unhappy about it, even when the author assures her it just isn’t so.

That’s not to say that certain…

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