Thursday, July 24, 2014

National Anti-Boredom Month

Yep, July is National Anti-Boredom Month.  What do you do for fun?  (Since we're pretty much all readers here, we'll make that a given for all comments - unless you really want to talk about reading.)

JB: I daydream. A lot. I people watch. A lot. I play with my dogs. A lot. I'm a fan of music and movies. I'm big on long walks, quick bike rides, and watching the sun rise and set. I'm really big on dreaming dreams and making lists of how to accomplish them.

B.E.:  I don't know how much fun I'm having, but I know life is rarely boring.  I watch nature for the most part when I'm not reading or writing.  The birds, the bugs, the deer.  I also garden and work on improving our home.  I'm pretty excited this week because the crepe myrtle I thought I'd killed is getting ready to bloom. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Choosing a title

I'm currently struggling with coming up with a title of my second Matchmaker Mystery.

As a rule, titles are not something I excel at.

I DID come up with Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman and couldn't believe it when the publisher let me keep it.

I didn't come up with Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman…that was their idea.

I also didn't name The First Victim. (I called it Her Nightmare.)

I did name The Mutt and the Matchmaker.

Titles are important. Like book covers, a good title should convey the tone of a book and entice readers to check it out.

My process is to brainstorm a list of words that might work in a title. Then I make up a list of possible titles. Then I cut the list down to the best possibilities. Finally I send my list out to my trusted advisors (one MUST have trusted advisors).

Like writing a book, coming up with a title is a complicated process, but coming up with a good one is worth it.

Tell me Killer Friends: What are some of your favorite titles?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman Excerpt

I'm so disgusted with my current WIP that I can't even mine a scene from it, instead I'll share this one from FURTHER CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN

You just know it’s going to be a bad day when you’re stuck at a red light and Doomsday is breathing down your neck.
In this particular instance Doomsday happens to be a seventy-pound Doberman pinscher. Instead of having the voice of doom, she sounds an awful lot like an air-headed, bimbo-y blonde. “Way that! Way that!”
Did I mention that Doomsday has really lousy grammar?
“Not that way,” Severus Snape drawled from the front passenger seat. Okay, not really Snape, but God … zilla, a talking brown anole lizard with an attitude to match his namesake.
Have you followed all this so far? The superior talking lizard is in the front passenger seat, the breathy Doberman is in the back, and I, Maggie Lee, am in the driver’s seat, even though it doesn’t feel as though I’m in control of this wild ride we’re on.
I know this whole thing sounds crazy. I know animals can’t talk, but ever since I was in a terrible car accident a month ago, I can understand them. Of course I haven’t mentioned this little side effect to anyone, because I’m afraid they’ll lock up my crazy ass in the nuthouse (hell, with my luck, they’d probably make me room with my mom, who’s a long-term resident), and I’ve just got too much to do to let that happen.
Which brings me to why God and Doomsday were arguing about which direction we were headed. I needed to kill someone at a wedding.
It’s a toss-up which I hate more: killing people or weddings.
Unfortunately, I’m getting pretty good at both.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Killed a Man Last Night

Okay, so we actually took the weekend off from working on the house

I mean, it wasn't like I spent the weekend laying around eating bonbons.  I didn't take the weekend off writing, just manual labor.  To that end, I killed a man last night.  Sure, I'd killed him before.  Heck, I've probably killed him at least three times by now.  He wasn't a good man, but he wasn't evil.  He was just stuck in bad situation of his own making and I guess karma caught up with him.  I feel sorry for his family, but since they never make an appearance in the book, I guess they really don't matter.  They only exist to make him somewhat sympathetic anyway.  Making him an old bachelor wouldn't have had the same impact.  Ya know?

Sometimes I kill a character off and it's somewhat cathartic for me.  Sort of a 'take THAT, stress and daily woes!' thing.  Last night's murder wasn't like that.  I guess I only really get that when I kill off bad guys.  Not that this dude didn't deserve what he got.  He was a dirty cop.  He was on the lam, living under an assumed identity after killing a man in suburban Detroit twenty-some years ago.  But he was trying to live a good life now.  (Hence, the wife and kids.)  And he did feel bad for what he'd done in the previous scenes.

