Category Archives: Writing

The Moment of Love

Today I had that magic moment where I go from liking my characters to being head over heels in love with them.

I’m always intrigued by them, or I wouldn’t write them. I usually quite like them. But loving them – that’s when I need to write them. That’s when writing the story becomes less of an exercise or a chore to become an urge. I need to be in their world.

Yes, I even love the villains. Who doesn’t love a villain?

This is the moment where I understand them, what drives them, why they do what they do. This is the moment where I can see clearly what they look like, how they move. This is the moment where I think about them all day, what happens next for them, how will they react? I dream about them as I used to dream about imaginary lovers.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad


A Seasonal Book by Christine Duncan

I’m looking for a seasonal mystery. And since I read them every year and don’t want to reread, I’m having a bit of a hard time.

I envy little kids. You can go to the bookstore or the library and immediately pick the seasonal book that you are dying for. When my kids were little, we would look forward to the Halloween books, then the Thanksgiving books until finally, it was time for Christmas books. And then it was the Valentine books and it all started over again.

Right now, I’m spending a little more time than I should at, trying to find a Halloween mystery I haven’t read yet. It is taking me a while. But you know some work is worth the effort.


Sometimes it flows.

Sometimes it’s like wading through treacle.

Not that lovely golden treacle they make tarts and treacle pudding from.

I could just go for a treacle pudding

No, it’s that thick, sticky, dark treacle that is really slow and is that what Americans call molasses?

Ooh, Google!

Yes it is. There was a molasses disaster? How does that even happen?

Boston 1919, a molasses tank exploded and molasses ran down the street. Stop giggling. People died! That’s not funny.

You could never put it in a book though. Oh yes. The book. I’m supposed to bs writing. I am writing. Let’s start writing. Ok, I’m in front of the computer. I know what needs to be done. Let’s do this! Let’s write!

I wonder what treacle is made of.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how writers procrastinate.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Writing by Christine Duncan

We made a rule when we started this blog that all posts would be writing related. And with few exceptions, we have kept to the rule.
But sometimes it is harder than others. Today my mind is in Florida with family and friends and writing is just not cutting it. A few have checked in on Facebook; but it is Sunday evening and there are a couple I have yet to hear from. I’m sure they are fine…just without electricity or something but still…
So, with apologies for the non-writing post, I am going back to Facebook.

Finding the Voice

I’ve been writing a new collection of characters and the most challenging thing is finding the voice of the main character, the one telling the story.

I’m used to Mrs Hudson’s rather calm, watchful, acerbic voice. My new character isn’t like that. It’s taken time to find her voice, to work out how she thinks and feels and reacts.

But once I’m in her head, once I write in her voice, it all flows beautifully, and I discover things I never knew about her – her anger, her desire to succeed, her excitement, her propensity for swearing…I like her a lot.

This is one of the joys of first person writing, getting to get inside someone else’s head, and discover how they really think.

The ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Happy Labor day by Christine Duncan

Faking a best seller

How annoyed am I about the story about the NYT bestseller list being manipulated?

Very annoyed. Annoyed it was done, annoyed it was possible, annoyed anyone thought it was ok.

It’s basically an insult to anyone who got on the list by sheer talent and individual sales.

I’ve not read the book. Maybe it’s good. Maybe it would have got on there by merit. But that book and that author are now tainted. No one will ever believe a good review of theirs ever again.

But I impressed by the YA community getting together and tracking down what happened, and how it happened and presenting proof. Truly Sherlockian work.

So what’s the lesson? Don’t mess with the YA community. Don’t mess with authors. Don’t fake it, you’ll get caught eventually.

The ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad