Friday, September 12, 2014

September SinC-Up

Not my usual Friday fare as you can see.

I'm a member of Sisters in Crime (SinC) and heard about this fun blogging event from the national headquarters. Throughout the month of September bloggers will be doing a SinC-Up, and I decided to participate. The guidelines are simple, so if you would like to join in, write a blog post responding to one or more of the questions below, and at the end of the post, link to another author who blogs and who you think your readers will want to get to know. (Letting that blogger know would be a good idea, too!) Bloggers do not have to be members of Sisters in Crime to participate, and there is no sign-up or schedule to follow.

Here are some questions to choose from:
  • 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?
You don't need to answer them all - just whichever takes your fancy. We want this to be fun! And if you would rather not explain the process for joining the September SinC-Up in your post, you may link to www.sistersincrime.org/bloghop which covers it all.

If you do, please mention and link to Sisters in Crime in your post. So that participants' posts can be publicized through our social media channels, we ask that you tweet your link using the hashtag #SinC-up or #SinCBlogHop and include @SINCnational (if you are on Twitter), or email webmaven@sistersincrime.org directly with your link (if you are not on Twitter).

Okay that's the set up, and I am going to link to an author I have gotten to know online. Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series that features an amateur sleuth. She also writes paranormal romances with a bit of sci-fi or fantasy thrown into the mix. I know books that have elements of several genres are popular among readers, so you might enjoy those. I'm not so fond of mixing like that, but I have enjoyed her cozy mysteries.

Now to answer some of the questions:

Which male authors write great women characters?  I think Craig Johnson does a terrific job with his female characters. I have loved the tough Victoria "Vic" Moretti in the books and the television series, "Longmire". While she has all the feminine qualities that show a bit of a soft side to her character, she is kick-ass tough and believable as a strong woman in law enforcement.

If someone said "Nothing against women writers, but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men," how would you respond? How many women crime writers have you read? There are a whole bunch of us who can hold our own against the guys, and sometimes women who write using a pen name that sounds masculine are mistaken for a man. When my mystery, Doubletake, was first published under the pen name Sutton Miller, a reviewer complimented Mr. Miller on a terrific thriller. Margaret Sutton and I appreciated the irony of that. 

What's the best part of the writing process for you? What's the most challenging? The best part of the writing process is when the characters are driving the story, and I am just along for the ride - and the typing. That creative highway is such a blast. The most challenging part of writing is the business side. There are very few writers I know who enjoy the marketing and promoting, and those who say they do? Well, I hate to say this about my friends, but I think they are lying just to appear all with it and all that.

What books are on my nightstand? Actually I have a stuffed rabbit and often a live cat on my nightstand so there is little room for anything else. The books waiting for me to read are on the desk in the bedroom or loaded into my Kindle. Yes, I do read quite a bit on the Kindle, especially books for review here on my blog. So, right now I'm reading Sarnia by Hilary Ford, a Victorian-era woman's novel. Interestingly enough, the author is really Sam Youd, so he is another male writer who can create believable women characters. On the desk is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which has been waiting since July for me to make time for it; Silent Prey by John Sandford, and Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein.
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I'm heading out today to go to Tyler for the East Texas Book Fest.  Check it out on Saturday if you live near Tyler. Lots of events for the whole family to enjoy, and a good time to pick up gifts for readers. There is nothing I treasure more than an autographed book.

2 comments:

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Thanks for the link. I will take up the challenge and post to this over the weekend. As for your answers above, I actually do enjoy some of the marketing aspects. I like making connections with readers online.

Maryann Miller said...

Good point about the marketing, Nancy. I guess I've never thought of the conversations and exchanges I've had with readers as marketing. I do love to have a personal connection, such as an e-mail or comment or review, but it's that ongoing effort to find new readers that I find so challenging and time-consuming.