Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Who Are YOU? (as the Caterpillar asked Alice)

SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Back in the day, I used to work for Dance Magazine (check it out if you're a dance aficionado — it's still in print). Once a year, we used to do a survey of readers, asking who they were, what they liked about the magazine, what they didn't, what they wanted to see more of.  Or, as the hookah-smoking caterpillar said to Alice in Wonderland, "WHO ARE YOU?"

When I first arrived at Jungle Reds (over two years ago!), I asked if such a survey had ever been done. "Who's the audience, exactly?" No one really knew, although, from statistics about who buys/reads mysteries these days, one can infer. 

Now that I know so many people from the comments section (Hi FChurch! Hello Gram! How's it going, Joan?) I do have a better idea. But I know there are lots of you who "lurk" (don't really like that word), but come up to us at conventions or readings and say things like, "I don't ever post, but I love the blog!" As Emily Dickinson wrote:

And so, dear readers, this post is about and for you. Please tell us who YOU are. How did you find the Jungle Reds? What are your favorite things? What would you like to see more of?

Today, please take a moment to say hi and tell us yourself in the comments, even — maybe especially — if you've never done so before!

And tell us — "WHO ARE YOU?"


  1. How did I find Jungle Red Writers? Julia mentioned it on her Reader Space site.
    Who am I? Like many of those who comment, I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, a sister [and a twin]; a teacher and a collector of books and Precious Moments . . . .
    Cooking and reading are things I enjoy; driving is something I hate [so, of course, it's a thirty-five mile drive from home to my part-time job at the Church] . . . .

  2. Aw, thanks for asking, Susan! I feel like I "know" so many of the commenters here, too. I'm sure I discovered the blog in its early days because of knowing most of the founders in person through Sisters in Crime New England: Hallie, Hank, Roberta, Rosemary, Jan.

    Who am I? When the blog started (what year was that, anyway?) I had two, maybe three short stories published. My first mystery came out in 2012 and I wrote around the edges of a full-time tech writing job. Now I've been writing crime fiction full time for almost three years, have three multi-book contracts, have seven books (with three more in the next two months!) and a dozen short stories published, am twice Agatha-nominated, and am living my dream!

    I'm also a mom of adult sons who loves to garden, cook, read, and travel, with several unusual careers behind me and lots of international living experiences. And now I'm going to read the comments all day to see who everybody else is.

  3. (Oh, and waving Hi to Joan, who always gets up earlier than I do!)

  4. I'm convinced that Joan never sleeps. ;)

    I honestly can't remember how I discovered the blog. I think it might have been from Hank at the Baltimore Bouchercon? Or it might have been at Malice? I certainly was already following it when I attended the first ever MWA University in Bethesda (what year was that?)

    In any case, I'm one of the few dedicated males who post here regularly. But I happen to know that there are plenty of others who are "lurking" behind the scenes. (I don't like that work either, Susan).

    I'm the founder and sole reviewer over at the BOLO Books crime fiction blog. My day job is as a production coordinator in the academic journals divisions of America's oldest University Press. I regularly attend conferences based around books, theater, and quilting.

    While I feel like I already know so many folks from the comments section - having met many of you in person at various events - but I am looking forward to learning more about each of you.

  5. I followed Hank over to JRW from the Lipstick Chronicles. I was already reading books by most of the Reds, and it was a delight to be able to get to know them on JRW! There are so many things I love about JRW. It's been great to get to know guest authors, and also to follow back bloggers like Edith on the road to the publication of their books. And Edith, I'm beginning to think I'll never get caught up on reading all your books!

    My main hobby is reading, especially mysteries, which I started reading at a very young age. As a youngster, I shared a room with my younger sisters. I had a top bunk. My youngest sisters didn't like the dark, so our bedroom door was open to the hallway, where there was a light on until my parents went to bed. Often I would bring a book to bed with me and lie down on the part of my bed closest to the doorway (the foot of the bed)so I could read in the almost-dark. Until my parents caught me. (Then I'd do it again the next night!)

    I moved to the CT town in which I live around thirty years ago and loved it so much that I eventually went to work for it. (This town is very aware of its history, and preserving historical buildings is important here. I should also mention that I enjoy reading history books, both fiction and non-fiction.) Meeting the public has shown me that there are LOTS of things that are stranger than fiction!

    Deb Romano

  6. I'm a regular reader. I also disdain the term 'lurking', so I'm a reader. I heard about this through Julia's Reader Space site.

