Sunday, January 27, 2013

Is that a gun in your teapot...?

I really don't like guns, but the ones shown here are pretty cool!  Of course, these guns would be useless in a murder mystery.

Tea for two?  And then there was one...

Chocolate that's to die for!

Shoes for a Femme Fatale!

Happiness is Flower Power, Baby!

I have no idea what to say here... But I'm thinking "Annie Get Your Gun".

I want one of these for my morning coffee.  Don't speak to me until I've had a cup!

I really wonder what person out there had the time, the imagination, and the skills to make this?  Works on a metaphoric level, I guess.

I'd love to see a Jazz Quartet using instruments like this!

NB: I have not listed sources because I found each of these images on many websites and the original source was unclear to me.  I simply Googled "funny + gun" and "creative + gun", etc. and the images above turned up on multiple sites.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Chat & a Chai...

Today, Sasha was interviewed by decorator and amateur detective Chloe Carstairs over at Chloe Gets a Clue.  Swing by and hear what these gals have to say about sex and sleuthing...

Chloe Gets a Clue website

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recent Reads: Rainmaker Angels Chopin

Terrific!  A great bio, very well written.  I learned lots of history, plus much about art, music, literature. 

Meh.  I wanted to like this but it was overdone.  I didn't finish it... Far too heavy-handed.  I usually like Gopnik's writing.

What can I say?  I'm a Grisham fan.  A real page-turner.  I have no idea what the magic is, but Grisham seems to have found the secret for writing books you just can't put down.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

More Bad Sex Writing

 WARNING: The following may cause celibacy!!! 
Read at your own risk!!!

These are real passages, from real books.  Each is an egregious example of writing about sex.  They were each nominated for the  Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award.  

The Quiddity of Will Self, by Sam Mills: “… oh, yes, oh, semen-bedizened blood-pusillanimous bed onanistic quiddity fulcrating pelvic thrusts.” 

Back to Blood, by Tom Wolfe: “Now his big generative jockey was inside her pelvic saddle, riding, riding, riding, and she was eagerly swallowing it swallowing it swallowing it with the saddle’s own lips and maw.” 

Noughties, by Ben Masters: “We got up from the chair and she led me to her elfin grot.”

Rare Earth by Paul Mason: “He switched to some ancient steppe language as he ejaculated, blubbering and incoherent. Khünbish collapsed below the neck of the horse, where he clung now, like a forlorn circus rider, as the steppe cacophony segued seamlessly into the kind of trickling-stream-plus-birdsong music they play in mental hospitals to calm things down.” 

The Yips by Nicola Barker: “He knows her body now; a ripe, red plum, its yellow flesh pressing out against the smooth arc of its cool, fragrant skin. He understands the basic groundwork, has visited the orchard like a hungry finch, has gorged on the fruit and rejected the pips, has explored the geography.”

The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine: “And he came. Like a wubbering springboard. His ejaculate jumped the length of her arm. Eight diminishing gouts. The first too high for her to lick. Right on the shoulder.” 


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Parodies & Updates...

Blood and Groom is FREE today on Kindle!  And it was listed as a feature book this morning on eReader News Today - which is pretty cool and very flattering!  

As well, the freebie promotion also got picked up by the blog eFreeBooks! It's very nice to see and very encouraging to note that the book is getting some attention!  Yay me :)

In other news: My third book, The Lies Have It, has been parodied by Randall R. Peterson.  I love it!  Randall's limitless imagination has come up with a story called The Flies Have It (check out the terrific cover!)

Randall has been having a blast tweeting lines from his crazy version, such as:

THE FLIES HAVE IT: “Just a piece,” Smasha told the Captain as she rolled him into the Toronto night. “I’m into forking too.” 

 THE FLIES HAVE IT: “What are you gonna do?” Captain coconut exploded as Smasha waved the sticky fork from his desk drawer. 

THE FLIES HAVE IT: Smasha followed the dragging fork marks, with so much fruit in Toronto there was bound to be a few nuts.  

THE FLIES HAVE IT: “An ape!” Juicycuts squealed when she arrived. “You’ve peeled for less, why not?,” Smasha told the orange.

THE FLIES HAVE IT: “Smasha arranged by cell phone to have her pal Juicycuts fill-in for her while the ape built his nest.” 

For a deeper look at Randall's vivid imagination, check out his blog There Is Magic In Everything.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Interview with author JJ Collins

You write historical NONfiction, primarily about American history (politics, military, and more).  What led to this love of history in general?  American history in particular?  Were you a history major?

