Mystery Readers & Working Writers February 26, 2012
The Rest of the Story: A Little Birdie Told Me by SK Hamilton The shortest story ever written
Hemingway once wrote what he called the shortest story ever written: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. One person said, “You read this, and think that's short, and pointless, then you think about why these baby shoes are never worn.” Jacob said:, “I’m calling it a story. It’s a story because it’s literature, (or an attempt at literature). However, it is comprised of six works and punctuation that are composed in such a way to imply that there are baby shoes for sale, and that said shoes were never worn–without interpretation we know this much! But we see also the form it comes in–brief, like a newspaper ad. The author tells us that the shoes were never worn, and so implies that knowledge is needed, and so tells us that the person selling the shoes is not who you would typically buy shoes from. This begs the question of why they are selling the shoes–they are no longer needed, and will not be needed. But why does a person buy baby shoes, and then sell them without ever using them? If I’ve had to walk you this far, it's probably a lost cause. You might want to consider reading poetry, and perhaps finding a kind soul to teach you about the majesty of the written word.
Amanda said, “…And yet, if I wrote “I need you. Please answer.” would it have the same weight? This could pose just as many unanswerable questions, but does it really now? Mr. Owl writes: “While yes, I do see these six little words as an intriguing piece, I also feel that every day there are thousands of short little phrases said that convey so much, and fade away as soon as they are said. The only reason this stands out is that from great authors we expect great things, and cling to them. Your response “we’re talking about Ernest Hemingway here!” portrays that fact perfectly. I could have written the same exact words, but no one would come out and say “My god, we’re talking about AMANDA from the INTERNET!” Mr. Owl said: “Just because you don’t like it, does not mean it is not art, and that it is not literature. Personally, I find your story Amanda leaves too little to the imagination and is just a conformity to today’s society, where everyone needs to know everything and not use their mind to expand and grow. Besides, this story obviously has a character and could have several because someone has to be selling the shoes and someone has to be reading the sign. As far as you saying all of this is just assumed, there is a difference between assuming something and creating something from your own imagination, your own intelligence. Good day sir. What’s your take on this, my friends? If you want to, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and give us your two cents worth. Maybe as a follow up we could post them in the following newsletter. That’s all folks. Another time, another another story. Birdie and me, Pee Wee, say au- revoir, adios, and farewell for now. Bye bye Birdie and thanks for the help with this news. I consider it almost spooky by the way you obtained it. Peewee2234488@yahoo.com Sylvia K. Hamilton Birdie Lindberg – (Birdie’s uncle.) =================================================== Women in History, by Pat McCain March is Women’s History Month. Did you know that? As I was thinking about that for this month’s column, I began to wonder about women back through the years. In the 1600s, 1700, and 1800s, a woman’s life was usually about survival, both for herself and for her family. I wondered if they had time to think beyond feeding, clothing, and keeping their families from the ravages and dangers of the hard lives they led. Did these women even have time to dream of what could be? Or had they any ideas of what might be in store for them? It was a hard life for our ancestors; we all know it must have been. I have thought so much about my grandmother, six times removed , Martha Boice McCain as she prepared to leave ;Northern Ireland and sail to a new world. She must have known she would never see her own mother, father, or siblings again. Nor the green hills of Ireland. She couldn’t have known that a few years after her family’s arrival in Pennsylvania, her husband, William, would die, leaving her with a young family to provide for. We will never know how she managed, but she did. The family managed to buy some land and farmed, becoming prosperous and respected in their community. She lived to pass her ninetieth birthday in the home of her eldest son, Alexander. I chuckle, thinking of the stories about a great grandmother, many years later, in the mid 1800s. Another Martha, this one Martha Blackford Reynolds. The daughter of a Presbyterian circuit-riding minister and a college educated mother, I am sure that Miss Mattie must have been ‘one of a kind’. I heard the story of her parents putting her in a water bucket and lowering her down a water well to save her from sure disaster at the hands of Quantrill’s Raiders in Lawrence, Kansas during one of their raids. There were many other stories but the other one I especially enjoyed was my grandmother telling of going with great-grandmother into Oklahoma Territory to take pictures (tintypes) of an oil well. The well came in, blew crude oil all over and they came home sticky, drenched, and miserable. These women made up who I am and it is these Women’s Histories that fascinate me. Retired, Pat McCain lives in the beautiful wine country of western Colorado. Six grand children and two great-grand children ought to keep her busy, but since they are scattered all over the country, reading and writing are at the top of the agenda now—that and Blackie, the resident cat.