    I'm an unpublished author, one novel complete, a second well on its way. Meanwhile, I hail from a farm in Indiana, but travel the world working with the children and families of active duty service members as a counselor. Japan is a frequent country I reside in during the school year.

    I look forward to each post on here.

  7. Who am I? I'm a voracious reader who's always loved mysteries. I'm also insanely jealous of the talent each of you has and one of my deepest fantasies is to be one of you. I admire your talent, your perserverance, and your generosity. Thanks to this blog (which I found via both Rhys' and Julia's blogs) I've read authors I didn't find on my own. I look forward every morning to reading this blog. Thank you for writing it.

  8. This is wonderful! Waving: Amy, Debbie, Deb, Kristopher, Edith, & Joan! How nice to be able to fill in some of the blanks. Raising a virtual glass of bubbly to you all!

  9. I don't remember when I stumbled across JRW. I scan it every morning.

    I've published six short stories in Kings River Life (the latest on 3.14.16 in celebration of International Pi Day) and "The Bride Wore Gold" in the Darkhouse Destination Mystery! anthology.

    I'm putting my first two novels, Custom Decorated Corpse and Curtains for the Corpse, through another round of revisions before the Midwest Writers Workshop at Ball State in Indiana in July.

    I write about a fictional small Ohio college town and New Orleans, where I have family ties.

    Margaret Hamilton Turkevich writing as Margaret S. Hamilton

  10. I'm Kay and I'm a reader for all my life. Mysteries mostly. I have read this blog for years and I do occasionally make a comment. I recently attended Left Coast Crime in Phoenix - my first book convention. I'm still on a high from that. So. Much. Fun. I met so many authors and had several 'fan girl' moments and talked with debut authors and writers who have yet to see their books in print and seasoned authors and fans and.....it was wonderful. I'd love to go again. I've written to a couple of you ladies after reading one of your books in order to express my love for it. I've actually written to a lot of authors and I don't think I've ever had one not respond. Authors are so kind. An happy to hear from you about their books.

    I am a former library staffer and was the 'go to' person at my branch for fiction and mystery especially. I loved and still love 'reader advisory'. I see my blog as sort of that function. Still telling people about books they might want to try. I moderate a mystery book group and have for 8+ years. We have such a good time. This blog is a fun one to check every day. Keep on writing ladies! I'll keep reading!

  11. Hallie, we'll have to reverse engineer to come up with the Jungle Red anniversary --and tell our "birth" day story. So amazing -- I think we are up to or may have passed three million views -- which is incredible.
    And yes I feel as if I know you all -- and it's not really as if. It's true. And you are the joys of my life.

  12. Love hearing from all of you guys (and so glad you thought of the topic, Susan.) We are extremely grateful and honored to have you reading the blog and our books. thanks so much! xo

  13. I am a lifelong voracious reader. It runs in my family. My mother loved mysteries and we were at the local library at least twice a week. I was introduced to Julia by friends and bought her books at the Cathedral Book Store here in Atlanta. I found her blog and that led me to JungleReds. I had read some of Deborah Crombie's books but not the others. Thanks to this blog and to all of you, I now read all of you and many or the wonderful authors you mention on this blog. You have created a Constant Reader in me.

  14. The Cathedral Bookstore in Atlanta! I visited there - oh, goodness it must be ten years ago now. Lovely place.

    One of the things I've loved about being part of the Reds community has been sharing good times and bad with everyone here. Holding people up in illness, celebrating births and weddings, rejoicing when one of our many writers gets that book accepted or short story placed. It's so good to have a place you can pop into and "see" so many familiar faces every day.

  15. I believe I first tuned in to the merriment at Jungle Red after hearing about the blog from someone (Hallie? Roberta?) at the New England Crime Bake perhaps six years ago. I'm pretty much an every day reader, though don't always have time to comment.

    I'm a devoted reader of crime fiction of all description and in the past year I've become a published author myself. The first three books in my Joe Gale series are out in the world. Many thanks again to the Reds for inviting me to talk about them here.

    By day I practice law in Portland, Maine. By night I write. I love being part of this community.

  16. How did I find JRW? I don't remember. Must have been through meeting Hank at either a Bouchercon or when she came through Pittsburgh on a book tour. I read religiously long before I got comfortable with posting a comment (yes, I was intimidated by all of you - and not just Hank, Julia, Susan, Deb, Rhys, Lucy, and Hallie).