My father and family were great historians and loved nothing better than crowding around a fire and telling the old stories of mystical and rebellious Ireland. My Grandmother was very proud of being English and again, she always was proud to talk about English history, the Royal Family and wider English heritage. 

In terms of American History, my love of all things American came when former President Ronald Reagan visited Ireland in 1984. He was a fantastic speaker & leader, oozes care and compassion for the people from the podium. He really inspired my desire to learn more about America and the Irish connection. Naturally, my interest over the years extended far beyond the Irish-American historical aspect alone. What has always impressed me most on my many visits to the USA, is how patriotic Americans are about their heritage and history, and so they should be. 

No, I majored in Business, but I have started the long and hopefully, eventual successful road towards acquiring a PhD in American History & Politics.

We’ll discuss your published books in a moment, but I’d like to know a little a bit about your current work in progress (or pending release).

My next release (April, 2013) is a book all about the recent 2012 presidential race in America. It starts back in January 2010, and follows the initial primary race, wider general election race, the relevance and importance of the race and what the next four years are likely to hold for America. It’s quite a comprehensive piece of work, but I believe it will be pretty reader friendly even for the neutral.

Not counting anything you are working, on or plan to work on someday, what historical story do you think really needs to be told?  Or better yet: What story needs to be retold, from a different angle?  What aspect of American History is under-represented or under-reported?

I actually think we need to better educate and inform people regarding the intricacies of the history of the Middle East. I base this not on any potential terrorist threat but rather, on a need to better understand the immense amount of history associated with the region.

I think a story the needs to be retold is about the partition of India. It caused such an upheaval at the time and a vast amount of bloodshed, I feel the very human  element to the story and how families were/have been affected even to this day has been lost.

I think the War of 1812 is very-under represented in American history. It is amazing how close America came to defeat, in this second war of independence. The consequences such a defeat would have had on the future of what we now call the United States of America and other issues like slavery potentially could have been massive.  

This is probably a too-big question with a too-big answer, but how do you do your research for your books?

I do my research through a combination of visits to the USA, historical associations & societies including the Library of Congress, The British National Library, Internet, newspapers etc. It all depends on the exact nature of the book I’m writing. For example, I’ve spent the last two years researching, writing and commentating on my next book which will be released in April 2013. I’ve incorporated a lot of a political blog I wrote during that period into the book.

I tend to do a strategic plan of the research required and best sources before I even start writing a book. I spend at least 3-6 month researching each book. 

Name three nonfiction history books that might turn a nonfiction reader into a fan?  Or that might pique a non-history buff’s interest?

The Prince by Nicolo Machiiavelli – This is an exceptional little book and people can learn a great deal both personally and professionally from reading and studying it.

Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin – Always been a favourite of mine and long before the movie Lincoln. It really did depict the challenges facing President Lincoln and his cabinet at the time of the American Civil War. There were possibly the greatest assembled cabinet in American history until President Nixon’s first cabinet, this statement being a matter of much debate over the years.

The Clash of Civilisations & the Remaking of World Order – Samuel P. Huttington – This book has become more and more relevant in recent times and is an absolute must for any student of politics or international relations. It captures many of the challenges we are now facing in the modern world.

We “met” each other via Twitter.  What do you think of social media and being a writer?  How has it helped you as an author?

Social media has become an absolute must for Indie authors. Firstly, you get to meet and interact with many other wonderful authors and share your experiences, frustrations and celebrations collectively. Writing can be a lonely experience at times for some, so social media can be a good means to gather feedback or advice from other authors. 

Secondly, I would also say having a good network makes spreading the work about your work easier, but it is also important that you support other authors too as far as possible.

I often ask fiction author interviewees what fictional character they’d like to have dinner with, so I’ll twist that question a bit for you: What Historical person would you like to bring back to life for just a day?   

Without a doubt President Lincoln. He was such an amazing character from his mainly self-taught self, political shrewdness and ability to learn military tactics. He wasn’t naturally gifted, but he seemed more determined than anybody else in his time to work to become skilled and competent in what he did. He truly did sacrifice everything about himself to save the Union. He strikes me as very much a deep and visionary thinker and I would have loved an hour of his time over dinner to get an insight into his mind and pressures and how he dealt with them.

What is your process when it comes to writing, revising, and editing? 

