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SIsters in Crime

1-17-2017: Craft of Mystery Writing

Next Saturday, Jan. 21, 2 p.m., I’ll be a panelist on “The Craft of Mystery Writing” at the Perry Hall Branch, Baltimore County Public Library, 9685 Honeygo Blvd, Perry Hall, MD.

This event was planned a couple of months ago, but it is on the day of the Women’s March on Washington. I will be at the march in spirit and send a check to Planned Parenthood.

Back to the panel discussion, we authors will share our experiences on the craft of writing a mystery and how it has changed throughout the years. Other panelists are Michelle Markey Butler, Austin Camacho, Kate Dolan, Dick Ellwood, and Millie Mack.

My friends all know that one of my favorite things to do is sit around the table with others at any meal and discuss whatever comes up. Not partial to politics, though, especially now, but just about anything else. I’ve always bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t join Samuel Johnson, James, Boswell, Oliver Goldsmith, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and other highlights of the 18th century in their carousing at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in London. I also missed out on Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, Robert E. Sherwood, and others of “The Vicious Circle’ at the Algonquin Round Table, but probably I wouldn’t have survived that.

So I enjoyed reading The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards about “the mystery of the golden-agewriters who invented the modern detective story.” This is a history of the Detection Club of distinguished authors of detective stories from 1930 through 1949. It opens with a description by New Zealand mystery writer Ngaio Marsh, a guest at one of the club meetings in 1937. As she says, it began with a sumptuous banquet. Then the Continue reading “1-17-2017: Craft of Mystery Writing”

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11-28-2016 Writing—Not So Solitary

December is almost here. That means I will be talking about my latest book and signing books on the first Saturday in the Mystery Author Extravaganza at the Reston Public Library in Reston, VA. Taking part in this annual event is just one of the many benefits I receive as a member of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

wreathe-copyDecember also means it’s dues renewal time. Dues for the national organization is $40 and for the local chapter, $20. Paltry sums for an organization that seeks to even the playing field for female mystery writers. SinC was organized when women authors started noticing that male authors got the better contracts, were reviewed more often, and received more awards than female authors. In other words, the system was not fair. Men are welcome to join the group too as long as they support the goals of SinC.

The Mystery Author Extravaganza is also held in Maryland, this year on October 29 at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda. On hand to sell books at both events was Tom Harig of Mystery Loves Company Continue reading “11-28-2016 Writing—Not So Solitary”

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 eileenmcintire@aol.com.

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 amazon.com or see my website, http://www.ehmcintire.com.

Enjoy the day!
Eileen Haavik McIntire

The Medical Assassin

9/12/2014 – If the FBI ever confiscates my computer, I would have a lot of explaining to do. Would they believe that I have a ton of poison sites in my history cache because I’m doing research? What would they think about the sites I’ve visited on explosives and guns?

I also belong to the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Its members have similar unnatural interests. That’s because we write and read mysteries. We want to know about undetectable poisons and gun calibers. We want to know what makes a killer kill. We writers need that information to be realistic and plausible. This brings me to the guest speaker at last week’s chapter meeting. Dr. Eindra Khin Khin, forensic psychiatrist, unsettled us all with the latest on serial killers in the health care Continue reading “The Medical Assassin”

Mystery Loves Company

I recently joined Sisters in Crime (SinC) and its Chesapeake Chapter for the networking, information, education and marketing opportunities they afford. As anyone who reads my blogs knows, I am a firm believer in associations.

As a result, I was one of the authors speaking at a well-attended, SinC-sponsored, mystery author “speed-dating” program at the Howard County (Maryland) Library. The program was followed by a book-signing. Each of us authors was given 5 minutes to talk about our books while Kathy Harig, owner of the Mystery Loves Company Bookstore, Oxford, MD, was on hand to sell them. Kathy has been a strong supporter of Sisters in Crime since it formed in 1987 to equalize opportunities for women mystery authors.

Kathy is a former librarian who took on the mystery bookstore business in 1991. I drove out to interview her last week (see latelastnightbooks.com), browsed the shelves, bought some books and enjoyed an interesting conversation with Kathy.

For mystery lovers like me, the visit introduced me to the mystery bookstore as the resource I’ve looked for all my life. Kathy stocks whole series from the beginning, even if it means filling in out-of-print early books with used ones. She does the buying and she knows her customers, so she is likely to buy books because she knows exactly who among her customers would be delighted to get it. She knows many mystery authors personally and she knows the kind of books they write, so she’s an excellent resource when you’ve read everything your favorite author has written. She can steer you right.

Plus the store is in a historic building dating from the 1900s that used to be a bank and a post office. The town of Oxford is quiet, quaint and on the shore. A visit is worth the drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, especially if you include the ferry across the river to St. Michaels.

Sisters in Crime (sistersincrime.org) was formed in 1987. The need for such an organization became clear in 1986 at the first conference on Women in Mystery, at Hunter College. Sara Paretsky, considered the founding mother, spoke on the growing use of graphic sadism against women in mysteries. These remarks resonated with many of those present. Then Phyllis Whitney wrote to Mystery Writers of America, pointing out that women authors weren’t being nominated for awards. At Bouchercon later that year, a meeting of women authors was convened where Sara noted that books by woman mystery writers also weren’t being reviewed at a percentage equal to their participation in the field. The Initial steering committee members were Charlotte MacLeod, Kate Mattes, Betty Francis, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Sara Paretsky, Nancy Pickard and Susan Dunlap.
– Eileen Haavik McIntire

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