    I'm Mary. By day, I'm a technical writer at a software firm in Pittsburgh (and other cities) that makes software for the medical community. I'm the mother of two teens, the youngest of whom is currently giving me fits because he fights me on doing things like homework. Anybody want a 13, almost 14, year old boy? He does chores, but he'll probably eat you out of house and home. I've been married almost 20 years and my husband still puts up with me. And I have MS.

    I've been reading mysteries since I can remember - first Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, which of course led to Agatha Christie, and the rest is history. But really, I read in a variety of genres (not horror) - right now I'm reading a history of the British navy through the start of WWI (I've read it before and it's really good).

    But what I really want to be is a published author. I've "sold" a few short stories to Mysterical-e and had one published in an anthology put out by my Sisters in Crime chapter (I put "sold" in quotes because I received no money for any of them). I bundled them up in a self-published collection, Murder Most Scenic. The stories are set in the Laurel Highlands, just west of Pittsburgh. I am currently querying the first novel in The Laurel Highlands Mysteries and am putting the second in the series through my critique group right now. Depending on what happens in the next few months, I may be self-publishing. We'll see.

    I'm also getting ready to start querying a different novel, Shattered Sight, set in Niagara Falls, NY. I grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, so it's another area I'm familiar with. And a fairly well-known, successful author gave me a lot of encouragement on this one, once upon a time, so I am pretty excited about it.

    Susan, thanks for the opportunity. Such fun reading about you all! And I would love to hear the "birth" story for JRW.

  17. Susan, what a GREAT idea!

    Readers, we love hearing from all of you! We feel such a strong sense of community with you--not just in our love of books, but in shared lives, too. It's such fun to meet our readers at signings and events and conferences, and it's a delight to know WHO YOU ARE!

  18. I honestly can't remember a day when Jungle Red wasn't around. When did it begin anyway??? As far as who I am - I am The Book Pusher. Reader. Writer. Blogger. Picture taker. Mouthy and opinionated and happier than you could ever know to be a teeny little part of JRW. Being able to poke my head in once a month as "Oh, Kaye!" makes me a happy girl. I hope it lasts forever.

  19. Oh, this is really great, you guys! I love hearing about all of you! (And sorry to be so late, but I had had food poisoning last night — convinced a prepackaged salad is to blame -- obviously NO MORE SALAD. How silly was I, trying to be healthy and all that?)

    I do like the term "blog reader" better than "lurker," too.

    Yay! Keep telling us who you are!

  20. I’m Susan and I came to JRW when the Lipstick Chronicles shut down. Like so many others here, I am a lifelong voracious reader. I read other genres as well, but mysteries have become a bigger and bigger portion of what I read. What I really care about are characters, and there is nothing I like better than finding authors who write good, engaging mysteries with characters I find compelling and want to spend more time with.

    What anyone who knows me would probably tell you is that I am happily married and have a grown son. I had a professional marketing career for about 20 years and transitioned into the non-profit world several years ago. I’m a pretty successful grant writer and fundraiser, I sing in my church choir, and I’m a happy person.

    What most people who know me don’t realize is that as I was growing up, I (and everyone I knew) was sure I would be a published author by now. But for 20 to 30 years my life choices meant I barely had time to read books, let alone write one. I wrote some essays and devotions in those years, but no fiction, and now that life has slowed down enough for me to try writing fiction again, I have been very frustrated. It feels like life has sucked the creativity right out of me. I am so accustomed to writing on demand, to a specific word count with some specific objective of persuasion, that I am floundering in my attempts to create something from nothing. I am in a bit of a personal crisis these days, trying to determine whether this is something I can work through, or whether I need to give up that particular dream.

    I enjoy just about all the posts on JRW, but I would have to say my favorites are the ones that introduce me to new authors. It’s funny how there being SO MANY books published each year makes it harder, rather than easier, to find the good ones. This blog is a great resource for that. Plus, as I said, I do love characters, and no one could create a more compelling cast of characters than the Reds and your frequent commenters! I love hearing your personal adventures and updates. This place really does feel like a community.

  21. Helloooooo! Waving from California. I can't remember where I first learned about JRW either, but I know I met Hallie way back when the idea of my Kate Reilly Racing Mystery series was just a twinkle in my eye (and Hallie set me straight about some of my ideas). But I think I came to the blog after meeting Julia at Bouchercon in San Francisco. Of course, that sparked years of fun reading and meeting you all.

    As for me, I'm a mystery reader above all (it's my addiction), a mystery writer, and a freelance technical and marketing writer. And I'm just so damn glad to be part of not only the greater mystery community, but also your tribe in particular.

  22. Wife, mother, sister, friend to many who has many friends, Christian, avid lifelong reader. Have had a library card since 12 years old. Love being introduced to new authors, so thank you to his blog and my favorite mystery authors who are on Facebook and their own blogs. Reading is a transport system and in this day and age I appreciate it more and more!

  23. When TLC shut down I started reading this blog more often, but I was already a bit of a fan before then. Now it's the first blog or site I check daily. I'm still in constant contact with backbloggers from TLC, though. And I've met so many of them in person over the years, along with all the JRW except Susan. I hope to remedy that omission soon!

    I'm a published, non-fiction author, both self-pubbed and traditionally, and have written hundreds of blog posts and magazine and newsletter articles, including some recent work I've done for Cincinnati HOME Magazine. I'm a Master Gardener, and try (desperately) to keep up with two big gardens, one at home and another at our farm in Kentucky, an hour away. I have three grown daughters, all of whom are blessed with good jobs and good health, an 11-year old grandson. My husband of 34 years is a wildlife photographer and filmmaker, second generation. His dad worked for Walt Disney in the 50's; you would remember some of his work, if you are of a certain age. My husband is also a published author, with lots of articles, several books, and a jillion scripts to his credit.

    My hobbies, aside from reading and gardening, are sewing, cooking, nature watching, traveling, and trying to write fiction. Which last item I hope to turn into something more than a hobby this year.

  24. How fun to learn who some of the other followers are. I am a near neighbor of Deb Crombie and became an avid fan as soon as I learned she is a well known author of English mysteries, my favorite genre. As I read more or her work and met her at book signings and then as a neighbor, I became a lover of all things Deb. She is gracious, highly intelligent, talented, and I love her sense of humor. I began to follow the Reds believing "birds of a feather." That was a correct assumption. I enjoy reading the the banter back and forth, the interviews and keeping up with upcoming releases. However, Reds, your prolific bodies of work have taken a huge bite out of my budget. I am a keeper of family and teacher stories who longs to be an inspiring and fun storyteller through a blog and perhaps a self-published book to give to our grandchildren. The Reds blog encouraged me to start my own group of novice writers, several of whom also enjoy living vicariously through the Jungle Reds. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of it today. Anna Evans

  25. Hey, everyone. I'm Kathy and also write as Kaitlyn Dunnett and Kate Emerson. I'm not sure when reading Jungle Red became a morning ritual, but it must have been about the same time we started our blog at Maine Crime Writers. I'm working on what will be my 55th traditionally published book and hoping to see many of you at Malice or, if you live up this way, at Maine Crime Wave on April 9.

  26. Oh, and I'm a 2nd degree Black Belt in Songham taekwondo (the only thing that keeps me in anything resembling shape these days, I'm afraid).

  27. Thanks so much for asking, Susan. I discovered JRW, like many others, when Lipstick Chronicles ended. Much to my delight, there were already two of my favorite authors here and the others quickly were added to that list. Who am I? I'll let my profile from my blog (not currently active) tell you:

    "How many books does a first-grader in 1964 have to read to be first to “reach the moon?” 210 books; that’s the number I read to be the number 1 reader, averaging five books a week if you figure a 40-week school year. My current number? About 5-8 books a week, depending on the number of income opportunities (sounds better than job searching, right?) I’m exploring. Fast forward to this past July, I attended the 17th Annual Mystery Writers Conference hosted by Book Passage, the Bay Area’s Liveliest Bookstore, and discovered (as I really always knew) I’m a reader first and writer, aka reviewer, second. First book I reviewed and then recommended: Harriet the Spy; I was 9 years old. Apropos of nothing, my second grade teacher, Dolores Hitchens (a mystery writer herself), played “Secret Agent Man” while we solved math problems on the chalkboard. I didn’t get around to reading her books until about 20 years after her death, but would still recommend them to anyone interested in pitch-perfect setting and conversation of 1950s Southern California … martini, anyone?"

    I'm more of a reader of this blog, although I've posted probably a dozen comments over the years.
    Thanks to JRW for introducing so many new authors and authors new to me; what a pleasure it is!

    ~Tricia (or TFJ as identified when I comment)

  28. I'm a retired technical writer living in Silicon Valley with my husband and one of two grown sons. I'm very proud of both my sons and my wonderful husband who has supported me emotionally and physically through this forced retirement. I am a lifelong reader starting in childhood with Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, the Brontes, Daphne Du Maurier, Agatha Christie. I found Sharon Kay Penman as a young adult and Josephine Tey, There is a theme here. I'm an avid Anglophile, which led me to Deborah Harkness who led me to Deborah Crombie which led me here to this blog. Deborah Crombie's comment on her favorite music hit a nerve with me because when I saw Branagh's Henry V, I became an instant lifelong fan and I love how she mentions Branagh in a couple of her books and having Melody confess to having a crush on him. I volunteer at my local library three days a week, which is where I realized that Gemma and Duncan were really characters Ina book series and not just something Deborah Harkness made up in The Book of Life. Someone donated a hardcover copy of To Dwell in Darkness, so lmbought it and then started reading from the beginning. I also have read all of the Maggie Hope books, Susan, before I ever heard about Gemma and Duncan. So glad I found this blog.

  29. I came to JRW via Deborah Crombie and Julie Spencer-Fleming. I was surfing the 'Net one day, found their sites and then found this blog. I love the characters and the stories these two write, so, naturally, I enjoy reading their writing on the wide range of topics covered in JRW. Now, of course, I know and follow the other Reds also.

    I am a college communication instructor in the middle of Canada, about an hour north of the border with North Dakota. I love to read and walk and spend time at our cottage on Lake Winnipeg. I love my cat. I'm middle aged.

    There you go. That's me, or at least a version of me!

  30. My first Bouchercon was in Albany in 2013, where one of the panels I was looking forward to the most was the Jungle Reds panel (and it was fabulous). In preparation for this first time at this amazing gathering of authors and readers and book industry people, I had spent my reading time that year catching up with authors who were attending. I read through all of Deb's and Julia's series written to that point and the first four in Rhys' Molly Murphy series (which I finished after Bouchercon and then gobbled up the Georgie series). I read Hank's The Other Woman and Hallie's There Was an Old Woman. I hadn't gotten to the rest of the Reds by the time Albany Bouchercon arrived, but I certainly have caught up since. So, meeting all of you there, except for Susan, was the thrill of my reading life. I learned of the blog, and not long after that, I began reading and commenting. Now, the first thing I do on my computer every day is visit this blog and comment.

    Who am I? This is going to have to be quicker than I want, as I'm sure you all know that I'm capable of quite lengthy responses. But, I have an appointment soon, and so the condensed version. At this point in life, I am a wife (40 years this coming October), the mother of two adult children, and the grandmother to two granddaughters. My husband works in Kansas, so I have lived an independent existence for some years, but he gets home often and takes me to Hawaii when he has to go there, so it works out well. My daughter, who is 32, and my son, 28, are prayers come true, as it took some work to get them here. My granddaughters are my reward for some unknown goodness I must have done, because they are pure joy and light for me.

    My personal passion is reading, which naturally has resulted in my blog, The Reading Room. I review books and talk to authors on the blog, as well as the occasional article on something bookish in general. It has given me a wonderful outlet to share my reading with others. I taught English years ago, spent time as a writing coach for students, and worked for my husband and his father when they had a retail business. I had always hated numbers, but I ended up being a bookkeeper in their business and really enjoyed it.

    I was born in a little town on the Ohio River, Maysville, Kentucky, and I still live on the Ohio River in Owensboro, Kentucky. Maysville was famous for being the home of Rosemary Clooney (now more famous for George), and it was an idyllic place to grow up. I still have a sister and brother who live there with their families. I have life-long friends from that beautiful little town, and I find myself more and more appreciative of it as I grow older. But then, I think we all tend to appreciative the simple things of life more with age.

  31. I came to the blog through Facebook. I am so fortunate to be Facebook Friends with many of you whose books I so eagerly look forward to and I love chatting with you about all sorts of things. Hi, Deb, Hank, Kaye!

    Who am I? I'm your constant reader in Dallas, TX. My husband and I own a special events design firm, J MONROE DESIGNS. Other than work and reading I love to cruise and I'm firmly under the paws of two cats. Short and sweet.

  32. Long time reader, first time poster! I don't remember how or when I first came to JRW, but I suspect I Googled Deborah Crombie or Julia Spencer-Fleming since I always Google authors I like to see what else they have out there for me to read. Since then I've added everyone else here to my list of authors. I love this site, and read it first thing every morning unless I know I have a long and/or difficult day ahead of me. Then I save it as a pick-me-up for the end of the day.

