Domestic Noir and Femme Fatales

It started with GONE GIRL by Gilliam Flynn. The book took a while to take off, but when it did, it flew to the top of the bestseller charts and stayed there over a year. It also launched a new subgenre of crime fiction, which began to be called “Domestic Noir.” Btw, I hate that […]

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Criminal Forensics: Not So Fast…

  One of the reasons I started writing crime fiction twenty years ago was my fascination with criminal forensics. Like everyone else in the country, I was glued to the TV during the OJ Simpson trial. Apart from my surprise at his acquittal, I was introduced to a brave new world. Prior to the trial […]

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Kent Krueger Talks About Writing

Eighteen months ago I interviewed my good friend William Kent Krueger on my Second Sunday Crime radio show —actually it was the show premiere. At the time he’d just started writing his 15th Cork O’Connor novel. It’s now been released. It’s called Manitou Canyon, so now seems like the perfect time to delve into what Kent and I […]

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Stumped, Crazy and Blue – Battling Writer’s Block

Thanks to Scott Biram for the title… As the poet, novelist and short story writer Charles Bukowski said, “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all”. I know what he means. For the first time in years I am uncertain what to write. I’m stumped, stuck in the mud, and blue. […]

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Co-Authoring – The Latest Trend

Co-authoring with prominent authors or their estates (when they’re no longer with us) is a fast-growing trend for crime authors. Many are following the James Patterson model, who released 15 novels in 2014 alone. “23 other authors have been paid out of Patterson’s own pocket to write them for him. It is not a fact […]

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Why I’m Writing My Way around the Genre

Some readers read mainly one genre. Romance, for example. Or historicals. Or Sci-fi. The genres include many variations on a theme, but, generally, each novel is similar to the next. Which can be comforting. You know what you’re going to get. I’d like to think the crime fiction genre is different. As a crime thriller […]

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Can You Revive A Series A Decade Later?

I try to answer that on the Kobo Writing Life blog today. Let me know what you think…   Posted on March 7, 2016 by Kobo Writing Life One comment By Libby Fischer Hellmann My latest thriller, Jump Cut, is the fifth Ellie Foreman mystery, and it’s been ten years since the fourth one came […]

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Launching A New Series Thriller 10 Years Later

Hi, all. I was interviewed by Stephen Campbell recently about what I’ve been doing to launch JUMP CUT, the 5th installment of my Ellie Foreman mysteries (Thrillers really), and the first one in ten years. I hope you find it useful… maybe even entertaining. Listening to myself, I am reminded how exhausted I am. In […]

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5 Things That Should Always Happen in Thrillers

What makes a genre a genre? It’s more than plot. And characters. Take thrillers. At the heart of every good thriller there are at least five key elements that should be present. If you’ve ever read a lackluster, “low-fat” thriller that left you unsatisfied, it might have been missing one of these ingredients. Put an […]

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The All-Important All-Mighty First Sentence

When you pick up a book for the first time, and the first line grabs you by the—er– throat, you know you’re in for a great ride. As a reader there’s nothing quite as exciting as a line that makes the hairs on your neck rise, or makes you laugh unexpectedly, or intrigues you so […]

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