Writers Helping Writers

Sisters In Crime Blog Hop

The talented and versatile S. K. Nicholls (of Red Clay and Roses fame) has tagged me to participate in the Sisters in Crime Blog Hop.  Click here to see what Susan has to say about Sisters in Crime (SinC).  She’s pretty much convinced me that I should join this organization.  And why is that, you may ask?  Well, I know I tend to not join organizations because, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, I don’t like to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.  And yet ….

I’ve been writing crime fiction for a couple of years now.  I have a few rough drafts of novels lying about (mocking me for the most part) and it may do me some good to sign up with SinC and get some organizational support.  Maybe I’ll even start taking myself seriously.  So I accept the challenge of participating in this blog hop.

The “rules” for participation are thus:

Pick one or more of the following questions and answer to the best of your ability. I picked three.

There are seven questions offered in the blog hop: 

  • Which authors have inspired you?
  • Which male authors write great women characters? Which female authors write great male characters?
  • If someone said “Nothing against women writers, but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men,” how would you respond?
  • What’s the best part of the writing process for you? What’s the most challenging?
  • Do you listen to music while writing? What’s on your playlist?
  • What books are on your nightstand right now?
  • If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?

(1) Which authors have inspired you?

I’ve been a big fan of Louise Penny and her Chief Inspector Gamache series for several years now.  Her crime fiction is more literary than most, with long stretches of character development and meditations on place, food, and art.  The Canadian village she has created, Three Pines, has come to feel like home for me and the quirky, eccentric but endearing characters as long-time friends.  I also enjoy Kathy Reich, Anne Perry, Patricia Cornwall, Tana French, Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rowling), John Grisham, Jo Nesbo, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (Agent Pendergast series), Charles Todd, to name a few.  While most write contemporary police procedurals, they have differences that play to my various moods and interests.  Crime fiction is a very broad field.

(2) If someone said “Nothing against women writers, but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men,” how would you respond?

“You haven’t been reading enough.”  I do lean toward women writers when I look for books to read, but once I find an author I like, I tend to read whatever they publish as long as they keep publishing.  For a time I was smitten with Jo Nesbo and all I read was Jo Nesbo, and much of that was just catching up in his Harry Hole series.  But I always look forward to new books by Tana French and Louise Penny and now the lovely Robert Galbraith.  I would recommend that this person, this someone pick up any one of the books written by any one of the women writers I’ve mentioned, and give them a go.

(3) Do you listen to music while writing? What’s on your playlist?

Sadly, I can’t tolerate any music, any distraction, when I’m writing.  Even while writing this particular post, all is quiet around me, which is how I like it.  When I was a very young girl, I would study with the TV on.  I suspect that I really wasn’t studying (and my grades generally supported that suspicion).  I need to concentrate and the least sound can interrupt my thought process.  If I could afford it, I would have a soundproof room for a writing space.

Now, as with all blog hops, I am to “pass the torch.”  Fortunately, participants in the hop do not need to be female.  Yea!  That makes it SO much easier because the first person to come to my mind is John W. Howell, author of the exciting thriller, My GRL.  John keeps a blog running at Fiction Favorites and currently posts a Top Ten List of Things Not to Do every Monday, a short short story on Wednesdays, a johnku on Fridays (you’ll have to go to his blog to see what a johnku is), and a stream of consciousness post on Saturdays, not to mention the occasional post in-between to promote fellow authors.  As if that weren’t enough writing, John is currently working on the third novel in his trilogy.  Happily for his readers, his second novel is in the hands of his publisher.

My apologies to John for giving him such late notice about this blog hop.  How much longer can I use my post-vacay muddled mind as an excuse for laxity?

To promote Sisters in Crime and the blog hop, please tweet using #SinC-up or #SinCBlogHop and include @SINCnational.


16 thoughts on “Sisters In Crime Blog Hop

  1. Great answers, Marie! I admire people who write crime and mystery novels…I don’t think I’m clever enough to write in that genre. 🙂
    I had to laugh at your last statement about your “muddled mind.” Milk it for as long as you can. 🙂


  2. This was great! I, too, am a “silence is golden” writer. Jo Nesbo is on my reading list. Don’t forget to tweet! Let me know if you decide to join up. I am seriously considering it. many of their functions are in Florida…the convention state. 🙂


    1. I plan to join. Just waiting until the next billing cycle of my credit card. The current cycle still has vacation expenses on it 😉 Thanks again for the tag. It was fun and I appreciate learning about SinC. (And I was a good girl … I tweeted.)


  3. Thanks for tagging me. I happen to have a great deal of respect for the Sisters in Crime organization. I’ll have to think of who to tag, but the post itself will be fun. I enjoyed your answers. BTW a vacy muddled mind is the best way to operate.


  4. Silence for me too (when writing). I love Tana French and Canadian author LK Wright who sadly is no longer with us. Thanks for the other recommendations will check them out 🙂


  5. I really enjoyed this, Marie 🙂 It’s interesting, for me, to see the authors other writers like.
    I give you permission to have a ‘vacy mine’ and to take another vacation immediately!


  6. I read several of your faves, though Jo Nesbo’s latest didn’t do much for me. Ditto Tana French. Loved her first one. Went downhill from there. Louise Penny is on my list, as my friend Alice loves her.


    1. That’s the tricky thing about a series: ideally, each book is better than the previous, but not always. I liked French’s subsequent novels, in part because her books are published far enough apart that her last novel isn’t foremost in my mind when I pick up her next. I would have totally given up on Nesbo if he hadn’t put Hole on the wagon. There’s only so much drunken sot dialogue I can take ;). I haven’t read his newest release because, frankly, I think Hole should be dead given everything he’s been put through. As for Penny, she is my favorite but she is not perfect. If you read her series, start with her first, Still Life. It’s wonderful.


  7. I can relate to Groucho Marx’s saying and also not having any music on while writing. (painting can be different)
    As far as women writers, if it is at all like the art world (visual), women have had an uphill battle. We won’t go into that now. Good luck if you join! Maybe good for you, Marie! I am thinking of joining a critique group for visual artists. Same leap for me.


    1. Hello, Hollis! When I’m doing things like knitting or sewing, I like having something on in the background, music or an audiobook. Working with my hands seems to free the part of my brain that takes in speech. I do plan on joining Sisters in Crime. Just waiting until my credit card is paid off 😉


  8. Great post. I’m just learning about blog tours,s, blog hops, etc and I’m certainly enjoying the different blog posts that I’ve read. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.


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