She is changing the format of her web site hoping to stir up discussions and opinions on books we all read and love, or not. She has discovered so many new (to her) writers and has many old favorites who shouldn’t be forgotten as long as their books are out there. It will be interesting to read what others like and don’t like in their reading and, hopefully, we can introduce our old friends to new readers, along with our current favorites.
The site is presently under reconstruction and will be up and going in the new future at www.patmccainworld.com ======================================== It's [NOT] a Mystery to Me, Douglas Glasford
When I asked my beloved wife whose birthday is on March 15th - the Ides of March - and with whom I will be married 20 years on March 28th - Weed Appreciation Day, on what theme I should write about for this month's newsletter, she told me to write about "Kick Butts Day."
This was unexpected and I had to ask her what she was talking about. I was leaning toward the Ides of March... the day the buzzards return to Hinckley, Ohio; but she is not keen on her birthday being associated with death. (Julius Ceasar's or the buzzards who're still out looking for his body.)
She explained to me that Kick Butts Day was her choice because she was still so proud of me because I had quit smoking - cold turkey - after 40 years of supporting the tobacco industry. Kick Butts Day is celebrated on March 21st. It has grown over the years as part of the Tobacco-Free Kids movement and local groups can be found everywhere.
I am looking forward to finding a local chapter and supporting this event. I won't go into anymore detail other than to say, "Thank God, I no longer smoke and I will never smoke again."
It's one of the few things that's no mystery to me.
Dear Mr. Thomas Sawyer, My name is Dawn Alice Martinson. I am a Juvenile Camp Therapy Director for the troubled youth (male). You just stood out to me when I was attempting to read the semi biography of Samuel Clements (Mark Twain), but before I could continue further I thought I just MUST fix the atrocious behavior of the absurd child. Poor Aunt Polly. Anyways, you don’t even have to attend my session, I will put in advice and tips right here in this paper to fix that utterly senseless mind of yours. First of all, was entering the graveyard without permission, with a stranger, and at MIDNIGHT, mind you, such a good idea? The First problem with that “adventurous” plan is you might face horrifying dangers, which you already did. To fix this unacceptable behavior in the future, I personally suggest a “Sid” alarm. Put a bell or some trinket that makes noise under the carpet, rug, or window if you try to make a surprise escape, the trinket will sound, immediately waking up Sid, in which you will spend your day with a licking. Next problem, running away to an ISLAND to be a PIRATE without proper SUPERVISION that is just plain stupid! You are a CHILD, Mr. Sawyer, and whether you think that mighty head of yours makes you superior, that does not change facts. You just must have the companionship of a legal adult to provide for you, you just MUST! By yourself, you really are having trouble choosing right from wrong, and did not anyone tell you that smoking is bad! It is not for children at all, Mr. Sawyer, I can say the Juvenile therapy team and I are very disappointed. That is how all our patients start then they end up behind bars! There is not much of a cure for this mentality, but I suggest that you just be under your guardian’s eye for many weeks, approximately 5wks. One more problem (I’m sorry if you’re starting to notice, Thomas, that there a more problems than cures), is that you decided to have other boys whitewash the fence for you. The Juvenile Therapy Team and I believe honesty is an important value to see in growing adolescents and definitely want to see it in YOU! Be honest, Tom, because if you did you would have earned the apple Aunt Polly mistakenly gave you. Remember the right choice is sometimes the hard choice, and the wrong choice can seem like the less painful choice. However Tom, if you really just put determination and effort, you will be able to earn anything, and not just have to steal them. Remember Sawyer, if this stealing and smoking and cheating keeps up you will now be one of our juvenile delinquents. Hope these bits of advice and solution will help you, Mr. Sawyer! All the best! May there be hope for you yet (even though I believe you are a lost case) ! Sincerely, Dawn Alice Martinson by-Srimayi Mylavarapu ===================================================
A LITTLE BOY AND HIS HATCHET J Gayle Kelly When George Washington was a little boy about six years old, he was given a miniature hatchet to play with. He loved his little hatchet and went about chopping everything in his way. One day, he used the edge of his hatchet on a beautiful young English cherry tree trunk and it died. Oh, the horror! He thought. Now what was he going to do? His father loved that tree, it was his favorite! But, there it was, chopped and dead. He couldn’t put it together again; he thought, “I’m not in trouble. I didn’t chop down that tree, my hatchet did!” Of course his father found the chopped down tree, saw it was dead. He sought out his son. He found him, holding his little hatchet, and asked, “George, who chopped down my cherry tree?”] George proudly replied, “I didn’t do it, father, the hatchet did.” “Who held the hatchet while