Stretching Out Summer With Movies

The end of August can be demoralizing. Technically, there are still 3 weeks of summer left, but it often feels as if the season has flown, and I haven’t done any of the things I promised myself. Back-to-school sales are ubiquitous; so are pre-season football games, and my weekly trips to Dairy Queen have lost their allure. […]


Research: Falling Through The Wormhole

I’ve been trying to figure out why I love doing research—much more than writing, btw—and I finally think I have an answer. Research is a free-form activity, especially on the internet. I Google a topic, scan a few articles, and if something catches my fancy, I click on the link or do another Google search […]


Taylor Swift and Apple – Will the Publishing Worm Turn Too?

I’ve talked a lot about the opportunities online publishing brings, especially to writers who found it tough getting published before the internet changed our world. I’ve also talked about author royalties and the way they’re shrinking fast. Now Taylor Swift, a well-respected artist with millions of teenage fans, has said “Uh—I don’t think so,” and […]


For Fiction Writers: How To Write Chapters

I’m excited to share with you a structure for both writing and editing a chapter of your novel. We’ve all been schooled in introductions, conclusions, and the overall flow of a novel. But what about individual chapters, which, after all, are the building blocks of your story? Is there a format? How do you know […]


Serial — Why I Loved It

Sadly, my favorite Thursday activity is now over. Thanks to my daughter, who told me about “Serial” a month ago, I was able to binge-listen to 8 podcasts, and then followed up every week until yesterday. The ending? I’m sure there will be unending discussions about Adnan’s guilt or innocence, the tragedy and/or travesty of […]


I’m A Published Author — I Don’t Need a Writing Group

A friend asked me why, after publishing 11 novels, I’m still in a writing group.”You’ve already published a lot of novels.” The answer was in his question. I can tell you with absolute certainty that I would not have published 11 novels without my writing group. I joined 18 years ago… way before I was […]


Jury Duty in Chicago — A follow-up

My daughter has been called for jury duty next week, and yesterday sent out a message to my newsletter recipients with a link to my original blogpost about the My Day at the Daley Center back in June. Turns out several people have their own stories about serving on a jury in Cook County, so I thought it would be fun for […]


Flash Sale: Two Ellie Foreman Mysteries

Two of my Ellie Foreman mysteries are discounted to .99 cents and .99£ all week on Amazon, both US and UK.  An Eye For Murder was nominated for an Anthony Award, and A Shot To Die For won Best traditional novel at the Love is Murder contest. They’ll stay at that price until December 14. […]


Notable Page-Turner

I’m very excited to report that Shelf Unbound Magazine (devoted to small and independent presses)  named Havana Lost as one of their “Notable Page-Turners” in their 2014 Fiction Competition! An early holiday gift.  

  • About Libby

    Compulsively Readable ThrillersLibby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago 35 years ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Fifteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first.

    She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few.