I generally write without worrying about the accuracy of dates etc first. I then do at least two extensive reviews inserting any missing details and making any corrections to my earlier drafts. I then undertake one final review/edit, before sending my work off to an independent editor for one comprehensive review. Always ensure you get at least one other pairs of eyes to review your work. Even the best people make honest, simple mistakes and I think it is good practice.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring writer?

NEVER GIVE UP! It is easy to get discouraged or doubt yourself. Just keep going and pace yourself, you will succeed in the end.

Do you have any plans to write fiction at some point?  

I do a lot of creative writing in the marketing/business sense. This requires a lot of flair and energy, so my non-fiction writing is a welcome change away from that style of writing. I don’t have any plans to write a fictional piece However; I will definitely write some true life stories at some stage away from history/Politics.

The last question is a bit of a freebie: What is the one question you wish I had asked you, but didn’t?  Now go ahead and ask and answer that question.

Kindle or Traditional books, which do you prefer? Absolutely, traditionally formatted books, I got a kindle and although it is a great form of technology and useful when on the move. I still think you can’t beat the feel of reading a good old fashioned book.

For more on JJ Collins, check out his author page and his website
Get his books on AMAZON.  
Follow him on Twitter @PolitiBooks

Monday, January 14, 2013

Recent Reads: Ballad Art Dinosaurs

I really enjoyed this book - the first I've read by Sarah Dearing.  Beautiful writing and Abbie is the kind of character I'd like to hang out with.

Parts of this were really good and others just didn't work for me.

OMG!  What a fabulous story!!!  This is nonfiction, but it reads like a novel.  Highly recommend this book!!!  "Chicky Panther" is quite the character...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Five Reasons NOT to Write your Mystery Novel...

1.  You aren't sure what you want to say.

If your story is still rather vague in your mind's eye, then it may not be time yet to sit down and write.  I'm not saying you need a super-duper, overly detailed outline, but you should know where you are headed, what the goal or destination is.  For example, if you are writing a mystery, you should be able to say it was Miss Scarlet in the Conservatory, with the Knife... and her motive was revenge.  Otherwise (in my opinion) you'll be flailing about.

2.  You haven't done the research.

You need to know your setting, the  laws, the weapons, etc.  Yes, your mystery novel is fiction, but readers will only go so far with their suspension of disbelief.

3.  You can't take criticism.

If you get a negative review on Amazon or Goodreads (or elsewhere), will it ruin your day?  Can you take a punch?  Not everyone will like your writing, some people will think your book sucks.  In the anonymity of the Internet, people can say anything, and you may see comments that are hurtful.  Can you take it?

4.  You don't know the genre.

This applies to any genre, not just mystery.  You should know the conventions, learn who the popular authors are in that genre.  Think about what they are doing and why they are popular.  Think about what's missing from the genre.  

5.  You aren't willing to spend time marketing.

This should probably have been listed as number one.  Writing your book will probably take far less time than promoting and marketing it.  You will need to spend several hours a week doing online support for your book so that you can build a base of readers.  This is true whether you are traditionally published or indie published.  Be prepared to use Twitter, blogging, GoodReads, chat rooms/forums and more.  Also, you may also have to spend time doing store signings, library events, book club discussions.   These things may be fun and you may indeed enjoy doing (some of) them, but there are only so many hours in a day.  Can you realistically devote time to marketing your book?  Will you be trying to promote your book after working at a full time job or looking after your kids?

6.  Bonus reason! You're in it for the money. 

Reality check... 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Blackguards & Black Sheep

I've recently released a mini-book of crime shorts called Blackguards and Black Sheep and it's FREE today on Kindle!

The mini-book has three short stories of bad people doing bad things.

"Devilish Behaviour" 
Sibling rivalry is pretty bad when you're the spawn of Satan.

"Dressed to Kill"
A Bridal Consultant decides to switch gears and plan murders, not weddings.

"A Weekend in Maryville"
The sleepy little town wakes up when things go awry during the annual Apple Harvest Festival.

Here's the cover:

Check it out on AMAZON.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Guest Blogger: Gary Alan Henson: SciFi for the Funny bone

Why always so serious, Mr. Spock?

That's the question that motivated me to attempt a SciFi series that combines space opera and humor. The ongoing result is the 'Arlo and Jake' series. The first book, 'Arlo and Jake Enlist', is out on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Book two, 'Arlo and Jake Galactic Bootcamp', will be out early 2013. 