Too bad for him, the people he did it for didn't appreciate his work.  So I had them kill him.  They had to.  They're bad dudes.  I'm still not quite sure who they work for, but trust me, they're bad.

So, tell me, Killer Friends, what makes you care whether a character gets murdered?  What makes you hate the ones who did it?

Friday, July 18, 2014

She's lucky she's cute

I shouldn't have named her Smudge.  DESTROYER would have been a better fit.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How do you take your dog?

Fittingly, July is National Hot Dog month.

We're wondering how you like yours:

B.E.: My ultimate hot dog is a Koegel Vienna.  Ah, the snapper (cuz they snap when you bite into them).  Unfortunately, you can pretty much only get them in Michigan or via mail order - which is totally too expensive.  As for toppings, my husband and I have been having this debate since we met.  He thinks hotdogs should never EVER have ketchup.  Mustard only with maybe relish, but never ketchup.  Says it's un-American.  But I like ketchup on my dogs.  And mustard.  And relish.  Sometimes cheese.  And every rare once in a while, Miracle Whip.  (But never on a Koegels.  That's sacrilege.)

JB: I'm pretty close to being a purist. Grilled hot dog in a bun with spicy brown mustard. (NOT yellow mustard. No sauerkraut. No relish. No catsup. No chili.)  Now I'm craving a hot dog (not a frankfurter, corn dog or soy dog)

So, Killer Friends, how do you take your dog?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jennifer Hillier author of THE BUTCHER kills me

I "met" Jennifer Hillier over four years ago (maybe five) when we both had the same agent and neither of us had yet sold a book.  We (along with the talented Joann Swanson, TIN LILY ) started Killer Chicks almost four years ago.

Back then we had grand plans for where our writing paths will take us. Jenny's has pretty much stayed the path. Her agent sold CREEP and she was off and running. That was followed by FREAK and her third book, THE BUTCHER was released yesterday. (Go, Jenny!)

I, on the other hand, have taken a totally different path. I'm no longer with that agent and instead of the dark thrillers I thought I was going to write, I've found a niche of sorts writing comedic crime novels with a touch of romance.  (I still dabble with dark thrillers, but I'm taking forever to finish one. My current agent is extraordinarily patient with me.)

So much in our lives has changed in the time we've known each other and yet we both keep plugging along. We both keep putting out books. We both marvel at the paths we've taken. We're both still chasing writing-related dreams.  We're even attending a writing conference together later this year. Funny how life works out.

From the author of the acclaimed suspense novels Creep and Freak and whom Jeffery Deaver has praised as a “top of the line thriller writer,” TheButcher is a high-octane novel about lethal secrets that refuse to die—until they kill again.

A rash of grisly serial murders plagued Seattle until the infamous “Beacon Hill Butcher” was finally hunted down and killed by police chief Edward Shank in 1985. Now, some thirty years later, Shank, retired and widowed, is giving up his large rambling Victorian house to his grandson Matt, whom he helped raise.

Settling back into his childhood home and doing some renovations in the backyard to make the house feel like his own, Matt, a young up-and-coming chef and restaurateur, stumbles upon a locked crate he’s never seen before. Curious, he picks the padlock and makes a discovery so gruesome it will forever haunt him… Faced with this deep dark family secret, Matt must decide whether to keep what he knows buried in the past, go to the police, or take matters into his own hands.

Meanwhile Matt’s girlfriend, Sam, has always suspected that her mother was murdered by the Beacon Hill Butcher—two years after the supposed Butcher was gunned down. As she pursues leads that will prove her right, Sam heads right into the path of Matt’s terrible secret.

A thriller with taut, fast-paced suspense, and twists around every corner, The Butcher will keep you guessing until the bitter, bloody end.