Friday, May 31, 2013

Allison Brennan on Storytelling

I love dark, epic storytelling with happy endings.
It probably started when I was thirteen and read THE STAND by Stephen King. After 99% of the world is killed by a deadly virus, our survivors are faced with an even deadlier battle, in the name of evil Randall Flagg. Most of the people we grew to love and hate in the 1200 page tome (yes, I read the unabridged version) also die. The ending is happy(ish.) Bittersweet, but Stu and Frannie (and Frannie’s baby) survive. They defeat evil and begin to rebuild. 

Hugely satisfying.

Epic storytelling generally involves high fantasy, but after reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy in high school, I haven’t been a fan of fantasy. I loved the story, but there was a lot of other stuff that made me skim lots and lots of pages. My 17 year old daughter read the first two books of the Game of Thrones series and she enjoyed them, but said she was finding herself skimming a lot as well, even though she was worried she’d miss something. So we are watching the Games of Throne series this summer to get caught up because from what my daughter has heard, it’s as good as the books without the boring parts.

I understand the need for storytellers who have to build a world to incorporate scenes, chapters and even hundreds of pages of histories and events, and there is a large groups of readers who love that level of detail.

I’m not one of them.

Epic storytelling works amazingly in film, especially when there’s a franchise and storytellers can world build over time, adding layers with each movie while still making each movie a solid story. 

STAR WARS came out when I was eight. I saw it in the theater and was completely in awe. This was 1977, and we hadn’t seen anything as vivid and epic and fast-paced as STAR WARS. It opened my mind to possibilities I hadn’t even known existed, let alone thought about. Not just the world of science fiction, fantasy, or alternative worlds, but the breadth of storytelling. When I was eight, I was reading Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. STAR WARS blew me away. 

Even though George Lucas always said he had seven stories planned for the Star Wars franchise, I was disappointed when he sold the rights to Disney. I was disappointed in the second trilogy because they didn’t hold true to some of the details in the original trilogy which, to me, is perfect storytelling. The second trilogy was less than perfect. I didn’t buy into some of the characters actions and decisions. The only thing I really loved about the second trilogy was Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi. (But who doesn’t love Yoda?)

 Yet … JJ Abrams is set to direct the seventh Star Wars movie, and I am cautiously optimistic. It’s like when I know Joss Whedon is involved in a project, I am already on board because he’s an amazing storyteller. And in the end, it’s always about the story.

One of the reasons I’m cautiously optimistic is because JJ Abrams directed the reboot of the STAR TREK franchise. (Okay, yes, I’m a nerd. Kind of obvious, isn’t it?) The first movie was good, but INTO THE DARKNESS was amazing. It was the exact kind of epic storytelling I love—action, suspense, battles (both internal and external), moral conflict, and a multi-dimensional villain. (And I didn’t love it just because Benedict Cumberbatch was the villain. Though I loved him, too!)

Much of great epic storytelling is dependent on the actors being IN character, and I think Abrams brought in an amazing cast (particularly Zachary Quinto who plays Spock—I love him in everything he does.) But because the story was there, and the actors became the characters, and I went along with the ride. J

Epic storytelling isn’t just on the big screen; quieter versions exist in television. The first season of HEROES, for example, was an epic storyline that, like King’s THE STAND, brought together disparate characters in a final battle where some became heroes, and some became villains.

I also consider the recently completed first season of THE FOLLOWING starring starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy to be an epic storyline. I think it was one of the best written shows on television this year—dark, suspenseful, and very well-written. There is a happy(ish) ending to the season, but then wham! The writers give us a twist. This isn’t a series you can watch just one episode—you have to go from beginning to end. It’s an over-arcing epic story told for the small screen. It gives you the depth of character that you rarely get in two hour movies – the same depth of character I see in novels like THE STAND.


What do you think? Is there a different formula for epic storytelling in books than in the movies? Do you like all the high-level detail in fantasy novels, or prefer the movies? Did you see Star Trek? Iron Man? The Avengers? Or are these high-speed adventures not your cup of tea?

