Friday, September 10, 2010


With a Little Help from my Friends

That's not just a great Beatles hit but very true in the world of mystery writing. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Mainly because I'm so grateful for all that my critiquing group has provided over the past 15+ years. I won't spend more time on this aspect as that was my Friday topic last week. But it is an important one.

On the broader spectrum, this is a very supportive and inclusive community. There seems to be enough room on the shelves, and dare I say, in the e-book world for us all. I'm not aware of any back-stabbing going on, although since we write mysteries, it would fit. No petty jealousies or rivalries surface when we all congregate at Bloody Words, Canada's largest mystery conference, each June. At least, no bodies have been found under the registration table.

We have such generous people in our Louise Penny, who not only shares her thoughts, time and suggestions but also spear-headed the Unhanged Arthur Award, given by Crime Writers of Canada each year, to a pre-published author.

And, for me, the help this week came from David Cole, our "honourary Canadian" from Syracuse, who drove up to Ottawa to explain the intricacies of setting up a website to both me and Thomas Rendell Curran. David is also an avid member of CWC, and will hold a key role in the Arthur Ellis festivities next year, along with developing some interesting programs to help writers. He says it's part of his procrastination program, but with all his writing projects on the go, I doubt that.

It's generosity of spirit and that's what this crime writing community is all about. Look at all the blogs that allow writers to share their thoughts and tips. The gang at Type M for Murder is good proof of that, as is Peggy Blair's blog where she took us through the painstaking and sometimes painful steps of trying to get a novel published. I know, now that I've mentioned some names, I should keep going and acknowledge them all. Can't be done in this short space.

But you know who they are. You've met them at CWC annual general meetings, at Capital Crime Writers, at Bloody Words (and I hope you'll be going to the Victoria gig in June, 2011). It's all about networking and sharing. And the only crimes are committed on the pages of our books.

So here's to us all! Let's keep this a healthy growth industry by keeping each other healthy and growing.

What are some of the mystery blogs you've found helpful?


  1. Very kind of you to mention my blog, and thanks so much, Linda! I have have found a marvellous community of interesting and creative people that has been incredibly supportive to me as I make my way through what has sometimes been a tremendously humbling experience. Thanks to all of you.

  2. Thanks for mentioning Type M for Murder. We are at

  3. I enjoy all those blogs, Linda. Also Kaye Barley's excellent blog over at

    Kaye likes Canadians and many of us have had our day in the sun there.

    I blog on the 14th of each month at as well, or at least my characters do!

    Janet Bolin, another of the Killer Characters gang is also a Canadian. We are popping up everywhere.

    The community of blogs is a wonderful way to link with readers and fellow authors and, face it, the price is right!


  4. Great suggestions. I know there are lots more out there, too. The search continues!

  5. Mine (Getting Published: An aspiring mystery writer's take on the publishing business) can be found at

    Thanks, Linda!

  6. What a great addition to the crime (fiction) scene! Like the look, and a welcome resource for readers looking for Canadian writing and who might be unaware of some Cdn authors/publishers. Good job!

    Jim Napier
    Mystery and Crime Fiction Reviewer, The Sherbrooke Record
    Creator of the prize-winning website,

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