it chopped down the tree, son?” George bowed his head in shame. “I cannot tell a lie, Father, you know me, it was me, I held that hatchet.” George’s father put a finger under the little boy’s chin and thrust it upward so that George’s eyes met his father’s head-on. “My son, how can I be angry at you for telling me the truth?” George Washington was born February 22, 1732 in Wakefield, Virginia. He served as our First President, gaining that position by a unanimous choice, and presided over our Constitution in 1787. He was born a provincial gentry of a wealthy colonial, VA family who owned tobacco plantations and slaves. Washington had a vision of a great and powerful nation. At his death, Washington was hailed as “First in War or First in Peace,” and First in the hearts of his countrymen. He was a brilliant general and helped win the War of Independence against the British. He served two terms and died at the age of 67. Did little George Washington really cut down his father’s cherry tree? Mason Locke Weems who wrote “The Life of Washington” says no. But isn’t it more fun to think that he did? That he was, in all minds, so honest that he would admit such a thing! The story of his taking that hatchet to his father’s cherry tree is a fable. But there was nothing ‘fable’ about George Washington! In this year, 2012, we need a patriotic hero to remember, to have faith in, to Believe in. Did little George Washington chop down his father’s cherry tree?
What’s In a Name? By: Sherri Fulmer Moorer We all know that names are important, but do you realize they’re just as meaningful to fictional characters as they are to real people? Just because characters aren’t real people doesn’t mean their names aren’t important. In fact, just the opposite is true. A name can define a character just as much as the plot and setting can. It’s your first look into who they are, and a reflection of what they’re created to become. A good example of this would be the name of the main character, Rachel Shull, from my young adult mystery novel, Blurry. Rachel is a Biblical name, and Shull is an old family name that harkens back to my great-grandparents. I designed this name to reflect her image as a good girl with a strong moral character and deep ties to her family, friends and town. Indeed, the story revolves around how she reacts to being caught in the crossfire of trouble when she discovers that several of her friends are involved in a secret underground culture gaining popularity in her small town. Although Rachel Shull might sound like a generic name, the truth is that I put a great deal of thought into giving the character a name that would define her and how she would react to the situations she faced as the plot unfolded. So the next time you pick up a mystery novel, take a moment to consider the name of the characters. They could very well be your first (and perhaps your best) clue to how this mystery will unfold! ====================================================================================
Boston Creme Curley Michael Rhyan Alderman James Michael Curley went to jail for sixty days for taking a federal postal exam for someone else. Prison kills most political careers, but not for the “Purple Shamrock.” Son of Irish immigrants, Curley dominated Boston politics for the first half of the twentieth century. He served as four- time mayor, governor, and congressman. He survived a second jail stint more than forty years later for mail fraud during his last term as mayor. Possessed of a scant formal education, Curley was known for his oratory, biting wit, and no fear of confrontation. He made a career of defending the Irish against the entrenched Yankees. Curley grew up in the time of NINA (No Irish Need Apply). As a long-time writer of Curley articles and lecturer, I knew he would step into my second historical mystery, Boston Crème Curley. Curley’s life served as the inspiration for protagonist Frank Skeffington in The Last Hurrah. Curley was used by other authors as a character in several other novels. Because of my interest in him, I had plenty of notes compiled over the years. For the time period, 1903, I would be writing about the young, brash, unmarried Curley. He had started his political club, Tammany, and had become the city’s youngest ward boss at twenty-six years of age. Just under six feet, young Curley was strong and good with his fists. Politics back then could be considered a blood sport. Curley was a good central character for the book. His federal trial for defrauding the government was held near the time of the first World Series played in Boston. My protagonist Cootch Connolly is a former minor league ballplayer and his brother Finn, a Boston cop, are both big baseball fans. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I enjoyed adding baseball into my story. I hope that Boston Crème Curley depicts a credible, fictional Jim Curley, while giving readers a taste of Boston politics and the early days of the American League. =================================================== The Boston-Baked Churchill and Boston Creme Curley are available in e-book version (only! Rats!) from Charles River Press, B&N, and Amazon. My other three novels, Begin With Me, Grapes For A Guinness, and Ghost Fishing, are available from Whiskey Creek Press and other sellers like B&N, Amazon, etc. My website is www.ryanmj.com. Thanks. ==========================================================================
