Liz’s Lair: Now Write! Mysteries

Before I get into my subject for today, I want to wish everyone a happy new year with much success, happiness and good health for all of us. I mentioned yesterday on FaceBook that I was starting my New Year’s resolutions. Most are the usual ones–lose weight, eat healthier, volunteer, etc. This year I’m adding one special one–I have to get disciplined with my writing schedule. HAVE TO. For two books/deadlines now, I have taken it down to the wire with last minute panicking going on. I am probably the world’s worst procrastinator. I know this about myself, yet I mess around until I end up in crisis mode. I’ve even admitted that maybe I like being in that state of mind. Remember my blog a while back–“Hi, I’m Liz. I’m a crisis junkie.”

Anyway, this year I am going to make myself write at least twenty pages a week, which for me, an OCD editor, is a lot. Right now I’m in panic mode, having already asked for and received a deadline extension. I’m trying to spit out 25 pages a week. With the holidays, my six-week promotional tour for LIVER LET DIE, the launch of MORTAL DECEPTION, and some personal stuff in my life, I have fallen woefully behind. It’s hard to write funny stuff when your life is happening and your heart is hurting.

So, I’m counting on you guys to kick my butt every week to make sure I get that goal met.

One other big thing I want to do in 2012 is to read. That is the one area that I have really neglected since I signed a contract and faced deadlines. I just can’t seem to find the time, but the biggest reason is that I can’t have someone else’s characters invading my head instead of my own. A few months ago I was contacted by a publicist at Berkley who wanted to know if I would be interested in previewing an upcoming book.

Free book–hell, yes!

Since then I have had three others from Berkley and one from Medallion Press send me books. Did I mention I barely have time to write my own??

But I decided if I am going to continue previewing these books, then I need to start REVIEWING these books!! So, today is the first book review of NOW WRITE! Mysteries by Sherry Ellis and Laurie Lamson (Laurie took over the editing after her aunt, Sherry, passed away before this book could be published.) So here goes.

NOW WRITE! Mysteries “is an essential handbook of suspense, crime, thriller and other mystery exercises covering topics from research and “detective work” to creating a compelling detective character and keeping a series going.”

This was an awesome book both for seasoned as well as beginning mystery authors. Getting advice from some of the most successful mystery writers in the business was eye-opening. I know I must have some skills in mystery writing since I have a contract, but I found a lot of the advice to be things I didn’t really think about. It will make writing my next cozy a lot easier. And I especially loved the exercises at the end of each chapter.

In other words, NOW WRITE! Mysteries is a keeper for me–one that I will refer to many times in my writing career.

So, have any of you read it? Do you want to after my review? If so, you can order it here. Then make it one of your resolutions.