    My name is actually Cindy Crawford, but I don't use it online much since then everyone wonders if I'm the supermodel. I'm not. I've had several jobs over the years, none of them modeling, and currently teach at a university. I'm also a voracious reader like everyone else here. I'll read anything, but mysteries are my favorite, a lifelong love that started with Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys. I'm also an unpublished writer, with an almost-ready to query mystery set in space. (I also like science fiction so I combined them, although there's very little science in my science fiction.)

    Margaret Turkevich, I'm also going to the Midwest Writers Workshop in July!

  33. I am an avid reader both in french and english. French canadian from Quebec working in accounting but reading all the time .
    First I met Louise Penny, then read her book,then followed her blog, then discovered LTC where she posted something.
    When LTC shut down, invited by Hank, I came to JRW and stayed.I read your books and liked them
    I come everything day but in the evening after work where the discussion is often over,so I rarely comment.
    Also I am not very fluent in english.

  34. What fun to read everyone's comments! For years now (gosh, how long? I don't know ...) I've admired the community the JRWs have cultivated here. It's amazing -- it's why I keep coming back.

    Anyhow ... I think I learned about Jungle Reds through the Murderati blog--remember that blog? That was a good one, too, and in the same community spirit as Jungle Reds. I was sad when they disbanded.

    Who am I? Writer, bookworm, wine drinker and dog lover who rarely makes her bed, loves smelly cheeses (the smellier the better!), and mourns her disappearing jawline.

  35. Hi everyone! Waving to you from Houston, Texas on a nice mild sunny day. I think I found JRW through Julia's website. I've been hooked ever since. I've been a bookworm since I learned to read. Books are a necessity, not a hobby! I've worked as an accountant and/or CPA since forever in various places, dependent on where my husband was working. He has been in federal law enforcement and corporate security/loss prevention forever. He has also written a mystery based on his some of his cases and self published years ago. he's written 2 or 3 others but hasn't done anything with them. I became "self unemployed" at 50 when a move took us to Minnesota from Ohio. I just decided I'd had enough and wasn't jobhunting ever again forevermore. Being an accountant was so different than what I thought I'd do when I was in 4th grade. I was going to be a private detective in outer space.
    Let's see. I have a grown son who had his stint in the Army and is now pursuing a college degree. He has a wicked sense of humor which I relate to. After we moved here in 2006 I started volunteering at the natural science museum and had a ball. I gave that up a couple of years ago as parents and inlaws started going downhill. At this time I have a really sharp Mom who is 96 and my mother-in-law who is about to turn 90 but has dementia; no short term memory. That is hard.
    As long as I have books to read and can do some traveling I am happy. Park me somewhere in the dirt and let me look for fossils and I'm ecstatic. Same thing with the beach;love to look for seashells. So, enough already! I'm happy to read about you fellow readers and envy you writers your unique talents.

  36. Hi, everyone -- I am a 69 year old retired Middle School English teacher. I love to write, and have been to conferences and workshops -- and have participated in small peers review groups -- one for 20 years and another for the past three/four years. I get great ideas but rarely see them through. I used to be pretty hard on myself, but now I just do what I do. I have reached a place in my life where I don't make myself feel guilty about what I don't get done.

    I have recently welcomed my fifth grandchild, a little girl, and moved with my husband to New Haven, CT to be near this baby and her family. I am loving it.

    Anyway, how did I find Jungle Reds? I took a wonderful class from Hallie at the Cape Cod Writers Conference many years ago. I have always loved mysteries and had read her early books (if you have not read them, I recommend them -- very psychological). After that, I started on some projects and went twice to the Connecticut writing retreat where I met Roberta/Lucy and Hank. Fabulous!!! While I was there, someone mentioned Jungle Reds and I became a follower.

    Sometimes I skim the blog -- especially interviews with new authors that don't immediately grab me (my TBR pile is MAMMOUTH, and I don't need too many new suggestions). But I always check it out, and will comment if I think I have something to add.

    You are the authors I really appreciate and love to read!! Thank you for your daily devotion to this clever and interesting and welcoming platform.

    My recent writing has been through NYC Midnight contests -- they are great fun and the writer receives very specific and helpful feedback.

  37. Deb Romano --your comment brought to mind how I used to hang out of my bed and hold a book at a certain angle so that I could read after my (much too early) bedtime!!