Kindle Formatting Made Easy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ By Carolyn Howard-Johnson Recently I published some quick tips on publishing articles and books on Kindle in my Sharing with Writers newsletter and got tons of feedback, some of it from folks who said they were still worried about "the learning curve." They helped me to see that the little secrets I shared may have been too advanced; many writers need something that’s more A to Z. It’s so easy that I thought I’d take the worry out of for those who have been procrastinating. Just remember, e-book readers don’t have page numbers. The pages change every time a reader changes the size of a font. If you keep that in mind, formatting is mostly intuitive. And if you want those extra little tidbits I published in the last newsletter, go to my Sharing with Writers blog (http://sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com/2012/01/learning-more-about- formatting-for.html) where I posted it for your convenience. OK. Here goes: • Use Word. Save your copy as a .doc., not .docx or .rtf. • Use a simple font, preferably Times New Roman or Verdana. 11 pt works nicely for e-readers. • Single space your text. • Make margins one inch all the way around. • If your book is fiction, change the paragraph indent from .5 to .2 inches. If you write nonfiction, don’t indent at all. Put spaces between your paragraphs instead. • Remove any headers or footers you may have. That includes text of any sort and page numbers. • Set justification. That’s the little section in the Word ribbon at the top of your screen that lets you move text all to the left, all to the right, centered, or justified on both right and left. Most suggest you use the latter so the copy looks even on both sides. • Don’t leave lots of space between chapters or sections. A single space is all that’s needed. In fact, Nook won’t accept more than one blank line. • You can use formatting in your chapter headlines. Make them bold or larger but don’t use fancy fonts (type faces). Some readers (like Nook and Kindle) don’t support the ornate ones. Arial, Verdana or Times New Roman are safe bets. You can use italics, but I see no reason for the clutter. People will be reading on a screen, after all. Chapter subheads can also be given some attention with bold or larger type face but, again, don't get too fancy. • If your book is nonfiction, be sure you mark the headings so you can make a table of contents with them—all automated and courtesy of Word. You should be able to find the heading formatter in the Word ribbon at the top of your screen. o Your Contents page should have live links so that readers can skip easily to the sections or chapters in your book they want to read. Use the “references” tab at the top of your Word screen to make a Contents page automatically after you’ve formatted each headline. • You can also use caps for the first three or four words in every chapter. That helps cue the reader that he or she is in a new section or chapter. • It is acceptable to add information about your other e-books or forthcoming ones to the backmatter of your book. Why not? Be sure to use live links to their sales pages. It's something I often suggest to my clients. Some authors even charge for a couple of ads in the back to offset the cost of publishing. • The first page of your e-book is your title page (or the picture of your book cover—but Kindle provides an option that does that for you). Keep it simple. But include the ISBN. If you don’t have one, Kindle will provide one for you—f r e ^. • Here is a tip that no one seems to tell those of us who love our front matter—you know—our acknowledgments, dedications, etc. Kindle eliminates them if you leave them in the front of the book. Your e-book must start with the cover image/title page/first chapter. So I cheat. I move selected pieces of my front matter to the end of my book. I think it’s important to thank people, and think it would be a shame not to put them somewhere! • Just repeating here. Find a few additional tips at http://sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com/2012/01/learning-more- about-formatting-for.html • Be sure to proof read the whole book once it’s set up as an e-book. You’ve made a lot of changes, right? Click Here to Buy The Frugal Book Promoter --the Second Edition That I Just Loaded to Kindle--and Get Amazing Bonuses in the Process! ------ Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a multi award-winning novelist and poet. She is also the author of the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers (www.howtodoitfrugally.com) and was named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the California Legislature. Instructor for nearly a decade at the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books including the second edition honored by USA BOOK NEWS The Frugal Book Promoter ( http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo ) : E-mail: HoJoNews@aol.com Facebook: http://Facebook.com/carolynhowardjohnson Web site: http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com ======================================================
MY HUSBAND FEARS ME!! Sherry Derr-Wille
