Meet Clare O’Donohue, crime-writing television producer

Chicago mystery writer Clare O’Donohue worked as newspaper reporter and as a television producer, altogether for 15 years, before she tried her hand at long-form fiction. “I wrote The Lover’s Knot [O’Donohue’s first book] for the same reasons I think most writers do,” she says. “I wanted to see if I could complete a novel. [...]

Meet Beth Amos, crime-writing nurse

And meet Annelise Ryan. And Allyson K. Abbott. Ryan and Abbott are Amos, pen names for her Mattie Winston mystery series and her Milwaukee bar series. Ryan, an ER nurse in Stoughton, Wisconsin, wrote three stand-alone suspense novels that HarperCollins published under her name – Cold White Fury (1996), Eyes of Night (1997), and Second [...]

Books for Soldiers, why it’s important

Why is it important that the men and women of the Hartford, Wisconsin, Army National Guard unit – or any other Guard unit – have a stack of books with them when they deploy to Afghanistan? The best person to answer that is CIA analyst and crime writer Bill Rapp. Here’s why, in his own [...]

A Kansas fantasy

No, not L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, but N.D. Wilson’s 100 Cupboards trilogy. The books came out in 2008 (100 Cupboards), 2009 (Dandelion Fire), and 2010 (The Chestnut King). Says Wilson of 100 Cupboards, “This world is a magical place, and not because I wish it was. Because it is. Henry York [age [...]

Who is N.D. Wilson?

The short answer is he’s a fantasy writer. He creates fantastic worlds for kids to inhabit. And his latest world, his world in The Dragon’s Tooth, is Wisconsin. Surely he’s been here, but nothing in his biographies on the Net or his website confirms that. What we do know is that this 33-year-old college prof [...]

Ashtown is not Narnia

Fantasy writer N.D. Wilson grew up reading The Narnia Chronicles. So, as a kid, he assumed that if you wanted to have a magical adventure, you had to live in England. And he didn’t. He lived in Idaho. “It’s really easy to read The Chronicles of Narnia, to read The Lord of the Rings, and [...]

Welcome to the next great fantasy novel for young readers

We in Wisconsin like to think of our state as a fantasy land . . . and it is after a winter snowstorm, when the sun comes out, the sky is once again the rich blue of a freshwater lake, and the snow crystals sparkle like the world’s most expensive diamonds. But none of that [...]

A monstrous pile of books for soldiers

Two thousand books. Boxes and cartons and bags of books. All for the members of the Hartford, Wisconsin, Army National Guard unit who are being called up for a hitch in Afghanistan. Mystery writer Allan Ansorge and Waukesha bookstore owner Norm Bruce ginned up the idea of collecting great reads for the soldiers to have [...]

I love Sam Goldwyn

I know, I know, I promised that today I would to tell you about N.D. Wilson, a brilliant and very successful writer who has set his newest fantasy novel for kids in – hey – Wisconsin! My home state. But I’m going to put that off to tomorrow because I found this in my in-box [...]

Books for Soldiers, where we are today

If you’ve been reading my blog during the past three weeks, you know a quartet of us Midwest mystery writers are working with Martha Merrell’s Bookstore here in southern Wisconsin, collecting books we will send with one of our National Guard units when they deploy to Afghanistan. Good reads for soldiers on their downtime. The [...]