  38. This is SO much fun! SO lovely to see you all! Tea? Martini? xoxoo

  39. Hello, all! I'm a retired HR manager in Silicon Valley who has been reading since I was very young, thanks to my parents. (One of my earliest memories is sitting on a stool in front of my kindergarten class, reading "The Big Billygoat's Gruff" to my classmates.)About half of the books I read (170) in 2015) are mysteries, and I've read and enjoyed books by just about all of you Reds. I read several book blogs, but yours and Lesa Holstine's are my daily favorites. I actually don't remember how I found your blog, but I've always enjoyed it and I'm commenting a bit more lately.

    In 2014 my husband and I attended Left Coast Crime for the first time--it was in Monterey, so we could drive. That event changed my life because I met so many authors there, and some of them became Facebook friends. About a year later I asked one of them, Terry Shames, whether a reader could join Sisters in Crime, and she gave me an enthusiastic "yes!" Attending SinC events and hearing all about mystery writing has NOT inspired me to be a writer--I know my limitations--but I have become my chapter's new newsletter editor, reviving a publication that has been nonexistent for the past 3 years.

    We attended LCC in Phoenix in February, and it was just as much a thrill as the first time, and this time I felt more confident about approaching authors I didn't know.

    Please keep those daily blogs coming--they are a treasured part of my day.

  40. I found TLC when searching for news of Elaine Viets, whose columns in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch my mom and I had both loved. From there, I found other blogs and back-bloggers, and more wonderful authors. I have have time to read now that I'm not teaching six classes of high school English every day, so I thank you for all the "heavy lifting" to supply my book habit.

  41. I'm Flora and like many others, I think I came to JRW through reading Deborah's and Julia's books and searching for news of their next offerings. What I enjoy most is hearing from all the JRW writers and their guests about the process of writing. Somehow, it's reassuring to hear how Hank wrote most of a novel and then changed the name of a character and finally, the character came to life for her.

    I'm a lifelong reader and writer--nothing published in terms of fiction, just in my field. Now I'm semi-retired and helping my youngest nephews find their wings into adult life.

  42. I usually lurk, (it never occurred to me to question that word!) sometimes comment and sometimes even guest. I came to the blog because Lucy, Hallie and Hank were all friends and mentors. I was thrilled when Julia and Deb were added, because I was already a huge fan of both. (Their entire series--serieses?--survived a major bookshelf purge last fall.) Now I've read books by all the Reds. Blog on, ladies. Love what you do.

  43. It all started at the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne, WY (first county library in the U.S.). I was "lurking" around the C.J. Box section and happened to glance over and see an interesting name, Rhys Bowen. I picked up a Molly Murphy book and never looked back, read all the Molly and all the Georgie books. I think I came to JRW from Rhys's blog. And then I started reading Deb, Julia, Susan and Hank. I have frequently throughout my life found new authors by just roaming the stacks in my local library (many of them, as I have moved lots) looking for interesting titles and/or cover art. And the "New Book" section of the library has yielded some great results. That's where I found the first Richard Sharpe book by Bernard Cornwell. Which later led to a huge crush on Sean Bean as he played Sharpe in the series on Masterpiece Theater. (You did say you wanted to know who I am, right?)

    I've read voraciously since I was a child. Like one of the earlier posters, I started with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, then moved on to more adult mystery writers. My favorite is Dorothy Sayers. But I am also completely mad about good historical fiction. Sharon Kay Penman, Bernard Cornwell and Dorothy Dunnett are favorites. I've also recently become completely hooked on Deanna Raybourn and Lauren Willig. Such fun!

    Hopefully I will never run out of new reading material, but if I do, there is plenty of great stuff to re-read.


  44. I've posted comments a few times, but I mainly read and stay quiet. This is one of my favorite sites and I look forward to spending time here everyday. I don't remember exactly how I found my way to JRW but I know it had a lot to do with Deb Crombie.

    I'm a retired librarian -- spent 10 years in a small nonprofit and another 20-plus at a big corporation. Once retired I moved back to my hometown just outside Rochester, NY. Now my time is spent volunteering at our local public library and enjoying my family. And reading. Books are a huge part of my life and have been since I was very little. I read my way through the children's and teen section of the library -- Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames, and a series of biographies written for children were my favorites.

    These days my reading is primarily mysteries and history. I read in hard copy, e-books and listen to audio books. My TBR pile is one day going to topple and kill me but, what a way to go! And I'm going to my first Bouchercon this year. Can't wait to get to New Orleans!