Forty-eight years ago, when my husband and I were planning our wedding, he was well aware of my passion for writing. Back then he wasn’t concerned, just a little embarrassed by the romances and family epics I was writing. That was long before I wrote my first romantic suspense, PORT OF FEAR, complete with a serial killer who was out to make his kill anyway he could. That book was supposed to be a real sleeper, but it took off and made me wonder if I could really write hard-core murder mysteries. As I’ve said here before, I started working on these as impromptu murder mystery dinner theater. Over the years I’ve killed off people with guns, knives, rocks and pitchforks. Now, I must admit, my husband thought I was a bit harsh here, but nothing prepared him for the time the murder weapon with Lilly of the Valley put in a dinner salad. Okay, maybe that was a bit over the top, but to this day, my hubby looks a little skeptical if there is something other than lettuce, tomatoes or cucumbers in his salad. To be truthful, I’m really a mild mannered granny lady with no criminal tendencies. These murder mysteries come from my warped imagination. Needless to say, my husband is in no danger from me, although he does have his days. I don’t think there’s anyone who, hasn’t at least once in their life, said something like, “I could just kill him.” It’s not literal, but said in anger, frustration, etc. In order to write murder mysteries, I have put myself in the role of the cop investigating the murders. She’s been called upon to solve the murder of a man who thinks nothing of sleeping with every woman in town. It’s no wonder he ended up floating in a lake shot in his groin and his face and having his penis cut completely off. When my husband heard that one, he gave me a really funny look and said ‘really?’ Much to his relief, it wasn’t the wife who did the dirty deed, but I think the method of murder bothered him, just a little bit. He was less affected by the drive by shooting, or the guy who got bopped on the head with a rock and dumped into a pond. Of course he did cringe a bit when I killed off the old man who was spreading manure in the middle of a blizzard and was killed with his own pitchfork. My hubby is getting used to this weird side of me. Let’s face it he finally accepts the fact I write erotica and takes a lot of teasing about if I get my inspiration from real life. In the long run, he’s stuck with me, so it’s best to accept what he cannot change. ============================================================== PARALLELS by A.W. Lambert.
I have two main passions. The first; the written word, I’ve held dear for as far back as I can remember. The second started when, at fifteen- in the mid 1950’s - I became besotted with what we in central London then called traditional jazz. This was played by British bands, but was born out of the old New Orleans ragtime and street marching band music from the turn of the century. Though played around a central melody, it was almost totally improvised, allowing the musicians full reign to do their own thing, to make it up as they went along. My favourite instrument was the slide trombone, one of which I persuaded my father to buy me. It being so soon after the end of the Second World War, in a heavily bombed, still slowly recovering London there was little official training available, and what there was I wasn’t able to afford anyway. So it was teach yourself time. This lasted until, a couple of years later when I was called for national military service and the trombone was packed away. Sometimes, when we look back, we ask ourselves what happened to those past years, wondering how we allowed so much time to slip away without doing something we always promised ourselves we would do. So it was with my music. Even after being released from military service, for some unknown reason I never picked up my trombone again. Did I say for some unknown reason? Well, not quite. Life took over; a constant battle to improve my lot, scrabble my way to a senior position at the workplace and raise a family. And, yes, that old chestnut; find enough cash to put two hungry young cubs through the best education I could afford. It wasn’t until the age of fifty four - some thirty five years later - that a friend, while visiting, came across an ancient photograph of a proud young sixteen year old clutching his brand new trombone. He, the friend that is, just happened to play trumpet in a traditional jazz band which, by chance, had just happened to have lost their trombone player. The rest, as they say, is history. Now, at seventy three, I still play and still love the freedom of improvisation as much as I ever did. So what has this to do with writing and where do parallels come in? Well, you see, I also started writing when I was very young. And though, unlike the music, I never actually stopped my scribblings, they were for a good many years put on the back burner for exactly the same reasons. It wasn’t until after my retirement, panicking at suddenly seeing so many wasted years, I seriously picked up the pen - or should I say keyboard - again. Now, with eight published novels under my belt, I know, as with my music, that as long as I am able I will never stop. But it was a recent realisation of the second important parallel that prompted me to this input. It was just how close musical improvisation is to creative writing. In the novel there is the central theme. That, in the music, is the melody. Around that theme there are words, written, rewritten and in many cases written again. In improvised music, those words become notes, played over, seldom the same, changed again and again in that quest to achieve the best result. It does, I am sure, say much