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Allison Brennan is the author of twenty novels and several short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children. Allison's latest Lucy Kincaid thriller, STOLEN, will be out this coming Tuesday, June 4th. You can find out more about her books, and get a printable list of her series, at her website

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Perfect playlists

ROSEMARY HARRIS: We've yakked about the summer switcheroo, changing closets, curtains and even dishes but one of my fave things - and it's easier than packing away heavy bedding and curtains - - is the summer playlist.

I'm not saying that you can't listen to The Beach Boys in November, but isn't it special to hear them when the sun is shining and you're headed for the beach? Like hearing Bruce Springsteen just as you emerge from the Holland Tunnel? The Grateful Dead in San Francisco? Frank Sinatra when you're in Vegas?

People always talk about the perfect pairing of wine and food.. After the first glass whatever it is is fine with me. Who cares?

But the perfect music can totally make the experience.

A few years back a friend of mine made an Italian playlist when a group of us were leaving for Tuscany. Everything from Tosca to Tony Bennett.  Dean Martin and Dominigo Medugno Awesome. Still is. I transferred to ipod list.

The Beatles in London. Edith Piaf in Paris. Sly Stone and Chad and Jeremy at the beach. The Godfather soundtrack in Palermo. Carmen in Seville.  Sidney Bechet (pictured) in New Orleans.

I can remember totally embarassing a friend when he picked me up at LAX. I popped a cd into his car's stereo and started singing to Randy Newman's I Love L.A. Okay. Not exactly subtle. 

Favorite summer music? I couldn't stop singing Call Me Maybe last summer, and wonder what this year's song will be.

What's your perfect pairing of music and place or experience? Favorite summer song?

Bye bye, so long, farewell....


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Addicted to Brit TV

ROSEMARY HARRIS: More years ago than I care to remember, I was addicted to a PBS program called The Forsyte Saga.

It was the Downton Abbey of its time.Based on a series of books by John Galsworthy people watched the ups and downs of the Forsytes, mostly Soames and Irene (pronounced for some weird reason
I-ree-neee) Forsyte, with the same obsessive dedication that some of us now follow Lady Mary and the guy who died.

I must have gotten the dvd set as a present - easily 2-3 years ago - and never got around to watching it. It might seem crazy to bring dvds on vacation, but my DH read at least 8-9 books on Florence and the Medicis before our trip and I knew that we would be visiting every piazza where Cosimo and Lorenzo ever had a gelato. And we did. Somedays 9-10 hours of walking.

I was also writing - working on the WIP, a short story and a garden club presentation. By the time 7pm rolled around I wanted to veg. (Until dinner that is.) What better way than to watch a little video?
Yes, I might have brought The Borgias or Roman Holiday (for Italian floavor...) but I had the set of TFS and stuck it in my carry-on at the last minute.

Yippee. Once I got over the cardboard-y sets (it was, after all, made decades ago)I was totally hooked! I even watched the extras, which were hysterical, as BBC announcers polled people on the street as to whether they were pro-Soames or pro-Irene. Surprisingly, I was more sympathetic to Soames this time than I was 30 years ago. I enjoyed it so much I may even give the remake (with Damian Lewis of Homeland) a shot.
Anyone else remember Soames and Ireneeeee? Young Jolyon? Philip Bossiney?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I never watched it! But now, I will. (A good series never dies..I bet it would be fun to watch LA Law again.) Although--when they recently re-did Upstairs,Downstairs, it was not so successful.. (And tell us about Florence! I LOVED it, and got hooked on food and leather and coffee and history and art. It was crazy crowded with tourists...but no one cared. Is that where the Enoteca Pinnchiori is? Do you know it?)

RO: Do not know the Enoteca, but climbed cupola at Duomo, stayed at Villa san Michele in Fiesole, visited Bargello, private tour of Vasari Corridor at Uffizi, Botanic garden, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens and so much more. I resisted the lure of leather but treated myself to a small espresso maker and another gorgeous Aurora pen.

HALLIE EPHRON: I didn't get hooked on Forsyte Saga, but I did watch Upstairs Downstairs and, speaking of Italy, I Claudius. Call the Midwife didn't entrance me, but I confess to never missing Doc Martin.
What would I do without Public TV? LOVED the opening episode of Scott & Bailey. If you missed it, find it! I'm hooked.