  45. What fun to read everyone's comments!

    Loved reading since childhood. Attorney grandfather gave me a gift subscription to Nancy Drew book club. A teacher also introduced me to mystery novels around the same time.

    At age 12, I read Agatha Christie, which was a challenge!!! Now it's easy reading AC.

    I met Penny Warner, author of Connor Westphal mysteries ( now Code Busters - new series), who introduced me to Rhys Bowen. I loved her Evan Evans series. Rhys mentioned jungle red writers and I checked it out. Always enjoy reading JRW.

    Thank you.


  46. So wonderful to read every single comment--and glad you shy people are introducing yourselves. this will make us work even harder to find ways to entertain and touch you, because you mean so much to us!

    ps Mary Sutton, you are a trooper and a role model!

    pps Susan, hope you find a little group of writers to hang with, and a class to take with a wonderful teacher--it's such hard work. Hard to get your sea legs alone

    blowing kisses to all of you!!! xoxo

  47. Lucy I'm not sure what I said to earn the term "trooper," but thanks (she says with s slight blush).


  48. Hello, JRW gang. Sorry I'm late to the party. I hosted my book group today and, oops, guess I needed to spend some time pushing the dust bunnies around. An all-too rare occurrence, I assure you.

    Anyway, thanks, Susan, for inviting us to tell our stories--what a fascinating community.

    I'm glad to be part of it, although I'm more often a reader than a poster. I've been a professional writer all my life--mainly working in the field of public health--and just wrote my first mystery about a year and a half ago. I'm into my second revision, after which I'm sending the ms off to an editor (recommended by one of the Reds). Then after more revision, it's off to agents--again (no bites the first time around).

    I resist the term "cozy," but my book does feature a small town and an amateur sleuth. But she's more prickly than cozy.

    I'm a passionate reader and write a blog about books (not limited to mysteries), writing, and reading: exlibrisnc.blogspot.com I'm lucky to live near Chapel Hill, NC, in a bucolic community that's home to a terrific indy bookstore, McIntyre's Books (where Hank has read). What sustains me? Walking trails, great coffee, family nearby, wonderful friends, a sweet old (15 years) Jack Russell Terrier, and gardening (camellias and spirea all in bloom now).

    Again, thanks for the opportunity to participate.


  49. Long time daily reader but I have only posted a few times. I came to the blog via Deborah Crombie. I hail from the Dallas area, and I work as an IT analyst / consultant. I love reading and sharing my love of books with others. My favorite books are mysteries, but I also enjoy scifi, fantasy, history, biography, etc. I have attended a few Malice conventions and the last six straight Bouchercons. I also enjoy watching many British TV programs, yoga, traveling, and movies.

    Thank you for having this blog. It is always a wonderful place to visit each day. I will try to post more often.

  50. Hi ladies,
    As others have stated, reading the JRW blog is a daily pleasure. I believe I found the blog by the name, the movie
    " The Women" is a favorite of mine. I have always loved reading, starting with Dr Seuss and fairy tales, then on to Alcott, LM Montgomery and gradually mysteries entered the mix. I work in patient services for a medical group in Massachusetts. Reading is a huge part of my life, along with music (yeah Hamilton!), spending time with family and friends and hanging with my 2 cats. This blog is always so well written and interesting and thought provoking that I never miss a day!

  51. Reading all of these with much delight.. xoxo

  52. ANd just so you all know--we all look at every comment every day! And we are so delighted to know you…thank you thank you thank you...

  53. Hello everybody,

    I read the blog almost every day and comment only occassionally. I came to it by the way of Hank. I'm a member of the SInC Guppy chapter and was impressed with Hank's generous advice. So when I met her at the airport for the Pikes Peak Writer's conference (I was the "dead body") and she was just as lovely in person, I had to know more about her. Her website led me here. Since then, I've come to admire all of you and have fallen in love with the blog. My day doesn't feel complete unless I've had my daily dose of JRW. Thanks for the laughs, the rants, and the insightful posts.


  54. I'm a little late to the party here. I've been reading the blog for several years now but never posted. I can't remember how I first found it, but I think it was due to my love of Julia's novels. I've read at least some from most of you now - or listened to, as I love Audible books (and you've got some great narrators). I've read a lot of mysteries for many many years, so this is a natural. Of course, reading the blog contributes greatly to expanding my already huge TBR pile....