about a particular individual; one who needs to create freely, who hates to be fettered. The novelist, while keeping that central theme in mind, still loving the freedom to bend a sway, thinking all the while of a hundred and one ways to take the story forward, never really knowing where they’re going until they get there. And the musician, likewise the melody never forgotten, revelling in the mixing and matching in his own creation. That constant search for the best. There are those, of course, who favour being guided, knowing exactly what’s happening, much preferring to read the written score. As for me, though late, I’m glad I’ve realised the parallels in both my life and my passions. I’m comfortable now and despite those wasted years, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bio. A.W. Lambert was born and raised in south London, England. After completing his National Military Service, he embarked on an engineering career in the British aircraft industry. In 1992 he retired from industry to follow his two main passions: Creative Writing and the playing of his favourite music, traditional New Orleans Jazz. After achieving considerable success in magazine article and short story writing he moved into the field of full length Action/ Adventure. A Treacherous Past, his first published novel, introduced retired London Metropolitan Police Inspector, now private investigator, Theo Stern for the first time. Since then follow up novels have seen Stern and other absorbing characters, involved in increasingly intriguing and dangerous scenarios. A.W.’s latest Stern adventure ‘Sleeping Dogs’ is now available at Wings ePress and other on-line booksellers
========================================================================== Spinning a Yarn M.A. Mogus I’m often asked where to I find ideas for my stories and novels. The simple answer is everywhere. My friends are the greatest source of story ideas. I’m a very visual person and when someone says a phrase during a chat or discussion, I will get an image of it that will make a good story.
The Fibers Arts Crafters meet every Saturday and they are a never ending source for ideas. Our last discussion centered on getting a specific yarn, ribbon yarn, that seemed to be in short supply from every source local and mail order. Carol commented that pretty soon we were going to have to shear sheep and spin the wool ourselves. Connie said “Farmers will find naked sheep where we’ve struck.” The image of naked sheep, huddled in a barn around a pot- bellied stove, staring accusingly at the farmer was just too good. Why it was Shear Panic and a story was born.
In the middle of writing the story, I glanced at the TV to see the next movie – you guessed it. Another story was born – Sheepless in Seattle. Best of all, Jen brought in the brochure for a new yarn made from buffalo down and silk. The yarn is called Sexy and another story is glimmering on the horizon – a Very Sexy Yarn. Stories are everywhere. You just have to be receptive to theses little hidden gems. Besides you can never have too much Sexy Yarn. ====================================================== What’s in a name? By C. L. Kraemer or is it -- Celia Cooper?
A name—it is the gift, or curse, inflicted upon us by our parents. If we’re lucky, the title they choose is strong and vibrant, bringing to mind feats of great people who lived before we did. If we’re cursed, we get stuck with some archaic designation dealt out in a time long-since past, which gives us the opportunity to become acquainted with the art of pugilism. When I first started writing, I was faced with choosing my writing name—the honorific I would put in my books at all my book signings. What’s so difficult about that you ask? Nothing if you know what genre you will write and are happy putting your tag on it. But let’s make a silly assumption you think you might dabble in other genres such as fantasy or horror or… you get the idea. My first exposure to the commercial writing world was a jarring wake-up call about genres. I wrote romantic suspense for my first three books. The key phrase here is romantic. At the time, I subscribed to a writer’s magazine whose target audience was general fiction. Authors writing guest columns lambasted romance novelists as hacks turning out formulaic garbage with no redeeming value. They swore never to read anything certain authors wrote because what they’d get would be romance and nothing else. Image the dismay when they discovered J.D. Robb, the prolific mystery writer of the “In Death” series [36 books] was Nora Roberts, writer of 209 romance novels. Surprise! My books were nothing like the stories being churned out of the large romance publishers but there was romance in the novels. I knew, however, I wanted to write mysteries at some point and leave my options open for other genres. What was I to do? When my first book was accepted by one of my current publishers, WingsePress.com, I decided to use my favorite aunt’ s first name and my maiden name to title myself. So when you see books by Celia Cooper you know there will be General Fiction or Mystery and woven throughout a love story of one or more of the characters. My second publisher RoguePhoenixPress.com carries the rest of my books in Mystery, Fantasy and Science Fiction under my bill-paying name C. L. Kraemer. And yes, even they have some romance in them. After all, in the real world, how many men have killed for a woman and vice versa?