I Have No Idea if There Were Communist Go-Go Parties (or, Balancing Research with Creative License)

I have written Communist go-go dancers. Not in a comedy, either. Technically, they were recruits among honors-level university students, but they broke into go-go dancing as the Party’s party night deepened and the drinks mounted. The setting was early ’70s Budapest, and the Happiest Barracks in the Iron Curtain reveled in its post-crackdown decay. Our…… Continue reading I Have No Idea if There Were Communist Go-Go Parties (or, Balancing Research with Creative License)

Old Time Religion: Behind “Let It Burn”

First, a numbness. A chill that says you shouldn’t have gone and bit in, that something wicked this way comes. The heat does not flood in, yet. It builds. The nose starts to run, and your voice catches. Your body knows only to sweat. Because it’s too late to run. With Nashville hot chicken, the…… Continue reading Old Time Religion: Behind “Let It Burn”

Behind: “Crack-up at Waycross”

First things first: the proceeds from Bouchercon’s Murder Under the Oaks go to the Wake Country Public Libraries. And folks, reading is cool. In November 2013, thieves broke into a Modesto, CA orchard and made off with 140,000 pounds–70 tons–of in-shell walnuts. In February 2012, a shade to the north, 40,000ish tons of walnuts went missing from a Butte…… Continue reading Behind: “Crack-up at Waycross”

First Two Pages + Two Bad Hamiltons = Too Good a Time!

I’m delighted to have a guest post over at The First Two Pages, a blog run by writer extraordinaire B.K. Stevens. Every week a novelist or story writer takes apart an opening they find instructive: the fits and starts of crafting it, how the hook became sharp, etc. In my case, I’ve taken apart the…… Continue reading First Two Pages + Two Bad Hamiltons = Too Good a Time!