After publishing a techno/supernatural (what I used to call 'ghost') story called 'Genome', I wanted to do a series next. Writing 'Genome' was a blast, and I'm pleased with my first book. It's a unique story plot that combines Artificial Intelligence, DNA technology, a holodeck and some pretty cool 'spooks in the cemetery' scenes! The story was not meant to be funny, though I did manage to slip in a little humor here and there.

Now, I love space operas, I really do. Like the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. Weber's universe is, at it's core, an epic depiction of British politics and colonization in space, complete with Nelson's Naval fleet and military structure. It's one of my favorite 'hard SciFi' series. 

Then, of course, there are all the Star Trek and Star Wars 'follow on' books. These wonderful stories let us continue to ride along with Red Squadron and wage war along side the Jedi Academy against the Sith.

But...  They are so serious! 

When I'm in the mood for it, that's great. But geez, could someone slip on a banana peel once in a while? Where are the pranks and mishaps that really happen in any military story? I spent 9 years in the US Nuclear Navy, serving on several submarines and a couple of floating targets. Let me tell you, boys and girls, it was essential to lighten up daily life. Otherwise you be banging your noggin against the bulkheads just for fun. Daily life on any military vessel consists of endless days of monotonous routine, punctuated by moments of sheer terror.

So, I wanted to create a series with that 'cowboys in space' adventure feel but was fun and also funny. I wanted my main characters to be 'unlikely heroes', not bred from the warrior class on Klepto 4. Jake is a widowed, software geek. He has been spending his retirement sitting on his beach cottage patio, drinking beer and watching the beach bunnies stroll by. Arlo is his pet chameleon. Arlo hangs around for the flies and Jake's witty repartee.

All this to say, I'm stretching myself as a writer. I want to find out if something I want to write is something that you want to read. Playing with new concepts, tweaking existing story lines and just going out to left field sometimes is what makes writing so appealing to me. Like all of life's adventures, I'll fail more times than I succeed. But that's OK. I'm trying.

Check out Gary's author page on Amazon HERE
Read the latest on his blog HERE
Follow him on Twitter @garyalanhenson

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Recent Reads: Scoundrel Woman Jump

I have no idea what the point of this book was... Not the amusing joyride I was expecting.  Maybe I missed something, but it just didn't work for me.

I am a die-hard Fforde fan.  This was okay, but it is not the strongest in the Thursday Next series.  Nonetheless, I'll keep reading the series when the next Next installment comes along.  There were a few fun moments and clever lines here.

Jonah Geller is a kick-ass sleuth!  I love Howard's writing - a great plot, terrific characters, and there are some fabulous lines that truly made me laugh out loud!  Delicious, meaty, stick-to-your-ribs, hard-boiled stew.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Guest blogger: Scott Whitmore and Broadening...

Today I'd like to welcome guest blogger Scott Whitmore.  Let's see what he has to say about reading and writing...

Broaden Your Writing by Reading More...

So far, I've written two Steampunk/paranormal/adventure novels, Carpathia and The Devil's Harvest, that feature — I hope readers would agree — the thrills and excitement of an Indiana Jones movie as the good guys and gals battle undead creatures like vampires and zombies.

While that's what I've written, on the other end of the page — so to speak — I enjoy reading from a wide variety of genres. A sampling of the best I read in 2012 include a sci-fi/horror story set on an isolated space station, a historical story about the Irish Republican Army and an urban fantasy with a magic user fighting against dark forces in — of all places — Rochester, New York.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I recall a quote from Stephen King in which he states that the two more important things every writer should do is read a lot and write a lot. No surprise, but I wholeheartedly agree: reading widely is a like a training program for writers to see how your peers handle plot points, develop characters, paint a word picture of a scene, etc. (It goes without saying, of course, that direct copying is wrong ... experience, learn, be influenced, but write your own words and stories).

Side note: Remember when Stephen King first hit the literary scene? He was lambasted as a hack, churning out low-brow chum for the masses like modern Penny Dreadfuls. Millions and millions of books sold to a vast legion of diehard fans and today he is an important force on the literary scene, although King still has not gained the respect of the 'smart set' (to wit: he has made the New York Times "10 Best Books of" list just once, in 2011 for 11/22/63).

Still, who among us would not *love* to get a positive endorsement of our work from King? Or John Grisham (personally not a fan, but can't not respect the achievement), Michael Connelly, or J.K. Rowling? 

I know I would.

Anyway, as I was saying: reading widely from different genres is important and helpful, but what about the subject matter we write about? 

