The Saturday Writing Quote – on the whodunnit

“It’s one thing reading about detectives, quite another trying to be one. I’ve always loved whodunnits. I’ve not just edited them. I’ve read them for pleasure throughout my life, gorging on them actually. You must know that feeling when it’s raining outside and the heating’s on and you lose yourself, utterly, in a book. You read and you read and you feel the pages slipping through your fingers until suddenly there are fewer in your right hand than there are in your left and you want to slow down but you still hurtle on towards a conclusion you can hardly bear to discover. That is the particular power of the whodunnit which has, I think, a special place within the general panoply of literary fiction because, of all characters, the detective enjoys a particular, indeed a unique relationship with the reader.

Whodunnits are all about truth: nothing more, nothing less. In a world full of uncertainties, is it not inherently satisfying to come to the last page with every I dotted and every t crossed? The stories mimic our experience in the world. We are surrounded by tensions and ambiguities, which we spend half our life trying to resolve, and we’ll probably be on our own deathbed when we reach that moment when everything makes sense. Just about every whodunnit provides that pleasure. It is the reason for their existence. It’s why Magpie Murders was so bloody irritating.”

— from Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz (2017)

‘Tis the day! Launch Day for AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES

Just like a kid at Christmas, we wait and wait — and then, all of a sudden, it’s here! Launch Day for AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, the 5th Food Lovers’ Village Mystery. More details, including an excerpt and buy links, on my website.

“Clean-as-a-whistle dialogue, endearing characters, and a solid plot make this cozy a winner.” – Publishers Weekly

The Saturday Writing Quote

Here at the Yellow House in the Hundred Acre Wood, we’re all a-flutter over the new book, As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles, which releases officially on June 8. Read more about it, including an excerpt, on my website. Check my tour schedule there, too—in June, I’ll be in Seattle, Bigfork, Augusta, Billings, and Bozeman, and in July, I’ll be in Polson and Missoula. I would love to see you.

So for June, my quotes all touch on the role of books and stories in our lives. Writing—storytelling—is the only way I know to explore the world. Thank you for taking the journey with me.

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

– Muriel Rukeyser, American poet and activist, 1913-1980

Tis the season — As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles coming soon!

Delighted to tell you that AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, the 5th Food Lovers’ Village Mystery will be released on June 8, in paperback, e-book, and audio (Midnight Ink/Recorded Books).

From the cover: 
Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit—and herself—alive til Christmas?

In Jewel Bay, Montana’s Christmas Village, all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, aka the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

The early reviews are thrilling! Publishers Weekly says “Clean-as-a-whistle dialogue, endearing characters, and a solid plot make this cozy a winner.” And Kirkus Reviews, notoriously difficult to please, says ” “Budewitz’s finely drawn characters, sharp ear for dialogue, and well-paced puzzle make Jewel Bay a destination for every cozy fan.”

I’ll be celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas on my Facebook page, from May 22 to June 5, with giveaways of Christmas mysteries by friends of mine, including Victoria Hamilton, Vicki Delany, Lucy Burdette, and Cleo Coyle, along with bookstore giftcards and holiday-themed prizes. Visit the page, like it, and comment, for a chance to win.

You know how I love to talk about books and writing! I’ll be in Seattle, Bigfork, Augusta, Billings and Bozeman in June, and later in the summer, in Polson and Missoula. Details on the News & Events page on my website.

And as in past years, my publisher has arranged a blog tour, with essays, interviews, and reviews. Many of the tour stops will include a chance to win a book. Here’s the tour:
May 30 — Writers Who Kill — interview
June 5 — Jungle Red Writers — guest post
June 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book  — guest post
June 7 – The Book’s the Thing
June 7 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies
June 7 – A Blue Million Books — interview
June 8 — Cinnamon & Sugar and A Little Bit of Murder — a baker we all wish lived next door shows you how to make my Fudge Ecstasies, one of my favorite Christmas cookies!
June 8 – The Avid Reader
June 8 – The Montana Bookaholic
June 8 – Carole’s Book Corner — guest post
June 9 – MJB Reviewers
June 9 – Texas Book-aholic
June 10 – Rosepoint Publishing
June 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy — guest post
June 11 — Dru’s Book Musings — an interview with Erin Murphy, star of the show
June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews
June 11 – Babs Book Bistro
June 11 – Ruff Drafts
June 12 – The Power of Words
June 12 – Island Confidential – author interview
June 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – guest post
June 13 – Valerie’s Musings
June 14 – cherylbbookblog
June 14 – My Reading Journeys
June 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower
June 15 – A Holland Reads
June 16 – A Chick Who Reads
June 17 –   Mysteries with Character – author interview
June 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog
June 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews
June 19 – Bibliophile Reviews
June 19 – Laura’s Interests
June 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
June 20 – Melina’s Book Blog
June 20 – Brooke Blogs – guest post

I hope to celebrate Christmas in June with you, somewhere along the way!

 

 

The Saturday Writing Quote — characterization, again

“It is the genius of great fiction to reveal the way it feels to be another person. Empathically connecting to experiences of love, hate, despair or joy is one of the major reasons people will pick up your book. But it is important to remember that our feelings are intimately tied to what we think. Anger arises not only because we don’t get what we want, but also because we don’t get what we deserve. Grief comes because we lose something we love, something we think is worth loving. Our most intense feelings are connected to our most deeply held philosophical visions of justice and value. As you develop your characters, show us what they are thinking that contributes to their intense emotions. What makes something valuable ir hateful to them? What do they think they and others deserve in life? Also, what do you think about what they think?”

— Roger S. Gottlieb, The Writer, July 2014

The Saturday Writing Quote — characterization

Writers are often told their characters need to be “likeable,” but I think the better term is identifiable. Not that we want to be them — Olive Kitteredge, anyone? —  but that we trust such people can exist.

Or as novelist Claire Messud Publisher’s Weekly, “If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘is this character alive?’”