Monthly Archives: July 2019

Criminal Mischief: Episode #24: Common Writing Mistakes


Criminal Mischief: Episode #24: Common Writing Mistakes




Writers, particularly early in their careers, make mistakes. Often the same ones over and over. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid.


Too many words

Too cute by far

Strained Metaphors

Purple prose


Tag alert

Characters all sound the same

Inane conversations

“As you know” chatting



Not too much

Not too little

Just enough—the telling details


In and Out quickly—in medias res

Leave question/tension at end


Stay in one at a time

Except Omniscient—hard to do


Fast but not too fast

Vary pace


How much?



The one cardinal rule

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Posted by on July 30, 2019 in Writing


Criminal Mischief: Episode #23: Apollo 11 & Me





It’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 years. Exactly 50 years.

This show has nothing to do with crime writing or the science of crime. It is rather a step back in world history. And in my personal history. Yes, I was there. Inside the gates of the Cape Canaveral Space Center. July 16, 1969, 9:32 a.m. I remember it like it was yesterday. Please indulge me and join me for this trip down memory lane.

The above picture is more or less the view I had of the launch. The sky was clear, the tension thick, and not a dry eye to be found.

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Posted by on July 16, 2019 in Space Program, Writing


Talking About Forensic Science on the For Dummies Podcast Series


Had I a great time chatting with Eric Martsolf on the For Dummies podcast series about FORENSICS FOR DUMMIES and Forensic Science. Drop by and take a listen:

More Info and to order FORENSICS FRO DUMMIES:





Katherine Ramsland and Linda Fairstein in Suspense Magazine and on Crime and Science Radio


This month’s edition of Suspense Magazine features two of my favorite folks: Katherine Ramsland and Linda Fairstein.

First there is the transcript of Katherine’s visit to Crime and Science Radio where Jan Burke and me discussed her book on the BTK Killer. Check it out.

Learn more about Katherine and listen to the show:

Then a wonderful interview with Linda Fairstein, who was also our guest on Crime and Science Radio. 

Learn more about Linda and listen to the show:

Check out all 70 Crime and Science Radio shows:–science-radio.html

If you don’t yet subscribe to Suspense Magazine you should.


SUNSHINE STATE is a Kindle Monthly Deal for July

SUNSHINE STATE is a Kindle Monthly Deal for July. Only $0.99

Join Jake, Nicole, Ray, and Pancake in the insanity that is Florida.





From Publishers Weekly:

In Lyle’s ingenious third mystery featuring retired major league pitcher Jake Longly (after 2017’s A-List), Jake, who runs a restaurant in Gulf Shores, Ala., is again roped into working for his father Ray’s PI firm. An attorney has contacted Ray on behalf of Billy Wayne Baker, a convicted serial killer. Though Baker pleaded guilty to strangling seven women, he insists that he killed only five of them, and wants that assertion validated. When Jake meets Baker in prison, the murderer refuses to name the other killer, claiming that doing so would lead to accusations that Jake’s inquiries were biased. The investigator’s task is made even harder by Baker’s not even identifying which of the dead women were killed by someone else . (To his credit, Lyle makes this complicated scenario credible.) Along with his girlfriend, Jake travels to Pine Key, Fla., the scene of three of the strangulations, where the couple pretends to be researching a documentary examining the impact of the killings on the small community. The clever plot twists will surprise even genre veterans. This entry is the best in the series so far. 

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Posted by on July 1, 2019 in Writing

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