RO: I've watched I Claudius so many times I could probably nail all the speaking parts. Love it! May be time to watch again..

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, Ro, I watched it! Loved it! Read all nine Galsworthy novels, such was the state of my devotion! (Not sure I could do that again...) I haven't been tempted to watch the remake. I don't think it was very well reviewed, and I didn't want anything to spoil the first one for me. The remake of Upstairs, Downstairs was sacrilege enough--next thing they'll be re-doing Brideshead!
Hallie, Scott and Bailey is fabulous!!! My fave on public TV at the moment. Also really like a little comedy called "rev." about an East London vicar.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: See, I thought the Victorian-era pronunciation of Irene WAS eye-REE-nee, because it's derived from the Greek. I'm dead certain I've heard Irene Adler's name pronounced that way, and that's always how I say it in my head.
Which is neither here nor there, since I didn't see the Forsythe Saga. For me, it was POLDARK. Oh, how my young self swooned over Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark. (I married a man named Ross. Coincidence? I think not.) The wicked Warleggens! Ross's nasty uncle! And his passionate relationship with Demelza, unhappily married to his loutish cousin. To this day, my heart beats faster when I see a man dressed in 18th century waistcoat and breeches.

RO: Was so bummed when I learned that the adorable actress who played Demelza had passed away.

DEBS: Julia, did you see the post last year where I talked about Robin Ellis? Poldark! If you missed it, here's the link to his blog:
I love his cookbook and use it all the time. And he's as adorable as ever:-) 
 RO: So Red readers, are you addicted to classic Brit TV? Whichwere your faves?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

She Bangs

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Last week I was in Italy - it was fabulous - and for whatever reason, call it the protein from all the cheese I ate - my bangs decided to have a growth spurt. Kind of like Jack's beanstalk. One day fine, next day I couldn't see. Calling the concierge and asking for scissors was out, I was staying in an apartment and no amount of round brushing or smushing to the side was working.

I have heard that cutting one's own hair is a sign of mental illness. Call me crazy. And I did it with the itty bitty scissors on a Swiss Army Knife. My hair grows really fast, what's the worst that could have happened?

Oh...think Moe Howard. Margaret Mead. The kid on the Dutch Boy paint can.
People who wear bangs will share my pain. As the bangs go, so goes the whole head. At the risk of being one of those women who wears her hair the same way for her entire life, I just can't see myself without them. Long, short, permed, highlighted, hennaed ("give me ahead with hair...long, beautiful hair!")the bangs are a constant.
I grew them out once when I was sixteen. Hideous. With my round face I looked like a Cabbage Patch Doll.

LUCY BURDETTE: I used to have bangs, back when my mother would line us up and clip a ragged line across all four kids. but I've had the same cut now for at least fifteen years--short. I keep thinking I might like to grow it out, but I can't stand the shaggy stage more than a week. I don't think I'd take a Swiss army knife to it--but I might.

HALLIE EPHRON: I'm with you, Ro. I wear bangs and my hair grows out f-a-s-t... so I'm always trimming them and trying not to look like Buster Brown (does anyone but me remember Buster Brown?) And whenever I do I identify with Kinsey Milhone who cuts hers with a nail scissors.
But I've had long long hair and short short. Bangs, no bangs. A few ill-advised perms. And I've let it go a streaky silvery grey because I'm too lazy and too cheap to do anything about it, and hey, it looks okay to me. It's real real.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Buster Brown! (With Froggy Gremlin "Dooo ya Dooo ya?) 

Anyway. I would never ever cut my own hair, not a bit, no way. I'd be terrified. (You know what happened the last time I did it, right? At age 16?

I GAVE MYSELF a Sassoon? Long on one side, up over my ear on the other? I loved it, but I thought my mother was going to pass out.)

What's my style constant? I'll tell you: "NO cleavage on TV."  Easy as that.

 DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, BANGS! My mom cut mine straight across the middle of my forehead with the sewing scissors until I was a teenager. I HATED them. Then I grew my hair into a long shag (remember those?), then cut it short in my early twenties. Grew out chin-length with bangs in my early thirties, with a few very, very ill-advised perms. Then short again (author photo on first dust jacket--ack!)
After I sold that first book I grew my hair out (along with the divorce, a symptom of rebellion) and wore a chin-length bob (no bangs) until about five years ago. I cut bangs, and layers, which I love, and I don't imagine I will ever go back to no-bangs. The only downside is the same as Ro's and Hallie's--my hair grows really fast. But I've never resorted to the nail scissors!