In the lead paragraph above I used the words 'so far' because I do have ideas for stories in other genres: crime, dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy. Of course, there's no telling I won't sit down to write a story in one of those other genres and suddenly the setting shifts to an alternate history like 1880s Romania similar to Carpathia or WWI France like The Devil's Harvest. Perhaps an airship appears ... or a vampire .. or a zombie.

I could be fooling myself that I'm anything but a writer of novels like the two I've already completed. There's no telling, but there's no reason to be worried about it, either.

First off, I'm writing stories that I would want to read, but more importantly I know my imagination is bigger than any single genre. My two novels are not merely Steampunk, not merely Paranormal, not merely Adventure, not merely Historical ... they are a bit of all those and more. In fact, the third book of the series looks like it will be set in 1950s Chicago during an organized crime turf war. A turf war between some mobsters and werewolves, no less, with perhaps some Cold War intrigue involving Russian spies and nuclear weapons research thrown in for good measure.

Or maybe it will be something else. I'm never exactly sure until I start writing.

Read widely and your imagination will broaden as well. I firmly believe that. And if you, dear Reader, are looking for a new genre or genre mash-up to explore, may I suggest Steampunk/Paranormal/Historical adventures? I happen to know a couple books in that niche I could recommend.

You can't blame me for trying, right?

Born and raised in the Midwest, Scott Whitmore turned to writing after 20 years of service in the US Navy. He has written for The Herald, a daily newspaper located in Everett, Wash., with a circulation of 45,000. He has also contributed to Sports Northwest magazine,, and Racing in America. Scott currently works as a freelance writer and marketing consultant, specializing in motorsports. He wrote and published Short Track Saturday Nights, a book about the 2008 racing season at Evergreen Speedway, Washington’s only NASCAR home track. His novels, Carpathia and The Devil's Harvest, are available at

Follow him on Twitter @ScottWhitmore 
Check out Scott's blog HERE 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Chatting with False Impressions author Sandra Nikolai

Let's start off the New Year with an interview with mystery author Sandra Nikolai!

1.    On the jacket blurb for FALSE IMPRESSIONS it says:  “Montreal ghostwriter Megan Scott falls under police suspicion when her husband and a female companion are found murdered. In what a Québec detective calls a crime of passion, startling evidence surfaces to also implicate Michael Elliott, a young investigative reporter.”

There are some who say books set in Canada don’t have or won’t find an audience – people want to see New York or Los Angeles.  Talk to me about the Montreal, PQ setting.  Would the story have worked if you had set it in Chicago, Toronto, or London?  Do you think the Montreal setting draws new readers from hither and yon?

I chose Montreal as the setting for my book because I grew up in this cosmopolitan city and know it well. As the largest French-speaking city in North America, Montreal is “a little piece of Paris” that attracts millions of tourists from all over the world each year. I wouldn’t have had as many opportunities to integrate certain French aspects into my story had I chosen a place outside the province of Québec. As far as major crime is concerned, Montreal definitely holds its own in capturing international headlines and provides an interesting backdrop for the unfolding of my murder mystery. So, yes, I believe the Montreal setting will draw readers from all parts of the globe.

2.    Your series features an investigative duo.  FALSE IMPRESSIONS is the first book in the Megan Scott/Michael Elliott mystery series.  Why did you choose to have a pair rather than a solo operative?  Did you play around with other ideas for a pair (i.e. two females, two guys) before deciding on Megan and Michael?

I wanted a pair of sleuths—one female, one male—as my main protagonists from the start. I suppose I was influenced by TV shows in the 1980s that featured a pair of investigative sleuths, like Remington Steele and Laura Holt (starring Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist) and Moonlighting (starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd). My main characters, Megan and Michael, share the same code of ethics, but their approach to solving a crime differs in some ways. Where Megan’s work as a ghostwriter keeps her behind a desk most of the time and she’s more comfortable digging up clues through a paper trail, Michael’s work as investigative reporter means meeting informants in dark alleys late at night. In FALSE IMPRESSIONS, their worlds overlap to create tense and conflicting moments for both of them. In spite of their differences, Megan and Michael have good chemistry between them, and a potential romantic involvement is something I can build on in future books in the series.

3.    Plot, plot, plot... Is plotting difficult or easy?  Fun or stressful?  How do you manage to move the plot along while playing fair with readers, without giving away too much?

