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Thursday, July 2, 2020

A Writer's Moment: The Best 'Performance' In 400 Pages

A Writer's Moment: The Best 'Performance' In 400 Pages: “It may sound surprising, but a joke and a crime novel work in very much the same way. The comedian/writer leads their...

The Best 'Performance' In 400 Pages


“It may sound surprising, but a joke and a crime novel work in very much the same way. The comedian/writer leads their audience along the garden path. The audience knows what's coming, or at least they think they do until they get hit from a direction they were not expecting. “ – Mark Billingham

Born in England on this date in 1961, Billingham is a novelist, actor, television screenwriter and comedian whose series of "Tom Thorne" crime novels are best sellers in that genre.   A comedian and screenwriter first, Billingham added writing crime novels in 2001, creating Detective Inspector Thorne for his debut novel Sleepyhead.  Since then, Thorne has been the central character in the majority of his two dozen novels.

Billingham is the only writer to twice win the prestigious “Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award” – in 2004 for Lazybones and in 2009 for Death Message.   His television writing has earned him the Royal Television Society’s award "Best Entertainment Programme,” for What's That Noise, and “Best Children’s Drama” (twice) for Knight School.   And, he hosts UKTV’s crime podcast A Stab In The Dark where each episode includes a discussion on a particular theme from crime fiction and crime drama.

As for his writing, he says, “I am trying to give the best performance possible in 400 pages. I want readers to be scared; I want them to be moved. Entertainment doesn't necessarily mean something trivial, but it does mean people wanting to get to the end of a book."

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Writer's Moment: The 'Skill' Every Writer Needs

A Writer's Moment: The 'Skill' Every Writer Needs: “Truth is, every writer has to be a good editor, and you have to edit yourself. It's a skill every writer has to a...

The 'Skill' Every Writer Needs


“Truth is, every writer has to be a good editor, and you have to edit yourself. It's a skill every writer has to acquire.” – Lisa Scottoline

A native of Philadelphia, Scottoline was born on this date in 1955, grew up in Merion – site of many of America’s great pro golf tournaments – and earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.   On track toward a law firm partnership, she decided to try her hand at writing after the birth of her daughter Francesca, penned the award-winning crime mystery Final Appeal, and never looked back.

To date she has written 30 novels, been translated into 30 languages, and sold over 30 million books.  Among her titles are Look Again and Don't Go, both top 5 New York Times bestsellers.   An Edgar Award winner, Scottoline has served as President of the Mystery Writers of America.  And she has co-authored a number of bestselling non-fiction memoirs with her daughter (Francesca Serritella) who also is an award-winning writer.

“I love writing both fiction and memoir,” she said.  “Both have unique challenges; bottom line, fiction is hard because you have to come up with the credible, twisty plot, and memoir is hard because you have to say something true and profound, albeit in a funny way.”

Share A Writer’s Moment with a friend or forward the link: http://writersmoment.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Writer's Moment: 'Letting People Know Who You Are'

A Writer's Moment: 'Letting People Know Who You Are': “I noticed, when I taught elementary school, how true the squeaky wheel thing is, and how endearing squeaky wheels can be! Because when yo...

'Letting People Know Who You Are'


“I noticed, when I taught elementary school, how true the squeaky wheel thing is, and how endearing squeaky wheels can be! Because when you're being a squeaky wheel, you're also really letting people know who you are.” – Aimee Bender

Born in California on June 28, 1969, Bender splits her time between her writing (short stories and novels) and teaching about the process, primarily at the collegiate level.  Known for her surreal stories and characters, she's been published in magazines and journals ranging from Harper's, McSweeney's and The Paris Review to inclusion in a number of anthologies.  Her short story, Faces was a 2009 Shirley Jackson Award finalist – for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense. 

Bender earned her undergraduate degree at UC-San Diego and a Master’s from the creative writing MFA program at University of California at Irvine where she started her writing career.

In addition to her numerous stories, she has authored half-a-dozen books (out in 16 languages), including The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a collection of short stories, and The New York Times bestseller and award-winning novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.  Bender has received two Pushcart Prizes for her writing. 

“Novels are so much unrulier and more stressful to write,” she said.  “A short story can last two pages and then it's over, and that's kind of a relief. I really like balancing the two.”


Share A Writer’s Moment with a friend or forward the link: http://writersmoment.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 28, 2020