ROSEMARY: So Reds and readers, what's your style constant? The thing you wouldn't dream of changing or being Hank's leopard print shoes, only no fair mentioning them, Hank!( that I'm home I've had a pro clean up my hatchet job.)

And in honor of women with bangs, here's Ricky Martin and She Bangs

HANK: And I have to say, I simply do not understand the song "She Bangs." And I don't wanna know..
ROSEMARY: I don't really get it either but he looks so fine - does it matter?

Monday, May 27, 2013

They Shall Grow Not Old...

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Barbeques, pool openings, Memorial Day is filled with those activities. It's the unofficial start of the summer season - blockbuster movies and the smell of Coppertone.

Of course, it's more than that.

Today, I'm thinking of a man I never met. I became aware of him when I was about eight years old.
I remember asking my mother why her youngest sister - certainly the most beautiful of all the DeMaria girls - had never married.

She told me Aunt Jenny's fiance had died in The War. I went back to whatever I was doing (making mudpies...tormenting my sister..)and didn't think much about it until I was a bit older and bothered to ask a few questions.

Jenny DeMaria and Henry Marino grew up on Adelphi Street in Brooklyn. In the same way everyone in the working-class Italian community seemed to know that my father and mother would marry everyone knew that Henry and Jenny were destined to be together. Except they weren't. As a teen my cousins and I thought it terribly romantic that our aunt was still pining for her lost love. She never married.  In my twenties, I thought it neurotic.
Now it makes me think of all the friends and family members forever changed by the casualties of war. All wars. All nations.

Rest in Peace
Cpl. Henry J. Marino
KIA, Battle of Iwo Jima
23rd Marines,USMC

Gone but never forgotten.

This is a beautiful reading of one of the most famous poems of World War 1, In Flanders Fields. It always reminds me of how  much some of us have given.

HANK: Thanks, RO. I can't hear that without crying.

My mother used to talk about the gold stars that appeared on her high school walls one by one, day after day...indicating another classmate had been killed in World War II.

LUCY BURDETTE: Hats off to all the folks who lost their lives trying to protect what they loved. I have never seen anything so sad as the cemeteries in Normandy. I know that war changed my father permanently...he kept in touch with his WWII buddies right up until the last months of his life.

HALLIE EPHRON: We take so much for granted, like the people who put their lives on the line every day for the rest of us. We have many friends who served in the Vietnam War. Fortunately they all came back; all of them were changed.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I'm all for picnics and flag flying, but it doesn't seem to have much to do with honoring those fallen in war. In the UK and Commonwealth countries, they celebrate Remembrance Day on November 11th, the official date of the end of WWI. Poppies are worn by young and old for weeks in advance, and poppy wreaths are placed on all the war memorials. On that day, there is a two minute silence at eleven o'clock. It's very moving, and makes the loss seem very real.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I wrote the story of 1st Lt. Melvin Spencer for Memorial Day two years ago. It started like this:
"You see them in long-range photos on the evening news and old black-and white pictures in books about Vietnam. They are iconic; the woman in a black dress, her heels sinking into the dirt that always seems softer around anew grave. The man in front of her is wearing a uniform so starched and polished you feel you could cut your fingers on the crease of his trousers, or be blinded by the sun off his brass. He is handing her an American flag, tightly folded so that only the blue star-spangled field shows. The other details vary: there may be a trumpeter, or a rifle volley. There may be four planes overhead, one arching away, lost in the sky. There may be motorcycle-riding angels and protestors. But there is always, always the uniformed man. And the woman. And the flag.
Mine is on an old chest of drawers in my bedroom."

I'll leave the rest at Command Posts. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

When the Cook-out Becomes a Cook-IN...

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Help! It's a cold and rainy Sunday here in Maine, and it's going to be a cool Memorial Day - no rain, but with highs peaking in the sixties and a brisk wind, I'm reconsidering entertaining outside in the wet backyard.

