Cozy Noir? A Guest Post by Vinnie Hansen

MD-BookCoverI credit author Andrew MacRae for birthing the term Cozy-Noir. He coined the phrase to describe his first mystery, Murder Misdirected. At Left Coast Crime 2014, he moderated a panel on Cozy-Noir, which in turn engendered a hashtag. Now there is to be an anthology devoted to this newly invented mystery sub-genre.

So, what happens when we throw the disparate cozy and noir together in a blender? First let’s look at the two ingredients:

The on-line Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines noir as “crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy… Continue reading

PubSmart 2014

Mid-April in Charleston, SC.  Like many others, I attended the first PubSmart conference “Emerging Authors, Emerging Avenues.”  There were some traditional editors and agents present but mostly this conference concentrated on self-publishing and what authors need to know (as well as any number of vendors happy to tell you what they could do for you).Pubsmart Panel3

I learned a lot.  I’ve been through the traditional publishing process in my work life (i.e., the one that pays the bills for now).  So I was familiar with the editing process, the length… Continue reading

Hobbies, Writing, and an Epiphany

The word hobby is synonymous with pastime, diversion, relaxation, sideline, interest, and fad.  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary (, the word hobby has its origins in the late 13th century from the word hobyn; which meant a small horse or pony.  The word hobbyhorse became synonymous with a small toy horse that was led around in circles.  In the mid 18th century, the shortened form of the word – hobby – became popular, meaning “an activity that doesn’t go anywhere”.

Which is all rather interesting, because isn’t that the point of pastimes, that they are simply ways… Continue reading

First Novels and Childbirth

Finding a publisher for a book seems like the ultimate goal for an author. In the past year, I Stork 2was doing exactly that. Then I discovered what authors must do during the months leading up to their baby’s arrival.

It’s no secret that I have a first mystery novel launching in November, 2014, from Five Star Publishing, called Three May Keep a Secret. I wrote about that in a previous post and looked back at 2013. Now it’s time to look ahead. Seriously, giving birth to a novel is… Continue reading

The Optimistic Novelist

Part One 2013

The website guru who runs Mostly Mystery, Linda, has given us several topics to write about this month, two of which are the past year and the present year in our writing lives. I can do that. However, my 2013 writing year needs a little prior information leading up to it.

I had so much fun writing my memoir in 2010 that I decided maybe I could write a novel. The fact that several of my friends and acquaintances have unpublished novels in their attics and basements did not slow me… Continue reading

Self-pubbling #3: Platforms and Tips

So, you’ve decided to self-publish and you’ve created your cover. Now, you need to decide which publishing platform you’re going to use. There’s an enormous quantity of self-pubbing information on the net, enough to make your eyes glaze over. I’ll just mention a few sites that might be beneficial. Then, I’ll add a couple of comments.

Three sites I highly recommend are:

An excellent overall and in-depth look at self-pubbing. Includes comparisons of the primary publishing services available.

A review of steps to take from finishing your draft to posting your… Continue reading

More Self-Pub Decisions

So, you’ve decided to self-pub. That’s one big decision out of the way. Now for the next one: The Cover. Others may dispute putting this first on the list of must-dos, but it’s on mine because of the important impact it has on your enthusiasm level. After months or years of slaving over your manuscript, a cover is the first visible projection of what you’re working on. A cover says you’re at the point of launch or soon to be there. It says you’re a legitimate author. As you continue to perfect your book, you’ll find yourself frequently (and fondly)… Continue reading

Self Pubbing — The most important Decision You’ll Make

There’s been so much written about self publishing that new pieces are mostly out of date by the time they’re printed. Hopefully, this will be an exception.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve heard the following sentence, perhaps even ad nauseum. SELF PUBLICATION IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. The biggest decision you’ll make is not who you pick to design your cover and format the interior of your book or to conduct a publicity campaign for you.  The biggest decision will be whether to self-pub at all. And, as in so many things in life, that almost always comes… Continue reading