cozy mystery

Selling Books Successfully at Festivals

The weather was warm and sunny and the crowds relaxed and interested at the annual Kensington (MD) Festival of the Book on Sunday. We were busy at our booth all day. At my booth, I displayed my 90’s Club mystery novels, author Millie Mack displayed her Faraday mystery novels, and my husband Roger McIntire displayed his practical books for parents.

Selling at a book fair is not easy. Most passersby will do just that. Pass by. You have to stand out front, establish eye contact, and ask them, “Can I tell you about my books?” Most

Millie Mack, author of the Faraday mysteries.
Millie Mack, author of the Faraday mysteries.
people will say, “Okay.”

All three of us at our booth were generous to the others. After describing our books and answering questions, we directed the visitor Continue reading “Selling Books Successfully at Festivals”


Speaking for Sisters in Crime

Last Saturday I was one of 12 mystery authors on the program at the Sisters in Crime chapter program in the Columbia, MD, public library. Sisters in Crime is an association of mystery writers and fans. Each of us presented a 4 ½ minute report on our latest books. Afterwards, we sat at tables to sign our books.

My latest book, The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock, will be on sale by December 1, but I didn’t receive advance copies in time for the program. Still, I had a copy of the cover and could talk about it. The other two books in the series were on sale there.Clock cover final small

My mysteries involve Nancy Dickenson and the 90s Club at Whisperwood Retirement Village, which like most upscale retirement places, resembles a cruise ship or luxury resort. Continue reading “Speaking for Sisters in Crime”

Hello everyone,
Need a speaker or workshop leader? I am an experienced speaker and have conducted workshops on subjects related to writing, publishing, and historical research. East coast only, though, since I live in Maryland. Contact me at

On the calendar:
August, 2015: Guest Speaker, Sugarloaf Congregation of Unitarian Universalists, Germantown, MD. Talk: “Don’t cut your life short.” Expect to be active, alert, and able no matter what your age.

I’m also seeking an agent for my two latest novels:
In Rembrandt’s Shadow, commercial and historical fiction
The 90s Club & the Secret of the Old Clock, Cozy mystery.

Association memberships provide useful and important benefits. I profit from membership in the Maryland Writers Association, Sisters in Crime and its Chesapeake Chapter, Independent Book Publishers Association, and the MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association. I also attend meetings of Mystery Writers of America.

I traveled throughout Florida and Morocco to research my novel, Shadow of the Rock, and in process learned about the Morocco-America connection. A slim, attractive 91-year-old woman swimming laps in a pool is the inspiration for my 90s Club series of cozy mysteries. All available in e-book and paperback at or see my website,

Enjoy the day!
Eileen Haavik McIntire

To Outline or Not to Outline

When I finished my third novel, I swore that I would first outline then work from the outline to write my fourth novel.

An outline, I thought, would help me write a book more efficiently, without the need to reorganize chapters, backtrack to check plot points, or rewrite to sort out confusion and repetition. An outline would propel me forward each day, since I would know what needed to happen next. With an outline, I could probably finish a novel in just a couple of months.

Excellent plan, I thought. How naive could I be?

Very. I simply can’t write that way. I don’t know what’s going to happen to my characters until I get immersed in their lives and dilemmas. I don’t think of all the interweaving plot points and digressions at first. The ideas simmer and froth in the back of my mind until I pull them forth as my characters and the plot dynamics need them.

Now that I’m halfway through my fourth novel, a sequel to Shadow of the Rock entitled Return of the Rembrandt, I realize that my first draft has to be considered my “outline.” It still needs much filling in. Character development, relationships, motivations, and plot points have to be refined and strengthened. But I’m on the way.

Years ago, I gave a workshop on setting goals. I discovered that most of the people in the workshop resisted goal-setting. I was shocked. I had thought goal-setting was a no-brainer. Like writing an outline. The most common reason the naysayers gave was that single-minded working to reach a set goal got in the way of serendipitous possibilities along the way. They made an impression, because that’s the way I’ve come to feel about outlining a novel.

More for the 90s Club

For those who arch eyebrows at my 90s Club mystery series, I add three more examples of 90-year-olds still active, still alert, still contributing.

Featured in Parade Magazine, Dec. 29, 2013 issue, was 94-year-old Olga Kotelko, West Vancouver, Canada, who still competes at long-jumping and high-jumping.

When Marta Eggerth, operetta singer and international film star, was 92, she performed for an hour and a half at a cafe in New York, then went on to perform in other solo shows at the Viennese-style cabaret. She recently died at age 101.

Homer LaBorwit, from Baltimore, MD, was a practicing optician into his 102nd year.

The 90s Club cozy mystery series features Nancy Dickenson and the 90s Club at Whisperwood Retirement VIllage who meddle in murder and mayhem and almost lose their lives.
The 90s Club & the Hidden Staircase
The 90s Club & the Whispering Statue

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