The problem is: what to serve? Our usual Memorial Day cookout fare consists of 

with plenty of
for our vegetarian friends.

I make my mother's
and we usually pick up some fancy
from the Hanneford. Ross will make
and I usually put together
(not from scratch. I use the pre-made biscuits.) We'll serve
and of course
for the kids. So you see my problem. Just looking at the pictures makes me shiver, and not in a good I-just-can't-wait way. More like a Put-on-another-sweater way.

Help, dear readers! I need a Memorial Day get-together menu that cooks well indoors and works when it's 50 degrees out and everyone wants to revert to their winter eating habits. Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Once Upon a Body: a guest blog by Michele Drier

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Michele Drier's first mystery, EDITED FOR DEATH, got an enthusiastic thumbs up from her fellow reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan. Michele previously published the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, a series about sexy vamps who run celebrity scandal sheets (IN TOUCH suddenly makes sense, doesn't it?) So what got her into penning this:
 Amy Hobbes never expected to solve anything tougher than a crossword puzzle. When she left her job as a journalist in Southern California, she planned to give the adrenaline a rest, but her next job, managing editor of a local newspaper, delivers some surprises. After a respected Senator and World War II hero dies and two more people turn up dead, the news heats up. Both victims had ties to a hotel owned by the Senator's family. With the help of reporter pal Clarice and the new man in her life, Phil, Amy uncovers a number of shadowy figures, including a Holocaust survivor who's spent sixty years tracking down Nazi loot. It's a complex and dangerous puzzle, but Amy can't walk away until she solves it.
It wasn't just so she could run for president of the Sisters in Crime GUPPIES (although she 

totally is!) Turns out the real-life stories she covered put her in mind of murder...

Edna Buchanan, the Miami Herald’s Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran cops reporter, had a big following before she started writing novels. Probably her most famous lead, "Gary Robinson died hungry." was taped to thousands of reporters’ computer monitors around the country.
Covering the cop shop doesn’t always result in interesting, bizarre stories, but a lot of the time it involves murder. And beyond the grisly serial killers, the mass murderers, are quirky ones.
The drug dealer whose pals shot him, stuffed his body in a sleeper sofa and were sitting on it watching TV when the cops arrived.
The real estate agent who was shot with a crossbow while waiting for clients in an empty house.
I spent about twenty years, on and off, in newspaper newsrooms around California. I didn’t cover the police beat, but I assigned the reporters who did, and I edited their stories. And what stories.
When I was at the San Jose Mercury-News, there was a rash of serial killings in the Santa Cruz Mountains. With typical gallows humor, somebody would say “any new bodies,” every morning and get a sour look. Six young women disappeared and the bodies of another woman and her friend turned up before Edmund Kemper turned himself in. He also killed his grandparents in an earlier spree.
In the little town of Lodi, a tweaker broke into a house where three teen girls were. He assaulted two of them and kidnapped the third. Two days later, with the local police, sheriff, the California Highway Patrol and the FBI on his trail, he let the girl go in a local pasture and surrendered. He called my police reporter and gave her an exclusive jailhouse interview. The next calls I got were from both the DA and the Public Defender’s offices, trying to subpoena the reporter’s notes. The first time in memory that both the prosecution and the defense wanted unpublished information.!

Later in Modesto, a woman, her daughter and a friend disappeared from a motel on the edge of Yosemite National Park. We were the closest large newspaper and covered the disappearance, the search, the FBI work, the family, the discovery of the burnt car, finding the bodies, the murder of a young Park worker and the eventual capture of Cary Stayner.

As we covered murders over the years I thought this is what I’d use if I ever wrote a novel—how newspapers cover murders, how they play them, how much they interact with the police and how journalists dig to find facts. 
Many of the stories are stranger than can’t make some of this up. 

One of my favorites: My police reporter covered an arraignment. The bad guy pled guilty. She wrote a brief. Then I watched her on the phone, getting agitated. When she hung up she said it was the bad guy, yelling at her for saying he pled guilty. Why? Because, he said, “I told you I was innocent!”

What’s your favorite stranger than fiction story?

          Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism — as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers – she won awards for producing investigative series.
          Her mystery Edited for Death, called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review is available at Amazon. She’s working on the second book in the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries, Labeled for Death, out in spring 2013.
          Her paranormal romance series, SNAP: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, is available in ebook, paperback and audible at ebook retailers. All have received “must read” reviews from the Paranormal Romance Guild. SNAP: The WorldUnfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story andDanube: A Tale of Murder are available singly and in a boxed set at Amazon, B&N and Kobo. The fifth book, SNAP: Love for Blood rated 5 stars, is now out. She’s writing SNAP: Happily Ever After? for release in summer 2013 and a seventh book in late fall 2013.

You can find out more at Michele's website and at her Amazon author page. You can also friend her on Facebook!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dreaming, a guest post by Kate Flora

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Kate Flora is a tiny woman with a giant presence in the world of crime fiction. Kate turned to writing after a career in the Maine Attorney General's office. Her books include seven “strong woman” Thea Kozak mysteries and three gritty police procedurals in her star-reviewed Joe Burgess series. Her true crime, Finding Amy, has been optioned for a movie. She's a Goddess - a retired president of Sisters in Crime. She's one of the moving forces of the New England chapter of the Sisters in Crime. And she's a writer who continues to... dream.

When I was growing up on a chicken farm in a small Maine town, money was often tight. Bill collectors really did knock on the door, sometimes the phone got turned off, and there was a large hole in the bathroom floor waiting for the money to get it fixed. We stapled plastic over the windows to keep out the drafts. We grew our own food and budgeted things down to the last cent. Our refuge was books. Books and the Sears and Roebuck catalogue.

When that enormous, thick book would arrive in the spring and the fall, I could let my child’s imagination run. What would my summer wardrobe be like? With my 4-H training, I knew about mixing and matching, and I would design the perfect combination of pants and shorts and tops. My wardrobe squared away, I could turn to furnishing my someday house. What thick, fluffy towels I would want. What color sheets. What my rugs and furniture would be like. Not having too much was likely a blessing. I didn’t get to waste my time shopping, except in my imagination. It is that imagination, tuned up as a mechanism for entertainment and escape, for imagining other worlds and other lives, that has led me, as an adult, to create the worlds of my fiction

I decided to set practicing law aside and try my hand at writing mysteries when my younger son, Max, was born and I decided to be a stay-at-home mom. I bought a computer and began writing a law school mystery, A Matter of the Will. This week, Max got engaged. Next week, he turns thirty. I spent the first ten years of his life, and the first ten of my dedicated writing career, in the unpublished writer’s corner. My early years of delayed gratification, spent imagining and enjoying the possibilities, and to keep forging ahead without reward, served me well during those years.

It’s nearly twenty years since my first Thea Kozak mystery, Chosen for Death, was published, and I am still finding that those early years of learning to enjoy the possibilities serve me well. In 2007, Finding Amy, the true crime book I co-wrote with Portland’s Deputy Chief Joseph K. Loughlin, was nominated for an Edgar. I woke to find my e-mail queue jammed with congratulations. It was a wonderful moment, and I got to have the months between learning of the nomination and the night of the Edgars to bask in the honor and enjoy the recognition of my peers. I never cared whether I won or lost, just like I really never cared whether I would get those clothes or that furniture from Sears. I got to enjoy the moments and feel the pleasure.

A week ago, I got an e-mail from my friend Lea Wait, congratulating me on being a finalist for the Maine Literary Awards. A few minutes later, I got the official notice. Redemption, the third book in my Portland, Maine police procedural series, was one of three finalists. Once again, I am enjoying the moment and appreciating the fact that my book has been recognized. I’m in very good company with fellow nominees Paul Doiron and Katherine Hall Page. Both of them my friends. Both excellent writers. But right now, I’m kind of wishing I could just skip the awards ceremony in Portland on May 30th, because I am enjoying the here and now. I’m enjoying the possibilities. The maybe a new line in my bio. Maybe a sticker to slap on the book jacket.

I’m also enjoying the certainty—that a shy, bookish chicken farmer’s daughter from a small Maine town, who devoured books from the Vose Library and dreamed of being a writer, has become one.

 You can find out more about Kate and her books at her website. You can follow her on Twitter as @kateflora, and she also blogs at Maine Crime Writers.