I begin with a plot outline but usually end up revising it a few times. It’s fun when everything falls into place and unnerving when it doesn’t, but the challenge of making all the pieces fit properly is worth it in the end. It’s important to play fair with readers and present every clue in a timely manner so that nothing is held back. It shouldn’t be too easy to solve the mystery either, so striking the right balance is the target. I use my plot outline to mark the spots where I’ve introduced the clues. It helps me to keep track of them. After I complete my final draft, I’ll put it aside for a week or so. I’ll re-read it with fresh eyes and revise where required. Then I’ll send it to my critique group for review and, finally, to my editor. These checkpoints flag any pacing or plotting problems before the manuscript is published.

4.    One of the reviews on AMAZON says “elegant writing” – WOW!  That’s got to make you feel good!  So, how did you learn your craft? 

Yes, it was a wonderful compliment and made my day! I think the first set of picture books I received as a child inspired my love of books. Call me a geek, but reading and writing were my preferred subjects in school. Over time, I grew to love mysteries and couldn’t get enough of them. Reading all sorts of mystery novels and how-to books on plotting mysteries helped me to learn the genre, but writing helped me to develop a style and find my niche. I haven’t stopped learning. It’s not always easy to find a different or more creative way to express a thought, but I love what I do, so that helps.

5.    Betrayal is a major theme in FALSE IMPRESSIONS.  Talk to me about writing this emotion.  How did you feel as you wrote it?  How did that theme influence the writing and inform the characters?

We’ve all experienced betrayal to a degree. Whether a close friend turned against us or an unfaithful partner was the reason a relationship ended, we understand the pain of deceit and the subsequent feeling of loss. I had to draw on these emotions so that I could get a sense of how my characters might feel in the story. I also researched the topic and was able to “borrow” interpretations and adapt them to the instances of betrayal that run through my book. Ironically, many of the characters in FALSE IMPRESSIONS experience betrayal in one form or another.

6.    If you could bring any fictional character (from any genre) to life for a day, who would you choose and why?

Definitely Sherlock Holmes! I’d invite him into my living room and ask him to talk about his most illustrious cases. I’d be right by his side, taking notes on his keen observation and deductive skills, much like Dr. Watson did. His detailed and logical approach to crime solving would definitely help me plot my next mystery novel. J

7.    F. Scott Fitzgerald once said: “Writers aren’t exactly people... they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person”.  Let’s hear your thoughts on this.

A writer’s objective is to weave a plot through his characters and create a cohesive artistic effect. Since interesting characters have complex personalities, their moods, emotions, and opinions can change from one moment to the next. To be in everyone’s head at the same time and keep the storyline organized and flowing is no small task for a writer, but oh, so much fun! It’s what makes writing mysteries all the more exciting. Not only do mystery writers have to introduce characters that are potential suspects, they also have to keep tabs on each character’s thoughts, words, and actions so as not to disclose the identity of the real perpetrator too soon.

Another way Fitzgerald’s comment can be interpreted is along more technical lines. Today’s writer is also a researcher, proofreader, critiquer, and in some cases, book formatter, cover designer, and independent publisher. Now we’re talking!

8.    If Michael Elliott were going to enter the world of online dating, what would his dating profile say?

Hi, everyone! I’m a man of strong convictions who believes in helping people. I am easy-going, understanding, and trustworthy. I keep in shape by working out and jogging. I’m looking to date a thirty-something woman who is reliable, loves music from the 60s and 70s, and enjoys the simple things in life. Married women need not apply.

9.    Are you involved in any writing groups or writers’ associations?  Have you found these helpful?  What have you learned from them?

I’m a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Capital Crime Writers, among others. I’ve attended writing courses and conferences offered through these associations and found them helpful. Their monthly newsletters keep me informed about events in the field and about how my colleagues are doing. I’m also a member of a critique group whose feedback I appreciate and value.

10. The last question is kind of a freebie... What is the one question you wish I had asked but didn’t?  Now go ahead and ask and answer it.

Tell us about your next book.

The second book in the mystery series featuring Megan Scott and Michael Elliott is titled FATAL WHISPERS and is set in Portland, Maine. The theme revolves around the shocking deaths of a millionaire’s beautiful young wife, a homeless woman, and a priest. I visited Portland several times and was impressed by its quaint New England characteristics. I knew it would be the perfect setting for the mystery I had in mind. Look for it in the spring of 2013!

For more on Sandra, check out her blog HERE
Find Sandra on GoodReads HERE
Check her out on Twitter @sandranikolai
Order on False Impressions on AMAZON