Bloody inspiration

Crime writing is a big book category in Britain and here are this year’s Dagger award winners. As always, I like to look to winners for inspiration.

Daggers crime writing awards presented to ‘the best of the best’ | Books | The Guardian.


Tips from Anne Perry

Scene from one of Anne Perry's writing video by Sharon P.Lynn)

I’m at the Love Is Murder conference in Chicago this weekend. Yesterday we had a Skype session with the prolific and generous Anne Perry, who was in Great Britain. We also watched one of her two new “Put Your Heart on the Page” videos. (I took the photo from my seat while we watched.) You can get a copy from Amazon or on her website You’ll hear even more of her writing advice on the videos than we heard in our master class.
One of my favorite bits of her advice about backstory is to “drip, drip, drip” it  into the plot so the reader learns it as she reads, but by the end of the book it makes sense of the whole story. It provides the motive for a character’s action and the engine for the plot.


“I can’t believe Becky even said,” that, Miriam growled, slamming her books onto her desk in the dorm room. “I mean, what business is it of hers whether I go out with Dick?”

“Slow down,” her roommate Sandy said, surprising herself when she realized she was waving her hands in the air, as if she could somehow slow Becky’s tirade that way. “What did you say she said?”

Becky paced the four open feet between the desks. “She said I might want to be careful before I got too involved with him. “


“I have no idea. She said she didn’t want to talk about it, but she knew he’d done something awful to another girl he went out with.”

“So, you’re saying she never actually went out with Dick herself?” Sandy asked.

“No, she didn’t,” Becky responded. She finally plopped down on the edge of the window sill, her back to the palette of fall leaves that colored the entire campus. “So, what difference does it make to her?”

“Well, maybe she’s jealous. Otherwise, why would she even pay that much attention to him?”

“Maybe. I don’t know. What do you think I should do?” Becky asked, sounding a little dejected.

“Well, as the bard said, ‘All the past is prologue,” Sandy said. “Or, as Scarlett put it, ‘Tomorrow is another day.’ Guess you just need to wait to see what she – or he – does next.”