May Newsletter

Post date: May 10, 2017 2:49:37 AM

"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."

William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)

I was delighted to interview one of my author heroes, Laura Childs (pseudonym) / Gerry Schmitt. Preparing for the interview, my ppulse raced with excitement that was tinged with trepidation. Could knowing more about her blur the heroic vision I'd created for myself? How much do we really want to know about our heroes anyway? How muich should be left to our imagination?

So I've been thinking about the heroes we creeate in our stories. What do readers look for when they're shopping for a hero? Heroes don't come from off the rack; they're customizsed - think of unique Frodo Baggins, Nancy Drew, and Indiana Jones for diverse examples. And yet, there are elements that set our heroes apart. Here are a few:

Courage is the essence of a hero. A hero overcomes personal fears and challenges head on.

Sacrifice is what is noble acts about a hero. Admiration follows a character who suffers for others.

Persistence against endless obstacles, and sometimes failures, sets a hero apart. They find a way.

Compassion and tenderness is extended to those ailing or in distress.

Honesty is the foundation for a hero's efforts, and gains the trust of followers and readers.

Loyalty burns brightly from within the heart of heroes.

Belief is strong in the hero, and will not be swayed.

Wisdom gained and applied by the hero will win the day.

A reader determines for himself your character's "hero worthiness" - those distinctive mental and moral qualities demonstrated through your writing. A hero will gain heroic elements and learn to use them through the story, and the reader will see how the changes direct the character's actions. A reader wants to know more about their heroes, that appetite is never fully satisfied. It's good to learn about our heroes. Don't approach your heroes with trepidation. We all possess some heroic virtues; what sets a hero apart is how they're used. The engaged reader wonders, could I have done that? Could I have faced that? The writer is responsible to show those heroic actions as a spark of imagination that leaps from the page into the reader's heart. That's when you've made actions speak louder than words.

And by the way, Laura Childs does not disappoint - she shines. I'm so glad that I've learned more about my hero, and had some fun with her as well. Treat yourself to Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Laura Childs/Gerry Schmitt -

You'll learn so much information that's applicable through the broad mystery spectrum, and beyond. And who knows, you may discover a new hero.

Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Glen Erik Hamilton, who thrills the Podners with his Van Shaw series: Past Crimes and also Hard Cold Winter, with the third, Every Day Above Ground out in July. We talk thrills for his characters, and breaking news on his next works. Find out how Gloen and Van Shaw are similar and get surprising book recommendations. -

Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Simon Wood, who tells the Podners fascinating information about his many exciting thrillers like Terminated and Deceptive Practices, and reveals how daring life experiences shape mystery writing, and also reading. -

New Podcasts - Let the Suspense Begin

In addition to Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Laura Childs -

Recommended Reads -

Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs

Little Girl Gone by Gerry Schmitt

Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton -

The One That Got Away


Both by Simon Wood -

Exciting Writers' Conferences are underway. These conferences are wonderful for meeting other writers and authors, exercising new ideas, learning, and making direct contact with the Publishing community. There is so much to learn about the craft, the business, and the joys of writingat these conferences. Attending will be rejuvenating.

Practicing what I recommend, I'm signed up to attend two conferences, and I'm privileged to be presenting workshops as well:

Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference (July 20 - July 23) - Our mission is to develop writing talent through education, accessibility to the publishing industry, and participation in an interactive, writer community.

I'll be presenting The Contemporary Cozy Mystery Workshop

Rivers of Ink Conference (August 18 - 19) - Dedicated to empowering writers. Embracing inspiration and growth, our goal is to create a visionary culture among local writers where champion each others work. A conference of a broad spectrum from craft, to publishing, to motivation, toward writing and publishing dreams.

I'll be presenting two workshops: Layering Your Writing and The Art of Mystery

Fun Fact From Cozy Research - It was recently announced that Coach has bought Kate Spade. An interesting business decision expected to help Coach with distribution in particular. But could be quite the clash of artistry. Coach comes from a long history of understated design, great functionality, repositioning recently with an overarching theme of sexy fun that also works. Theirs is a long history beginning with bags designed for airline stewardesses and military women. Kate Spade began in her apartment living room with the theme that handbags make a woman feel good. They were not meant to be too serious, instead a link to playful chic and preppy. They have bright color and a spot of interest. Kate Spade's personal favorite was a big, bright pink Malta Cabana tote trimmed in white leather. The first Kate Spade IT Bag was in 1993 with their square, nylon shopper. This brand has had a huge resurgence with the Millenials generation.