Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Change is good!

I think it's time for a change!

The country's had a birthday; so have I; so has Mystery Maven Canada. Another year starts afresh and change is good. I've often found change hard to deal with, especially when it involves something I totally enjoy. But it's part of living and growing as a person, as a writer, as a blog.

I'm bringing about the change in my writing by fleshing out a new series, while moving forward with another in the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries. I also want to write another short story, something I haven't done in a while. I figure all these efforts will help keep my writing fresh and my brain evolving.

So, it's time to look at this blog. Mystery Maven Canada started two years ago -- yes, it was early July, 2010. It was an idea I had since deciding to close Prime Crime Books...a way of keeping in touch with customers and keeping them informed about upcoming books. It morphed into a vehicle for other mystery writers to reach the public and a way to share news and thoughts about the changing world of publishing.

But I feel it's becoming more of a diary, which, I'm told, is what most blogs are. I hadn't meant it to be so focused on my thoughts...and they're running thin these days. But most writers are busy, well, writing. Deadlines loom, life intrudes, blogs become a chore. I've really appreciated the willingness of the authors I've contacted to write guest blogs. Their input has added a lot of value to this blog. But as I said, writers are busy people.

The Ladies' Killing Circle have gamely kept Thursdays a day of lively and reflective reading...but, they all have deadlines, too.

We miss Mary Jane Maffini's input but she's had to focus elsewhere for several months now, although she's easing back into writing these days.

And the publishing world...well, what is there to say about it? If you're an afficianado of paper books, it's a sad prognosis. If e-books are your forte, the news is better but still, it's an unruly field and it, too will have to evolve.

I've been flogging the lack of media attention to mystery writing in Canada. One caveat is the CBC which has come through with flying colours, devoting an entire month on their Canada Writes website to Canadian mystery writing and also, continuing to highlight our wonderful authors on various programmes.

What more is there to say?

I mean, really...what more is there to say? I'd like to hear from you. That's what the comment feature is for. I'm thinking of changing the weekly format and this is the time to tell me, what do you want to read on this blog? Who do you want to hear from? What news?

I will say that reviews will continue and probably, become more prominent. What I'd like to say is that I'll also have more immediate author news posted -- more in the way of events, launches, upcoming releases, TV deals...all that juicy stuff. But I need to hear from the authors themselves in order to do that.

So, what's it to be? How should Mystery Maven Canada change? Do you care?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ & BURIED, coming Dec., 2012


  1. I'm sure there are many, including me, who would miss your blog, but that's a terrible reason to keep going if it's outlived your use for it. Do what YOU think best.

    1. Thanks, Erika. I'm not planning to stop the blog, just refresh it! I appreciate your comment.

  2. Happy Birthday! Always a great time for change -- and blogging trends *are* changing. There are so many avenues for connection, and time is precious -- particularly to our dear writers. Perhaps moving more toward the "headline news" approach, less narrative, spotlights on your favorite reader resources? We all need to know about events where we can share in person. I heartily support the "juicy stuff" approach. I bet you all will discover the sweet spot. ~m

  3. I care! I don't think a blog needs to post daily. I would focus on lively content/debates, etc. And I do appreciate reading the reviews of Canadian crime fiction.

    As an apprenticing writer, I think it could be useful to have some discourse "On Writing": Pick topics (frequency up to you)and have three different writers chime in with how they address the subject. For example: "Side Kicks --- What's their job description?" It could offer readers a chance to discuss their likes and dislikes on any given subject, too.

  4. I like the idea of continuing with your reviews and posting writer news and events. Perhaps once a week you could dedicate to your own news and thoughts and stories of your writing process - a blog that evolves into a mix of personal and the writing 'business' on the community level.

    1. Thanks, Brenda! It's all going into the big think tank!

  5. You're done a fabulous job, Linda! And filled a much needed niche. We all thank you! But what a great idea to take stock and refresh the blog. So many good ideas have been commented on already. I like the idea of "juicy stuff" - the launches, signings, new releases, etc. I also like Susan's idea of a regular writing feature but with two or more authors chiming in. A "writers' tips" idea. However, that all requires coordination (dare I say hounding?) by you of the writers involved. Short and easy helps.

    1. Thanks, Barbara. All good points. You'll be tapped!

  6. As others mentioned earlier, the idea of promoting Canadian author news and events should continue. Interaction with readers is important too. Maybe doing a weekly post on "spotlighting" a writer's book and offering a giveaway would attract more readers to the site.